Cell and Molecular biology (B.S.)

The Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Rhode Island offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB). CMB is the study of cells and the macromolecules (DNA, RNA, protein, lipids, carbohydrates) that define their structure and function. The B.S in CMB provides students with a solid foundation in cell biology, molecular biology, microbiology, biochemistry, and molecular genetics. Further, experiential learning is an integral part of this degree program. This training will enable students to make meaningful contributions to global medical and environmental issues including the study of the molecular basis of cancer and infectious disease, heart disease, the development of next generation biofuels, and the genetic engineering of crops for increased productivity and improved disease resistance.

A B.S. in CMB will prepare students for exciting laboratory or administrative positions in the biotechnology and biomedical/pharmaceutical industries, health care as well as the federal government (EPA, FDA, USDA). The B.S. in CMB also provides an excellent foundation for pursuing an advanced degree or attending a professional school, e.g. dental, medical or veterinary schools. The major automatically satisfies the minimum pre-health course requirements and provides excellent preparation for successful completion of the medical college admission test (MCAT).


There are three tracks that students can choose from within the CMB major:

Years 1 and 2 share a common curriculum while years 3 and 4 include specialized courses particular to each track.

Curriculum Map

The following is an example of the typical course schedule for the first 4 semesters for a student majoring in CMB.  These are recommended course selections for CMB majors in University College; there will be variation based on course availability and schedule restraints.  Some classes are not offered every semester.  It is important to plan ahead and consult with your advisor to allow yourself time to enroll in the classes you wish to take.

Semester I (Fall)

URI101 Freshman at URI1
COM100 Communications Fund.3
CHM101/102 Chemistry I, Lab4
BIO101/103 Principles of Biology I4
MTH111 or MTH131 or MTH1413/4

Total credits:15-16

Semester III (Fall)

MIC211 Introductory Microbiology4
General Ed. or Elective3
CHM227 Organic Chemistry I3
PHY111/203 Physics I3
PHY185/273 Physics Lab I1

Total credits:14


Semester II (Spring)

BIO102/104 Principles of Biology II4
CHM112/114 Chemistry II, Lab4
WRT104/105 or 106 Composition3
MTH131 or MTH141 Calculus3/4

Total credits:14-15

Semester IV (Spring)

CHM228 Organic Chemistry II3
BCH311 Introductory Biochemistry3
PHY112/204 Physics II3
PHY186/274 Physics Lab II1
General Ed. (Cat. S, A, F or L)3

Total credits:16