Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Study at the interface where biology and chemistry overlap and gather the tools necessary to make your mark on contemporary scientific developments.
About the Major
The Departments of Biology and Chemistry collaboratively offer the Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as an academic focus opportunity for students at the interface of biology and chemistry.
Students explore life at the cellular and molecular level by applying the molecular concepts of chemistry to the complex processes that exist within living biological systems.
Students may attain honors by fulfilling the following requirements:
- Select an honors faculty advisor in either Biology or Chemistry by the end of the semester in which one accumulates 90 semester credit hours, and keeps this advisory informed of progress towards satisfying the honors requirements
- Complete the concentration in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a grade point average of 3.5 or above in biology and chemistry courses and of 3.25 or above overall
- Complete at least four semester hours of research with a grade point average of 3.0 or above
- Write a research paper of publishable quality on an approved topic, using the format of a peer-reviewed journal chosen by the honors advisor.
Outreach & Engaged Learning
Through Mercer On Mission, students have the opportunity to provide global aid on a knowledge-based platform. Previous missions have included working hands-on to reduce Mercury exposure to gold miners in Mozambique, Africa.
Students also have the opportunity to participate in MerPMed, a pre-medical student organization. Beta Beta Beta a biological honor society for students who are science majors and students who are just interested in science. Alpha Epsilon Delta a National Health Preprofessional Honor Society. A Student Affiliate Chapter of the American Chemical Society an organization which represents professionals at all degree levels and in all fields of chemistry and sciences that involve chemistry.
The Biology Department offers two awards to outstanding biology students:
- The T.P. Haines Award was established in honor of T.P. Haines, a former professor and chair of the department, and is granted annually to a Biology student who has demonstrated both academic excellence and service to the department.
- The Graydon L. Ware Award was established in honor of Graydon "Fess" Ware, a longtime professor in the department, and is granted annually to both a rising junior and a rising senior who are pursuing the Biology major, in recognition of academic excellence, campus activity, and community service.
Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Research opportunities revolve around the application of molecular concepts of biology and chemistry to the complex processes that exist within living biological systems. For practical experience many biochemistry and molecular biology students spend one or two summers conducting chemical and biological research at Mercer or at other universities around the country. Previous student research in Genome Analysis has led to leading recognition at the International Biology Honor Society.
Faculty Interface and Class Size
Twenty-two dedicated faculty members, all of whom hold doctorates, lead the Chemistry and Biology Departments. These faculty members are experts in:
- Analytical Chemistry
- Bio organic Chemistry
- Environmental Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Organic physical Chemistry
- Cellular and Molecular Biology
- Vertebrate Biology
- Microbiology and Immunology
Faculty have also led field trips to study marine ecology at Skidaway Island, hiking in the Appalachian Mountains, interacting with the Manatees in Florida and exploring the Okefenokee Swamp.
The average number of student in a lab is 24.
The need for well–trained biochemists is ever-expanding in a broad spectrum of diverse fields. With a degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, graduates can embark on careers in:
- Environmental and industrial law
Graduates from Mercer's Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program have gone on to successful appointments in graduate school, medical school and a variety of other professional schools throughout the country.