Molecular BiologyMolecular Biology
There may be few subcultures of folks on Earth more detail-minded than molecular biologists. We’re talking the details of details here; we’re talking macromolecules. A major in molecular biology explores the cellular and sub-cellular levels of organisms, how these levels are structured, and how they function. You’ll learn how molecules operate and some of the chemical changes they encounter. Genetics is covered too—how it has shaped and continues to shape us and how molecules control our life processes. Regulation of cell growth, mechanisms of enzyme action, and DNA-protein interaction are all of interest. There’s a whole molecular world out there and molecular biologists are bent on understanding it and using it for the forces of good. You’ll learn how organisms fight diseases and how they react to the environment. And after examining a host of scientific theories and questions, you’ll be ready to apply your molecular know-how to fields such as biotechnology, genetics, cell biology, and physiology. Your work in the classroom will be supplemented by extensive laboratory work, so you’ll get experience in designing and executing experiments and interpreting the data obtained from them. Your course work, though heavily weighted toward biology, will also consist of courses in chemistry, physics, and math. In addition to the fields mentioned above, a molecular biology major might lead you into the realm of biomedical research, medicine, or even something like technology law or technology business analysis. Your understanding of molecular structures and molecular skills will be a strong foundation for any of these paths. That’s because you’ll take away a wealth of knowledge and way of thinking that will enable you to examine, question, respond, and communicate intelligently in the world of biology and all it entails.
Your best preparation for a major in molecular biology is a wide range of courses in math, science, and the humanities. Upper-level math and science classes like calculus and biology or chemistry with lab components will be most valuable—the more you can learn about these fields before college, the better head start you’ll have. And biologists must be good communicators, so strengthen your writing, reading, and speaking skills with English, history, and a foreign language.