Biotechnology and Molecular Bioscience Bachelor of science degree

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A biotechnology degree in which you'll improve human health by harnessing technology advancements and biomolecular processes to research and develop technologies in genetics, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and vaccine development, environment and energy, forensic science, genetic counseling, and more.


Outcome Rate of RIT Graduates


Equipment in Genomics Lab


The biotechnology degree prepares you to immediately assume challenging positions in research, development, and management in the fields of plant biotechnology, human genetics, agriculture, food products, pharmaceuticals and vaccine development, environment and energy, forensic science, and genetic counseling. Meaningful research projects preparing you to gain valuable experience for full-time employment or to pursue graduate study.

The advanced nature of the third- and fourth-year courses, as well as the opportunity to participate in faculty-sponsored undergraduate research, provide a sound foundation to those students wishing to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree. The major also can be designed to include the education necessary for the pursuit of a career in the medical field.

Specialized areas of emphasis include recombinant DNA, microbial and plant genetic engineering, mammalian and plant tissue culture, monoclonal antibody production and purification, large-scale fermentation techniques (bacterial and mammalian cell), and methods for characterization and separation of proteins and nucleic acids in yeast, bacterial, viral, and plant systems.

As a student enrolled in the biotechnology and molecular bioscience program at RIT you’ll be exposed to dynamic professors who are leaders in their fields both in the classroom and in the laboratory.

Plan of Study

Building on a core of biology, chemistry, math, and liberal arts, the courses in this major are taught from a molecular bioscience perspective and are focused on the central genetic dogma of molecular biology. The curriculum explores the rapidly-expanding field of genetic engineering and almost unlimited potential that controlled genetic experiments hold for improving the quality of life. Specialized areas of interest include recombinant DNA, mammalian and plant tissue culture, and monoclonal antibody production.

Real World Experiences

Undergraduate research is strongly encouraged and strengthens your preparation for graduate study or employment. You’re encouraged to participate in undergraduate research experience under the guidance of faculty mentors. You’re also encouraged to apply for summer research internships both here at RIT and at other institutions.

You also have the option to pursue cooperative education experience in research, lab support, or data analysis in private businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. Biotechnology and molecular biosciences students have worked at pharmaceutical companies, academic research laboratories, biotechnology companies, and national laboratories.

Nature of Work

Do you want to learn about the natural world on a molecular level? Do you want to learn how cells and living organisms can be harnessed to improve scientific knowledge and human health? Biotechnology is the area of science that uses living systems to create products and new technologies. Biotechnologists play important roles in biomedical research, agriculture, food safety, pharmaceutical and vaccine development and more.


The biotechnology and molecular bioscience program prepares our graduates for post-secondary education, employment in biotech and research laboratories, and for medical school.

National Labs Career Fair

Hosted by RIT’s Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education, the National Labs Career Fair is an annual event that brings representatives to campus from the United States’ federally funded research and development labs. These national labs focus on scientific discovery, clean energy development, national security, technology advancements, and more. Students are invited to attend the career fair to network with lab professionals, learn about opportunities, and interview for co-ops, internships, research positions, and full-time employment.

Pre-Vet Advising Program

Occupations in veterinary medicine are expected to grow three times faster than all other occupations between 2016 and 2026. If you’re interested in caring for animals, conducting research related to animal illnesses, or working with livestock in university or government settings, the Pre-Vet Advising Program at RIT can help you reach your career goals. Learn more about RIT’s personalized Pre-Vet Advising Program and how it can help you maximize your candidacy for admission to veterinary schools.

Premedical and Health Professions Advisory Program

Medical schools and graduate programs in the health professions (such as physician assistant, physical therapy, and occupational therapy) welcome applications from students majoring in a wide range of academic programs. Acceptance into these programs requires the completion of pre-med requirements such as course work in biological and physical sciences, a strong academic record, pertinent experiences in the field, and key intrapersonal and interpersonal capabilities. Learn more about how RIT’s Premedical and Health Professions Advisory Program can help you become a competitive candidate for admission to graduate programs in the medical and health professions.

Accelerated 4+1 MBA

An accelerated 4+1 MBA option is available to students enrolled in any of RIT’s undergraduate programs. RIT’s Combined Accelerated Pathways can help you prepare for your future faster by enabling you to earn both a bachelor’s and an MBA in as little as five years of study.    

