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. Options in biochemistry, biotechnology, and microbiology are available.

All cell and molecular biology majors are required to take: BIO 101/103, 102/104, and 352; CHM 101, 102, 112, 114, 226, 227, and 228; MIC 211 and 333; BCH 311; PHY 111, 112, 185, and 186; and MTH 131 or 141 plus one of the following: MTH 111, 132, 142; CSC 201; or STA 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: BCH 312, 412, 421, 437, 482, 492, and 495; BIO 341 plus one of the following electives: BIO 242 or 445; BCH 435 or 522; BPS 535; MIC 413, 414 or 450.

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: MIC 190, 413, 415, 499; BIO 341, and 437.

The required internship for this option (MIC 499) 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 413, 414, 415, 416, and 495; and one course selected from MIC 412, 422, 432, 435, 450 or 576. Students in the microbiology option must take an additional 9 credits of MIC courses. These credits may include any course in microbiology; or BIO 341, or 437.

Note: CHM 229 and 230, which are offered in summer only, may be substituted for CHM 226.

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.