Biology at Aquinas College

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BS)

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) program is an interdisciplinary major sponsored by the Departments of Biology and Chemistry and is intended to train students to approach biological problems from both a biological and physical perspective. Students will be well prepared for entry-level positions in biomedical/biochemical research; graduate studies in biological and chemical fields; as well professional training in doctoral-level health care fields. For more information on this major click here.


  • BY170
  • BY171
  • BY328 (WI)
  • BY326
  • CS152
  • CY111
  • CY112
  • CY211
  • CY212
  • CY215
  • CY314
  • CY325
  • CY400 (SC)
  • CY401 (SC)
  • MS121
  • PC213
  • PC214
  • BMB305
  • BMB315
  • Electives: four (4) semester hours chosen from the following:
    • BY350
    • BY361
    • BY372
    • CY346 (WI)

Recommended courses:

  • MS122
  • MS231
  • MS252

At least 36 semester hours must be completed at Aquinas and a GPA of at least 2.0 must be maintained in required courses with no more than one C- in required courses.

Minimum of C required in BY170 and BY171.

All students are expected to participate in the seminar/lecture series sponsored by the Departments of Biology and Chemistry. Attendance at a minimum of eight seminars is required.

Students with this major are not permitted to have additional majors or minors in biology or chemistry.

Courses

  • BY170 Introduction to Organisms (4) NL

    This course will introduce the evolutionary processes that shape variation within populations and generate species diversity. It will examine the diversity in organismal morphology, physiology, behavior and ecology, and describe the interactions between species and their environments. The overarching goal of the course is to illustrate fundamental concepts in evolution, ecology and diversity via examples of species adaptations and interactions. An additional goal is to develop critical analytical skills through case studies, interactive lab protocols, and hands-on observations of plant and animal specimens. Three (3) hours lecture, three (3) hours lab. Offered every fall. BY170L, weekly lab.

  • BY171 Introduction to Cells (Formerly BY160 Principles of Biology) (4)

    Introduction to the structure and function of cells, including basic chemistry, metabolism, mitosis, genetics, protein synthesis, and cell regulation. Three (3) hours lecture, three (3) hours lab. Offered every semester.

  • BY328 Genetics (5) WI

    (Open to declared biology or health science majors.) Mendelian, population, and molecular genetics, with an emphasis on recent advances. Four (4) hours lecture, three (3) hours lab. Offered every spring. Prerequisites: completion of the introductory biology sequence and CY112 with minimum grades of C. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Biological Science requirement.

  • BY326 Cell Biology (4)

    (Open to declared biology or health science majors.) Study of cellular structure and function: bioenergetics, enzyme regulation, membrane dynamics, cell ultrastructure and cell signaling. Four (4) hours lecture. Prerequisites: minimum grade of C in BY171 and BY170. Junior status. Offered every fall. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Biological Science requirement.

  • CY111 General Chemistry (4) NL

    A first college course in chemistry designed primarily for science majors. Topics include atomic structure, chemical bonding, molecular structure, properties of gases, solids, and liquids, stoichiometry, and thermochemistry. Three (3) hours of lecture and one 3-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisites: CY100 or high school chemistry; math placement score of 18 or higher, co-registration in MS114, or completion of MS114 with a C or better. High school physics strongly recommended.

  • CY112 General Chemistry (4)

    A continuation of CY111. Topics include coordination chemistry, descriptive inorganic and organic chemistry, electrochemistry, equilibria, kinetics, and thermodynamics. Three (3) hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisites: CY111 and CS152 with grades of C- or better. Co-enrollment in CY112 and CS152 is allowed with approval of the chemistry department chairperson. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Physical Science requirement.

  • CY215 Quantitative Analysis (4) QR

    A first course in chemical analysis. Topics include gravimetric and volumetric methods, statistical applications, ionic equilibria, chromatography, and spectroscopy. Two (2) hours of lecture and two three-hour laboratory periods per week. Prerequisite: CY112 (or equivalent) with a grade of C– or better. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Physical Science requirement.