Typical Job Titles

Aseptic process mentor, Biotech producer, Cultivation technician, Cytogenetics lab medical technician, Genotyping technician, Intern, Lab Technician, Research Associate, Research technician, Specimen processing tech

Experiential Learning

Cooperative Education

What makes an RIT science and math education exceptional? It’s the ability to complete science and math co-ops and gain real-world experience that sets you apart. Co-ops in the College of Science include cooperative education and internship experiences in industry and health care settings, as well as research in an academic, industry, or national lab. These are not only possible at RIT, but passionately encouraged.  

Research Internships

Research internships, offered both on and off-campus, take place during the summer. RIT offers numerous opportunities for students to participate in research, including three on-campus summer programs: Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF), and the Summer Undergraduate Research Programs (SURP). Many students participate in undergraduate research for course credit during the academic year.

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Featured Work

Featured Profiles

Curriculum for Biotechnology and Molecular Bioscience BS

Biotechnology and Molecular Bioscience, BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
General Education – Elective: Introductory Biology I
This course serves as an introduction to molecular biology, cellular biology, genetics, developmental biology, and evolutionary biology. Topics will include: a study of the basic principles of modern cellular biology, including cell structure and function; the chemical basis and functions of life, including enzyme systems and gene expression; and both the processes and patterns of the organismal development (ontogeny) and the evolution of life on Earth (phylogeny). Laboratory experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of basic cellular, molecular, developmental, and evolutionary biology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for microscopy and biotechnology, and improve ability to make, record and interpret observations. Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
General Education – Elective: Introductory Biology II
This course serves as an introduction to the diversification of life, plant anatomy and physiology, animal anatomy and physiology, and ecology. Topics include a survey of the taxonomic diversity of the major groups of living organisms, the anatomical and physiological adaptations of both plants and animals, and the principles of the ecological relationships among organisms and environments. Laboratory exercises are designed to illustrate concepts of taxonomy, anatomical & physiological adaptation, and ecological relationships. Labs are also designed to help the development of laboratory skills and techniques for experiments with live organisms, and improve the ability to make, record and interpret observations. Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective: General & Analytical Chemistry I
This is a general chemistry course for students in the life and physical sciences. College chemistry is presented as a science based on empirical evidence that is placed into the context of conceptual, visual, and mathematical models. Students will learn the concepts, symbolism, and fundamental tools of chemistry necessary to carry on a discourse in the language of chemistry. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship between atomic structure, chemical bonds, and the transformation of these bonds through chemical reactions. The fundamentals of organic chemistry are introduced throughout the course to emphasize the connection between chemistry and the other sciences. Lecture 3, Recitation 1 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective: General & Analytical Chemistry II
The course covers the thermodynamics and kinetics of chemical reactions. The relationship between energy and entropy change as the driving force of chemical processes is emphasized through the study of aqueous solutions. Specifically, the course takes a quantitative look at: 1) solubility equilibrium, 2) acid-base equilibrium, 3) oxidation-reduction reactions and 4) chemical kinetics. (Prerequisites: CHMG-141 or CHMG-131 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective:  General and Analytical Chemistry I Lab
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-141 lecture material. The course emphasizes laboratory techniques and data analysis skills. Topics include: gravimetric, volumetric, thermal, titration and spectrophotometric analyses, and the use of these techniques to analyze chemical reactions. (Corequisite: CHMG-141 or CHMG-131 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective:General & Analytical Chemistry II Lab
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-142 lecture material. The course emphasizes the use of experiments as a tool for chemical analysis and the reporting of results in formal lab reports. Topics include the quantitative analysis of a multicomponent mixture using complexation and double endpoint titration, pH measurement, buffers and pH indicators, the kinetic study of a redox reaction, and the electrochemical analysis of oxidation reduction reactions. (Prerequisites: CHMG-131 or CHMG-141 or equivalent course. Corequisites: CHMG-142 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
General Education – Mathematical Perspective A: Applied Calculus
This course is an introduction to the study of differential and integral calculus, including the study of functions and graphs, limits, continuity, the derivative, derivative formulas, applications of derivatives, the definite integral, the fundamental theorem of calculus, basic techniques of integral approximation, exponential and logarithmic functions, basic techniques of integration, an introduction to differential equations, and geometric series. Applications in business, management sciences, and life sciences will be included with an emphasis on manipulative skills. (Prerequisite: C- or better in MATH-101, MATH-111, MATH-131, NMTH-260, NMTH-272 or NMTH-275 or Math Placement Exam score greater than or equal to 45.) Lecture 4 (Fall, Spring).
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
General Education – Artistic Perspective
General Education – Social Perspective
General Education – First-Year Writing (WI)
Second Year
General Education – Elective: Molecular Biology
