Molecular Biology and Biochemistry header

Requirements for the MB&B Major

Below are the required courses that comprise the MB&B major. Although the sequence of courses shown is the ideal one, the major can be readily accommodated even if begun after the freshman year.

 

Fall

Spring

 

Freshman

MB&B 181  Principles of Biology I
MB&B 191  Principles of Biology I Lab
CHEM 141 or 143 Introductory Chemistry I
CHEM 152 Introductory Chemistry Lab

MB&B 182 Principles of Biology II
MB&B 192 Principles of Biology II Lab
CHEM 142 or 144 Introductory Chemistry II

 

Sophomore

MB&B 208 Molecular Biology
CHEM 251 Organic Chemistry I
Mathematics (e.g. Calculus or Statistics)

xMB&B Elective (200 level or above)
CHEM 252 Organic Chemistry II
MB&B 209  Frontiers in Molecular Biology  (optional)


Junior

#MB&B 395 Structural Biology Lab
MB&B 383   Biochemistry
MB&B 294 Advanced Laboratory in Molecular Biology and Genetics
*MB&B 381 Physical Chemistry for Life Scientists

Senior

xMB&B elective

xMB&B elective

# One advanced laboratory class is required, either MB&B 395 (offered every other year in the Fall) or MB&B 294 (offered each Spring)


*
MB&B 381 may be replaced by two semesters of Introductory Physics (PHYS 111 and 112, or 113 and 116) or by Physical Chemistry (CHEM337 and CHEM338). In this case 381 may then count as one of the required 300-level electives.

 

xElectives:  Two electives 200 level or above are required.  One of the electives must be a 300 level MB&B course.  MB&B 395 may count as one of the required 300-level electives if the student has take in MB&B 294. The second may be an MB&B course or an approved course from the Biology or Chemistry departments.  Two semesters of laboratory or library research (MB&B 401/402, Individual Tutorial; MB&B 423/424, Undergraduate Research) with an MB&B faculty member, or a pre-approved faculty member in another department's research molecular biology/biochemistry/biophysics areas can be substituted for the second elective provided that it is taken for 1.0 credits each semester and a grade of B or higher is obtained. Honors (MB&B 409/410) does not count as an elective.

Approved courses outside MB&B that can be taken for elective credit include BIOL 218, BIOL 323 (if BIOL 323 is used for elective credit then students must choose MB&B 395 for their required lab course) and BIOL 334.

 

Pre-meds and pre-grads: Organic chemistry laboratory courses (CHEM 257 and CHEM 258) are requirements for virtually all graduate and medical schools.  Most medical schools also require one year of physics with related labs, and two semesters of mathematics.

 

Beyond the lecture hall

Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of enrichment and assistance available beyond the required lectures and labs in the introductory Biology and Chemistry courses. For each course, there are office hours and help sessions held both by the instructor and by teaching assistants, scheduled throughout the week and by appointment. There are also mentored study groups, in which students in each course are set up in groups of 3 - 5 to meet regularly with a mentor who took the course the previous year, to go over course material and to share study hints and problem-solving strategies.

All of the life science community is enriched by the weekly departmental seminar series held on Thursdays at Noon during the Academic Year, in which speakers are invited from different institutions to speak about their work. All are welcome to come hear about the latest cutting-edge research in the life sciences.

MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND BIOCHEMISTRY

 

Requirements for the MB&B Major

 

Below are the required courses that comprise the MB&B major. Although the sequence of courses shown is the ideal one, the major can be readily accommodated even if begun after the freshman year.

 

 

Fall

Spring

 

Freshman

 

MB&B 181 or 195  Principles of Biology I

MB&B 191  Principles of Biology I Lab

CHEM 141 or 143 Introductory Chemistry I

 

MB&B 182 Principles of Biology II

MB&B 192 Principles of Biology II Lab

CHEM 142 or 144 Introductory Chemistry II

CHEM 152 Introductory Chemistry Lab

 

Sophomore

 

MB&B 208 Molecular Biology 

 

CHEM 251 Organic Chemistry I

 

MB&B 209  Frontiers in Molecular Biology  (optional)

 

 

 

CHEM 252 Organic Chemistry II

 

Junior

 

 

MB&B 395 Structural Biology Lab             OR 

 

MB&B 383   Biochemistry

 

 

 

MB&B 294 Advanced Laboratory in Molecular Biology and Genetics

 

MB&B 381 Physical Chemistry for Life Scientists* 

 

 

Senior

 

MB&B elective

 

MB&B elective

 

*MB&B 381 may be replaced by two semesters of Introductory Physics (PHYS 111 and 112, or 113 and 116) or by Physical Chemistry (CHEM337 and CHEM338).

