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Logo The content below is information specific to this academic program's fields of interest.

Course Descriptions

The molecular biology major is intended for students whose interests lie in the exciting interface between biology and chemistry. Molecular biology is the basic science that leads to an understanding of the molecular processes of life, in terms of the properties and functions of molecules of which living cells are made. Therefore, molecular biology as a major requires a strong interdisciplinary background in biology, chemistry, physics and engineering, and mathematics, in addition to molecular biology courses.

Molecular Biology Major (70 hours)
MBIO 211, 411, 417, 418
BIOL 107, 112, 226, 306, 312, 375
CHEM 111, 112, 213, 214, 315, 418
CPSC 111
MATH 190, 200
PHEN 121, 200
BIOL 336, statistics and computer science courses are strongly recommended
It may be possible for students to also earn a major in biology with 15 additional hours or in chemistry with 12 additional hours.

Molecular Biology Courses

MBIO 211, Topics in Molecular Biology

Presentation and discussion of Molecular Biology topics of curent interest and importance. This is a seminar-style course team taught by the molecular biology faculty and provides the opportunity for students to gain an understanding of the feils through general readings as well as the recent literature. Molecular Biology majors must take this course at least twice. May be taken for additional credit.

MBIO 411, Topics in Molecular Biology
A seminar-style course, team taught by the molecular biology faculty, examines in depth, through readings, discussion and presentations, important topics in the field. Molecular Biology majors must take the course for at least one credit. May be taken for additional credit. Prerequisite: MBIO 211, BIOL 375, CHEM 214, 315

MBIO 417, Molelcular Biology Seminar
Involves library research in a molecular biological topic, related to the research to be conducted in 418. The course also features student oral presentations and a written paper related to the library and lab research. Prerequisite: MBIO 211, BIOL 375, CHEM 214, 315

MBIO 418, Research in Molecular Biology/Internship
Students may satisfy this requirement by conducting lab research in molecular biological problems in the science division, or with an internship which has the prior approval of the molecular biology faculty. Prerequisite: MBIO 417

Biology Courses

BIOL 107, Biology Laboratory
A series of lab topics which explore biological processes through observation and experimentation.

BIOL 112, Organismal Biology II
Studies the structure and function of various organ systems in vertebrates. Examples from plants and invertebrates are frequently used to emphasize diversity, adaptability, and evolution. Corequisite: BIOL 107.

BIOL 226, Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology
Focuses on cell structure and function, membrane structure and function, cellular energy, photosynthesis, glycolysis, cellular respiration, DNA, gene activity, the regulation of gene activity, recombinant DNA, and biotechnology.
Prerequisite: BIOL 112, 107

BIOL 306, Genetics
Surveys the fundamental principles of heredity and variation. Lecture and laboratory experiences are involved. Prerequisite: BIOL 112, 107

BIOL 312, Microbiology
The overall objective of this course is to study the relationship between microorganisms and our lives. The course explores the nature of microorganisms with special emphasis placed on bacteria of importance to medicine and industry. The course also explores body defense mechanisms. Lecture and laboratory experiences are involved. Prerequisite: BIOL 112, 107 and CHEM 111, 112

BIOL 375, Molecular Biology
Studies the biochemical and molecular interactions within living cells with special emphasis placed on protein structure, gene structure and expression, gene regulation, and genetic engineering. Lecture and laboratory experiences are involved. Prerequisite: BIOL 112, 107, 226 and Chemistry 111, 112

Chemistry Courses

CHEM 111, 112, General Chemistry I, II
Deals with the structure of matter and the principles governing physical and chemical changes, developing the skills and techniques of analytical chemistry through inquiry. 3 hours of lecture and 3 hours of laboratory.

CHEM 213, 214, Organic Chemistry I & II
Deals with structure, preparation, and reactions of carbon compounds. The laboratory stresses qualitative organic analysis, synthesis, isolation, and purification of carbon compounds. 3 hours of lecture and 3 hours of laboratory.
Prerequisite: 112

CHEM 315, Physical Chemistry I
Includes a theoretical study of thermodynamics, kinetics, spectroscopy, quantum chemistry, photochemistry, and phase equilibria. 3 hours of lecture, 3 hours of lab with 315. Prerequisite: 112; Co-requisite: Mathematics 200, PHEN 121

CHEM 418, Biochemistry I
The study of the chemistry of enzyme function and regulation, and the chemistry of metabolic pathways. Emphasis will be placed on the structure-activity correlations and mechanisms of reactions, as well as on the thermodynamics and kinetics of the reactions involved. The lab portion of the course will include current techniques for isolation and analysis of biomolecules and the study of enzymatic processes. Prerequisite: 214

Computer Science Course

CPSC 111, Computer Science I
Introduces object-oriented software development. Fundamental concepts and algorithms are examined and object-oriented programs are developed using the Java and C++ languages. The relationships between software and other areas of computer science are examined and fundamental concepts in computer science are introduced. Prerequisite: 3 years of college preparatory math or Mathematics 170 and 175, 2 years of computer usage in high school or equivalent experience

Mathematics Courses

MATH 190, Beginning Calculus
Introduces the concepts of limit, continuity, derivative, integral, and applications. It assumes some knowledge of trigonometric functions and equations for lines and conic sections. Prerequisite: 170 and 175 or equivalent, including trigonometry

MATH 200, Intermediate Calculus
Continues the study of calculus and includes such topics as methods of integration, logarithms, exponential, indeterminate forms, and infinite series. Prerequisite: 190

Physics and Engineering Courses

PHEN121, 122, Classical Physics I, II
Ffor science and engineering majors: a calculus-based presentation of kinematics, mechanics, and thermodynamics in the first semester, followed by sound, light, and electromagnetism in the second semester. 3 hours of lecture, 1 hour of recitation, and 2 hours of laboratory. Recommended Co-requisites: MATH 190 for PHEN 121 and MATH 200 for PHEN 122