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 (see below).

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.

Curriculum Map


Semester I (Fall)
URI101 Freshman at URI 1
COM100 Communications Fund. 3
CHM101/102 Chemistry I, Lab 4
BIO101/103 Principles of
Biology I
MTH111 or MTH131 or MTH141 3/4

Total credits: 15-16
Semester II (Spring)
BIO102/104 Principles of Biology II 4
CHM112/114 Chemistry II, Lab 4
WRT104/105 or 106 Composition 3
MTH131 or MTH141 Calculus 3/4

Total credits: 14-15
Semester III (Fall)
MIC211 Introductory Microbiology 4
General Ed. or Elective 3
CHM227 Organic Chemistry I 3
PHY111/203 Physics I 3
PHY185/273 Physics Lab I 1

Total credits: 14
Semester IV (Spring)
CHM228 Organic Chemistry II 3
BCH311 Introductory Biochemistry 3
PHY112/204 Physics II 3
PHY186/274 Physics Lab II 1
General Ed. (Cat. S, A, F or L) 3
Elective 3

Total credits: 16