Cell and Molecular Biology (B.S.)

Cell and Molecular Biology (B.S.)
Student setting up scientific equipment outside. Hands-on activities aid in student satisfaction and retention.

Explore the science of life from minute strands of DNA to complex ecosystems that stretch for miles and miles.


Our program offers opportunities for research and study using the latest technology and equipment, in the lab or in the field.  In faraway tropical rainforests and coral reef habitats or New Hampshire’s own lakes and forests, PSU students work hands-on with faculty members to answer some of life’s toughest questions.

Degree

The B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology is the newest biology degree program at Plymouth State. Our Cell and Molecular Biology prepares students for graduate school, health professions, or careers in biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry. Laboratory experiences applicable to your career begin in the first year and include opportunities for students to conduct original research working closely with a faculty mentor. Our summer research program in collaboration with the NH-INBRE program gives students a chance to work as full-time researchers. This degree is also designed to prepare students for professional schools including medical, dental, and veterinary schools.

Plymouth State University also offers B.S. in Biology, B.S. in Environmental Biology, B.A. in Biology, and the Biology Honors programs. Click the links in the degree names to find out more.

Careers

Opportunities for careers in healthcare and biotechnology are areas of active growth, particularly in the Northeast. Students with a B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology are qualified for careers with companies such as Bristol Meyers Squibb, Lonza, Mascoma, Boston Analytical, and many others. The degree is also a pathway to pursue further education to become a nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, nurse, dentist, veterinarian, pharmacist or other areas of healthcare. Graduates are also qualified to pursue a Masters in Biology at Plymouth State and other schools or a PhD in Biology or a related field.

Please scroll down to see more about the curriculum, requirements, program details, and career paths.


The BS in Cell and Molecular Biology prepares students for graduate studies or work in biomedical fields. Laboratory experiences include opportunities for students to conduct original research working closely with a faculty mentor. This degree is also appropriate for professional schools including medical, dental, and veterinary schools. Note that some professional/graduate schools require a full year of physics. Students should work closely with their academic advisor to plan their coursework.

Biological Sciences Honors Program

The Department of Biological Sciences encourages eligible students to develop an Honors research project working with an individual faculty member. A Biology Faculty Advisor will serve as a research mentor throughout the process, but the student is responsible for the design, data collection, analysis, and writing required to complete and communicate the results of the project. Students must understand that faculty can more readily advise Honors projects that integrate with their existing research interests. The Honors project can assist students wishing to pursue admission to competitive graduate and professional programs in biological sciences. Along with letters of recommendation, solid grade point average and Graduate Record Exam scores, participating in research is an important criterion such programs use to select students.

Requirements for Admission to the Honors Program

  • 3.25 minimum grade point average
  • completion of at least 45 credit hours
  • completion of Biological Science I (BI 1110) and Biological Science II (BI 1120) or their equivalents and at least one 3000/4000 level Biology course that involves a research project, or approval of the faculty sponsor
  • availability and support of a Faculty Advisor
  • submission of an Honors Application to the Department of Biological Sciences. The Application consists of a research proposal that is developed with the guidance and approval of a Faculty Advisor and contains a literature review, hypotheses, methods (including a budget), and references (formatted according to discipline-specific standards)
  • approval of the Honors Application by the Biological Sciences faculty.

Completing the Program

  • completion of four credits of Undergraduate Research (BI 4950)
  • presentation of the research findings
  • submission of a final paper (in discipline-specific format) to the Department of Biological Sciences by May 1 of the year Honors distinction is sought
  • presentation of the results at an appropriate scientific conference or seminar series, either at PSU or in the New England region
  • overall approval of both the final paper and the presentation from the Biological Science faculty
  • maintenance of a 3.25 minimum grade point average.
Contact

Academic Operations Manager
Phone: (603) 535-2325
Office: Exploration & Discovery, Boyd Science Center Rm 122, MSC 48, Plymouth, NH 03264
Contact

Program Coordinator of Biology (BA, BS, & MS), Cell & Molecular Biology, & Environmental Biology
Associate Professor
Phone: (603) 535-3181
Office: Exploration & Discovery, Boyd Science Center Rm 108, MSC 48, Plymouth, NH 03264

