Biology— Molecular and Cell Biology Emphasis

Biology— Molecular and Cell Biology Emphasis


The Biology—Molecular and Cell Emphasis major is part of an interdisciplinary program between the Biology and Chemistry departments. Cell biology is the study of cells at the biochemical or molecular level. Molecular Biology investigates the interactions among DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis to understand how these interactions are regulated using the tools and principles of genetics and bioinformatics—it is among the most rapidly growing fields, and is making strides with recent accomplishments such as the sequencing of the entire human genome.

The B.S. degree in Molecular and Cell Biology places emphasis on the molecular biology and biochemistry that control cell functions. Students take courses in math, physics, and chemistry, along with the core biology curriculum. Once in 400-level biochemistry and molecular biology courses, students get to pursue their specific interests. 

The integrated conceptual foundation in biology, the critical thinking skills, quantitative problem-solving abilities, leadership with team-building skills, and scientific research skills that students obtain from lecture and laboratory courses in Western’s Molecular and Cell Biology curriculum are ultimately critical for post-baccalaureate studies and for future job performance. 

Western’s Biology Department is part of the College of Science and Engineering.

Portrait of Richie Jimenez

“I chose to major in Molecular and Cellular Biology because I am fascinated with the molecular processes that control our very existence. My academic experience at Western has prepared me for my future by teaching me to think critically and has provided hands on experience and practical applications of the many theories involved with my major.”

Richie Jimenez

Beyond the Classroom

The Biology program provides a wide variety of opportunities for applied practice of knowledge and skills gained in lectures and labs. Undergraduates are encouraged to engage in research alongside faculty, serve as teaching assistants for biology courses, join the Biology Club, and have opportunities to develop their own extracurricular experience through the independent study option. Additionally, some upper level labs follow a project-based curriculum that resemble research experiences. 

Careers and Graduate Studies

Students in the Biology—Molecular and Cell Emphasis program often begin their post-baccalaureate jobs at medical centers such as MultiCare, PeaceHealth, or TOKU-E (manufacturer of antimicrobials for life science research), or continue their education with graduate studies. 


Sample Jobs

  • Biomedical Research 
  • Pharmaceutical Research 
  • Bioinformatics
  • Cell Physiology 
  • Forensic Scientist 
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Geneticist
  • Medical Doctor
  • Educator

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.