This program is intended for students who are interested in biology at the molecular level and who wish to take several courses in both biology and chemistry. Interested students should see biology professors Belanger, Hagos, Holm, Hoopes, Meyers, or Van Wynsberghe.
Molecular biology is the study of the molecular interactions characteristic of living cells, especially the relationship between the biological informational macromolecules-nucleic acids and proteins. Fields of biology as diverse as cell biology, developmental biology, neurobiology, and medicine are increasingly molecular in focus. This major requires courses in chemistry, physics, and math in addition to courses in biology. First-year students contemplating the possibility of a molecular biology major should take CHEM 101/101L and 102/102L, or CHEM 111/111L (see description under Chemistry) in the first year. Students can also choose to take BIOL 101 (which can be used as an elective) during the first term or students who have completed an AP or upper-level high school biology course can choose to take either BIOL101 or BIOL 181/181L (required for the major). The foundation course for molecular biology, BIOL 182/182L, can be taken in the spring of the first year but is often taken in the fall semester of the sophomore year. Students who do not take a biology course could consider taking a mathematics or computer science course in the first semester, since one is required for the major.