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Molecular and Cellular Biology offers three major programs: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Genetics and Genomics.

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Major Program

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major introduces students to the chemistry of living organisms and the experimental techniques that are used to probe the structures and functions of biologically important molecules. Students who enjoy both chemistry and biology and who are comfortable with quantitative approaches to problem solving will find this major a rewarding field of study.

The Program. The biochemistry and molecular biology program begins with the four-course, upper division common curriculum that provides an introduction to the principles of biochemistry, genetics, and cell biology. Majors then take a comprehensive and rigorous laboratory course to familiarize them with the most important aspects of biochemical research. Additional upper division courses in biochemistry and molecular biology examine detailed aspects of these subjects. Students are also required to take courses in other biological sciences and a full year of physical chemistry.

Career Alternatives. The biochemistry and molecular biology program provides a solid scientific background for students seeking a research, teaching, or service career in the life sciences. Positions are open to biochemists in bio-medical, bio-technological, pharmaceutical, agricultural research and chemical industries. Also, university-affiliated research laboratories, hospital laboratories, and government-sponsored research facilities provide employment opportunities. The major provides excellent preparation for advanced study in graduate or professional schools.

The Cell Biology Major Program

The Cell Biology major program provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the cell, the basic structural and functional unit of all living organisms.

The Program. To understand living organisms, the biologist must understand the cell. Hence, cell biology lies at the core of the biological sciences. Students taking this major gain a solid foundation in biological principles. The major emphasizes how cellular organization and function contribute to the development, maintenance and reproduction of adult organisms. The major illustrates the ways in which principles derived from the physical sciences, genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology and physiology are integrated in the study of living cells and emphasizes the experimental nature of the study of cell biology.

Career Alternatives. The major provides an excellent background for students wishing to enter postgraduate and professional programs in biological, health sciences or veterinary sciences; for students pursuing careers involving teaching or research in the biological sciences; for students interested in careers in the biotechnological or pharmaceutical industries; or for students interested in careers related to the administrative, legal or commercial aspects of biomedical science.

The Genetics and Genomics Major Program

The Genetics and Genomics major provides a broad background in the biological, mathematical, and physical sciences basic to the study of heredity, gene expression and evolution. The major is sufficiently flexible to accommodate students interested in the subject either as a basic discipline in the biological sciences or in terms of its applied aspects such as biotechnology, medicine, and agriculture.

The Program. The genetics and genomics program begins with the four-course, upper division core curriculum that provides an introduction to the principles of genetics, biochemistry, and cell biology. Students then take additional upper division courses in specialized areas of modern genetics including gene expression, evolution, development, human genetics and genomics, as well as a laboratory courses in the principles of genetics and genomics. Additional upper division courses in biological sciences, as well as internship/research coursework can be chosen to fulfill required elective units.

Career Alternatives. The genetics and genomics degree provides suitable preparation for a wide variety of careers, including teaching, research, work with biotechnology companies, medicine, and all the health sciences. It is also an excellent background for students wishing to continue their education in a graduate program, a teacher-training program, medical school, veterinary school, or other professional schools.

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Updated: March 22, 2017 10:38 AM