MBB Curriculum

Learning Goals for the MBB Major:

1. Students should demonstrate an understanding of the knowledge that is needed to begin biomedical research and that is required for post-graduate exams and studies.

2. Students should demonstrate the ability to find and evaluate information about specific biological systems or problems.

3. Students should demonstrate the ability to design experiments and critically analyze data.

4. Students should demonstrate the ability to communicate their research and findings orally through seminar and poster presentations and through written research papers.

The required curriculum for majors in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry has four components:

  1. Life Sciences Core Curriculum:  This is the basic core curriculum that is required for all majors in the Division of Life Sciences.  Most Life Sciences majors complete this core curriculum in the first two years.  Note: It is important to take General Chemistry in the first year so that students can take Organic Chemistry in the second year.  All students must have completed a full year of General Biology and General Chemistry and at least one seemster of Organic chemistry before they can register as an MBB major.  
  2. MBB Core Curriculum: All MBB students must take the Molecular Biology and Biochemistry series (694:407 and 694:408), one of the Introduction to Research courses (694:315694:215, or 694:214), the 694:383 and 694:484 Seminar in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry courses.  
  3. MBB Curricular Course Options: MBB students must choose either the Course I Option (Multivariable Calculus, Physical Chemistry, one MBB Elective) or Course Option II (two MBB Electives and one MBB or DLS Elective).
  4. MBB Independent Research:  Students must take at least 6, and preferably 12 or more, credits of independent research. Students taking less than 12 credits of research are required to take an additional MBB elective. 

1. Life Sciences Core Courses and Suggested Time Table

This is the basic core curriculum that is required for all majors in the Division of Life Scienes.

Course #TitleCredits

119:115, 119:116, and 119:117

General Biology (Fall/Spring First Year), General Biology Lab (Spring First Year or Fall Sophomore Year)  (4,4,2)

160:161 and 160:162
- or -
160:163 and 160:164

General Chemistry or Honors General Chemistry (Fall/Spring First Year) (4,4)
160:171 Introduction to Experimentation (Spring First Year or Fall Sophomore Year) 1

640:151-152 
- or -
640:135,138

Calculus for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (recommended) or Calculus I (acceptable) (Fall/Spring First Year). Basic Statistics for Research (960:401) can be substituted for Calc II for the Biological Sciences (640:138) 4,4

160:309
- or -
160:311

 
Organic Chemistry Laboratory (acceptable) or Honors Organic Chemistry Laboratory (recommended) (Sophomore Year)
2
160:307 and 160:308 
- or -
160:315 and 160:316
Organic Chemistry or Honors Organic Chemistry (Fall/Spring Sophomore Year) 4,4
750:203 and 750:204 General Physics (Fall/Spring Sophomore Year) 3,3
750:205 and 750:206 General Physics Laboratory (Fall/Spring Sophomore Year) (Fall/Spring Sophomore Year) 1,1
447:380 Genetics (Fall/Spring Sophomore Year or Fall Junior Year) 4

2. MBB Core courses

  1. All MBB students must take the Molecular Biology and Biochemistry series (694:407 in the fall semester and 694:408 in the spring semester). These are advanced lecture courses that are designed to give students a strong background in biochemistry and molecular biology. These courses are to be taken in the junior year. However, sufficiently qualified sophomores may also take the courses if they have had organic chemistry.
  2. Students must take either of the 694:315694:215, or 694:214 Introduction to Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Research courses. The 694:315 course is for sophomore or junior students in the major. The 694:215 course (Fall) is only for first year Honors students who have Advanced Placement (AP) Biology credit. The 694:214 course (Spring) is only for first year students who have AP Biology credit.  
  3. MBB students must take the 694:383 and 694:484 Seminar in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry courses. The MBB Seminar: Careers in Science (694:383) is taken by majors in the fall semester of their Junior year.  This course has a series of outside speakers that discusses career options and how to find a laboratory on campus to conduct their independent research project.  The MBB Seminar: Presentations (694:484) course is taken by students in the spring of their senior year.  This is a capstone course in which students give both oral and poster presentations on their independent research projects.  
Course #TitleCredits
694:315 (S)
- or -
694:215 (F)
- or -
694:214 (S)
Introduction to Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Research 
694:315 (Spring) is for MBB sophomores or juniors; 694:214 (Spring) is for first year students with AP Biology credit; 694:215 (Fall) is for first year Honors students with AP Biology credit.  
3
694:407 (F) and 694:408 (S) Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
These are advanced lecture courses that are designed to give students a strong background in biochemistry and molecular biology. These courses are to be taken in the junior year.  However, sufficiently qualified sophomores may also take the course if they have had organic chemistry. (Fall/Spring Junior Year).  MBB students should not take the 694:301 Introduction to Biochemistry course.
3,3
694:383 (F) Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Seminar: Careers in Science
(Fall Junior yr)
1
694:484 (S) Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Seminar: Research Presentations (Spring Senior yr) 1

 

3. MBB Curricular Options courses

MBB students must choose between one of two course options for the major.  

Course Option I is for students with a strong background in math and that may be pursuing research and graduate work in the physical biosciences. This course option requires a year of Physical Chemistry courses offered by the Chemistry Department.  A prerequisite for Physical Chemistry is Multi-variable Calculus.  Students taking this option with 12 credits or more of research are required to take one MBB elective. Students with less than 12 credits of research are required to take two MBB electives in addition to the Physical Chemistry and Calculus courses.  Note: Students taking course Option I fulfill the requirements for a Minor degree in Chemistry.  

Course Option II is for students with broad interests in molecular biology and biochemistry. Students taking this option with 12 credits or more of research are required to take three MBB electives. Students with less than 12 credits of research are required to take four MBB electives.  

MBB Course Option I

Course #TitleCredits
640:251 Multivariable Calculus (First or Sophomore Year)  
160:341 and 160:342 Physical Chemistry: Biochemical Systems  (Junior or Senior Year)  
694:411694:412, 694:413, 694,414, 694:420, 694:421 or 694:492 MBB Electives (Choose one) (Junior or Senior Year) 3,3

MBB Course Option II

Course #TitleCredits
694:230694:411694:412694:413, 694:414, 694:420, 694:421 or 694:492 MBB Electives (Choose two) (Junior or Senior Year) 3,3
 (See list of Electives) MBB or DLS Elective (Choose one) (Junior or Senior Year) 3

 

4. MBB 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 SAS, SEBS, or Medical School 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 from the MBB Department Undergraduate Secretary, Shalene Montgomery. Research is required in the senior year, but students are strongly encouraged to start their research in their sophomore and junior years and during the summers if possible.  All students doing research must submit a paper to the department office describing the work done, before credit will be given.

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

Lab Option II: Students need only 6 credits of research and must take an another 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). 

Non-Lab Option: Non-lab students must take Literature Research in MBB (694:489/490) for 6 credits.

Course #TitleCredits
694:381/382694:481/482694:489/490694:495/496 (Honors) MBB Undergraduate Research 
(MBB Students need at least 6 credits of indepedent research to graduate)
3-6,3-6

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 research credits)

1 MBB Elective

2 MBB Electives and 
1 MBB or DLS Elective

Lab Option II (6-11 research credits)

2 MBB Electives

3 MBB Electives and
1 MBB or DLS Elective

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