Apr 21, 2024  
2017-2018 Catalog 
2017-2018 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology — Molecular and Cell Biology Emphasis, BS

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Department of Biology, College of Science and Engineering

100-106 credits


Biology is the study of living organisms. As scientists, biologists have three goals: (1) understanding the structure and function of organisms, (2) generating and disseminating reliable data pertaining to biological systems, and (3) developing a deep understanding of the natural world that can inform solutions for the serious environmental, medical, and social concerns facing humanity.

Our goal as educators is to maintain intensive academic programs designed to stimulate curiosity, creativity and life-long critical thinking in students who pursue a liberal arts education in Biology.  All of the B.S. programs in Biology are designed for students who plan to pursue post-graduate study or professional careers in biology or teaching. We have designed these programs to enable students to develop an integrated conceptual foundation in biology, as well as critical thinking skills, quantitative problem-solving abilities, leadership and team-building skills, and scientific research skills.

Each B.S. program features a core curriculum at the 200-level and 300-level, plus one 400-level course in evolution. The primary differences between the emphases lie in the choices of additional upper-division lab and lecture courses that a student takes to 1) gain a depth of knowledge in a focal area, 2) have opportunities to integrate and apply that knowledge in various settings including the lab, the field, and discussions with others, and 3) develop skills and abilities that are tailored to particular interests and career paths.

Why Consider a Molecular and Cell Emphasis in the Biology Major?

The B.S. degree in Molecular and Cell Biology places emphasis on the molecular biology and biochemistry of cell functions. The curriculum provides an effective combination of knowledge in areas that students can apply to many careers in a wide variety of settings, from academia to the biotechnology industry to healthcare. The core biology curriculum at the 200-level and 300-levels is supported by courses in math, physics, and chemistry. In upper-level cell and molecular biology courses students pursue specific topics in more depth and develop the skills and abilities to think critically, undertake complex and quantitative problem solving, engage in scientific discussion and work productively and collaboratively in teams. In addition, laboratory courses offer opportunities to gain hands-on experience in experimental approaches and instrumentation used in modern biological research.

 Contact Information

Department Chair
Merrill Peterson
Biology 315

Program Coordinators for Advising
Maren Brinson and Alexis Donnelly
Biology 315

 Sample Careers

Biomedical Research | Pharmaceutical Research | Bioinformatics | Cell Physiology | Forensic Scientist | Genetic Counseling | Geneticist | Medical Doctor | Educator | Lab Technician

 Major/Career Resources


How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

The Biology Department has a two-step process for admission into our degree programs. Phase I students are students who have declared their intent to major in biology, and are in the process of completing the introductory biology (BIOL 204, 205, 206) and general chemistry (CHEM 121, 122, 123) series. Admission to Phase II is based on academic performance in the introductory courses. Students must achieve an average grade of 2.9 or higher in their introductory biology and general chemistry courses before they can advance to Phase II and begin taking upper-division coursework.

Biology Phase II status required for admission into 300- and 400-level biology courses for biology majors.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major courses.


Basic Requirements:

Depth Requirements:


3 credits to make 100-106 total. Additional biology elective credits can be taken to fulfill University graduation requirements:

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