This course will address the fundamental concepts of molecular biology. Class discussions, assignments, and laboratory projects will explore the structure and function of molecules and macromolecules, and processes important to storage and maintenance of genetic information and genetic information flow. Students in this course will explore molecular interactions that drive biological processes related to genetic information flow. Students in this course will gain an understanding of various molecular mechanisms, structure/function relationships, and processes as they relate to molecular biology. Students in this course will practice and carry out common laboratory techniques used by Molecular Biologists including, recombinant DNA technology and the detection and tracking of important macromolecules such as DNA, RNA and proteins. (Prerequisites: C- or better in (BIOL-101/102 and BIOL-103/104) or (BIOL-121/122) or equivalent. Students who have taken BIOL-201 cannot receive credit for BIOL-202. Co-requisites: (CHMG-141/145) or (CHEM-151/155) or CHMG-131 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Cell Biology
This course will address the fundamental concepts of cell biology. Class discussions, assignments, and laboratory projects will 1) Explore the structure-function relationships that drive cellular processes at the molecular, cellular and tissue level. 2) Investigate the mechanisms of cellular signaling and the transmission of genetic information. 3) Examine energy transformation strategies and the biochemical pathways used for synthesis and breakdown of ATP and other important biomolecules. 4) Investigate the organizational strategies used by cells to form functional tissue and organ systems. (Prerequisites: BIOL-202 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Tissue Culture Laboratory
This course will address the fundamental skills and concepts required to culture and maintain mammalian cells in culture. Laboratory discussions, assignments and projects will allow students to develop basic eukaryotic tissue culture techniques and explore tissue culture techniques in modern research and medical applications. (Prerequisites: BIOL-202 or equivalent course. Co-requisite: BIOL-302 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Spring).
General Education – Elective: Organic Chemistry I
This course is a study of the structure, nomenclature, reactions and synthesis of the following functional groups: alkanes, alkenes, alkynes. This course also introduces chemical bonding, IR and NMR spectroscopy, acid and base reactions, stereochemistry, nucleophilic substitution reactions, and alkene and alkyne reactions. In addition, the course provides an introduction to the use of mechanisms in describing and predicting organic reactions. (Prerequisites: CHMG-142 or CHMG-131 or equivalent course. Corequisites: CHMO-235 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
General Education – Elective: Organic Chemistry II
This course is a continuation of the study of the structure, nomenclature, reactions and synthesis of the following functional groups: aromatic systems, alcohols, ethers, epoxides, and carbonyls. This course will introduce the use of mechanisms in describing and predicting organic reactions. (Prerequisites: CHMO-231 or CHMO-331 or equivalent course. Corequisites: CHMO-236 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
General Education – Elective: Organic Chemistry Lab I
This course trains students to perform techniques important in an organic chemistry lab. The course also covers reactions from the accompanying lecture CHMO-231. (Corequisite: CHMO-231 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
General Education – Elective: Organic Chemistry Lab II
This course teaches students to apply basic lab techniques to organic synthetic experiments reactions covered in the accompanying lecture COS-CHMO-232. This course will also help students to solidify the concepts taught in lecture. The course will continue to instruct students in maintaining a professional lab notebook. (Prerequisites: CHMO-235 or equivalent course. Corequisites: CHMO-232 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
Choose one of the following:
   General Education – Mathematical Perspective B: Introduction to Statistics I
This course introduces statistical methods of extracting meaning from data, and basic inferential statistics. Topics covered include data and data integrity, exploratory data analysis, data visualization, numeric summary measures, the normal distribution, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. The emphasis of the course is on statistical thinking rather than computation. Statistical software is used. (Prerequisite: MATH-101 or MATH-111 or NMTH-260 or NMTH-272 or NMTH-275 or a math placement exam score of at least 35.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
   General Education – Mathematical Perspective B: Introduction to Biostatistics
Program Elective
General Education – Ethical Perspective
General Education – Global Perspective
Third Year
Introduction to Microbiology
This course is an introduction to microorganisms and their importance. Principles of structure and function, metabolic diversity, taxonomy, environmental microbiology, bioremediation, and infectious diseases of bacteria are discussed. Basic laboratory techniques covered include: microscopy; staining, culturing, isolation, and identification of bacteria; isolation and identification of normal flora; identification of unknown bacteria; antibiotic resistance; metabolic tests; clinical and commercial testing protocols; and detection and counting of bacteria in environmental samples (foods, water, soils). (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Introduction to the principles of inheritance; the study of genes and chromosomes at molecular, cellular, organismal, and population levels. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3, Recitation 1 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Fundamental Bioinformatics Analysis
This course addresses the fundamental concepts of bioinformatics, focusing on computational analysis of nucleic acids and proteins. Utilization of computational programs for analysis of individual and multiple sequences for functional and evolutionary information will be discussed. The computational laboratory will highlight the applications available for analysis of molecular sequences. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 2, Studio 2 (Fall).
General Education – Elective: Biochemistry I
This course introduces the structure and function of biological macromolecules and their metabolic pathways. The relationship between the three-dimensional structure of proteins and their function in enzymatic catalysis will be examined. Membrane structure and the physical laws that apply to metabolic processes will also be discussed. (Prerequisite: CHMO-231 or CHMO-331 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Program Electives
Program Elective (WI-PR)
Open Electives
General Education – Immersion 1
Fourth Year
Experiential Learning Requirement in Life Science
The experiential learning (EL) requirement may be fulfilled through a variety of methods including co-op, undergraduate research, summer research experiences, study abroad relevant to the major, designated EL courses, etc. All experiences must be approved by the GSOLS EL Committee. Lecture (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Program Electives
General Education – Immersion 2, 3
Open Electives
General Education – Elective
Total Semester Credit Hours

Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.

One Writing Intensive (WI) elective must be selected to satisfy degree requirements. Please see adviser for a list of eligible courses.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

Program Electives

Evolutionary Biology (WI-PR)
This course investigates the historical framework of evolutionary biology and the meaning/nature of evidence pertinent to biological evolution. Topics will include: earth history, the evolution of proteins and the genetic code, molecular evolution, neutral theory vs. selection, genetic variation, natural selection, migration, mutation, genetic drift, fitness, population dynamics and genetics, speciation, systematics and classification systems, molecular phylogenetics, the evolution of eukaryotic organisms, behavioral evolution, historical biogeography, and human evolution and variation. (Prerequisites: (BIOL-101 and BIOL-102) or (BIOL-121 and BIOL-122) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3, Recitation 2 (Fall).
Cell Physiology
This course is a study of functional eukaryotic cellular physiology with an emphasis on the role of global gene expression in cellular function and disease. Nuclear and cytoplasmic regulation of macromolecular synthesis, regulation of cellular metabolism, control of cell growth, and the changes in cell physiology in disease are covered. This course also covers the technology used for studying changes in gene expression associated with cell differentiation and disease. The associated laboratory covers microarray techniques. This includes design and implementation of an experiment to acquire gene expression data, analyzing the acquired data using simple computer programs, such as MAGIC, and writing a research paper explaining findings. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-302 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
Plants, Medicine and Technology
Plants have played a significant role in the shaping of our world. This course will explore the utilization of plants for foods, fuels, materials, medicine, novel genetic information, and social aspects of different cultures. All cultures depend on about fifteen plant species, most of which have been changed by plant improvement methods to enhance human benefits. This course will explore these changes in important crops, plant constituents used in medicine, and the technology used to produce important plant-produced medicines. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lecture 4 (Spring).
Food Microbiology
This course presents the microbiology of foods. Topics include microbial food spoilage, foodborne pathogens, food preservation techniques, and environmental parameters found in foods important in the survival of food spoilage microbes and foodborne pathogens. The lab will include exercises on isolating heterotrophs from all kinds of food, isolation of fungi from various foods, and the survival of various pathogens in food and beverages. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
Microbiology of Wastewater
This is an advanced course in the microbiology of wastewater treatment, solids treatment, and the generation and maintenance of drinking water. Topics include activated sludge processes, clarification processes, disinfection processes, trickling filters, rotating biological contactors, waste stabilization ponds, sludge microbiology, anaerobic digestion of biosolids, microbial aspects of drinking water and drinking water distribution systems, and public health aspects of wastewater and biosolids disposal on land and in marine systems. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Biology of Cancers (WI-PR)
This course will address the fundamental concepts of the molecular and cellular biology of cancer cells. Class discussions, reading and writing assignments will explore the function of tumor suppressor genes, oncogenes, growth factors, and signal transduction pathways in the context of cancer cell growth, organization, and communication. Students in this course will gain an understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the process of tumorigenesis, will become aware of landmark findings, current research, and practice how to communicate effectively through scientific writing. This is a designated writing intensive course. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-302 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Bioenergy: Microbial Product
This course presents how microbial processes are used to produce various biofuels from renewable feedstocks. The topics presented include bioethanol production, biobutanol production, methane (biogas) production, biodiesel production, and the economics involved with the production of alternative fuels. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Developmental Biology
This course is a study of the processes of growth, differentiation and development that lead to the mature form of an organism. The course will also address how developmental biology is integrated with other aspects of biology including disease, ecology, and evolution. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
Bioinformatics introduces students to the analysis of biological sequences: DNA, mRNA, and protein. Emphasis is placed on classical bioinformatics analyses such as gene prediction, sequence alignment, and phylogenetics. The methods are applicable to both human and model organism studies in medical, biotechnological, and classical biology research. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
