Cell Biology & Pre-medicine

To find your role in the continually evolving and diversifying disciplines of biology, you'll need a strong foundation in fundamental, scientific concepts. At Western, we provide a learning environment that helps you master even the most difficult scientific concepts.

Through our teaching-focused faculty, small class sizes and hands-on learning opportunities, you’ll delve deeply into your program as well as the supporting sciences of physics, chemistry and mathematics. You’ll know your professors as they enrich your understanding of the current social, political and economic milieu. You’ll gain experiences to enhance your future career or graduate school opportunities.

What Will You Learn? What Skills Will You Acquire?

You’ll graduate from Western as a classically trained biologist with a comprehensive education in cellular and molecular biology. Your education will include an introduction to all the fundamental concepts that underlie our modern understanding of biology.

You will also develop a deep understanding of and specific knowledge in biology at smaller scales. You will survey the many techniques used in laboratories to study cellular and molecular biology, including Western blotting, microscopy, gene cloning, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), genetic engineering of microorganisms, classical genetic manipulation techniques, dissection, and the culturing, testing and analysis of microorganisms.

Beyond the Classroom

Students in Western’s Cellular and Molecular Biology program have unique opportunities to gain experience in scientific investigation through active participation with faculty in laboratory research.

Through funding from Thornton research grants, students can further hone the ancillary skills required to carry out research, by writing funding proposals, giving on-campus presentations of their work and drafting final research reports.

Some students present their results at national meetings of scientific societies and publish their findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Some also attend summer research programs, providing them with a more intensive research experience.

After Graduation

Cellular and molecular biology graduates may find roles in the biotechnology industry, in hospitals, in higher education, and in other related industries, where their training in rigorous analysis and critical thinking are valued and desired.

Graduates may continue their studies in professional and graduate schools, studying cellular biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, neurobiology, immunology, genetics, molecular genetics and related fields.

This emphasis within the biology major is also one of the best options to prepare students for entry into medical, dental, physician’s assistant, physical therapy, nursing, pharmacy and dental hygienist schools.



 BIOL 310 - CELL BIOLOGY (3 credits)

An introduction to cellular function and structure. Prerequisites: BIOL 150 and BIOL 151. Prerequisite or corequisite: CHEM 231 or CHEM 331


An introduction to microbial morphology, identification, physiology, genetics, and microbiology laboratory techniques. A brief consideration is given to fungi. Prerequisites: Biology Nucleus


This course provides a comprehensive overview of evolutionary processes and mechanisms within an applied framework. Evolutionary perspectives in human health and medicine,environmental and conservation biology, agriculture and natural resource management, and biotechnology are covered. Topics include organismic adaptation to changing environments and long-term responses to environmental perturbation, and insights into many issues of growing social importance such as climate change, land use change, and emerging diseases. Prerequisites: BIOL 312

 MATH 495 - SENIOR SEMINAR (2 credits)

A Capstone Course for the Mathematics Standard Major and for the Secondary Licensure Emphasis. Each student selects an area of interest, researches the selected area, generates a reference list and research paper, and presents the paper to a seminar of faculty and students. Prerequisites: MATH 360 and either MATH 451 or MATH 471.

Faculty & Staff