A female student and professor wear goggles and do a procedure in a lab

BS in Biochemistry/MS in Molecular and Cell Biology

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Many of the most significant breakthroughs in disease detection, prevention and treatment occur at the intersection of biochemistry and molecular biology. Those with dual expertise in these growing fields are equipped to solve the most pressing medical challenges of our time, from Alzheimer’s to HIV. Our accelerated dual-degree (3+1) program allows you to complete both your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in just four years.

Program Overview

Discovery at the cellular level

Before we can develop innovative treatments for cancer, Parkinson’s and other debilitating diseases, we must understand the chemical and physical principles of living things, as well as biological processes such as cell development, growth and heredity. Completed in four years, this accelerated dual-degree BS/MS program enables interested students to lay a foundation in chemical, biophysical and analytical subjects before beginning coursework toward a terminal degree in molecular and cell biology in their third year.

Our curriculum combines traditional lectures and hands-on lab courses taught by faculty members with vast experience in the field. You’ll learn to examine chemical and biological material in technologically sophisticated labs and participate in faculty-led research projects. Further experiential learning opportunities with prominent area biotech and biomedical firms are also possible.

Three students wear goggles in a lab and measure colorful liquids

Measured success

Biochemistry students, from left, Makayla Harrison ’22, Janki Patel ’21 and Tyler Sylvia ‘19 conduct laboratory procedures in the Buckman Center chemistry lab on the Mount Carmel Campus.

Students in this program have the option to apply to live in honors housing or in a Living/Learning Community (LLC) dedicated to the natural sciences, enabling them to study and build relationships with like-minded peers. The tools and experience that graduates obtain position them for high-level careers in research settings and provides a solid foundation for those who desire to pursue advanced degrees in science or medicine.

Faculty Spotlight: Robert Collins

Research that opens many doors

Robert Collins, assistant professor of biochemistry, cares deeply about the small things — specifically proteins that accelerate chemical reactions. His current research is focused on metal-containing enzymes, or “metalloenzymes,” that could be used in biofuel production. 

“Converting complex plant material like corn stalks, or grasses into useful small molecules is an unsolved problem,” Collins said. “We’re hoping to find better tools for this task.” 

Collins reminds his students that the techniques he uses in his lab, including protein purification, enzyme assays, and structural biology have many other functions as well.

Robert Collins demonstrating a lab technique to a male student

A passion for teaching

Professor Robert Collins regularly welcomes students into his lab to guide them in their own research and learning.

“These are indispensable tools for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, for example, in drug discovery and development,” Collins said.

Collins’ lab is frequently open for students to see these techniques in action. He helps them develop their own projects, guides them through their senior research, and works with them in the Quinnipiac Science Technology and Engineering Program (QSTEP). 

This past summer, Collins was joined by chemistry major Elizabeth Coler, '20 at Brookhaven National Laboratory, a cutting-edge, multidisciplinary research institution where he was awarded his second consecutive Visiting Faculty Program summer appointment.

“Research is a learning process that involves critical thinking, troubleshooting and creativity,” Collins said. “Even if a student doesn’t want to pursue a career in science, they’ll benefit from that process.”

Curriculum and Requirements

First year, fall

  • BIO 150/L, General Biology for Majors (4 credits)
  • CHE 110/L, General Chemistry I (4 credits)
  • MA 140, Pre-Calculus (3 credits)
  • FYS 101, First Year Seminar (3 credits)
  • EN 101, Intro to Academic Reading and Writing (3 credits)

Total: 17 credits

First year, spring

  • BIO 151/L, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics (4 credits)
  • CHE 111/L, General Chemistry II (4 credits)
  • MA 141, Calculus I (3 credits)
  • EN 102, Academic Reading and Writing (3 credits)
  • UC Elective (3 credits)

Total: 17 credits

First year, summer

  • UC Elective (3 credits)
  • UC Elective (3 credits)
  • CHE 210/L, Organic Chemistry I (4 credits)
  • CHE 211/L, Organic Chemistry II (4 credits)

Total: 14 credits

Second year, fall

  • CHE 215/L, Analytical Chemistry (4 credits)
  • CHE 315/L, Biochemistry (4 credits)
  • CHE 410 or CHE special Topics (3 credits)
  • UC Elective (3 credits)
  • Language (3 credits)

Total: 17 credits

Second year, spring

  • BIO 515, Advanced Biochemistry (4 credits)
  • CHE 305/L, Instrumental Analysis (4 credits)
  • Open Elective (3 credits)
  • UC Elective (3 credits)
  • Language (3 credits)

Total: 17 credits

Second year, summer

  • PHY 110/L, General Physics I (4 credits)
  • PHY 111/L, General Physics II (4 credits)
  • UC Elective (3 credits)

Total: 11 credits

Third year, fall

  • BIO 571, Molecular Genetics (4 credits)
  • CHE 301/L, Physical Chemistry I (4 credits)
  • CHE 475/490, Chemistry Seminar & Research I (4 credits)
  • Open Elective (3 credits)

Total: 15 credits

Third year, summer

  • BIO 688, Independent Study (3 credits)

Total: 3 credits

Fourth year, fall

  • BIO 568, Cell and Molecular Biology (4 credits)
  • BIO 606, Protein Methods Laboratory (4 credits)
  • Graduate Elective (3 credits)

Total: 11 credits

Fourth year, spring

  • BIO 675, Comprehensive Examination (2 credits)
  • Graduate Elective (3 credits)
  • Graduate Elective (3 credits)

Total: 8 credits

Total credits completed toward BS degree: 123
Total graduate credits completed toward MS degree: 34 (9 graduate credits can be counted toward both BS and MS degrees)

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