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Undergraduate Course Catalog 2016-2017

College of Life Sciences and Agriculture


Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology (BMCB)


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Professor: Richard H. Cote, Clyde L. Denis, Wayne R. Fagerberg, Thomas L. Foxall, Thomas M. Laue, Stacia A. Sower, Charles W. Walker
Research Professor: Vernon N. Reinhold
Associate Professor: Estelle M. Hrabak, David H. Townson
Assistant Professor: Feixia Chu

»Click to view faculty participating in the program []

The field of biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology (BMCB) encompasses a broad range of the life sciences, from biophysics and biochemistry to applied biology and medicine. The B.S. in biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology is based on a solid foundation in biology, chemistry, physics, and math, along with advanced courses in molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, and genetics. The program offers specialized training in the areas of molecular genetics, gene regulation, cellular structure and function, cancer biology, endocrinology, macromolecular interactions, glycobiology, and lipid metabolism. BMCB students are highly-motivated and seek exposure to cutting-edge techniques and “hands-on” experience through laboratory- and research-based opportunities. Graduates are “profession-ready” people who are well-prepared for entry‐level positions in the health care and biotechnology industries, for graduate education, and for post‐baccalaureate professional programs (e.g., medical school, veterinary school, dental school, etc.).

The curriculum provides most of the required and recommended courses for students seeking admission to graduate schools and to professional schools in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and pharmacy. Students who major in BMCB can also use their training in conjunction with advanced degrees in law and business. Students obtaining the B.S. in BMCB enjoy excellent job prospects immediately upon graduation. There is currently a demand for skilled research technicians in biotechnology companies, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, forensics, academic research laboratories, and hospitals. Graduates also have knowledge that is valuable in the fields of management, sales, marketing, regulatory affairs, technical writing, and scientific journalism. With additional courses in education, the B.S. in biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology also qualifies graduates to teach at the elementary, junior high, and high school levels.

Faculty participating in the BMCB major combine a passion for teaching and student advising with strong research expertise in their chosen discipline. BMCB faculty are committed to providing independent research experiences for undergraduate students, and many faculty have well-funded research programs utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and techniques. On-campus research facilities that students can use to enhance their research experience include the Hubbard Center for Genome Studies, the Center to Advance Molecular Interaction Science, and the Center for Comparative and Molecular Endocrinology, among others.

Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology
Students majoring in BMCB must take: i) five BMCB core courses; ii) three major elective courses chosen from an extensive list; iii) four bioscience core courses; and iv) eight foundation courses. One capstone experience, supervised and approved within the major, is required of all seniors. The capstone explores areas of interest based on the integration of prior learning.  The capstone requirement may be satisfied through a course, created work or product, or some form of experiential learning (e.g., honors thesis, mentored research project, or other special student activity). In addition, courses for the Discovery Program and the University Writing Requirement must be completed. For a detailed list of curriculum requirements, visit the BMCB website.

BMCB Core Courses
Opportunities in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology (1 semester)
Genetics of Prokaryotic Microbes, or Molecular Genetics (1 semester)
Principles of Biochemistry (2 semesters)
Cell and Developmental Biology (1 semester)

BMCB/Biology Major Electives
One laboratory techniques course

Two other major elective courses in the areas of cell biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, biomedical sciences, and health issues (list available at

Bioscience Core Courses
Biology with laboratory (2 semesters)
Microbiology with laboratory (1 semester)
Genetics (1 semester)

Foundation Courses
General Chemistry with laboratory (2 semesters)
Organic Chemistry with laboratory (2 semesters)
Calculus (1 semester)
Statistics (1 semester)
Physics with laboratory (2 semesters)

Pre-Professional Health Programs
Students interested in postgraduate careers in the health care professions should visit the Pre-Professional Health Programs Advising Office online ( or in person (Hood House, Room 102). Requirements for specific professional schools (e.g., medical, dental, physician’s assistant, pharmacy, etc.) are provided at Students interested in veterinary medicine should consult the Pre-Veterinary Medicine Program website ( While many of the prerequisite courses required by professional schools are also requirements of the BMCB major, you should consult with your faculty adviser to create a plan of study that best prepares you for pursuing a career in one of these health professions.

Minor in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology (BMCB)
Students who wish to develop focused competencies in biochemistry, molecular biology, and/or cell biology can complement their major academic program with a minor in biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology (BMCB). The intent to complete a minor in BMCB should be communicated by the end of the junior year. The general requirements for completion of a minor can be found in the minor section of the Undergraduate Catalog. Specific courses that fulfill the requirements for the BMCB minor can be found at    

For additional information on the BMCB major or minor, contact the undergraduate program coordinator, Dr. Feixia Chu (

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