  • CY325 Biochemistry (4)

    A first course in biochemistry for science majors. Topics include biomolecules, enzymes and their mechanisms of action, biological energetics, nucleic acids (their structure and function), and carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism. Three (3) hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisite: CY212, with a grade of C- or better, or its equivalent. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Physical Science requirement.

  • CY400/401 Undergraduate Seminar/Research (1/2) SC

    A two-semester introduction to chemical research. The first semester will focus on development of an individual research topic, writing a proposal, and safety considerations, and may include beginning laboratory work. Chemical Abstracts and other data-retrieval systems will be used to locate information on the theory and method needed for the project. The second semester will consist of laboratory work and will conclude with a seminar and written report on the results of the project. CY400 will be offered each fall. CY401 will be offered each spring. Prerequisites: senior status and approval of department chairperson. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Physical Science requirement.

  • BMB305 Advanced Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (3)

    This course offers in-depth coverage of membrane dynamics, signal transduction, intermediate metabolism, and genetic mechanisms. Other topics may include nucleic acid synthesis, processing, expression, cellular utilization, and DNA repair mechanisms. Enzymatic mechanisms of each of these processes will be emphasized. The consequences of genetic mutations in human pathophysiology will also be discussed. Three (3) hours of lecture per week. Prerequisite: CY325

  • BMB315 Molecular Techniques (3)

    This course will introduce students to techniques that are commonly used in modern biochemistry and molecular biology research including but not limited to: western and northern blotting, protein purification, enzyme kinetics, DNA electrophoresis, DNA sequencing, reverse transcriptase- and quantitative-polymerase chain reaction, site-directed mutagenesis, nucleic acid hybridization techniques, transformation and transfection of cells, and fluorescence microscopy. One (1) hour of lecture and two three (3)-hour lab periods per week. Prerequisite: CY325

  • PC213 General Physics with Calculus: Mechanics, Sound, Heat (4)

    Four (4) hours lecture, two (2) hours lab. Prerequisite: MS121.

  • PC214 General Physics with Calculus: Electricity, Magnetism, Light, Nuclear Physics (4)

    Four (4) hours lecture, two (2) hours lab. Prerequisite: PC213.

  • MS121 Calculus I (4) MS

    Functions, limits, continuity, derivatives, antiderivatives, Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, solids of revolution. This course has five contact hours per week. Prerequisites: Three and one-half years of college-preparatory math, including trigonometry or MS114.

  • BY350 Evolution (4)

    (Open to declared Biology majors) The course will focus on developing a deeper understanding of two key concepts in biological evolution: how natural selection operates and how evolutionary lineages change and diversify. Particular emphasis will be placed on interpretation of data and development of communication skills using both scholarly and popular press literature. Proficiency with algebra will be assumed. Prerequisites: completion of the introductory biology sequence with minimum grades of C and one upper-level course in Biology. Offered every spring.

  • BY361 Immunology (4)

    Molecular, cellular and organism-level immunology in health and disease; Foundational topics include: innate immunity, lymphocyte development, B and T cell immunity, and antigen presentation. Introductions to clinical immunology include: vaccines, autoimmunity, allergies, immunodeficiency and tumor immunology. Some current tools in immunological research will be discussed. Format will include lecture, presentations by students, case studies and discussions of primary literature. Four (4) hours of lecture. Prerequisites: completion of the introductory biology sequence with minimum grades of C. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Biological Science requirement.

  • BY372 Physiology (4)

    (Open to declared biology or health science majors.) Basic physiology of human body systems; neural and neuroendocrine integration and control. Three (3) hours lecture, three (3) hours lab. Prerequisites: completion of the introductory biology sequence and CY112 with minimum grades of C. Offered every spring. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Biological Science requirement.

  • CY346 Instrumental Methods of Analysis (4) WI

    An introduction to instrumental methods both theoretical and practical. Topics include spectroscopic methods (UV/Visible, IR, Raman, AA, AE, NMR), electrochemical methods (potentiometry and voltammetry), chromatographic methods (GC and HPLC), radiomethods, and thermal methods. Two (2) hours of lecture and two three-hour laboratory periods per week. Prerequisite: CY215 with a grade of C- or better. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Physical Science requirement.