Molecular and Radiological Biosciences Building, Room 111
(970) 491-5602

Coordinated by a Faculty Advisory Board

Erwin Chargaff referred to molecular biology as “the practice of biochemistry without a license” due to the fact that most early molecular biologists were trained as chemists or physicists. This also serves to emphasize that molecular biology is an interdisciplinary field, primarily the study of macromolecular structure and of the replication and expression of the information in our hereditary material (DNA). Jacques Monod defined molecular biology as “the recognition that the essential properties of living beings could be interpreted in terms of the structures of their macromolecules.”

Molecular biology is becoming increasingly recognized as a significant area of study, particularly for students interested in the rapidly emerging field of biotechnology. The course requirements for this program complement extant life science degree programs on campus. The Molecular Biology Interdisciplinary Minor—noted on the transcript—will provide recognition that the student has completed a body of course work that provides both breadth and depth in this area. This program provides students with a strong, well-balanced background in the biological, physical, and mathematical sciences. It is ideally suited for undergraduates who wish to pursue advanced degrees in biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, or related life sciences; for pre-professional students in health-related fields; and for students interested in employment in the biotechnology industry. The program includes study of macromolecular structure and function; cellular biochemistry; metabolism; gene expression, DNA structure, replication, and repair; cell organization, communication, growth, aging, and death. Courses in physics, organic chemistry, statistical measurements, and research methods are required. Independent study, internships, or advanced research-oriented laboratory classes are taken during the junior and senior years to provide opportunities for experiential learning and working closely with an interdisciplinary group of faculty.

Students interested in participating in this program should contact the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (in the Molecular and Radiological Biosciences Building, Room 111, (970) 491-5602).

Effective Fall 2023

Students must satisfactorily complete the total credits required for the minor. Minors and interdisciplinary minors require 12 or more upper-division (300- to 400-level) credits.

Additional coursework may be required due to prerequisites.

Mathematics Core
MATH 155Calculus for Biological Scientists I (GT-MA1)4
or MATH 160 Calculus for Physical Scientists I (GT-MA1)
STAT 301Introduction to Applied Statistical Methods3
or STAT 307 Introduction to Biostatistics
Physics Core
Select one group from the following:10
Group A:
General Physics I (GT-SC1)
and General Physics II (GT-SC1)
Group B:
Physics for Scientists and Engineers I (GT-SC1)
and Physics for Scientists and Engineers II (GT-SC1)
Chemistry Core
CHEM 111General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)4
CHEM 112General Chemistry Lab I (GT-SC1)1
CHEM 113General Chemistry II3
CHEM 114General Chemistry Lab II1
CHEM 345Organic Chemistry I4
CHEM 346Organic Chemistry II4
Biology Core
Select one group from the following:4-5
Group A:
Cell Biology
Group B:
Introductory Eukaryotic Cell Biology
and Introductory Cell Biology Laboratory
LIFE 102Attributes of Living Systems (GT-SC1)4
Biochemistry Core
BC 401Comprehensive Biochemistry I3
BC 403Comprehensive Biochemistry II3
BC 404Comprehensive Biochemistry Laboratory2
Microbiology Core
MIP 300General Microbiology3
MIP 342Immunology4
Molecular Genetics Core
BC 463Molecular Genetics3
or MIP 450 Microbial Genetics
Select one group from the following:4-6
Group A:
Molecular and General Genetics
Group B:
Introductory Genetics: Molecular/Immunological/Developmental (GT-SC2)
and Introductory Genetics Laboratory
Group C:
Principles of Genetics
and Genetics Laboratory
BC 493Senior Seminar1
Selected Courses
Select one course from the following:3-4
Molecular Regulation of Cell Function
Behavioral Genetics
Medical and Molecular Virology
Microbial Physiology
Advanced Laboratory
Select four credits from the following:4
Mentored Research
Independent Study
Thesis: Laboratory Research-Based
Thesis: Literature Based
Thesis: Literature-based in Health and Med Sci
Thesis: Literature-based in Pre-Pharmacy
Independent Study
General Microbiology Laboratory
Immunology Laboratory
Virology and Cell Culture Laboratory
Independent Study
Program Total Credits:72-75