Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program Overview and Learning Outcomes

The Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics supports about 350 students in two undergraduate programs:  Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) and Biochemistry and Biophysics (BB). The BMB program is accredited by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). 

The BS degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology provides a degree path centered on the molecular basis of living systems with training in molecular genetics, biochemistry, and cell biology, as well as in rapidly developing areas such as bioinformatics. Completion of an option is required to earn a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Majors must select an option either in Advanced Molecular Biology, Computational Molecular Biology, or Pre-medicine/Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The first two options are designed for students interested in careers in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries or graduate work in the molecular life sciences, with the second especially well-suited for students interested in computational aspects of molecular biology. The third option is ideal for students interested in careers in medicine and related health professions.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology majors receive excellent training to prepare for careers in the health sciences, for technical employment at the BS level, or for graduate study in the life sciences. Graduates of the department’s programs have found rewarding careers in medicine, dentistry, clinical chemistry, biotechnology, genetics, cell biology, forensic science, pharmacology, physiology, toxicology, and nutrition, as well as in biochemistry or biophysics. Others have used the degree as a springboard to nontechnical careers that benefit from a broad scientific background, including business, intellectual property law, journalism, and health care administration. The BMB major benefits from the wealth of departmental course offerings and faculty research programs. 

Faculty in the department provide research strength in many arenas of biochemistry and molecular biophysics, including structural biology, enzymology, metabolic regulation, signal transduction, protein chemistry, development, gene expression, epigenetics, cell cycle control, cell movement and adhesion, and micronutrients and antioxidants in relation to human health. We encourage our majors to extend their education outside the classroom by taking advantage of opportunities for undergraduate research.

Students majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology cannot seek a double major in Biochemistry and Biophysics, Biology, Biohealth Sciences, Botany, Microbiology or Zoology.


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program Learning Outcomes

1. Students will demonstrate a core knowledge base in the theory and practice of modern Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB).

2. Students will function successfully in the laboratory and use safe laboratory practices.

3. Students will critically evaluate data and design experiments to test hypotheses relevant to the practice of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

4. Students will read and evaluate primary literature in the discipline.

5. Students will effectively communicate scientific data and ideas, using various formats appropriate for different target audiences.

6. Students will use databases, computational tools and other online resources effectively.

7. Students will demonstrate awareness of ethical issues in the practice of science.