Department of Cell and Molecular Biology

Molecular biology, the biomedical sciences, and biotechnology are among the most challenging and exciting scientific fields of the 21st century. These disciplines are at the forefront of our efforts to overcome major global challenges including climate change, world hunger, heart disease, cancer, and AIDS.

The Department of Cell and Molecular Biology as part of URI’s College of the Environment and Life Sciences offers internationally recognized programs for your undergraduate and graduate training. At its core, the department offers solid foundations in biochemistry, microbiology, and molecular genetics. Research interests within the Department are diverse and include the study of the molecular origins of cancer and infectious disease, vaccine development, the roles of microorganisms in nutrient cycling and metabolism, and the genetic modification of switchgrasses for biofuel production.

The Cell and Molecular Biology department is also home to the Medical Laboratory Science undergraduate program. Medical Laboratory Science is an exciting and growing field that applies laboratory-based testing to human health and disease. Students majoring in Medical Laboratory Science are trained to perform, analyze and evaluate laboratory tests used in all clinical disciplines related to healthcare: chemistry, hematology, immunology, immunohematology, microbiology, molecular biology, and urinalysis. As part of the major, students receive classroom and hands-on training at affiliated hospital sites during the required clinical internship. For more information, please see

URI’s Providence Campus is the location for a number of unique biotechnology courses that majors take in order to prepare them for summer internships in this rapidly growing industry. The campus is also is home to The Institute of Immunology and Informatics (i Cubed) and the high school program, The Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE).

Minor in CMB

Undergraduate students at URI may declare a “minor” field of study in addition to their major and are encouraged to pursue a minor in CMB. A minor is a secondary concentration of courses compared to the major. Requirements may be satisfied by the completion of 18 or more credits of courses offered by CMB (or related fields). To declare a minor, a student must have the approval of the CMB department chairperson (or faculty sponsor) and the student’s academic dean.  At least twelve of the eighteen credits required for a minor shall be at the 200-level or above. A minimum average of 2.00 must be earned in the eighteen or more credits required for the minor.  At least eight of the credits required for a minor must be earned at URI.  A maximum of two courses required in a major program may be used to apply to both the major and minor fields of study.  Courses from other curricula that are recommended or required for the major may apply to the minor. Courses in General Education may be used for the minor. Courses in the minor may not be taken under the pass-fail grading option.  Application of a minor should be filed with the student’s dean prior to applying for graduation but after receiving the signature of the CMB department chair.  Approval of a minor does not guarantee space in any course required for the minor.

Dual Majors in Cell and Molecular Biology BS and Neuroscience BS

Highly motivated students with an interest in neuroscience are encouraged to explore the possibility of a dual degree in Cell and Molecular Biology B.S, and Interdisciplinary Neuroscience (Molecular Neuroscience major) B.S. This choice combines two related fields into a challenging 5-year program that may include additional summer study. If the dual major is pursued, the student should work closely with Dr. Jodi Camberg (advisor, CMB) to develop a course schedule early on to accommodate the requirements of both majors.

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 specialization in Cell and Molecular Biology. Additional information may be obtained at


Think Big We Do

Copyright © 2023 University of Rhode Island.