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Biology - Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology Major Guide for 2009-2010

What is Biology - Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology

Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology (BCMB) is the science that studies the molecular nature of living organisms leading to an understanding of the biochemical control of life processes. This includes a wide range of studies from the structure and function of single molecules to the integrated molecular control of entire cells and organisms. The molecules studied include, among others, enzymes, structural molecules, signaling molecules, RNA and DNA. These studies address the fundamental questions of how we, and other organisms on earth, live, grow, reproduce, age and die.
An understanding of these life processes helps us to learn how to heal the sick, aid the environment, grow better food and make more informed social decisions about such thing as abortion, biotechnology, cloning and stem cell research.
People who excel in the field of biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology tend to be people who have a great curiosity about life and enjoy problem solving.

Career Opportunities in Biology - Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology

Graduates in biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology may go into the workforce directly or go on to receive a master’s or Ph.D. degree. Career opportunities exist in a wide variety of fields, including: laboratory research in genetics, bioinformatics, medical fields, molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry or biotechnology, teaching, health professions, biological writing or illustration, or the sale of biological or pharmaceutical products. These careers tend to be technology-laden and rewarding.

Salary Trends in Biology - Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology

The salaries for majors in biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology are commensurate with education and experience and are generally on par with other high-tech fields in the sciences. Salaries for graduates with a B.S. degree are variable but average around $30,000 per year. People with higher degrees get higher salaries. In academic positions, assistant professors earn around $50,000, associate professors around $65,000, and full professors around $80,000 per year.

High School Preparation

High school students planning to major in biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology should take college preparatory courses and take as many courses as possible in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. Honors courses or advanced placement courses are encouraged.

How to Major in Biology - Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology

Students who want to major in biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology should declare their major as early as possible in their academic career so they can get an advisor in the major. Until then, they can be advised in the Arts and Sciences Advising Center in Alumni Memorial Building.
It is advisable to begin by taking the introductory chemistry and biology courses, in your freshman year, especially if you are planning on graduate school, medical school, or another health profession school. In addition, you will want to begin taking courses to fulfill the requirements for the College of Arts and Sciences. In your junior and senior years you will be taking upper-division courses in the major and finishing other college or university requirements.

Requirements for Biology - Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology

The concentration consists of Chemistry 350, 360, 369, Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology 401–402, and at least 16 additional credit hours selected from Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology courses numbered 300 or above (except Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology 310, 410, and 457), or from the following courses in other departments: Microbiology 310–319, 410, 411, 420–429, 430, 440; EEB 350, 360, 460. At least two of the 16 credit hours must be selected from the following laboratory courses: Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology 403, 416, 419, 429 and 452, and Biology 401. At least three of the 16 credit hours must be selected from the following physiology courses: Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology 321, 440, and Microbiology 310. No more than 9 of the 16 credit hours may be in non-Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology courses.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

An honors track in Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology for motivated students includes a research component done during your junior and senior year. In addition, many students in Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology take advantage of the individualized major program or the College Scholars program in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Highlights of Biology - Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology

Students are encouraged to join the biology majors club, Symbios. This club brings together students with an interest in biology to encourage academic and social interaction between students and between faculty members and students.

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

"Ready for the World” is part of a long-range plan to transform the UTK campus into a culture of diversity that best prepares students for working and competing in the 21st century.  Thus students are encouraged to actively participate in the diverse cultural programs offered on campus.  Some of these events include the guest lecture series, cultural nights at the International House, and international film screenings.  Visit the Center for International Education web site (http://web.utk.edu/~globe/about.shtml) or the Ready for the World web site (http://www.utk.edu/readyfortheworld/) for more information on upcoming cultural programs and activities. 
Students are also encouraged to develop a global perspective within their academic program through study abroad.  Visit the Programs Abroad Office web site (http://web.utk.edu/~globe/pao/) for information on study abroad opportunities.

Learn more about UT's Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today's world.

Sample Curriculum

Freshman Year Credit Hours
English Composition 6
Chemistry 120,130 8
Biology 130 or Biology 111 and 112 4-8
Biology 140 4
Math 141,142 or 151,142 6-8


Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Physics 221,222 8
Chemistry 350,360,369 8
Biology 240,250 8
Foreign Language 6
Communicating Orally 3


Junior Year Credit Hours
BCMB 401,402 8
BCMB (major)
6
Foreign Language or General Electives 4-6
Social Science 3
Humanities 3
Upper Level Distribution 3


Senior Year Credit Hours
BCMB (lab) 2
BCMB (major) 8
Upper Level Distribution 3
Non US History 
6
Social Science 3
Humanities 3
Upper Division Elective 4


GRAND TOTAL (minimum) 120

For More Information

BCMB Program
M407 Walters Life Science Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-0840
(865) 974-5148
http://web.bio.utk.edu/bcmb/

 

Note

The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.