Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

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    • Biology-Molecular

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Major

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology are related fields that explore biological processeas at the smallest scale – examining the intracellular metabolic “machinery” and its underlying genetic information. In the past few decades, technological breakthroughs like cloning, the polymerase chain reaction, and DNA sequencing have allowed researchers to learn much about the inner workings of the cell. This has led to a more complete understanding of normal metabolic processes in a variety of species, and it has also led to a clearer understanding of the principal causes of many diseases in plants and animals.

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The major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Franklin & Marshall is directed towards students who have a strong interest in biological processes at the molecular and sub-cellular level. In addition to a curriculum of lab-intensive courses designed to expose students to the many facets of biochemistry and molecular biology, F&M also offers students the opportunity to develop a long-term research relationship with faculty members, both through independent research during the academic year and full-time over a ten-week period during the summer. This combination of classroom, laboratory, and independent research provides BMB majors with a strong foundation in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology, and prepares them for graduate work or careers in many biological disciplines, as well as medicine, biotechnology and bioengineering.

Requirements of the Major

A major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology includes five biology courses, six chemistry courses, and two electives from Biology and/or Chemistry.

The following are core courses:

BIO 110. Principles of Heredity, Evolution, & Ecology
BIO 220. Principles of Physiology & Development
BIO 230. Cell Biology
BIO 305. Genetics
BIO 334. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
CHM 111. General Chemistry I
CHM 112. General Chemistry II
CHM. 211. Organic Chemistry I
CHM. 212. Organic Chemistry II
CHM 321. Thermodynamics and Kinetics
CHM 451. Advanced Biochemistry

Two laboratory electives must be chosen in areas related to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Examples of appropriate courses are:

BIO 240. Neurobiology
BIO 306. Developmental Biology
BIO 313. Intro to Genome Analysis
BIO 322. Microbiology
BIO 326. Comparative Physiology
BIO 330. Advanced Neurobiology
BIO 370-379. (Topics courses, when appropriate)
CHM 221. Chemical Analysis
CHM 222. Inorganic Chemistry
CHM 322. Structure and Bonding
CHM 384. Group Theory and Spectroscopy
BIO 390 or 490, CHM 390 or 490, or BFB 490 (Independent Study. Note: Only one semester of an independent study course may count as elective for BMB).

Required related courses are Physics 111 and Mathematics 109 and 110.