What is Molecular and Cell Biology?
Molecular and cell 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 ranges from evolution to development to the regulation of gene expression. A career in molecular and cell biology requires a strong background in biology as well as a solid foundation in chemistry, mathematics, and physics.
The Molecular and Cell 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 should contact the Molecular and Cell Biology student services coordinator. Faculty advisors are assigned to continuing students who have declared the major and are located in many related departments throughout campus. Molecular biology faculty advisors are especially competent to provide counsel regarding the field.
What can I do with a major in Molecular and Cell Biology?
The Molecular and Cell Biology major has been designed primarily for three groups of students: (a) those who plan to enter a research career in molecular and cell 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, veterinary or allied health fields; (c) students interested in pursuing careers in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical science industries. Students with other interests are also welcome, of course. Career opportunities for students with an undergraduate degree in molecular and cell biology are amazingly diverse. What else can you do with a major in Molecular and Cell Biology? Graduates of our program have gone into patent law, science journalism, forensics, wildlife management, philosophy, nutrition, genetic counseling, veterinary medicine, anthropology, archaeology, marine biology, theology, and more!