Undergraduate Programs

Program Requirements

Students who complete the major requirements for a bachelor of arts (BA) or bachelor of science (BS) in molecular biology and biotechnology will understand modern biological techniques with knowledge bases in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, and mathematics, with a focus on molecular biology to enhance the theoretical foundation and applications of the fastest-developing field of modern biology.

Major Requirements (BA)

36 credit hours
120 total credits for graduation

Major Requirements (BS)

42 credit hours
120 total credits for graduation

Minor Requirements:

20 semester hours

Academic Catalog  Core Curriculum

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Course Descriptions

The following descriptions are a sample of courses you may take as a molecular biology and biotechnology major. For a complete list of required courses, please review the academic catalog.

Introduction to applied statistical analysis. Descriptive, correlational, and inferential statistics; concepts of population, sample, sampling distribution; elements of probability; parameters of discrete distributions; hypothesis testing: analysis of proportions, means, and variance; linear regression. Cross-listed with STAT 1490.

Beginning calculus, limits and continuity, derivatives, mean value theorem, applications of derivatives, antiderivatives, Riemann Sums, introduction to the definite integrals. Uses computers. Lab included. Student should have completed four years of high school math.

This course is a trig-based introductory course in physics for health science majors. The course will cover kinematics, dynamics, circular motion, gravitation, conservation of energy and momentum, systems in equilibria, rotations, and properties of matter and fluids. Lab is included in this course. Knowledge of trigonometry or permission of instructor is required to register for this course.

This course is the first semester of a calculus-based introductory physics course for engineering and science majors. Topics to be covered include kinematics, dynamics, energy and momentum, rotational motion, gravitation, equilibria, properties of materials, fluids, wave motion, sound, and simple harmonic oscillations. Emphasis will be placed on problem solving skills as well as conceptual understanding of the material. Lab is included in this course.

A survey of the major functional classes of organic compounds including structure, nomenclature, properties, and reactions. Includes an introduction to the classes of natural products. Four hours lecture and two hours laboratory per week. Student must have completed one year of high school general chemistry.

A survey of chemistry of cellular compounds. Introduction to the different classes of biochemicals. Introduction to bioenergetics and enzymology and to the major pathways of cellular chemical events. Four hours lecture and two hours laboratory per week.

A presentation of the basic laws of chemistry with emphasis on stoichiometry, atomic and electronic structure, bonding, and the states of matter(gas, liquid, solid, and solution). Properties and reactions of some elements and simple compounds are used to exemplify the principles. Chemistry I and II form a year's sequential study of the principles of chemistry with applications describing elements and compounds and their reactions. This sequence meets the needs of students majoring in the physical and biological sciences. Four hours lecture and two hours laboratory per week. Prerequisite: MATH placement above 1010 or co-requisite MATH 1010.

Continuation of Chemistry I with emphasis on the energy changes associated with transformations of matter, kinetics of reactions, and the equilibrium considerations associated with reactions. General reactions of metals and non-metals and their compounds are also considered (includes an introduction to coordination compounds). Four hours lecture and two hours laboratory per week.

The chemistry of carbon compounds. Properties, synthesis, and reactions of saturated, unsaturated, and aromatic hydrocarbons, with emphasis on modern theoretical, mechanistic interpretations. Introduction to oxygen containing compounds. Four hours lecture and three hours laboratory per week.

Continuation of organic Chemistry I, emphasizing carbonyl and nitrogen containing compounds. Determination of molecular structure via IR, UV, NMR, and mass spectral methods. Introduction to the structure and properties of natural products and biomolecules. Four hours lecture and three hours laboratory per week.

A study of the chemistry of biological compounds. Structure and properties of all classes of biomolecules. Interaction of biomolecules via catabolic generation of phosphate bond energy, and the utilization of this energy in biosynthesis. Four hours lecture and three hours laboratory per week.

Includes cell systems, cell cycles, cell function, energy production and metabolic systems, biological control systems, protein synthesis, and genetics. Lab included. It is recommended that the student complete one year of high school laboratory science.

