Coordinating Committee: Mitchell I. Chernin, Charles H. Clapp (Director), Kenneth A. Field, Matthew B. Heintzelman, Elizabeth C. Marin, Kathleen Page, Marie C. Pizzorno, David S. Rovnyak, Thomas Selby, James S. Swan

Other Participating Faculty: Dee Ann Casteel, Julie A. Gates, Elizabeth C. Marin, Leocadia V. Paliulis, Emily L. Stowe-Evans, Timothy G. Strein, Brian W. Williams

Developed jointly by the biology and chemistry departments, the major in cell biology and biochemistry at Bucknell is interdisciplinary in nature. The Bachelor of Science major is designed for students who are interested in understanding living organisms at the cellular and molecular level. This course of study will provide strong foundations in both biology and chemistry and will offer the student both the intellectual and the laboratory skills to grapple with questions at the interface of these two disciplines. In addition to a rigorous scientific education, this program enables students to gain a strong background in the liberal arts and to think critically about the impact of biotechnology on social and ethical issues.

The major in cell biology/biochemistry will focus on subdisciplines within biology and chemistry such as immunology, genetic engineering, nucleic acids, biomembrane function, cell biology of cancer, and enzymology. This program strongly emphasizes independent student research, including both seminar programs and hands-on research. A major in cell biology/biochemistry offers students an excellent preparation for careers in biotechnology, biomedical technology, medicine, pharmacology and bioengineering. It also is an excellent foundation for students preparing for entrance into Ph.D. programs in cell and molecular biology or biochemistry or Ph.D./M.D. programs in medically related fields.

The major requires five courses within the biology department (BIOL 205, 206, 207, 327, and 352) and six courses within the chemistry department (CHEM 211, 212, 221, 231, 340 or 341, and 351).

Additionally, an interdepartmental Biochemical Methods course (BIOL 340/CHEM 358) is required as are three electives chosen from the following list: BIOL 302, 304, 316, 318, 322, 323, 324, 326, 328, 337, 339, 347, 348, 365, 399; CHEM 313, 314, 317, 322, 332, 342, 352, 360, 375, and 376. At least one of these biology or chemistry electives must be a laboratory course. One full credit of a research course (BIOL 399, CHEM 375, CHEM 376, or CHEM 403) may be counted as an elective toward the major. Two semesters of physics (PHYS 211 and PHYS 212) and two semesters of calculus (MATH 201 and MATH 202) are required.

Students in the cell biology/biochemistry major will satisfy the writing in the major and information literacy requirements by completing their required classes: BIOL 205, BIOL 206 and BIOL 340/CHEM 358. Cell biology/biochemistry majors will satisfy the formal presentation requirement by completing BIOL 206. The Culminating Experience requirement will be fulfilled by cell biology/biochemistry students after completing one of the following:

  • Enrolling in a 300-level laboratory course in biology during their last three semesters. These classes will utilize inquiry-based learning and require students to demonstrate writing, information literacy and speaking at a level that is appropriate for a graduating cell biology/biochemistry major.
  • Registering for independent research in either biology (BIOL 399) or chemistry (CHEM 375 or 376)
  • Completing an Honors thesis

The recommended sequence for the Bachelor of Science major is as follows:

First Year

First Semester: BIOL 205; CHEM 211; MATH 201
Second Semester: BIOL 206; CHEM 212; MATH 202

Sophomore Year

First Semester: BIOL 207; CHEM 221
Second Semester: BIOL 327; CHEM 231

Junior Year

First Semester: BIOL 352; CHEM 351; PHYS 211
Second Semester: BIOL 340/CHEM 358; PHYS 212; Elective in biology or chemistry

Senior Year

First Semester: CHEM 341 or elective in biology or chemistry
Second Semester: CHEM 340 or elective in biology or chemistry; Elective in biology or chemistry



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