Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology

Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology

Are you eager to be on the cutting edge of scientific and medical fields? Do you appreciate an interdisciplinary approach to your studies? Look into this rapidly expanding and exciting major.


The biochemistry, cell and molecular biology (BCMB) major is an interdisciplinary course of study with the Biology and Chemistry Departments. BCMB at Scranton includes the cutting edge topics of genomics (study of an organism’s entire genetic make-up), proteomics (study of the structure and functions of proteins) and bioinformatics (using technology to store and evaluate biological data).

Graduates with the BCMB major are prepared for advanced study, including medical school and research-based Ph.D. programs, or for biotechnical careers in the pharmaceutical, health or agricultural industries. 

Why Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology is in Demand:

  • Interdisciplinary studies will help you stand out in the pre-medical applicant pool, and in the competitive job market or graduate school admissions process
  • Science technologies are among the top college majors most in demand according to
  • Job market projections include high demand for science and engineering jobs in the future.

Is it for me?

Are you:

  • Interested in a major that will prepare you for a career in medicine?
  • Interested in molecular life sciences?
  • Motivated to be a research scientist?

Five Reasons to Choose Scranton for Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology

Interdisciplinary approach.   This major pools the knowledge and expertise of dedicated faculty from two well-established departments to explore an innovative new field. The approach teaches students to think across disciplines in their work.
Individual attention.   Students work very closely with faculty, especially in labs and research projects. Dedicated faculty and staff members see each student as a unique individual and are dedicated to his/her success, both academically and personally.
Career discovery.    Students have many options within the BCMB program. Faculty members provide practical experiences to help students discern what is right for their appropriate career choice.
A cutting-edge curriculum.    The high-level courses offered in this program are rarely seen in liberal arts undergraduate programs. Upon graduation, students can demonstrate a distinctive advantage in experience and knowledge of specialized fields.
Jesuit education.   The values of academic excellence, a broad education, and both action and reflection are key to success in this discipline. Scranton keeps these Ignatian values at the forefront.
  • Preparing You For Personal & Professional Successplus or minus

    You'll learn how to:

    • Position yourself to be a competitive applicant for medical or graduate schools
    • Seek, understand and communicate emerging information in this quickly evolving field
    • Think and learn across disciplines
    • Organize and analyze biological data
    • Work effectively in groups
    • Pursue your vision and think independently


    Internships for biochemistry, cell and molecular biology are different than the typical undergraduate internship experiences. Students generally complete them during the summer with positions that last eight to ten weeks. Students work on research at Ph.D. granting institutions with highly respected programs. 

    BCMB students have interned in projects related to their major at Princeton University, Cornell University and the Rockefeller University, to name a few.

    The mix of individually mentored research and classroom-based discussion and learning in BCMB helped form the basis of scientific knowledge that I rely upon every day in medical school.

    Alex Zygmunt, Class of 2012

  • What You'll Learnplus or minus


    Students take required courses and electives offered through the biology and chemistry departments, plus specific courses designed for the biochemistry, cell and molecular biology major.

    Two seminar courses are required and are preferably scheduled for a student’s first and second year. In these small, discussion-oriented classes, students give oral presentations on research findings from primary scientific literature. Students are grouped as a cohort with others enrolled in the BCMB program.

    Click here to see the curriculum.


    Significant student research is a vital component of a biochemistry, cell and molecular biology degree. While research is not required, even students who will not be professional researchers benefit from the inquiry and methods learned and practiced through research.

    All student research is conducted along with a faculty member. Seminar courses introduce students to various professors and their areas of specialization, sparking ideas for meaningful projects.


    What sets BCMB apart is that every course incorporates innovative concepts and techniques that build upon the traditional biological sciences. The science is new; you're learning about biochemical and molecular processes that scientists a decade ago didn't know existed.

    Kathleen Lavelle, Class of 2012

  • Pursue Your Passion and Make a Differenceplus or minus

    Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology is the future!

    Solutions to some of the most pressing problems faced in today’s world are found in the study of biochemistry, cell and molecular biology. Those who pursue this degree at The University of Scranton may choose to participate in research, contributing to those solutions as early as their first-year and continuing into their careers.

    This field tackles questions like: 

    • How can we analyze the function of targeted genes via CRISPR “knockout” technology?

    • How do genomes and proteomes evolve over time?

    • What is the biochemical basis of disease?

    • How are we going to treat disease

    New drugs are developed based on molecular biology. New cancer treatments are emerging. Some of the most important changes in society tomorrow and into the future will be made because of the study of biochemistry, cell biology and molecular biology.


Where will Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Take Me?

With an unparalleled background in undergraduate research and academics, graduates are ready to hit the ground running when they gain full-time employment or advanced study. 

Here are some examples of professional fields for biochemistry, cell and molecular biology graduates:

  • Careers in health care, including medicine and dentistry
  • Genetics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Molecular biology
  • Cell biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology

Top Graduate Schools

The BCMB major provides an exceptional background for students planning ahead for medical school or other professional, master's and doctoral programs. Here is a list of some of the prestigious graduate schools which have admitted recent graduates: 

Medical & Dental:

  • Temple University
  • University of South Carolina
  • Thomas Jefferson University
  • Drexel University
  • Penn State Hershey
  • The Commonwealth Medical College
  • Harvard University
  • Columbia University
  • University of Pennsylvania

Ph.D. Programs:

  • Harvard University
  • Purdue University
  • Binghamton University
  • SUNY Upstate Medical University
  • Thomas Jefferson University

Indicators of Excellence

Goldwater Scholars

Melissa Wasilewski 2009 2010
Maria Gubbiotti 2010
Abbe Clark 2011
Bradley Wierbowski 2012
Christopher Kilner 2015

Fulbright Scholar

Kathleen Lavelle 2012

George Mitchell Scholar

Christopher Kilner   2015

How Scranton Gives You a Competitive Edge

Competitive Edge

With the rigor of the biochemistry, cell and molecular biology major, students are remarkably prepared for research positions or advanced study. The quantity and quality of research that BCMB students have completed, along with their technical expertise, is equally impressive to admissions committees and employers.

On a practical level, coursework also prepares graduates to present themselves in interviews. They have polished presentation skills and are poised around other professionals. In addition to giving regular presentation in seminars, many students will have presented research at conferences, boosting their resumes as well as their confidence. 

Having experienced a challenging course of study together, peers are exceptional resources. Students rely upon each other for guidance. Fellow graduates will remain important professional contacts throughout careers.

Take the Next Step

Get the Facts

View PDF with Program Overview
& Curriculum

For More Information

Office of Admissions
The Estate
Scranton, PA 18510
1-888-SCRANTON or (570) 941-7540

Department of Chemistry
Joan Wasilewski, Ph.D.
Program Director
(570) 941-7705