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Curriculum & Requirements

Course Title Credits
Major Requirements
BI 1110Biological Science I (TECO)4
BI 1120Biological Science II4
BI 2270Integrative Biology (WECO)4
BI 2110Human Anatomy and Physiology I3
BI 2120Human Anatomy and Physiology II3
BI 2130Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory I1
BI 2140Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory II1
BI 3040Microbiology4
BI 3060Genetics4
BI 3130Evolution4
BI 3240Conservation (DICO,GACO,INCO,INCP)3
BI 4100Cell Structure and Function4
BI 4188Molecular Biology4
BI 4970Biology Seminar1
CH 1050Laboratory Safety1
CH 2335General Chemistry I (QRCO)4
CH 2340General Chemistry II4
CH 3370Organic Chemistry I4
CH 3380Organic Chemistry II4
Upper Level Cell and Molecular Biology Electives
Complete three courses from the following: 112
BI 3035
Biochemistry I (INCO,INCP)
BI 4150
Developmental Biology (WRCO)
BI 4770
Animal Physiology (WRCO)
BI 4780
Neurobiology (WRCO)
BI 4950
Undergraduate Research
CH 4025
Biochemistry II
Physics
PH 2410University Physics I3
or PH 2210 Physics I
PH 2430Physics Laboratory I1
Mathematics Foundations
MA 2550Calculus I (QRCO)4
General Education
EN 1400Composition4
IS 1115Tackling a Wicked Problem4
CTDICreative Thought Direction3-4
PPDIPast and Present Direction3-4
SSDISelf and Society Direction3-4
Directions (choose from CTDI, PPDI, SSDI) 24-8
Electives15
Total Credits120
1

One course must be Research Intensive (Developmental Biology (BI 4150), Neurobiology (BI 4780), or Undergraduate Research (BI 4950)); one course must be a Writing in the Discipline Connection (WRCO) (Developmental Biology (BI 4150), Animal Physiology (BI 4770), Neurobiology (BI 4780))

2

Directions should total 16-17 credits because SIDI is waived for BS Cell and Molecular Biology.

Check all course descriptions for prerequisites before planning course schedule. Course sequence is suggested but not required.

To complete the bachelor’s degree in 4 years, you must successfully complete a minimum of 15 credits each semester or have a plan to make up credits over the course of the 4 years.  For example, if you take 14 credits one semester, you need to take 16 credits in another semester.  Credits completed must count toward your program requirements (major, option, minor, certificate, general education or free electives).

Plan of Study Grid
Year OneCredits
EN 1400 Composition 4
IS 1115 Tackling a Wicked Problem 4
MA 2550 Calculus I (QRCO) 4
BI 1110 Biological Science I (TECO) 4
BI 1120 Biological Science II 4
CH 1050 Laboratory Safety 1
CH 2335 General Chemistry I (QRCO) 1 4
CH 2340 General Chemistry II 1 4
Elective 2
 Credits31
Year Two
BI 2270 Integrative Biology (WECO) 4
BI 2110
BI 2130
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
and Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory I
4
BI 2120
BI 2140
Human Anatomy and Physiology II
and Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory II
4
CH 3370 Organic Chemistry I 4
CH 3380 Organic Chemistry II 4
SSDISelf and Society Direction 3-4
Directions (choose from CTDI, PPDI, SSDI) 2 4-8
 Credits27-32
Year Three
BI 3040 Microbiology 4
BI 3060 Genetics 4
BI 3240 Conservation (DICO,GACO,INCO,INCP) 3
BI 4100 Cell Structure and Function 4
Complete one Upper Level Cell and Molecular Biology Elective from the following: 4
BI 3035
Biochemistry I (INCO,INCP)
BI 4150
Developmental Biology (WRCO)
BI 4770
Animal Physiology (WRCO)
BI 4780
Neurobiology (WRCO)
BI 4950
Undergraduate Research
CH 4025
Biochemistry II
Complete one Physics Course from the following:
PH 2410
or PH 2210
University Physics I
or Physics I
3
PH 2430 Physics Laboratory I 1
CTDICreative Thought Direction 3-4
Electives 3-4
 Credits29-31
Year Four
BI 3130 Evolution 4
BI 4188 Molecular Biology 4
BI 4970 Biology Seminar 1
Complete two Upper Level Cell and Molecular Biology Electives from the following: 8
BI 3035
Biochemistry I (INCO,INCP)
BI 4150
Developmental Biology (WRCO)
BI 4770
Animal Physiology (WRCO)
BI 4780
Neurobiology (WRCO)
BI 4950
Undergraduate Research
CH 4025
Biochemistry II
PPDIPast and Present Direction 3-4
Electives 9-10
 Credits29-31
 Total Credits120
1

General Chemistry should only be taken in the first year if the student has suitable math skills. Many graduate and professional schools require a second semester of physics.

