Illustration of a dna strand. Are you fascinated by the rapid discoveries in genomics, epigenomics, and the emergence of personalized medicine to fight diseases? Want to learn how to sequence genes, discover how genes interact, understand the amazing complexity of single cells, and see how molecular biology is reshaping the tree of life? Our Molecular Biology Concentration may be for you.

Please note: You should consult with an advisor to determine which courses will be most applicable to your interests and career goals.

Download the Molecular Biology Concentration checklist.

Course Catalog

A complete list of major requirements, courses, and a proposed four-year program of study for Biology majors are available in the UAB Undergraduate Catalog.

Program Requirements

All program requirements and courses are outlined in the UAB Undergraduate Catalog. The major requirements consist of courses in biology, mathematics, physics, and genetics, along with electives and a capstone project.

All students following the Molecular Biology Concentration must take:

Basic chemistry, cell structure and function, metabolism, genetics, evolution, bacteria, and protists. 3 hours.
Prerequisites: check course catalog.
The course emphasizes the transition from cell, to tissue, to organs in multicellular systems. Specific attention in the course will be paid to a survey of the various groups of plants, fungi, invertebrates and vertebrates. Strong emphasis will be placed on comparing the anatomy and physiology of the major organ systems in humans with those of other organisms. The course is designed to expand the students understanding of the process of scientific writing. 3 hours.
Prerequisites: BY 123 (minimum grade: C).
Principles and mechanisms of inheritance; structure, action, and regulation of genes; molecular genetic technology and application to human health and agriculture. Preparation for advanced courses in biology. 3 hours.
Prerequisites: BY 123 and BY 124 (minimum grade: C).
The course covers the basics of scientific investigation with an emphasis on understanding methods of the scientific process, experimental design, data interpretation and presentation, and scientific writing. Special emphasis will be placed on the use of data management and statistical packages to address the most common types of data analysis used to investigate specific applications in biology. 3 hours.
Prerequisites: BY 124 (minimum grade: C).
Microbiology with emphasis on molecular aspects of microbial cell structure, function, and diversity. Host defense mechanisms, infectious disease, and microbial ecology. Preparation for advanced courses in biology. Lecture and laboratory. 4 hours.
Prerequisites: BY 210, CH 117, and CH 118 or CH 119 (minimum grades: D).
Prokaryotic and eukaryotic gene structure and function. 3 hours.
Prerequisites: BY 210 (miniumum grade: D).
Biological molecules and metabolic processes; energetics; synthesis and regulation of macromolecules; differential gene expression; membranes and organelles; cytoskeleton; cell cycle and growth of normal and neoplastic cells. 3 hours.
Prerequisites: BY 123, BY 124, CH 235 (can be taken concurrently), and CH 234 or CH 236 (can be taken concurrently) (miniumum grades: C).
Systems biology is an inter-disciplinary study underlying complex biological processes as integrated systems of many interacting components. This course will give students a foundation in understanding complex biological interactions at the molecular, network and genomic level. This course will cover state-of-the-art high throughput established and novel approaches used in genome sequencing, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics to obtain, integrate and analyze complex data. The students will also get familiar with knowledge on experimental perturbation of genomes, gene regulatory networks, comparative genomics and evolution, basic bioinformatics. This course will be a combination of text based lectures and discussions of the current literature relevant to Functional Genomics and Systems Biology. 3 hours.
Prerequisites: BY 210 (miniumum grade: C).
Limit of a function; continuity, derivatives of algebraic, trigonometric exponential, and logarithmic functions, application of derivative to extremal problems, related rates problems, and graphing; Newton's method; the definite integral and its application to area problems. 3 hours.
Prerequisites: check course catalog.
Stoichiometry, quantum theory, atomic structure, chemical bonding, acids-bases, colligative properties and periodicity. Laboratory emphasizes quantitative analysis. Writing assignments structured to build on scientific reasoning. 3 hours.
Prerequisites: check course catalog.
Emphasizes development of laboratory skills and quantitative analyses related to CH 115. Writing assignments structured to build on scientific reasoning. 1 hour.
Prerequisites: Enrollment in CH 114 requires the permission of the instructor or enrollment in Honors College or Chemistry Scholars program.
Solutions, chemical kinetics, chemical thermodynamics, chemical equilibrium and special topics (organic, biochemistry, descriptive chemistry). Writing assignments structured to build on scientific reasoning. 3 hours.
Prerequisites: CH 115 (minimum grade: C).
Emphasizes development of laboratory skills and quantitative analyses related to CH 117. Writing assignments structured to build on scientific reasoning. 1 hour.
Prerequisites: Enrollment in CH 119 requires the permission of the instructor.
Structure, nomenclature, properties, and reactivity of compounds with various organic functional groups: alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, alkyl halides and alcohols. Emphasis on the mechanisms of organic reactions and problem solving. 3 hours.
Prerequisites: CH 117 (miniumum grade: C).
CH 236: Techniques of organic chemistry. Synthesis, purification, and characterization of organic compounds. 1 hour.
Prerequisites: CH 117 and CH 118 or CH 119 (minimum grade: C).
CH 234: Emphasis placed on development of techniques used in organic research laboratories and scientific writing.
Prerequisites: CH 235 (miniumum grade: C). Permission of instructor or enrollment in Honors College or Chemistry Scholars program required.
Reactions of aromatic compounds and carbonyl containing functional groups: aldehydes, ketones, acids, esters and amides. Molecules of biological interest, such as proteins and carbohydrates. 3 hours.
Prerequisites: CH 235 (miniumum grade: C).
Synthesis, purification, and characterization of organic compounds using instrumental analysis and identification of unknowns. Concurrent enrollment or prior completion of CH 237 strongly recommended. 3 hours.
Prerequisites: CH 235 and CH 234/CH 236 (miniumum grade: C). Enrollment in CH 119 requires the permission of the instructor.

Students must chose three of the following molecular biology electives:
  • BY 416: Cellular Physiology
  • BY 431: Principles of DNA Technology
  • BY 433: Advanced Molecular Genetics
  • BY 440: Immunology

In addition, students will need to take either College Physics I and II or General Physics I and II, and 40 hours of Biology electives (including BY 123 and BY 124). Students must participate in a capstone experience.

Ready to Apply?

All the information you need to apply can be found on UAB's Undergraduate Admissions Hub.