Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Join an undergraduate science program that offers the research and real-world learning opportunities of a large university, with the personal mentorship and one-to-one interaction of a small, private liberal arts college.

Explore areas which are at the interface of biology and chemistry in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology bachelor's degree program at Wells College. At Wells, you'll have opportunities to conduct and present your own research, and pursue hands-on learning experiences based on your interests and career goals. You'll also get to work closely with top science professors who will challenge you to expand your horizons and support you as you apply what you have learned to new situations. The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major leads to a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree and is also offered as a minor.

student holding beakers
professor bailey and students in laboratory
students on Stratton Hall sidewalk
students in laboratory

A Look Inside the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Bachelor’s Degree Program at Wells

As a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major, you’ll specialize in courses in genetics, ecology, or anatomy and physiology, as well as molecular and cellular biology and ecological and behavioral biology. This strong foundation in biology is complemented by related courses in mathematics and chemistry. 

Research is a major part of our undergraduate program. Students travel each year to present their work at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research or the Rochester Academy of Sciences. Some even remain on campus over the summer to engage in research with their professors. We offer paid research opportunities, internships, and other experiences you can pursue in the New York region, across the United States, and around the world, as well as opportunities through the Wells College Center for Sustainability and the Environment.

Our partnership with the Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom Project: the U.S.S. Haendel "Floating Classroom" docks at the Wells boathouse so that students in biology, ecology, environmental science, and other classes can spend time on the water doing hands-on marine biology work. In addition, the weekly Science Colloquium Series brings renowned guest speakers to our Aurora, New York, campus to present their cutting-edge work in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and other sciences.

Your laboratory experiences, designed to be based on real-world practices and challenges, will be guided by your interests and career objectives. You’ll also get to choose and plan your Senior Capstone Project, with the guidance of professors who will help you to design a project that will complement your career goals.

What You’ll Learn as a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Major

  • A broad background in the physical and life sciences, including biology at a molecular level and the chemical processes in living organisms
  • How to conduct laboratory research, present your ideas, and collaborate with other scientists
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills you can apply to a variety of challenges and careers

Beyond the Classroom: Experiential Learning in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Bachelor’s Degree Program

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program has a strong laboratory and research focus designed to prepare you for real-world challenges. When you earn your bachelor’s degree, you’ll enter the job market with valuable experiences working with other scientists and presenting your work to different audiences. Read on to learn more about internship and study abroad opportunities you’ll find when you major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Wells College.

Internship and Study Abroad Opportunities

Follow your interests wherever they lead. These are just a few of the places where Wells Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and other science majors recently held internships: 

  • National Cancer Institute, Genetics Branch, Bethesda, Maryland
  • Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Suitland, Maryland
  • U.C.L.A. Medical Center (neurosurgery), Los Angeles, California
  • Cornell University Large Animal Clinic, Ithaca, New York
  • Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, Florida
  • Syracuse University Department of Chemistry, Syracuse, New York
  • Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, New York
  • Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, Aurora, New York

We also offer a variety of options to take your Biochemistry and Molecular Biology studies overseas. Learn more about study abroad programs at Wells.

Related Science Programs

Considering a major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology? You might also be interested in learning about these related science programs: 

Career Options for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Majors

Biochemists and molecular biologists work on the cutting-edge of science, in diverse career areas such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, agricultural research, and chemical industries. Our undergraduate science program graduates have gone on to find jobs as laboratory technicians, dietitians, pharmacists, veterinarians, marine biologists, research associates, and genetics counselors, just to name a few. Others have gone on to graduate programs at top schools such as Cornell University, Harvard Medical School, Georgetown University, the University of Tennessee, Stony Brook University, and SUNY Binghamton and Buffalo. 

Current Research in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Bachelor’s Degree Program

Over the summer of 2016, Professor of Chemistry Chris Bailey worked with two Wells College students on a Bioinorganic research project, funded by Wells College. His research interests are in the field of bioinorganic chemistry, which is the study of how transition metal ions are used in biological systems.

Kristy Blake-Hodek, Assistant Professor of Biology, and Deborah Gagnon, Professor of Psychology, presented "Rural Health Immersion @ Wells College" at the Biannual Meeting of the National Association of Academic Advisors in the Health Professions. The presentation discussed an annual program allowing Wells students to shadow and interview medical professionals in a rural setting.

Apply Now to Pursue Your Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Take the first step toward earning your bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Wells College. Apply now.

Request More Information

Ready to learn more about Wells College and our Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Bachelor of Arts program? Request more information. 

"The resources and freedom to problem-solve as a team made available to me were very different from classroom lab instruction; this internship gave me an accurate idea of what obtaining a Ph.D. in microbiology is truly like."

Maia Baskerville ’17
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major
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Program Faculty
Christopher Bailey
Professor of Chemistry
Lindsay Burwell
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Science, Wells, and You

The National Science Foundation funds Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU). Completing a summer REU will look great on your resume as you apply for further education or research-related jobs after earning your bachelor’s degree at Wells—not to mention the important personal experience and memories you'll gain. Although competitive, many Wells science majors have been awarded an REU to conduct primary research at another institution over the summer.

Wells sends students each year to the National Council on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), a national interdisciplinary academic conference that recognizes some of the top research and creative work by undergraduates. Wells science students are consistently among those chosen by our own faculty and the NCUR committee for participation. Our faculty also takes students to the Sigma Xi conference, a student-focused conference for scientific and medical research, and the Senior Capstone class also attends the regional Rochester Academy of Sciences meeting. These give students experience and skills attending and presenting at scientific research conferences.

Some individual student research projects from the last few years that have been presented at NCUR examined:

  • the effects of caffeine on embryonic cardiovascular development
  • the ability of different strains of yeast to slow the growth of spoilage organisms in beer
  • the effects of ethanol on the circadian rhythms of fruit flies
  • maps of phosphatases in order to find ways to prevent damaged cell proliferation

Our mission is for every student to think critically, reason wisely and act humanely as they cultivate meaningful lives. On our beautiful lakeside campus, students gain the knowledge, skills and experience to create their own unique path.

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