Phage Biology
Viruses that infect bacteria (phages) are ubiquitous wherever their hosts reside– whether in soil, a hot spring or our own digestive tract. Phages are also the most abundant and diverse biological entities, consequently phage research is relevant to health, industry, agriculture, ecology and evolution. Phage Biology is a research-intensive course designed to explore the fundamental properties of phages, how they interact with their bacterial hosts, the major techniques used to characterize them and their applications. Since phage particles are comprised of DNA and protein the techniques employed in this course have relevance to many other biological disciplines. This course will develop both laboratory and analytical skills as students will isolate and characterize mutant phages in a novel model system, becoming mutation sleuths to determine mutation locations and their effect. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
This course introduces students to the analysis of complex genomes. Emphasis is placed on genetic information derived from the human genome project but advances with genomes of other model systems will be discussed. Lectures cover scientific techniques used to map and sequence the human genome, as well as strategies for identification of disease susceptibility genes. The laboratory utilizes an automated DNA sequencer to demonstrate the acquisition of genetic sequences. Laboratory sessions emphasize cycle sequencing of cloned DNA fragments using an automated fluorescent DNA sequencer. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
Molecular Ecology (WI-PR)
This course explores the biology of populations and communities of organisms using molecular data. As DNA, RNA and proteins are nearly universal between organisms, the principles taught in this course will have wide applications, both within ecology and throughout many sub-disciplines of biology. Furthermore, this course will prepare students to apply the techniques in numerous research fields. The primary literature and worldwide applications of the field of molecular ecology will be incorporated into the course. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Introduction to Population Genetics
This course consists of a study of DNA, genes, inheritance, genetic variation, genetic architecture, and change within and among populations. Fundamental genetics topics include DNA, gene, and chromosomal structure and function along with, transmission genetics, Mendelian inheritance patterns, sex-linked inheritance, genetic linkage, and the Hardy-Weinberg Principle. Population based topics will include genetic variation, its importance, how it originates and is maintained as well as inbreeding, random mating, mutation, migration, selection, genetic drift, the effects of small population size, fitness, population subdivision, the shifting balance theory, inter-deme selection, kin selection, neutral theory, molecular evolution, molecular clocks, multi-gene families, gene conversion, artificial selection, the genetic basis of quantitative traits and the fundamental theorem of natural selection. (Prerequisites: BIOL-265 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Environmental Microbiology
This course presents the microbiology of soils, freshwater, marine environments, and extreme environments. Topics include nutrient cycling in soils by microorganisms, the diversity of microorganisms in soils, the role of microorganisms in freshwater environments such as lakes, rivers, and wetlands and marine environments such as the open ocean, coastline environments, and salt marshes, and the diversity of microorganisms in extreme environments including highly acidic, highly alkaline, and highly saline environments. Laboratory experiments will explore the types of bacteria in different types of soils in Western New York, types of bacteria in different freshwater environments in Western NY, determining total and fecal coliform counts in freshwaters, determining the presence of antibiotic resistant coliforms in sediment samples, and examining the survival of various human pathogens in surface waters. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
Advanced Immunology
This course is an in-depth treatment of the molecular and cellular events associated with innate and adaptive immune responses. The response of the host to the environment of microbes and pathogens will be emphasized. Recognition and response of the host to the infectious agents and the resolution of the disease state will be examined at the cellular and molecular levels. The immune response to tumors will be treated and medical advances in treating neoplastic disease using immunological therapy will be presented. The laboratories will focus on the cellular and molecular techniques employed in the modern immunology laboratory. A laboratory module employing hybridoma techniques will provide an intensive experience with monoclonal antibodies and their use in diagnostics and disease treatment. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-302 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
Directed Research in Developmental Biology
In this lab-based course, students perform original research on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of development. Students use classical embryological, bioinformatics, molecular biology, and/or microscopy techniques, depending on the project. Students read and discuss primary scientific literature in a lab meeting setting, write a research paper and present their research findings in a talk or poster. Lab meets in two three-hour blocks; students are also expected to work independently for an additional three hours per week. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 6 (Spring).
