Interdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary Studies

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers a student with a strong interest in biochemistry, molecular cell biology, molecular biology, biotechnology, molecular genetics, structural biology, metabolism, or physical biochemistry, an Interdisciplinary Major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. This Interdisciplinary Major, under the auspices of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, gives you an opportunity to design an in-depth program in modern biochemistry and allied areas that is not otherwise available. Although the degree is offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Department is a part of the College of Medicine. The program requires your participation in basic research; this is the best means to learn modern biochemical approaches and laboratory techniques. The program is intended for students who will pursue an advanced degree in one of the life sciences or whose career goals are leading to medical school, veterinarian school, or dental school. It is especially suitable for students with a strong interest in biochemical or biomedical research. It is also appropriate for those students who may be interested in research but do not anticipate seeking a higher degree at this time. You should be aware that this program is at least as challenging as most other science majors.

An interested student should take during his or her first two years the same fundamental courses leading to majors in the other biological sciences. We require two semesters of general chemistry (core chemistry), two semesters of organic chemistry, two semesters of calculus, two semesters of general physics (with or without calculus, but we strongly urge the former), and two semesters of biology (core biology). Small deficits can be remedied early in the junior year. These are the same courses required by medical schools and dental schools.

A student interested in this program is urged to make an appointment with the Program Director in Biochemistry as soon as possible in his or her sophomore year or early in their junior year. The Program Director for this program is Professor Mary Koroly, whose address and telephone number are listed at the end of this description.

The strong research orientation of this program will require a major time commitment for laboratory research from each student. This research experience is a major attraction of the program and a valuable part of a student's education. Some students have a strong desire to participate in research as part of their career while others can use this experience to aid in deciding the merits of a career in biochemical research.

The minimum requirements for this Interdisciplinary Major are included below:

While the average student is expected to enter this program early in the junior year, it is possible to enter as late as two semesters before graduation if some of the core courses have been completed earlier. However, due to the complexity of research in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, it is strongly recommended that students apply during their junior year.

Please note that your research advisor will have the ultimate responsibility for monitoring the student's progress in class and in the laboratory.

You should also be aware of parallel opportunities involving research in biochemistry, molecular biology, molecular cell biology or biotechnology. A true individual IDS major can sometimes be developed to meet the special needs of a student. Such a program can still be administered within the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department but will have a different title. Examples might be Visual Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Biophysics and Plant Biochemistry. Other IDS Programs are available at the Health Center: Neuroscience, Cell Biology, and Microbial Genetics. Again, the IDS committee must approve. Another option is also available: several departments allow their majors to gain credit for senior research through the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Students in the program may be eligible for Honors, High Honors, or Highest Honors. Students with a couple of semesters of experience in a laboratory may be eligible for a scholarship from a national agency or university the summer after graduation.

Mary Jo Koroly, Ph.D.
Research Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
College of Medicine
Director, Center for Precollegiate Education and Training
Academic Affairs
PO Box 112010
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611
Phone (352) 392-7685

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College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

2014 Turlington Hall
P.O Box 117300
Gainesville FL 32611
P: 352.392.0780
F: 352.392.3584