Mar 22, 2023
The major in molecular biology requires a minimum of 15 courses, distributed as follows:
1. Introductory Biology and Chemistry (2 or 3 courses)
Students must complete all courses in any of these options:
2. Upper-Level Biology (5 courses)
3. Upper-Level Chemistry (3 courses)
5. Mathematics (1 course)
6. Lab Elective (1 course)
One elective course with laboratory to be selected in consultation with the faculty advisor.
7. Senior Thesis (1 or 2 courses)
Molecular biology majors must complete a 1- or 2-semester thesis in biology. The 2-semester thesis with lab is preferred. For further information, see Senior Thesis in Science below.
Senior Thesis in Science
The senior thesis is a general education requirement and the capstone experience of a student’s undergraduate education. Students must complete a senior thesis in at least one of their majors under supervision of a faculty reader who teaches within that major, unless granted a special exception.
Science majors have the following senior thesis options. Refer to the major requirements above for major-specific senior thesis requirements.
2-Semester Thesis with Lab (2 courses, 2 credits)
Students interested in a 2-semester thesis with lab take one of the following pairs of courses in the 1st and 2nd semester of the senior year:
2-Semester Thesis with Summer Research (2 courses, 1 credit)
Students interested in completing a 2-semester thesis by conducting a substantial research project during the summer after their junior year should register for one of the following pairs of courses in the 1st semester of the senior year. There is no credit or lab fee for 189L.
1-Semester Experimental Thesis with Lab (1 course, 1 credit)
Students interested in a 1-semester experimental thesis with lab take one of the following in the 1st or 2nd semester of the senior year:
1-Semester Library Thesis without Lab (1 course, 1 credit)
Students interested in a 1-semester library thesis without lab complete an extensive library research thesis in the 1st or 2nd semester of the senior year, chosen from:
The Senior Thesis Research Project course (188L) or the Summer Research Project course (189L) may not be counted as elective courses in the major.
Special Options for Majors in Science
Dual Major in Science
Students selecting a dual major including science should discuss their program requirements with the conveners of the appropriate programs. Usually up to 2 electives in science may be waived for dual majors including science. Unless otherwise specified above or exempted by the appropriate convener of the Keck Science Department, science students with dual majors are required to complete a 1- or 2-semester thesis in science.
Honors in Science
To be eligible for departmental honors in a science major, students must:
- Achieve a minimum GPA of 3.5 in courses in the major;
- Complete a 1- or 2-semester thesis project in which the student has demonstrated excellence by making a significant contribution to the progress of the research, by producing a thesis document judged to be of honors quality by the department, by presenting the work in a cogent fashion, and by engaging in the departmental seminar program.
Study Abroad for Science Majors
The Keck Science Department supports study abroad for science majors, however majors need to be aware that spending a semester off-campus requires careful advanced planning and program selection. Science majors interested in study abroad should discuss their interest with their major advisors as soon as possible.
General Education Requirements for Science Majors
General Education Requirement in Science
Every CMC student must complete one (1) laboratory science course offered by the Keck Science Department or elsewhere within the Claremont Consortium. This requirement must by satisfied by the end of the 2nd year at CMC.
General Education Requirements in the Social Sciences and the Humanities
For students with science majors, general education requirements in the social sciences and humanities must be met by courses outside of a student’s major field(s). Students in most science majors, including this major, must take courses in 3 of the 4 fields of the social sciences and in 2 of the 4 fields of the humanities for a total of 5 courses.
Science majors with a dual or double major in either the humanities or the social sciences will be required to take an additional general education course in those categories.
Student Learning Outcomes of the Program in Molecular Biology
- Discuss and analyze original scientific research articles on molecular biology topics.
- Interpret data, including identification of control versus experimental samples.
- Design controlled experiments to test specific hypotheses on a molecular biology topic.