2016-2017 Pitzer Catalog 
    Apr 24, 2019  
2016-2017 Pitzer Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Molecular Biology Major

This interdisciplinary major is focused on biology and the physical sciences and incorporates a significant amount of mathematics. The major is research oriented and is designed to prepare students for graduate studies or medical school, as well as careers in biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry. For further information, consult with the molecular biology faculty, Professors Armstrong, Edwalds-Gilbert, Tang, or Wiley.

Learning Outcomes of the Program in Molecular Biology

Students completing a major in Molecular Biology should demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Understand foundational scientific principles and findings in current molecular biology.
  2. Discuss and analyze original scientific research articles in molecular biology.
  3. Interpret data, including identification of control versus experimental samples.
  4. Design controlled experiments to test specific hypotheses.

Courses required for the Molecular Biology major:

  • Biology 43L, or Biology 40L
  • Chemistry 14L-15L (or 29L), or Chemistry 40L and 15L, or both semesters of the AISS course
  • Calculus II
  • Biology 143 (Genetics)
  • Chemistry 116L-117L (Organic)
  • Biology 173L (½ credit sophomore Molecular Biology Seminar/Lab course)
  • Physics 33L-34L (recommended) or Physics 30L-31L, or both semesters of the AISS course
  • Biology 157L (Cell Biology with 143 as prerequisite or permission of instructor)
  • Biology 170L (Molecular Biology with 143 as prerequisite or permission of instructor)
  • Biology 177 (Biochemistry)
  • Chemistry 121 (Physical Chemistry I, Thermodynamics)
  • One additional lab course from a defined set of electives or other approved electives

Biology 188L-190L, two-semester thesis with lab (preferred), or Biology 191, one- semester thesis.