Middlebury

 

Molecular Biology & Biochemistry Requirements

Required for the Major: The requirements for the major in molecular biology and biochemistry provide a multidisciplinary yet integrated approach to examining life at the macromolecular, cellular, and organismal levels. The major is composed of 14 required courses including foundation courses, advanced courses, and two electives. Required foundation courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology establish a strong, broad understanding of the science necessary for advanced study. Required advanced courses in the core areas of molecular biology, biological chemistry, and bioinformatics build on this foundation. Finally, elective courses offer advanced opportunities to explore a wide variety of specific topics including neurobiology, developmental biology, computational biology, molecular genetics, and biochemical mechanisms. Students are encouraged to engage in mentored independent research in these areas.
      Placement Exams and Transfer Credit:  
Students may be able to bypass introductory courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, or physics on the basis of AP credit or proficiency exams. Those who bypass CHEM 0103 may begin with CHEM 0104 (fall or spring) or CHEM 0107 (fall only). Those students interested in the health professions or graduate study may wish to take a full two semesters of calculus and physics in order to meet professional school entrance requirements. Students considering taking summer courses or courses abroad must get approval in advance from the program director. Students should consult with their adviser for assistance with the process of transferring  credit from another institution.
     Electives:
  A list of appropriate electives is provided. 

Required Background courses
:
BIOL 0211 Experimental Design and Data Analysis (preferred) or MATH 0116 Introduction to Statistical Science
MATH 0121 Calculus I
PHYS 0109 Newtonian Physics
BIOL 0140 Ecology and Evolution
BIOL 0145 Cell Biology and Genetics
CHEM 0103 or CHEM 0107 General Chemistry I or Adv. General Chemistry
CHEM 0104 or CHEM 0107 General Chemistry II or Adv. General Chemistry
CHEM 0203 Organic Structure and Reactivity

Required Advanced Courses:
BIOL 0310 or BIOL 0305 Microbiology or Developmental Biology
BIOL 0314 Molecular Genetics
CHEM 0322 Biochemistry of Macromolecules
MBBC 0324 Bioinformatics and Genomics

Two electives out of the following:

BIOL 0225 Human Genetics
BIOL 0280 Immunology
BIOL 0305 Developmental Biology*
BIOL 0310 Microbiology*
BIOL 0330 Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis
BIOL 0331 The Genetics of Cancer
BIOL/NSCI 0420 Neurogenetics
BIOL 0450 Topics in Reproductive Medicine
CHEM 0204 Organic Synthesis and Spectroscopy
CHEM 0301 Medicinal Chemistry
CHEM 0355 Thermodynamics and Kinetics
CHEM 0425 Biochemistry of Metabolism
CHEM 0430 Current Topics in Biochemistry
CSCI 0101 The Computing Age OR CSCI 0150 Computing for the Sciences

Note: Independent Study courses (CHEM/BIOL/MBBC  0500/0700/0701) can not be used to fulfill  elective credit.

     * When not taken as a requirement these courses may be used as an elective.
    
     There is no minor in molecular biology and biochemistry.
     The recommended progression through the required courses of the MBBC major is shown below. While there can be some deviation to this schedule, it is highly recommended that the students complete their introductory chemistry requirements (CHEM0103 and CHEM 0104 or, with advanced placement, CHEM 0107/CHEM 0104) by the end of the first year and their introductory biology requirements (BIOL 0140 and BIOL 0145) by the end of their third semester. The decision to start the introductory biology sequence in the first semester along with introductory chemistry and calculus should be made with consultation with the students FYSE advisor and/or the MBBC Program Director. All mathematics, physics, introductory chemistry and biology, and organic chemistry courses should be completed by the end of the second year. A college writing (CW) course should be completed by the end of the third year. BIOL 0331, BIOL 0310, or BIOL 0305 are appropriate courses which have sections that fulfill the CW requirement.

First Year Fall
CHEM 0103 General Chemistry I OR (if satisfied)
CHEM 0104 General Chemistry II OR (if satisfied)
CHEM 0107 Advanced General Chemistry
MATH 0121 Calculus I
BIOL 0140 Ecology and Evolution OR BIOL 0145 Cell Biology and Genetics

First Year Spring
CHEM 104 General Chemistry II (if not taken previously)
BIOL 0140 Ecology and Evolution OR BIOL 0145 Cell Biology and Genetics

Second Year Fall
CHEM 0203 Organic Structure and Reactivity
PHYS 0109 Newtonian Physics
BIOL 0140 Ecology and Evolution OR BIOL 0145 Cell Biology and Genetics (if not taken previously)

Second Year Winter Term
BIOL 0211 Experimental Design and Data Analysis (or MATH 0116 in Spring)

Second Year Spring
CHEM 0322 Biochemistry of MacromoleculesMATH 0116 Introduction to Statistical Science (or BIOL 0211 in Winter Term)

Third Year
BIOL 0310 Microbiology OR BIOL 0305 Developmental Biology
BIOL 0314 Molecular Genetics
MBBC 0324 Bioinformatics and Genomics Electives

Fourth Year
Senior Thesis Research and/or Electives

Molecular Biology & Biochemistry Research: Research is an essential component of a well-rounded academic pursuit; it contributes to the development of independence and creativity, as well as to the depth of knowledge needed to become an active contributor to the scientific community. All majors are encouraged to undertake independent research with an MBBC faculty mentor. Any major is eligible to perform an independent study research project (BIOL 0500, CHEM 0500, or BIOL/CHEM/MBBC 0700) with the consent of a mentor.
     Requirements for HonorsSenior thesis research may be initiated by any junior with the consent of a mentor. Students considering senior thesis research are urged to begin conversations with faculty early in their junior year (certainly by winter term) because many thesis projects begin during the summer preceding the senior year. Those eligible for high honors or honors in molecular biology and biochemistry will: (1) complete at least two semesters of research, which may include winter term; (2) enroll in MBBC 0701 for their final semester of research; (3) graduate with a minimum GPA of 3.3 for all courses counting towards the major; (4) present a public seminar describing the significance, methodology, results, and conclusions of their research; (5) successfully defend their thesis before a committee of three faculty, two of whom must be affiliated with the MBBC program; and (6) earn a grade of at least B+ for MBBC 0701, as determined by the members of the MBBC program, with the grade based on their research performance, their written thesis, their thesis presentation and their thesis defense.