This course is an introduction to bioremediation focusing on the interactions between engineers, chemists, hydrologists, and microbiologists to develop, design, and implement strategies to remediate contaminated soils or water. Topics include microorganisms involved in bioremediation, types of chemical pollutants, economics of remediation, environmental factors important in bioremediation, in situ processes, and ex situ processes. The laboratory project involves the isolation of hydrocarbon degrading bacteria from soils and sediments and further characterization of the hydrocarbon degrading isolates with respect to types of hydrocarbons degraded and rate of degradation. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
Bioseparations: Principles and Practices
This is a laboratory-based course that teaches classic concepts and techniques to enable the use of these techniques to purify small molecules and macromolecules from whole organisms. Detection techniques will include the use of bacterial biosensors, coomassie-blue staining, silver staining, and immunoblot analysis. Separation techniques will include SDS Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) analysis, thin layer chromatography, and paper electrophoresis. Purification techniques will include ammonium sulfate precipitation, affinity chromatography, and thin layer chromatography. (Prerequisites: BIOL-321 and BIOL-325 or equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
Fundamentals of Plant Biochemistry and Pathology
This course is primarily focused on biochemical and pathological aspects of a plant's life. This course provides an understanding of why protein catalysts are important in the field of plant biochemistry and plant pathology. More specifically, the role enzymes play in the basic cellular processes of plant growth and development is presented. Topics related to plant pathology are presented; such as plant disease epidemics, plant diagnosis, plant diseases caused by fungi, bacteria, nematodes, viruses, and plant-pathogen interaction, at the ecological, physiological and genetic level. (Prerequisites: BIOL-321 and BIOL-325 or equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Microbial Fermentation
Microbial fermentation is a hands-on course that will explore the use of fermented foods by early humans and the eventual control of the fermentative process by human culture. An understanding of the metabolism of fermenting microorganisms will be developed including an appreciation for metabolic engineering, starter cultures, and the genetic engineering of fermenting organisms. The course will also examine various fermentation processes including dairy products, cheese, meat, vegetables, bread, beer, wine, distilled spirits, vinegar, cocoa, and coffee. The course includes a laboratory component. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
Human Genetics (WI-PR)
The course provides an overview of concepts and applications in human genetics. Topics include classical and complex mechanisms of inheritance, the human genome, human origins & evolution, forensic applications, personalized medicine, and ethical issues. (Prerequisites: BIOL-321 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
This course is an introduction to virology with specific emphasis on the molecular mechanisms of virus infection of eukaryotic cells and virus-cell interactions. Virus structure, genetics, the infectious cycle, replication strategies, pathogenesis, persistence, effects on host macromolecular synthesis, viral oncogenesis, viral vectors, emerging viral diseases, and strategies to protect against and combat viral infection will be discussed. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-302 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Plant Biotechnology
In this course aspects of plant biotechnology will be investigated. Areas of concentration will include: tissue culture, genetic transformation of plant cells, regeneration of transgenic plants, and the construction and characterization of transgenic plants for food production, experimental biology investigations, and novel product(development. The laboratory will provide experiences to complement(the lecture information in plant cell culture and experiences in the use of Agrobacterium as the gene shuttle to introduce novel genetic information into plants. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 and BIOL-321 and BIOL-325 or equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
Plant Molecular Biology
The course will introduce molecular biology concepts and encourage the application of these concepts to the particular plant gene being studied. This upper-level elective course has a strong laboratory element. Small groups will study different plant genes during the semester. The laboratory element will be a self-paced group project to amplify, clone, sequence, and examine the expression profiles of plant genes. Gene databases such as TAIR and NCBI, as well as sequence analysis software, will be used throughout the course. The groups will be guided to make week-by-week project plans, to troubleshoot problems, and record results in laboratory notebooks. In addition, weekly results and progress will be shared via an interactive wiki. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
