Degree requirements: BIO 2301, Principles of Biology and BIO 2310 are the prerequisites to all biology courses above the freshman level. Potential majors must have earn a C or better in both BIO 2301 and BIO 2310. Additionally, Molecular Biology majors must earn a C in BIO 2316, Botany. The degree programs in the Department of Life Sciences are unrestricted majors, and any student eligible for admission to the University is eligible to declare Biology as their potential major. However, all potential majors should submit the required formal application to the department during the second semester of their sophomore year for sanctioned program candidacy. Approval of students in the major program also requires completion of a minimum of 14 semester hours in biology prior to submitting the required formal application to the Department. To satisfy the major requirement, a grade of C or better must be earned in each biology and chemistry course taken. A minimum overall grade point average of 2.5 is required to earn an undergraduate degree in biology. There is a foreign language requirement that can be met by successfully completing two foreign language courses at the elementary level or higher. Majors must complete a minor program in a discipline that differs from Molecular Biology.
The Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology focuses student learning on the structure and function of DNA and RNA molecules. Students are instructed on how to manipulate these molecules, transfer genetic information, and characterize the influence of genes on cell function. They learn to apply their knowledge to solving primarily theoretical problems in genetics, genomics, and the molecular aspects of human diseases by sequencing DNA with state-of-the-art technologies in the Forensics laboratory. Media-based crime scene investigations are scientific applications derived from techniques pioneered in the fields of molecular genetics and genetics. Therefore, the Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology is a pathway for careers as diverse as but not limited to forensic sciences, drug discovery, and bioinformatics. Molecular Biology courses combined with a minor in Justice Studies provides a pathway into Criminalistics and CSI-based law enforcement.
The Molecular Biology program was discontinued May 15, 2009. No new majors will be accepted in this program. However, students who have been admitted to this program will be given the opportunity to complete their work over the next three years. The Biotechnology program will include a molecular biology concentration as an option beginning fall 2010.
Students should be able to demonstrate:
- Understanding of basic biological principles and the diversity of life.
- Knowledge of specialized areas of biology.
- Knowledge of technical skills needed to conduct biological research.
- Ability to read scientific texts and literature with comprehension.
- Critical thinking skills.
- Basic computer literacy.