Cell and Molecular Biology

DescriptionLearning OutcomesDegree Requirements

The study of cell and molecular biology provides an understanding of how molecules function in cells and cells function to build organisms. The degree starts with a strong foundation in biological and chemical principles and then applies them to understanding the fundamental functions of living things. Course work emphasizes topics in genetics, molecular, and cell biology in the junior and senior years. Laboratory experiences include an opportunity for students to conduct original research working closely with a faculty mentor. Students who complete this major will be prepared for professional degrees and graduate school or for careers in biological industry, pharmaceutical companies, and biomedical fields.

Students who complete degree programs in the Plymouth State University Department of Biological Sciences will demonstrate:

  1. An understanding of the scientific method as the means to increase understanding of the natural world through hypothesis-testing. Our BS programs require more background in chemistry and physics in support of this outcome, while our BA program allows for greater breadth.
  2. An aptitude for critically reading scientific literature, including primary research journals.
  3. Proficiency in writing, especially in scientific format.
  4. An ability to present scientific information orally with emphasis on clear interpretation of scientific data.
  5. Proficiency in techniques specific to a subdiscipline of biology, including but not limited to laboratory, field, and statistical techniques.
  6. An understanding of the critical issues facing the environment at local, regional, national, and global scales.
  7. Biological literacy allowing for the evaluation of new information and emerging issues.
  8. Readiness for post-graduate experiences in graduate school, professional school, or biology employment.

Degree Requirements (120 Credits)


BI 1110 Biological Science I (TECO) 4
BI 1120 Biological Science II 4
BI 2110 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 3
BI 2120 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 3
BI 2130 Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory I 1
BI 2140 Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory II 1
BI 3040 Microbiology 4
BI 3060 Genetics 4
BI 3130 Evolution 4
BI 3240 Conservation (DICO) (GACO) (INCO) 3
BI 4100 Cell Structure and Function 4
BI 4188 Molecular Biology 4
BI 4970 Biology Seminar 1
Upper Level Cell and Molecular Biology Electives – complete three courses from the following; one course must be Research Intensive (BI 4150, BI 4770, BI 4780, or BI 4950); one course must be a Writing in the Discipline Connection (WRCO) (BI 4150, BI 4770, BI 4780): 12
BI 3035 Biochemistry I (INCO) or
CH 3035 Biochemistry I (INCO)
BI 4150 Developmental Biology (WRCO)
BI 4770 Animal Physiology (WRCO)
BI 4780 Neurobiology (WRCO)
BI 4950 Undergraduate Research
CH 4025 Biochemistry II
CH 1050 Laboratory Safety
CH 2335 General Chemistry I (QRCO)
CH 2340 General Chemistry II
CH 3370 Organic Chemistry I
CH 3380 Organic Chemistry II
Mathematics Foundations – complete one of the following: 4
MA 2490 Applied Calculus I (MATH)
MA 2550 Calculus I (MATH)
Physics – complete (PH 2130) or (PH 2410 and PH 2430): 4
PH 2130 Physics I
PH 2410 University Physics I
PH 2430 University Physics Laboratory I
General Education:
EN 1200 Composition 3
IS 1111 The First Year Seminar: Critical Thinking and the Nature of Inquiry* 3
CTDI Creative Thought Directions 6
PPDI Past and Present Directions 6
SSDI Self and Society Directions 6
WECO Wellness Connection 3
Electives 16-14
*For students entering with 24 or more transfer credits, this course becomes an elective.

*All course information is from the 2016-2017 Catalog.