Two students working in a lab

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Florida Southern College’s Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) program combines chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics, allowing you to understand life from the organism down to the molecular level.  

This format reflects the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of scientific research. It also means you’re prepared for professional schools—such as medical, dental and veterinary schools—and graduate programs in biochemistry, molecular biology and related disciplines. You can also begin your career in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and other exciting fast-paced industries.

Top Reasons to choose FSC for
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

  • Collaborative research with faculty takes your learning to the next level.
  • Get hands-on experience with state-of-the-art instrumentation and techniques.
  • Intern with medical professionals, health care institutions, and local companies.
  • Our interdisciplinary approach gives you access to all the resources of FSC’s Biology and Chemistry programs.
  • Develop your professional credentials by presenting your findings at conferences.

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program provides an excellent interdisciplinary experience for students where graduates are well prepared to enter professional schools, such as medical, dental, and veterinary schools, as well as graduate programs in biochemistry, molecular biology and other related disciplines, and to enter careers in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

Engaged Learning in the Classroom

Classes commonly use field trips, group discussions, presentations, case studies, and instructional technology to extend your learning beyond the textbook.

With labs and experimental components, you’ll engage in guided inquiry experiments, active learning, computational exercises, collaborative learning and problem solving, and team-based projects.

Course Information

The core courses in the BMB program are: Biological Essentials, Genetics, Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Principles of Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry for the Biological Sciences, Calculus and Physics. Beyond the core, you can customize from a variety of courses and gain a broader perspective or develop in-depth knowledge of a specific interest.

See a sampling of science and math course descriptions below  

Departmental Clubs & Organizations:

As a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major, you’re eligible for membership in several societies and honorary organizations sponsored by the Biology and Chemistry Departments. Among these are:

  • Beta Beta Beta, the society for biology students affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • American Medical Student Association/Pre-Professional Society, a chapter of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA).
  • The American Chemical Society
  • Gamma Sigma Epsilon, national chemistry honor society

Internship Sites

In addition to shadowing and interning with numerous doctors, dentists, veterinarians, physical therapists, and other medical professionals, in hospitals, clinics and private practice, our students have gained experience at sites such as:

  • Center for Cancer Care and Research
  • Florida Chemicals
  • Polk County Medical Examiner
  • Polk County Health Department

Graduate & Professional Opportunities

You’ll be prepared for positions in the pharmaceutical and biotechnologies industries. But you’ll also be ready to continue your education in professional schools, such as medical, dental and veterinary schools or graduate programs in biochemistry, molecular biology, and related disciplines.

Start the Conversation
and Contact…

Dr. An-Phong Le
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
863.680.4132
ale@flsouthern.edu

Dr. Brittany Gasper
Assistant Professor of Biology
863.680.4998
bgasper@flsouthern.edu

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Cheryl Lodwick ’07

talks about her FSC experience preparing for medical school.


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Explore Science at Florida Southern

Education and experiences that prepare students for the real world.


 

Program Requirements

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Major Requirements

A. General Education Requirements 40 hours
B. Major Requirements 70 hours
BIO 1500 Biological Essentials
CHE 1111 Principles of Chemistry I
CHE 1112 Principles of Chemistry II
CHE 2221 Organic Chemistry I
CHE 2222 Organic Chemistry II
CHE 3340 Physical Chemistry for the Biological Sciences
BIO/CHE 3362 Biochemistry: Molecular Biology
BIO/CHE 3371 Biochemistry: Structure and Function
BIO/CHE 3372 Biochemistry: Metabolism
BIO/CHE 3373 Biochemistry: Structure and Function Laboratory
BIO 3700 Genetics
BIO 3800 Cell Biology
BIO 4561 Research: Molecular Biology
or  
BIO 4562 Research: Molecular Biology
or  
HON 4955 Honors Senior Thesis
or  
HON 4956 Honors Senior Thesis
or  
CHE 4410 Introduction to Research Methods and
CHE 4999 Senior Research in Chemistry
MAT 2311 Calculus I with Plane Analytic Geometry
PHY 2110 General Physics I (Calculus based)
PHY 2120 General Physics II (Calculus Based)