2

Directions should total 16-17 credits because SIDI is waived for BS Cell and Molecular Biology.

  • An understanding of the scientific method as the means to increase understanding of the natural world through hypothesis-testing.
  • An aptitude for critically reading scientific literature, including primary research journals.
  • Proficiency in writing, especially in scientific format.
  • An ability to present scientific information orally with emphasis on clear interpretation of scientific data.
  • Proficiency in techniques specific to a subdiscipline of biology, including but not limited to laboratory, field, and statistical techniques.
  • An understanding of the critical issues facing the environment at local, regional, national, and global scales.
  • Biological literacy allowing for the evaluation of new information and emerging issues.
  • Readiness for post-graduate experiences in graduate school, professional school, or biology employment.

Biologists study living organisms and their relationships to the environment from molecules, to cells, to ecosystems. Most specialize in a particular discipline within biology, sometimes by pursuing a specialized degree like Environmental Biology or Cell and Molecular Biology. Some go on to attain further education in graduate school or a health professional school for medicine, public health, or pharmacy. There are as many job opportunities as areas of study.
 
For more information, visit Career Services in the Global Education Office.
 
Sample Job Titles include: Biochemist, Botanist, Ecologist, Fishery Biologist, High School Science Teacher, Marine Biologist, Microbiologist, Zoologist, Veterinarian, Medical doctor, Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Research Scientist, Wildlife Biologist, Pharmacist, Dentist, Medical scientist, Virologist
 
See the U.S. Department of Labor Outlook for a complete list.
 
Useful Skills for Jobs in the Biology Fields:
  • Research skills such as data collection, laboratory techniques, and working in teams
  • Ability to problem-solve and think critically
  • Written and verbal communication skills to convey technical and scientific data to both scientific and non-scientific communities

Explore Program Details

Biology Majors can take up to 1-2 Minors, including those below.
While a biology major is based in the interdisciplinary studies of biology, chemistry, physics, and math there are also opportunities to extend your interest to some of the other 40+ minors that are offered at Plymouth State, including those below. It’s a great time to be a biology major at PSU!

Boyd Science Center
Boyd Science Center

The heart of scientific research and study at PSU is the Boyd Science Center. The University’s proximity to the lakes, rivers and mountains of New Hampshire gives students access to a unique natural laboratory. Resources at Boyd provide students with a place to explore nature’s questions, generated in the great outdoors or under the microscope.

Resources at Boyd

  • Climate-controlled chambers for whole organism research
  • Dedicated spaces for student research
  • PCR, Rt-PCR, Western blotting, Immunohistochemistry
  • Animal behavior lab with advanced video tracking
  • BSL-2 Microbiology lab
  • Six 300-liter marine aquariums
  • Human physiology lab
  • Collection of bird specimens
  • Dedicated tissue culture facility
  • Rooftop greenhouse with computerized temperature controls and separate areas for preparation and growing
  • PSH, an herbarium of 20K preserved and mounted specimens

  As a cell and molecular biology major you will experience:

  • Hands-on experience from molecules and cells to ecosystems
  • Degree programs in Biology (B.A. and B.S.) and Environmental Biology
  • State-of-the-art laboratory and research facilities, including a 1,400-liter marine aquarium, fully equipped human physiology lab, BSL-2 microbiology and cell biology labs, herbarium and specimen room, and a rooftop greenhouse
  • Opportunities for local, national, and international field studies
  • Partnerships with New Hampshire Fish and Game, Hubbard Brook Research Forest, NH-INBRE grant to further studies of human health in New Hampshire, and others
  • One-on-one advising sessions with a biology faculty member at least once every semester
  • A talented and dedicated faculty
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