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As an interdisciplinary program, the molecular biology program at Muskingum University is administered by faculty from the biology and chemistry departments. It is designed to provide students with a wealth of information about biological processes at the genetic and molecular levels through an integration of theory, application, and hands-on experiences in fundamental molecular techniques.

Student Opportunities


Most Molecular Biology majors apply for NSF-sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates, as well as for other research internships at various universities around the country. All of these internships involve original research into a biochemical problem and use molecular biological techniques. Some examples of universities where students have worked in the past couple of years include:

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Baylor University
  • Case Western Reserve University


All students who major in molecular biology must complete a capstone research requirement. The projects can be research ideas that the students themselves have proposed, or they can work on a research project proposed by the faculty members in the department. Opportunities also exist for joint research projects that involve other programs such as biology, chemistry, and environmental science.

Some examples of research projects conducted by students within the program in the past two years are the following:

  • "Determination of the Relationship Between Gram Negative Bacterial Populations and Macronutrient Concentration of Reclaimed Mining Sites"
  • "Genotypic and Phenotypic Analysis of Chryseomonas luteola and Flavimonas oryzihabitans"
  • "Micronutrient and Toxicity Determination and Genotypic Fingerprint of Gram Positive Bacteria Population on Reclaimed Strip Mined Soil from Ohio"


A group of students in the Molecular Biology program (along with other interested students) have recently founded the Molecular Biology Club. This group is interested in holding monthly seminars to discuss readings on new developments in Genetic Engineering, bringing speakers to campus, and having field trips to universities to explore research and graduate school opportunities.


Molecular Biology students have the opportunity to gain valuable experience through working for the stockrooms in the Biology and Chemistry Departments.  Some of the duties includes preparation of reagents, setting up lab equipment, and basic maintenance of instrumentation.

Professional Activities

Students periodically accompany faculty to regional and national professional meetings to present their research in the form of posters or papers. 

After Graduation

Career Possibilities for
Molecular Biology Majors:

  • Biotechnology Industry
  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Forensics Research/Crime Lab work
  • Archeology
  • Biomedical Research
  • Agricultural Research
  • Environmental Science Research
  • Medicine

Recent Molecular Biology graduates have enrolled in the following:

Graduate Schools

  • Case Western Reserve University
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • Yale University

Professional Schools (Including Medical, Dental, and Veterinary)

  • The Ohio State University
  • Ohio University
  • West Virginia University
  • Case Western Reserve University

In His Own Words

The following letter is from Muskingum alumna Jeremy Whitson ('13), who double-majored in Biology and Molecular Biology at Muskingum:

"I enrolled at Muskingum University in the fall of 2009. Throughout high school I had been interested in the sciences; primarily biology. In touring Muskingum and meeting its faculty, it became apparent to me that the science curriculum at Muskingum was very strong and that there would be great opportunities for me there. I especially liked that the school worked with the nearby Wilds so I started out as a double major in Biology and Conservation Science. The summer after my first year I did a Summer Muskie Fellowship with Danny Ingold to help work on a research project at The Wilds studying the sustainability of reclaimed surface mines as habitats for grassland nesting birds. The experience was great and I was very glad to be able to do research so early in my college career.

The next semester I took Genetics and Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology as they were both requirements for the Biology major. Instantly, I was hooked. I realized that, while I enjoyed Conservation Science, knowing the nitty-gritty details of cells is what truly fascinated me. I changed my program to a Biology and Molecular Biology double major with a Chemistry minor. Although this sounds like a lot, so many courses overlapped that it was very manageable and I was able to graduate on time with little issue. This curriculum did a great job to prepare me for the future and professors I meet are still impressed at the wide array of courses I have taken and the knowledge I had right after graduation.

Having a great background of courses and previous research experience helped me to get an internship at the Ohio State University Veterinary Bioscience School the summer between my Junior and Senior years. At OSU I worked on a project to generate antibodies against a membrane-bound manganese transporter that was important to the survival and virulence of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. The labs that I had taken for my classes did a good job of preparing me for the techniques I had to perform, such as PCR and Western blotting. I learned a lot from this project and presented my data as my senior research.

I chose to apply to PhD training programs at OSU and Case Western Reserve University following graduation. Thanks to my research experience and broad curriculum, I was readily accepted into both and chose to enroll at CWRU. I am now working on completing my first year of graduate school in the department of Pathology at CWRU where I manage my time between courses and working in the lab of Vincent Monnier where I study the antioxidant defense system of the eye lens.

I can describe my experience at Muskingum University as overwhelmingly positive and I am glad I made the choice I did. My experiences at Muskingum lead to me getting into a great graduate program and setting me on the path to my PhD.


MBIOLMission Statement

Courses; Major/Minor Requirements


Dept. Web Site

Science Division Web Site

List of All Majors



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