A minimum of eleven hours selected from the courses below (no more than 8 hours coming from the same prefix, e.g. CHE or BIO):

BIO 2230 General Zoology
or  
BIO 2235 General Botany
BIO 3215 Advanced Human Anatomy and Physiology I
BIO 3216 Advanced Human Anatomy and Physiology II
BIO 3400 Microbiology
BIO 3720 Techniques in Nucleic Acid Research
BIO 3725 Techniques in Cloning
BIO 3750 Techniques in Tissue Culture
BIO 3770 Bioinformatics
BIO 4150 Plant Physiology
BIO 4160 Developmental Biology
BIO 4330 Techniques in Protein Purification
BIO 4350 Techniques in Cell Signaling
BIO 4960 Biology Internship
or  
BIO 4961 Biology Internship
CHE 2335 Analytical Chemistry
CHE 2355 Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry
CHE 3320 Applied Synthesis and Characterization
CHE 3335 Instrumental Analysis
CHE 3341 Physical Chemistry I
CHE 3342 Physical Chemistry II
CHE 4425 Special Topics in Chemistry
CHE 4455 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
CHE 4960 Internship in Chemistry
C. Bachelor of Science Degree Requirements 12 hours
D. Electives 4 hours
E. Total 124 hours

For a complete listing of requirements, please refer to the
Academic Catalog  

Special Requirements: Due to the similarities in the programs, students majoring in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology are not allowed to double major in Biology, Biotechnology, Environmental Studies or Marine Biology and are not allowed to minor in Environmental Studies.

 

Course Descriptions

Biology

BIO 1500 BIOLOGICAL ESSENTIALS
Four hours. The first in a three-course sequence required for biology majors. A rigorous introduction to the principles that lay the foundations for the biological sciences. Examines the relationships between metabolism, genetics, cell biology, and evolution. Students learn the mechanics and style of scientific reporting on laboratory exercises in cell and molecular biology utilizing techniques such as spectrophotometry and electophoresis. Gen Ed: NW

BIO 3216 ADVANCED HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY II
Four hours. Prerequisite: BIO 3215. No credit awarded if student has completed BIO 2209 or BIO 2210 or BIO 2215 or BIO 2216 or BIO 4408. The second semester of anatomy and physiology will investigate the structure and function of the major organ systems of the human body with emphasis on pathology and pharmacology. Systems covered will include endocrine system, respiratory system, cardiovascular system, renal system, reproductive system, immune system, and lymphatic system.

BIO/CHE 3362 BIOCHEMISTRY: MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Four hours. Same as CHE 3362. Prerequisite: BIO 1500 and CHE 2222. Students will consider important topics in molecular genetics, including structure, function and manipulation of DNA, and selected topics in metabolism and signaling.

BIO/CHE 3371 BIOCHEMISTRY: STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION
Four hours. Same as CHE 3371. Prerequisite: CHE 2222. Suggested pre-requisite BIO 1500. Biochemistry is the study of the molecules and chemical reactions of living systems. Topics covered include water, structure and function of proteins and carbohydrates, enzyme kinetics and regulation, and bioenergetics.

BIO/CHE 3372 BIOCHEMISTRY: METABOLISM
Four hours. Same as CHE 3372. Prerequisite: CHE/BIO 3371. Metabolism is the study of biochemical energetics and biochemical pathways of living systems. Topics covered include the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids along with the integrated nature of metabolism.

BIO/CHE 3373 BIOCHEMISTRY: STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION LABORATORY
One hour. Same as CHE 3373. Pre-requisite or Co-requisite: CHE 3371. Biochemistry is the study of the molecules and chemical reactions of living systems. The laboratory provides a hands-on opportunity to study macromolecules and to learn the fundamental experimental techniques of biochemistry including electrophoresis, chromatography, spectroscopy and principles of enzymatic assays.