Bacterial-Host Interactions: Microbiomes of the World
This course focuses on the bacterial and host (human, insect, plant, animals and fungi) mechanisms used in interactions with hosts during both pathogenesis and symbiosis. We will explore molecular, microbiome and genomic levels, drawing on the disciplines of genomics, biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology. Several of the agonistic and antagonistic interactions will illustrate broader principles and contribute to our fundamental understanding of biological processes. The results of these interactions have a strong impact on biological productivity, and so are also ever increasing important in human health. An emphasis will be on the roles of molecules and cell structures in determining the outcome of an interaction. Course is intended to allow students to develop knowledge of host-bacterial interactions at the molecular to organismal level, with an emphasis on several model symbiotic- and patho-systems. Knowledge about bacterial mechanisms use to associate with host organisms and the different strategies bacteria employ to gain entry, damage host tissue and obtain nutrients for growth will be explored. We will also illustrate several mutualistic relationships between eukaryotic hosts with partner symbiotic bacteria. Genomic approaches to describe microbiomes (microbial communities) on host organisms and in environments will also be explored. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring, Summer).
Microbial and Viral Genetics (WI-PR)
The goal of this course is to gain an understanding of the genetic systems of prokaryotes and their viruses. There are two major foci: (1) the mechanisms bacteria and their viruses employ to preserve the integrity of their genomes and regulate gene expression, and (2) the mechanisms by which these entities acquire new genetic material. The relevance of these processes to evolution and the development of new traits that facilitate survival under new environmental conditions (e.g., antibiotic resistance) is highlighted, especially with regard to clinically, industrially and agriculturally important microbes. Molecular processes whose discovery led to the formation of important research and/or biotechnological tools will also be discussed. Students will participate in laboratory projects which highlight important mechanisms, such as transformation, transduction, lysogeny, conjugation and CRIPSR-Cas acquired adaptive immunity. (BIOL-201 orBIOL-202 orBIOG-240) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
Eukaryotic Gene Regulation and Disease
This course presents an overview of gene expression in eukaryotic systems, with an emphasis on how disease can result when gene regulation is disrupted. Points of control that are examined include: chromatin structure, transcription initiation, transcript processing, stability and modification, RNA transport, translation initiation, post-translational events, and protein stability. The mechanisms involved in regulating these control points are discussed by exploring specific well studied cases. The significance of these processes is highlighted by a discussion of several diseases that have been shown to be due to defects in gene regulation. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-302 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Genetic Engineering and Synthetic Biology (WI-PR)
This is a laboratory-based course on the introduction to the theoretical basis, laboratory techniques, and applications of genetic manipulations. In the lecture sessions, students will explore the molecular methods, applications of recombinant DNA technology and the issues regarding their use on the effect of genetic engineering in medicine, agriculture, biology, forensics and other areas of technology. The laboratory session has major components: 1) techniques used in the generation of recombinant molecules, 2) use of DNA sequence information and bioinformatics in recombinant DNA applications, 3) use of inducible expression systems for production of biotechnological products, and 4) discussions of potential ethic concerns of genome modifications or enhancements. (BIOL-201 orBIOL-202 orBIOG-240) Lec/Lab 6 (Spring).
Infectious Disease: Impact on Society and Culture
This course is an introduction to the probabilistic models and statistical techniques used in computational molecular biology. Examples include Markov models, such as the Jukes-Cantor and Kimura evolutionary models and hidden Markov models, and multivariate models use for discrimination and classification. (Prerequisites: CHMB-402 or BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240. Students may not take and receive credit for BIOL-460 and CHMB-460. If you have earned credit for CHMB-460 or you are currently enrolled in CHMB-460 you may not enroll in BIOL-460.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Advanced Biology Research
This course is a faculty-directed student project or research involving laboratory or field work, computer modeling, or theoretical calculations that could be considered of an original nature. The level of study is appropriate for students in their final two years of study. (This course requires permission of the Instructor to enroll.) Research (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Advanced Biology Independent Study
