Cell and Molecular Biology

This major is the study of cells and the biological macromolecules—including DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids and carbohydrates—that define the structure and function of cells. The cell and molecular biology major provides excellent preparation for careers in medicine (the major automatically satisfies the pre-health course requirements), biomedical and life science research, and biotechnology.  A student may get a B.S.degree in Cell and Molecular Biology (general option), or get a B.S. degree in Cell and Molecular Biology specializing in biochemistry, bioinformatics, biotechnology, or microbiology.

All cell and molecular biology majors are required to take: BIO 101/103, 102/104, and 352; CHM 101 or 191, 102 or 192, 112, 114, 226, 227, and 228; CMB 211 and 311; PHY 111 or 203, 112 or 204, 185 or 273, and 186 or 274; and MTH 131 or 141 plus one of the following: MTH 111, 132, 142; CSC 201; or STA 307 or 308. Students planning to attend graduate school are advised to take MTH 131 and 132, or 141 and 142.

Biochemistry Option. Students in the cell and molecular biology major may elect the biochemistry option, which meets the guidelines of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and provides additional training in advanced areas of biochemistry.

The following additional courses are required for this option: CMB 312 or 412, 333, 421, 437, 482, 491 or 492, and 495; BIO 341 plus one of the following electives: BIO 242; CMB 413, 414, 435, 450 or 522; BPS 535; PHY 430.

Bioinformatics Option.  Students in the cell and molecular biology major may elect the bioinformatics option, which meets the guidelines of the International Society for Computational Biology Education Committee, and provides students with interdisciplinary trainings in preparation for diverse career opportunities in health sciences, medical research, environmental research, and biotechnological industry.  Students will take courses in many departments and colleges, including cell and molecular biology, computer sciences, biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics.  These courses will provide students with a well rounded education in general sciences and specialty training in bioinformatics and computational biology.

The following additional courses are required for this option:  CMB 320, 450, 495; CSC 201, 211, 212.  In addition, the students must complete at least 1 credit of a cell and molecular biology laboratory course above the 300-level and at least 9 credits in specialty concentration courses.

Biotechnology Option. Students in the cell and molecular biology major may elect the biotechnology option, which offers preparation for further work in research and development, biotechnology operations, quality assurance, and regulatory affairs. This option emphasizes a broad and interdisciplinary overview of the biotechnology industry, and provides students with an academic background in microbiology, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, and molecular genetics to prepare them for careers at several levels of industry.

The following additional courses are required for this option: CMB 190, 333, 413, 415, 499; BIO 341, and 437.

The required internship for this option (CMB 499, 12 credits) is conducted with the cooperation of local members of the biotechnology industry and may be pursued on a full- or part-time basis. Students should be aware that internships may be limited in number and are awarded on a competitive basis; therefore, those interested in the biotechnology option should consult with their advisors early in their college career.

Microbiology Option. Students in the cell and molecular biology major may elect the microbiology option, which meets the guidelines for the American Society for Microbiology. Students who develop a strong interest in the clinical laboratory aspects of microbiology can easily move to URI’s medical laboratory sciences program. This option is useful for students planning a career in microbiology or wanting to pursue graduate education in the broad area of microbiology or cell and molecular biology or attend dental, medical, or veterinary school.

The following additional courses are required for this option: the capstone experiences courses 333, 413, 414, 415, 416, and 495; and one course selected from CMB 412, 422, 432, 435, 450 or 576. Students in the microbiology option must take an additional 9 credits of CMB courses; or BIO 327, 341, or 437.

GeneralTrack Option. For a CMB major in the general track, in addition to the courses required of all CMB majors, 29 credits are required as follows. BIO 341, CMB 333, 495, and four credits CMB laboratory required.  As part of the 29 credits, 18 can be selected from 400 and 500 level CMB courses, CMB(BIO) 437, BPS 535 and PHY430.

A total of 120 credits is required for graduation.

The Department of Cell and Molecular Biology also participates in the interdisciplinary and interdepartmental graduate programs in biological and environmental sciences, offering both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees with a specialization in cell and molecular biology. Additional information may be obtained at cels.uri.edu/cmb/CMB_Grad.aspx.