Frequently Asked Questions About the Molecular Biology Major
How do I declare the Molecular Biology Major?
You will need to schedule an appointment with Brian Asen, Will Lipske or Mary Smith to declare the major. Appointments made via WiscCal must be scheduled at least 24 hrs in advance, and appointment times are generally limited to 8:30-4:30, Monday through Friday.
Who should enroll in this major?
- Students who plan to enter a research career in molecular biology or related areas such as biochemistry, genetics, oncology, microbiology, cell biology, or developmental biology Pre-professional students who plan to enter either a research or clinical career in medicine or allied health fields Students who plan to teach biology at the college or secondary levels
Which classes count toward the 15 credit rule?
The Molecular Biology Major allows all courses in 2b, 4b, 4c, 5a-f, and 6 to count towards fulfilling the 15-credit rule. Note: A maximum of three credits will be accepted from Molecular Biology 681, 682, 691, 692, 699.
How do I find faculty to do research with?
Visit department home pages and read faculty bios. Once you identify those laboratories that are conducting research in an area that interests you, contact the appropriate professors directly by telephone or email and ask them if you could meet with them in person to determine whether they would consider taking you into their laboratory. If possible, talk with several professors so you can make comparisons and achieve the best match to your interests. Circumstances in each laboratory constantly change and some professors might not be in a position to take you. If a faculty member declines, you should keep looking. This campus has a large number of laboratories and if you are persistent, you should be able to find an appropriate fit. The Molecular Biology Major also maintains a list of Cellular and Molecular Biology faculty who have indicated their interest in having students join their lab for research credit.
Can I use a Senior Thesis or Directed Study from a different department to fulfill the 6. Laboratory Courses or Independent Research requirement?
Yes, theses and directed studies from other departments are acceptable as long as the work is molecular biology related.
Should I double major in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry or Molecular Biology and Genetics?
We do not recommend it since the majors are very similar. Most graduate and professional schools will look more closely at your coursework than what your specific major(s) is.
Can I take a course for Pass/Fail?
Yes, you may; however, it will not count towards your Breadth or Major requirements.
Who is my advisor?
Your advisor is listed under the Academic tab in My UW. If your listed advisor is incorrect or if you would like to change advisors, please contact the Molecular Biology Major Office.