Survey of major animal phyla. Relationships between structure and function. Emphasis on the diversity of animal forms. Relationships of organisms with each other and with their environment. Lab included. Writing research course.

Survey of the plant kingdom and related organizsms from algae to flowering plants. Identification of campus Vascular plants. Basic life processes including photosynthesis, plant development, reproductive cycles, flowering and fruiting responses, and the ecological importance and conservation of plants. A WR emphasis with research term paper, experimental lab write-up and career development components. Lab included.

Selected aspects of bacteria, viral and eukaryotic parasite morphology, identification, physiology, and lifecycles, with a focus on how microbes affect human health, society and the environment. Includes an overview of the immune system's function, dysfunction, and modulation. Lab included.

Structure and function of the nervous, circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, muscular, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems of the body. Lab included.

An overview of how we make ethical decisions in the field of biology. Coursework includes overviews of several ethical frameworks, but focuses on discussing and writing about of biological topics within the expertise of the Biology faculty (e.g. genetic technologies, medical research and treatment, stewardship of environmental resources, etc). A science background is not required, but will be helpful for in-depth analysis. Student literature research and analysis of a real-world situation will culminate in a final paper and presentation. Does not count toward Biology department major/minor credit.

This course provides broad biotechnology skills and principles as well as their applications in a variety of research, clinical and industrial areas. Topics covered include electrophoresis, chromatography, macromolecule purification, cloning, basic genetic engineering, DNA and protein manipulation, purification/separation techniques, quantitative PCR and computational analyses. This course emphasizes basic laboratory skills essential for biotech industry employment and advanced research skills. Topics and laboratories will be constantly updated to introduce the new development of the field.

Micro-anatomy of vertebrate tissues with emphasis on mammals. Lab included.

An introduction to Mendelian and non-Mendelian inheritance patterns as well as molecular genetics and biotechnology. Lab included.

A study of genes and gene regulation of living organisms at the molecular level. Particular attention will be given to modern biotechnology, genomics, and gene functions. Lab included.

The completion of genome projects for many species resulted in the establishment of genome and other related databases. A new biology subject, bioinformatics, has been developed to study genetics and other biological sciences by using these databases and computational analytical tools. It is used in research and industrial development from agriculture to medicine. This course is designed for students to understand the basic concept of biological databases as well as to acquire hands-on learning experience in these modern tools.

Germ cell formation, fertilization, cleavage, gastrulation, and organogenesis in vertebrates. Extra-embryonic membranes and their functions. Study of the frog, the chick, and the pig. Lab included.

Course includes identification of a wide variety of pathogenic organisms, study of infectious diseases and treatments, and interpretation of laboratory tests used to identify etiological agents. Lab included.

A study of the immune system, stressing its role in protecting humans from the pathogenic microbes, by naturally and through medical intervention. Includes dysfunction associated with hypersensitivity, immunodeficiency, and autoimmunity. Clinically important immunological tests used in diagnostics will be presented. Lab included.

Comprehensive examination of major requirements.

Students will work under the direction of a faculty mentor on a novel research project culminating in a formal presentation. Permission of the faculty mentor and the department is required prior to enrollment in this course. A maximum of 4 sh may be taken. Requires faculty mentor consent for enrollment. Repeatable.

Courses and field work at the Au Sable Institute (offsite). Course topics include Land Resources, Natural Resources, Ethnobotany and Ecological Agriculture, Field Botany, Animal Ecology, Water Resources, Aquatic Biology, and Ecology of the Indian Tropics. Multiple topics allow for course repeatability. Approval of the North Park Au Sable representative is required. Lab included.

On-site apprenticeship at an approved business or organization. A maximum of 4 semester hours of credit can count toward the major. The student must have completed at least 16 sh of credit in biology and have a GPA of at least 3.00 in NPU Biology courses. Departmental approval required. Please refer to the internship section for additional requirements. Lab included with some topics.