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What is Molecular Biology?

Molecular biology is the basic science that seeks an understanding of biological processes in terms of the properties and functions of the molecules that make up living cells. The scope of questions addressed in molecular biology ranges from evolution to development to the regulation of gene expression. A career in molecular biology requires a strong background in biology as well as a solid foundation  in chemistry, mathematics, and physics.

The Molecular Biology major.

Major requirements have been set to assure a high degree of proficiency in the various areas specified above while still allowing as much flexibility as possible for students to individualize their programs. For the undergraduate interested in life sciences, this major uniquely provides access to the extraordinary scope and strength of biology courses and laboratories on the Madison campus. Each student in the major is assigned a faculty advisor, and it is hoped that students will take advantage of both the staff and faculty advising service available to make a judicious choice of courses, as well as to gain scholarly experience outside the classroom that will further their academic and career goals.

Students who wish to obtain further information about the program or to declare a molecular biology major should contact the molecular biology student services coordinator. Faculty advisors are assigned when students declare the major and are located in many related departments throughout campus. Molecular biology faculty advisors are especially competent to provide counsel regarding the major and career opportunities in molecular biology.

What can I do with a major in Molecular Biology?

The molecular biology major has been designed primarily for three groups of students: (a) those who plan to enter a research career in molecular biology or related areas such as biochemistry, genetics, oncology, microbiology, cell biology or developmental biology; (b) pre-professional students who plan to enter either a research or clinical career in medicine, or allied health fields; (c) students who plan to teach biology at the college or secondary-school levels. Students with other interests are also welcome, of course. Career opportunities for students with an undergraduate degree in molecular biology are amazingly diverse. What else can you do with a major in Molecular Biology? Graduates of our program have gone into patent law, science journalism, forensics, wildlife management, philosophy, nutrition, genetic counseling, veterinary medicine, anthropology, archeology, marine biology, theology, and more! Get involved in the Molecular Biology Student Association (MBSA) to learn more about the major, careers, and opportunities!