BIO 3700 GENETICS
Four hours. No credit will be awarded if student has completed BIO 1900. This course helps students explore the principles of heredity as applied to all living organisms, the use of genetics to investigate evolution, and the application of genetics to the topics of immunology, cancer, and development.

BIO 3720 TECHNIQUES IN NUCLEIC ACID RESEARCH
Two hours. Prerequisites: BIO2320 or BIO2280 or BIO3400. Techniques in DNA isolation and analysis, including purification, quantitation, PCR, RFLP, agarose gel electrophoresis and Southern blotting. Appropriate database analysis of DNA sequences.

BIO 3725 TECHNIQUES IN CLONING
Two hours. Prerequisite: BIO3720. Techniques in cloning DNA in prokaryotes, including use of plasmids, restriction digests, ligation, and transformation.

BIO 3750 TECHNIQUES IN TISSUE CULTURE
Two hours. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. The theory and practice of animal tissue culture. Students will develop laboratory skills in culturing cells, as well as microscopic observation, biochemical and cytological analysis of cultured cells. (Special course fee is required - $50)

BIO 3770 BIOINFORMATICS
Two hours. Prerequisite: BIO 3400 or BIO 3700; MAT 2032. Techniques requiring the use of molecular biology databases, including DNA and protein sequence analysis, multiple sequence alignments, 3-D protein structure modeling and prediction, phylogenetic tree building, and RNA sequence analysis.

BIO 3800 CELL BIOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisites: BIO 1500 and CHE 2221. Structure and functions of the cell as the basic unit of life, with emphasis on those features common to all living cells.

BIO 4160 DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisite: BIO 3362 or BIO 3700, or BIO 3800, or permission of the instructor. A study of the developmental processes of invertebrate and vertebrate animals.

BIO 4330 TECHNIQUES IN PROTEIN PURIFICATION
Two hours. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Techniques in protein purification, including protein expression in prokaryotes, column chromatography, acrylamide gel electrophoresis, and western blotting.

BIO 4350 TECHNIQUES IN CELL SIGNALING
Two hours. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Students will investigate signal transduction pathways and molecules and how they relate to normal cellular function and disease. (Special course fee is required - $50)

BIO 4551, 4552 RESEARCH: MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisite: any 3000 level BIO course, junior or senior standing, permission of the instructor, and successful completion of coursework that satisfies Effective Communication SLOs A and B. Students will learn basic techniques in molecular biology research, and design and carry out research in molecular biology. Research projects can be carried over into a second semester. Gen Ed: EC-C

BIO 4960, 4961 BIOLOGY INTERNSHIP
One to eight hours (eight hours maximum). Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing; permission of and consultation with a full time faculty member the semester prior to the internship; minimum 3.0 grade point average. Correlating theory and practice in at least one operational setting; supervision by cooperating professionals and faculty.

For more BIO courses, see Biology  

Chemistry

CHE 1111 PRINCIPLES OF CHEMISTRY I
Four hours. Prerequisite: High school chemistry, CHE 1000 or CHE 1011. Quantitative treatment of the principles of chemistry including stoichiometry, states of matter, energy, atomic structure, periodicity, ionic compounds, and molecular structure. Gen Ed: NW

CHE 1112 PRINCIPLES OF CHEMISTRY II
Four hours. Prerequisite: CHE 1111. The topics covered in this course will include: intermolecular forces, kinetics, equilibrium, acid, bases, buffers, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, nuclear chemistry, and introduction to basic organic chemistry.

CHE 2221 ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I
Four hours. Prerequisite: CHE 1112. Detailed study of carbon compounds approached through the study of structure, functional groups, reactions, and mechanisms. In the laboratory, emphasis is placed upon illustrating chemical reactivity through experimentation and molecular characterization utilizing state-of-the-art instrumentation.

CHE 2222 ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II
Four hours. Prerequisite: CHE 2221. Continuation of the study of carbon compounds approached through the study of structure, functional groups, reactions, and mechanisms. In the laboratory, emphasis is placed upon synthesis illustrating chemical reactivity and molecular characterization utilizing state-of-the-art instrumentation.

