Molecular Biology Major (B.S.)

The main objectives of our undergraduate Molecular Biology major are: to educate students in greater depth in molecular studies than would be possible in our Biology program, and to prepare students in the methodological advances which have changed the study of biology in recent years. The field of molecular biology has an impact on almost every other area of study in the biological sciences, and its development has led to expanded graduate and professional programs.  The Molecular Biology curriculum will provide undergraduate students with a fundamental knowledge of the principles and practices inherent in the rapidly advancing field of molecular biology.

Students who major in Molecular Biology can also enter the burgeoning biotechnology industry, well prepared to compete in the modern scientific marketplace, as most institutions carry on basic or applied research in biomedical areas today using techniques of molecular biology.  Students completing this major will be well-prepared to enter professional schools of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and optometry, as well as graduate programs.

120 credits of coursework is required for the baccalaureate degree with a minimum 2.0 overall GPA, and a minimum 2.0 major GPA.

Certain pre-qualified students may be accepted into the major; others will need to complete the following:

3.00 overall GPA required 

Please note: The Biology and Molecular Biology majors have retention policies. By the end of their second semester in the major (i.e. spring), students must maintain a minimum 2.00 GPA and have completed the following courses: BIOL 112 and/or BIOL 113, CHEM 106 and/or CHEM 120, and MATH 111. These criteria do not apply to students entering in the Fall in the STEM Pioneers Program

Successfully complete one semester of a math, biology and chemistry course in the major with a C- or higher

Departmental advising meeting required.

Contact: Dr. Dirk Vanderklein, Science Hall, Room 116, 973-655-5265

Program Requirements Overview

General Education Requirements32
World Languages and Cultures Requirements3-9
Major Requirements79
Free Electives6-0
Total Credits120

Major Requirements

Required Courses
BIOL 112Principles of Biology I4
BIOL 113Principles of Biology II4
BIOL 230Cell and Molecular Biology4
BIOL 350Microbiology4
BIOL 380Genetics4
BIOL 434Molecular Biology3
BIOL 435Experimental Molecular Biology3
Research Requirement
BIOL 409Externship in Biological Research (Co-operative Education)4
or BIOL 418 Biology Independent Research
Elective Courses
Select 8 credits from the list below.8
Chemistry Collateral
CHEM 120General Chemistry I4
CHEM 121General Chemistry II4
CHEM 230Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 231Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 232Experimental Organic Chemistry I2
CHEM 370Biochemistry I3
CHEM 371Biochemistry II3
Physics Collateral
Select one of the following sequences:8
University Physics I
and University Physics II
College Physics I
and College Physics II
Math Collateral
Select two of the following options:8
Data Science and Statistics
and Data Science and Biostatistics
Applied Calculus A
Calculus I
Applied Calculus B
Calculus II
Computer Science Collaterals
CSIT 100Introduction to Computer Concepts3
or CSIT 111 Fundamentals of Programming I
Total Credits79


BIOL 360Introduction to Bio-Imaging3
BIOL 405Cell Culture3
BIOL 406Scanning Electron Microscopy4
BIOL 410Toxicology3
BIOL 411Introduction to Transmission Electron Microscopy4
BIOL 415Population Genetics3
BIOL 425Elementary Plant Physiology3
BIOL 433Developmental Biology4
BIOL 442Human Physiology4
BIOL 443Vertebrate Embryology4
BIOL 444Cell Physiology3
BIOL 445Immunology3
BIOL 446Endocrinology3
BIOL 447Fundamentals of Pharmacology3
BIOL 450Medical Microbiology3
BIOL 451Comparative Animal Physiology3
BIOL 457Virology3
BIOL 458Microbial Genetics3
BIOL 468Neurobiology3
BIOL 475Medical Genetics3
BIOL 476Biology of Cancer3
BIOL 482Research Community I: Molecular Biology4
BIOL 483Research Community II: Molecular Biology4
BIOL 487Statistical Genomics3
BIOL 488Special Topics in Cell and Molecular Biology3-4
BIOL 491Research in Biology Literature1
BIOL 492Senior Colloquium1
BIOL 493Molecular Ecology3
BIOL 497Genomics3

General Education Requirements

Click here for a list of courses that fulfill General Education categories.

A. New Student Seminar
Complete a 1 credit New Student Seminar course.1
C. Communication
1. Writing 3
2. Literature3
3. Communication3
D. Fine and Performing Arts
Complete a 3 credit Fine and Performing Arts course.3
F. Humanities
1. Great Works and Their Influences3
2. Philosophical and Religious Perspectives 3
G. Computer Science
Fulfilled in the major.
Introduction to Computer Concepts
Fundamentals of Programming I
H. Mathematics
Fulfilled by mathematics collateral requirements in the major.
I. Natural Science Laboratory
Principles of Biology I (Fulfilled in the major.)
J. Physical Education
Complete a 1 credit Physical Education course.1
K. Social Science
1. American and European History 3
2. Global Cultural Perspectives3
3. Social Science Perspectives 3
L. Interdisciplinary Studies
Complete a 3 credit Interdisciplinary Studies course.3
Total Credits32

World Languages and Cultures Requirements

Click here for a list of courses that fulfill World Languages and Cultures categories.

World Languages
Based on language placement exam, complete one or two sequential courses in the same language.3-6
World Cultures
Requirement may be fulfilled by course selected in General Education - Social Science: Global Cultural Perspectives.0-3
Total Credits3-9

Recommended Roadmap to Degree Completion

This recommended four-year plan is provided as an outline for students to follow in order to complete their degree requirements within four years.  This plan is a recommendation and students should only use it in consultation with their academic advisor.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
GENERAL EDUCATION: (A) New Student Seminar 1
GENERAL EDUCATION: (C2) Literature 3
GENERAL EDUCATION: (C3) Communication 3
 Total Credits10