2022-23 Pomona College Catalog 
    May 21, 2024  
2022-23 Pomona College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG] Use the dropdown above to select the current 2023-24 catalog.

Molecular Biology Major

Requirements for the Major in Molecular Biology

All courses for the Molecular Biology Major must be taken for a letter grade.

  1. Introductory courses: BIOL 040 PO , BIOL 041C PO ; CHEM 001A PO , CHEM 001B PO  or CHEM 051 PO ; CHEM 110A PO , CHEM 110B PO ; PHYS 041 PO .
  2. MATH 030 PO , MATH 031 PO . Students with AP Calculus AB credit must complete MATH 031 PO ; students with AP Calculus BC credit must complete MATH 032S PO  or MATH 058B PO  or higher (Introduction to Biostatistics is not recommended for students who have taken AP statistics). MATH 032S PO  or MATH 058B PO  are strongly recommended.
  3. Upper-division courses: One of the following three biology upper division courses: BIOL 163 PO  ,  BIOL 169 PO  , or BIOL 166 PO  (a second course from this list may be taken to fulfill the elective requirement - see below), CHEM 115 PO  (or CHEM 182 HM  and CHEM 184 HM  taken together), CHEM 156 PO , MOBI 188 PO  and the senior thesis (MOBI194A PO - Experimental Senior Thesis (1st semester) , MOBI194B PO - Experimental Senior Thesis (2nd semester)  or MOBI191A PO - Senior Library Thesis - Research Grant Proposal (1st semester) , MOBI191B PO - Senior Library Thesis - Research Grant Proposal (2nd semester) ).
  4. One full-credit biology, chemistry, molecular biology or neuroscience elective course from the list below. Two approved half-credit elective courses may also be used to satisfy this requirement.

Students with an interest in molecular approaches to the study of ecology and evolution should consider taking BIOL 041E PO  and additional elective courses. Elective courses, other than those listed below, in biology, chemistry, physics or mathematics, may be approved by the coordinator as an appropriate elective, depending upon the interests of the student. Students with an interest in molecular neuroscience should take NEUR 101A PO  and consider additional neuroscience elective courses, such as those listed below. 

Molecular biology majors may not enroll in any required course away from Pomona College (except CHEM 182 HM  and CHEM 184 HM  when taken together) without the written permission of the coordinator, who must pre-approve a non-Pomona course as equivalent to a Pomona course.

It is recommended that molecular biology majors complete one of three upper-division courses (BIOL 163 PO , BIOL 169 PO , or BIOL 166 PO ), MOBI 188 PO  and CHEM 115 PO  by the end of the junior year. With prior written permission from the program coordinator, one upper-division molecular biology course taken in a Pomona approved study abroad program may be applied to major requirements.

Students who will be applying to graduate or professional schools or will be seeking employment in applied or basic research laboratories are strongly encouraged to take additional elective courses and to participate in a summer research program.