Majors and Courses

Molecular Biology

This interdisciplinary major is focused on biology and the physical sciences, and incorporates a significant amount of mathematics. The major is research oriented and is designed to prepare students for graduate studies or medical school, as well as careers in biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry.  For further information, consult with the molecular biology faculty, Professors Armstrong, Edwalds-Gilbert, Tang, or Wiley.


Biology 43L Introductory Biology
Chemistry 14L,15L or 29L Introductory Chemistry or both semesters of the AISS course
Mathematics 30,31 Calculus I, II
Biology 143 Genetics
Chemistry 116L,117L Organic Chemistry
Biology 173L Mol. Biol. Seminar/Lab
Physics 33L,34L Principles of Physics
Biology 157L Cell Biology
Biology 170L Molecular Biology
Biology 177 Biochemistry
Chemistry 121 Physical Chemistry I
One- or two-semester Thesis in Biology - Two-semester thesis is preferred

One additional lab course from a defined set of electives or other approved electives: Developmental biology (Bio 151L), Comparative Physiology (Bio 132L), Vertebrate Physiology (Bio 131L), Ecology (Bio 146L), Marine Ecology, or approved selection from Pomona or Harvey Mudd.

Biology 173L is a ½ credit sophomore level course, but juniors may take the course fall 2005.

It is recommended that students take Genetics before Cell Biology and Molecular Biology.

Physics 33L, 34L are recommended, but Physics 30L, 31L may substitute.

Keck Science Common Learning Outcomes

Students completing a major in the Keck Science Department should demonstrate the ability to:

1. Use foundational principles to analyze problems in nature.
2. Develop hypotheses and test them using quantitative techniques.
3. Articulate applications of science in the modern world.
4. Effectively communicate scientific concepts both verbally and in writing.

Student Learning Outcomes
A Molecular Biology Major should be able to:

  • Understand foundational scientific principles and findings in current molecular biology.
  • Discuss and analyze original scientific research articles in molecular biology.
  • Interpret data, including identification of control versus experimental samples.
  • Design controlled experiments to test specific hypotheses.