This course is a faculty-directed tutorial of appropriate topics that are not part of the formal curriculum. The level of study is appropriate for student in their final two years of study. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) Ind Study (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Bioinformatics Algorithms
Bioinformatics Algorithms will focus on the types of analyses, tools, and databases that are available and commonly used in Bioinformatics. The labs will apply the lecture material in the analysis of real data through computer programming. (Prerequisites: BIOL-330 and CSCI-243 or equivalent course.) Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Fall).
High Throughput Sequencing Analysis (WI-PR)
Students will utilize commonly used bioinformatics tools to analyze a real High Throughput Sequencing data set starting with raw data, proceeding with quality control, either aligning to a reference genome or performing de novo assembly, assessing differential gene expression determination, and finally annotating their results. Weekly lab reports will be required, and a group manuscript is expected at the end of the semester. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or equivalent courses.) Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Spring).
Molecular Modeling and Proteomics
This course will explore two facets of protein molecules: separation and structure. The separation component will address common protein separation techniques such as 2D gel electrophoresis and chromatography. The structure component will follow the levels of protein structures, focusing on both experimental and computational methods to determine protein structures. Methods for determining primary structures such as Edman degradation method, Sanger method and mass spectrometry will be taught in lectures. Algorithms of predicting secondary structures will be introduced and implemented. Tertiary structure determination techniques such as NMR will be covered, with an emphasis on proton NMR, 13C NMR and multi-dimensional NMR. Homology modeling will be used to predict protein tertiary structures. (Prerequisites: BIOL-330 or equivalent course.) Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Spring).
Research Based Writing (WI-PR)
This course is intended for students with significant research experience to work closely with their faculty mentors to prepare a manuscript for publication or write a proposal for external funding. Students will devote significant time to writing, revision and peer review. A submission-quality manuscript or proposal is expected at the end of the semester. (Prerequisites: BIOL-495 or BIOL-570 or equivalent course and permission of instructor.) Research 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Genetic Disease and Disorders
The identification of genetic causes of disease has been one of the major modern scientific breakthroughs. This course examines a range of inherited diseases, how causative genetic variations were or are being identified, and what this means for the treatment of the diseases. Scientific literature will be utilized, both current and historical. (Prerequisites: BIOL-321 or equivalent course or graduate student standing.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Chemical Separations
Introduction to Infectious Diseases
This is an advanced course in the mechanisms by which bacteria and fungi cause disease in humans. The course topics include the clinical signs of each disease, diagnosis of each disease, pathogenic mechanisms used by the organisms to cause disease, treatment of the disease, and prevention of the disease. The laboratory component of this course will consist of a mixture of methodologies used in the identification of the infectious agents, evaluation of the host response to the infection, case studies, student presentations of articles related to infectious disease and other assignments aimed at deepening the understanding the infectious disease process. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Human Immunology
Introduction to the fundamental facts and concepts on immunology to include: innate and adaptive immunity; cells, molecules, tissues and organs of the immune "system"; cell communication and interaction; antibody structure and function; and the application of these concepts to infectious diseases, vaccine design, autoimmune diseases, cancer, transplantation, regulation of the immune response, allergic reactions and immunosuppression. Students will gain an understanding of immunological principles and techniques, and their application to contemporary research, with results from instructor’s research laboratory (Prerequisites: (BIOL-101 and BIOL-102) or (BIOL-121 and BIOL-122) or (MEDS-250 and MEDS-251) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall).

Admission Requirements

Freshman Admission

For all bachelor’s degree programs, a strong performance in a college preparatory program is expected. Generally, this includes 4 years of English, 3-4 years of mathematics, 2-3 years of science, and 3 years of social studies and/or history.

Specific math and science requirements and other recommendations

  • 3 years of math required; pre-calculus recommended
  • Biology and chemistry required

Transfer Admission

Transfer course recommendations without associate degree
Courses in liberal arts, sciences, math, and computing

Appropriate associate degree programs for transfer
AS degree in biotechnology or liberal arts with biology

Learn about admissions, cost, and financial aid 

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