CHE 2255 DESCRIPTIVE INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Two hours. Prerequisite: CHE 1112. Fundamental topics in inorganic chemistry will be explored, among them: atomic theory and periodicity, the structure of simple solids, main group elements, and structure and bonding of coordination compounds. The laboratory component of the course will give students experience with various laboratory techniques used in the synthesis and characterization of inorganic compounds.

CHE 2335 ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY
Four hours. Prerequisite: CHE 2221. CHE 1112. Principles of analytical chemistry will be covered with an emphasis on quantitative measurements and statistical data analysis. Topics may include gravimetric analysis, volumetric, and potentiometric methods of analysis as well as spectroscopic measurements and analytical separations with a focus on equilibrium systems.

CHE 3320 APPLIED SYNTHESIS AND CHARACTERIZATION
Three hours. Prerequisite: CHE 2222 and CHE 2335. This course will explore advanced synthetic methods in organic and inorganic chemistry, multistep syntheses requiring separations and purification, and characterization of products using advanced spectroscopic techniques. Students will also develop skills in utilizing the scientific literature by developing a literature review for a current research topic.

CHE 3335 INSTRUMENTAL ANALYSIS
Three hours. Prerequisite: CHE 2235. The objective of this course is to apply the principles of quantitative chemical analysis to instrumental techniques. Electrochemical, chromatographic, and spectroscopic techniques will be covered in theory and in practice through a combination of lecture and hands-on experimentation.

CHE 3340 PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY FOR THE BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Four hours. Prerequisite: CHE 2221 and MAT2311. Foundational concepts of physical chemistry, including equilibrium thermodynamics, kinetics, molecular structure, and spectroscopy, as they apply to biochemical systems and macromolecules.

CHE 3341 PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY I
Four hours. Prerequisites: CHE 2222 and PHY 2120 and MAT 2312 and successful completion of coursework that satisfies Effective Communication SLOs A and B. The topics covered in this class include foundations of quantum mechanics, atomic and molecular structure and the chemical bond, atomic and molecular spectroscopy. Gen Ed: EC-C

CHE 3342 PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY II
Three hours. Prerequisite: CHE 3341. The topics covered in this class include properties of gases, statistical mechanics and thermodynamics, phase and chemical equilibria, solutions, kinetics and reaction dynamics.

For more CHE courses, see Chemistry  

Math & Physics

MAT 2311 CALCULUS I WITH PLANE ANALYTIC GEOMETRY
Four hours. The study of differentiation and integration of algebraic and transcendental functions. Applications of differentiation, Mean Value Theorem, maximum/minimum, problems and The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Topics in plane analytic geometry. Use of computer algebra system (CAS) required. Gen Ed: Qn

PHY 2051 GENERAL PHYSICS LAB I
Zero hours. Prerequisite: PHY 2010 or PHY 2110. Experimental Topics include kinematics, forces, collisions, rotational motion and wave motion. Activities include problem solving and collaborative laboratory experimentation.

PHY 2052 GENERAL PHYSICS LAB II
Zero hours. Prerequisite: PHY 2010 or PHY 2110. Co-requisite: PHY 2020 or PHY 2120. Experimental Topics include thermal physics, electrostatics, magneto statics, circuits and optics. Activities include problem solving and collaborative laboratory experimentation.

PHY 2110 GENERAL PHYSICS I (Calculus Based)
Four hours. Prerequisite: MAT 2311, and co-requisite PHY 2051. Calculus-based physics. Topics include introduction to Newtonian mechanics, fluids, harmonic oscillators, vibrations and sound. Activities include problem solving and collaborative laboratory experimentation. Gen Ed: NW

PHY 2120 GENERAL PHYSICS II (Calculus Based)
Four hours. Prerequisite: PHY 2110. PHY2110, co-requisite PHY 2052. Calculus-based physics. Topics include temperature and heat, kinetic theory of gases, electromagnetism, AC-DC circuits, Maxwell’s equations and optics. Activities include problem solving and collaborative laboratory experimentation.

For more MAT courses, see Mathematics