 

Also required is one course in Mathematics (e.g., calculus or statistics).

 

Electives:  Two electives are required.  One of the electives must be a 300 level MB&B course.  The second may be an MB&B course or an approved course from the Biology or Chemistry departments.  Two semesters of research for credit (Individual Tutorial, MB&B 401/402) with an MB&B faculty member (or a pre-approved faculty member in another department conducting research in molecular biology/biochemistry/biophysics) can also be substituted for the second elective.

 

Approved courses outside MB&B that can be taken for elective credit include BIOL 218 and BIOL323 (if BIOL323 is used for elective credit then students must choose MB&B 395 for their required lab course).

 

Pre-meds and pre-grads: Organic chemistry laboratory courses (CHEM 257 and CHEM 258) are requirements for virtually all graduate and medical schools.  Most medical schools also require one year of physics with related labs, and two semesters of mathematics.

 

Getting Started

 

WHICH BIOL OR MBB COURSE SHOULD YOU TAKE?
181-1, 181-2, 3, 4 or 5 or 195? 

We have three different paths for starting toward the Biology (BIOL), Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (MBB), or Neuroscience and Behavior (NSB) majors, to suit the needs of students with different backgrounds. All are crosslisted between Biol and MBB, meaning they can be taken under either department.

The most common entry point is MB&B/BIOL 181-1, with associated lab 191, but the other sections are appropriate for some.

NOTE: Students enroll for the 191 labs separately. It is recommended that students, especially those intending to major in the life sciences, should have taken chemistry, or should be taking it concurrently.

 

What about the other sections of 181? 

Section 2, 3, 4 or 5 of MBB/Bio 181 is a good choice for students preferring greater emphasis on continuous assessment and problem-based learning. Given the small enrollment, this section is also a good choice for students with less extensive previous backgrounds in biology. The information role of DNA and proteins in molecular cellular biology will be a central theme throughout the course. Sections 2, 3, 4 and 5 will address similar topics to Section 1. Students should enroll separately in MBB/BIOL191.

 

What about MBB/BIOL 195? 

MBB/BIOL 195 is an honors level component of MBB/BIOL 181 designed for students with a substantial background in Biology. All of the material and lectures of MBB/BIOL 181-1 are included, plus an additional one and one-half hour meeting per week that covers related specific topics in considerably greater depth. MBB/BIOL 195 is a limited enrollment, permission-of-instructor course.  Students interested in taking this course should enroll in MBB or BIOL 181-1, and contact one of the instructors (Prof. Holmes or Prof. Lane) as soon as possible to apply to switch to 195 during the first week of the course.

 

Can you get into the course you want? 

Section 1 of BIOL/MBB 181 has no enrollment limit, though some of the different time slots for the associated lab, 191, may fill more quickly than others. Sections 2, 3, 4 and 5 have limited enrollment, but spaces do open up during Add/Drop. Contact Prof. Weir if you are trying to get into Sections 2 or 3, or Michelle Murolo if you are trying to get into Section 4 or 5. MBB/BIOL 195 is limited, and by permission of instructor, so you must apply to Prof. Scott Holmes or Prof. Bob Lane during the first week.

 

Other options: 

If you are looking for other introductory level and non-majors science courses, search Wesmaps under "Gen-Ed = NSM"

 

And remember: 

There really is time during Add/Drop to sort yourself out into the right place.

 

Beyond the lecture hall 

Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of enrichment and assistance available beyond the required lectures and labs in the introductory Biology and Chemistry courses. For each course, there are office hours and help sessions held both by the instructor and by teaching assistants, scheduled throughout the week and by appointment. There are also mentored study groups, in which students in each course are set up in groups of 3 - 5 to meet regularly with a mentor who took the course the previous year, to go over course material and to share study hints and problem-solving strategies.

All of the life science community is enriched by the weekly departmental seminar series held on Thursdays at Noon during the Academic Year, in which speakers are invited from different institutions to speak about their work. All are welcome to come hear about the latest cutting-edge research in the life sciences.

 

Registrar (link to the registrar info for MBB)