Major Course Checklist and Suggested Time Table

Below is a list of the required courses for the MBB major and a suggested time table for when most students choose to take the courses. In addition to the required core courses that all MBB students must take, the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry offers two course options to students to fulfill the requirements for the major. We strongly encourage those students who are interested in biophysical questions and research to take Course Option I, which requires Physical Chemistry and Multivariable Calculus to fulfill their requirements for the MBB major. MBB students considering a minor in Chemistry are encouraged to take Course Option I with the Physical Chemistry courses because it will fulfill their minor requirements. Course Option II is intended to expose MBB students to different current topics in molecular biology and biochemistry.

Click to download a .doc or .pdf file of the checklist

Course Option I (13 credits)

  • 01:160:327-328 Physical Chemistry (3,3) (requires 01:640:251 as a prerequisite) or 01:160:341-342 Physical Chemistry: Biochemical Systems (3,3)
  • 01:640:251 Multivariable Calculus (4) (Calculus 640:151,152 are required for this course)
  • One 3-credit elective course offered by the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry.

Course Option II (9 credits)

  • Two 3-credit elective courses offered by the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry.
  • One 400 level 3-credit elective course from Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry or a course from a department in the Division of Life Sciences that has approved by the MBB Department (see list below).

First Year

General Biology (119:115,116,117) or Introduction to Research (694:215) (only for Honors students with AP Biology credits) or Introduction to Research (694:214) (only for students with AP Biology credits)

General Chemistry (160:161,162) or Honors General Chemistry (163,164) 4,4
Intro to Experimentation (160:171) 1,1
Calculus (640:151,152-recommended, 135,138, or AP credits)
Note: Basic Statistics for Research (960:401) can be substituted for the second semester of Calculus. Students with AP Statistics must also take 960:212 to satisfy the requirement

Second Year

Genetics (447:380) [Sp, Su, Fa] 4
Organic Chemistry (307, 308) or Honors Organic Chemistry (160:315, 316) 4,4
Organic Chem Lab (160:309-recommended, or 311) 2
General Physics (750:203,204) 3,3
General Physics Lab (750:205,206) 1,1
For Course Option I: Calculus (640:251) [Sp, Su, Fa] 4
Intro. to Research MBB Lab (694:315) [Sp] (recommended if schedule permits) 3
MBB Research (optional) (694:281/282)  1-3, 1-3

Third Year

Molecular Biology & Biochemistry (694:407, 694:408) 3,3
MBB Seminar: Career in Science (694:383) 1
Intro. to Research MBB Lab (694:315) [Sp] 3
MBB Electives (Optional. See list below).  
MBB Research (see options below) (694:381/382) 3-6, 3-6

Fourth Year

MBB Electives (see list below) 3
MBB Research (Required, see options below) 3-6, 3-6
MBB Seminar: Research Presentations (694:484) 1
For Course Option I: Physical Chemistry (160:341,342)


For Course Option II: MBB or DLS Electives (400 level) 3, 3

MBB Elective Courses: All MBB students are required to take at least one of the MBB electives if they choose Course Option I (Physical Chemistry) or at least two of the MBB electives and a third MBB or DLS elective if they choose Course Option II (no Physical Chemistry)

  • 694:230 Analyzing Methods in Biology (Fall)
  • 694:411 Molecular Pathways (Fall)
  • 694:412 Proteomics & Structural Genomics (Spring)
  • 694:413 Chromatin and Epigenomics: The science of chromatin modifications in development and disease (Fall)
  • 694:414 Harnessing Solar Energy
  • 694:420 Special Topics in Molecular Biology (3) (Fall)
  • 694:421 Special Topics in Molecular Biology (3) (Spring) 
  • 694:492 Molecular Biology of Gene Regulation & Development (Spring)

Division of Life Sciences Elective Courses: MBB students choosing Course Option II (no Physical Chemistry) may choose a 400-level Elective Course offered by the Department of Genetics (447) or Cell Biology and Neuroscience (146) in the Division of Life Sciences that will count towards the MBB major. Some of the suggested DLS elective courses are shown below. A full list of the DLS courses can be found at Electives from non-DLS departments may be substituted for the DLS elective with approval of the MBB faculty mentor.

Research Requirements: All MBB students are required to perform an independent research project under the direction of a faculty advisor. Students may choose to work with faculty member from any of a number of Rutgers or UMDNJ departments. Registration in research courses is by special permission only. Students must fill out a Special Permission Form for Undergraduate Research and have it signed by their research advisor and MBB academic advisor before they can get a special permission number. Research is required in the senior year, but students are strongly encouraged to start their research in their second and third years.  Students must have a GPA of 2.8 or greater to register for reesarch credits

Lab Option I: Students need a total of 12 credits of research.

Lab Option II: Students need 6 credits of research and must take an additional MBB elective in addition to the required MBB elective for Course Option I (Calc. III, Physical Chemistry, and a MBB elective) or the three electives required for Course Option II (3 MBB electives or 2 MBB electives and a DLS elective). All students doing research must submit a paper describing the work done, before credit will be given.

694:281-2 Undergrad. research (usually Lab Option I)  
694:381-2 Undergrad. research (usually Lab Option I)  
694:481-2 Adv. Undergrad. research, non-honors  
694:495-6 MBB honors, two semesters, 6 credits each term (requires an application)  

Non-Lab Option Non-lab students must take 694:490-492 [Sp] Literature Research in MBB., at least 6 credits.

Students are able to take either of the three Lab Options with both Course Option I and Course Option II. The number of electives required for the different combination of the Course and Lab Options is shown below.

  Course Option I
(Calc III & P. Chem)
Course Option II
(MBB electives)
Lab Option I
(12 or more credits)
1 MBB Elective 2 MBB Electives and
1 MBB or DLS Elective
Lab Option II
(6-11 credits)
2 MBB Electives 3 MBB Electives and
1 MBB or DLS Elective

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