The BMB Major

Emphasizing independent research and one-on-one collaboration with faculty members, Gettysburg’s interdisciplinary biochemistry-molecular biology (BMB) major requires study in the biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics departments, consistent with recommendations of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Students gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art biochemical analysis and recombinant DNA technology as they examine the structures and chemical reactions within living cells. A capstone research project frequently results in professional publications co-authored by students and professors or presentations at scientific meetings.

Students receive excellent preparation for graduate study, medical school, or careers in a broad range of fields.


Students may earn a B.S. degree in biochemistry and molecular biology by completing the following requirements:

  • Biology 111 Introduction to Ecology and Evolution
  • Biology 112 Form and Function of Living Organisms
  • Biology 211 Genetics
  • Biology 212 Cell Biology
  • BMB (or Biology) 351* Molecular Genetics
  • Chemistry 107 Chemical Structure and Bonding
  • Chemistry 108 Chemical Reactivity
  • Chemistry 203 Organic Chemistry
  • Chemistry 204 Organic Chemistry
  • BMB (or Chemistry) 307 Biophysical Chemistry or 305 Physical Chemistry
  • BMB (or Chemistry) 333 Biochemistry I
  • BIO/BMB/CHEM 334* Biochemistry II
  • Mathematics 111 Calculus I
  • Mathematics 112 Calculus II
  • Physics 109 Introductory Physics I
  • Physics 110 Introductory Physics II

In addition, students must complete any two of the following courses (at least one must be at the 300 level and at least one must contain a laboratory component). Only one of these courses may be a research course.

  • Biology 214 Phage Genomics
  • Biology 251 Introduction to Bioinformatics
  • Biology 315 Molecular and Genome Evolution
  • Biology 320* Developmental Biology
  • Biology 332 Immunobiology
  • Biology 335 Neurobiology
  • Biology (or Chemistry) 359 X-Lab: Drugs and Cells
  • Chemistry (or Physics) 246 Physics of Life
  • Chemistry 320 Materials Science
  • Chemistry 353 Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • Chemistry 358 X-Lab: Salty and Fatty
  • Chemistry 375 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
  • Research* (Biology 460 or 461 or Chemistry 460, 461,465 or 410 with Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Committee (BBMC) approval). These individualized study research projects may be directed by any BMB faculty affiliate.  Otherwise, the project requires  approval of the  BBMC.

*Biology 320, BIO/BMB 351, BIO/BMB/CHEM 334, Biology 460, Biology 461, Chemistry 460, Chemistry 461, Chemistry 465 and Chemistry 410 have components that fulfill the capstone experience for the biochemistry and molecular biology major.

The program is directed by a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Committee (BMBC), consisting of biology and chemistry faculty members.