Catalog Archive

CATALOG • 2010-2011

Genetic Engineering – Major

For information, contact Dr. K. Joy Karnas

The genetic engineering major is offered through the Department of Biological Sciences where state-of-the-art laboratories allow students to experience biotechnology first-hand. Genetic engineering students develop a basic understanding of molecular genetics as they explore the technology that has led us to recent advances in the field and discover how molecular biology impacts various other fields such as oncology, gene therapy, immunology, medical genetics, etc. All coursework and laboratories emphasize reading, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating assumptions along with development in technical writing and oral presentation skills. Students are exposed to original research during their freshman year as they work as members of research teams in a professor’s ongoing research program. The capstone experience is the development of a proposal to conduct an independent research project in a professor's lab. As part of the thesis option for the degree, students may choose to carry out this project during their senior year (see below). Graduates from the genetic engineering program are prepared for (1)immediate employment as a research technician in an industrial or academic setting, (2) admission to graduate school, or (3) admission to a professional school.

The Coursework Component

Training the students in the basics of molecular genetics involves lecture, laboratory, and techniques courses that strive to accomplish the following:
• Expose students to primary literature so they can gain an understanding of current research in the field of molecular genetics
• Develop the students’ ability to give scientific presentations and clearly communicate with other scientists
• Give students experience with high-tech techniques including confocal microscopy, automated sequencing, qPCR, etc.
• Challenge students to think about the impact that current research in the field of molecular genetics has on society health issues and world politics.

The Research Training Component

Training students in the skills of independent research is accomplished by three mechanisms:
• Independent work outside the scheduled course time in upper-level laboratory courses
• An on-campus, year-long research project that fulfills the thesis option for the major
• An off-campus research internship in a university or industrial laboratory for eligible* students.
*Successful placement is dependent upon the student’s academic performance and the selection criteria of the
university or biotechnology company. Final decisions are made by the university or company to which the student applies. Cedar Crest College cannot guarantee a position.

Program Requirements for the Genetic Engineering Major

In addition to a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade-point average, genetic engineering students must have a minimum average of 2.0 in the major. A grade of C- or better is needed for all courses that fulfill major requirements. Students must earn a grade of C- or better in prerequisite courses before proceeding to subsequent courses. Courses transferred in for all majors must be taken less than ten years ago.

Thesis Option

All students, particularly those who are interested in attending graduate school or obtaining a research-based job following graduation, are highly encouraged to participate in independent research, which may culminate in a thesis. The thesis option begins during the student’s junior year, as part of Junior Colloquium (BIO 350). As part of their capstone project, all students who select a major from the Department of Biological Sciences are required to develop a research proposal to investigate an original research question. This experience allows the students to go beyond the basic course information, select a problem that interests them, and apply what they have learned in their coursework to a novel situation. As part of the thesis option, students will spend a minimum of two semesters working with a faculty member to conduct the research outlined in their proposal. They will then develop a written thesis detailing their project, and present their final project to the department in the form of a seminar talk or poster.

The title of a student’s thesis will appear on her transcript will appear on her transcript if she completes two semesters (4 credits) of Independent Research (BIO 353) and one semester (1 credit) of Senior Thesis and Presentation (BIO 354) with grades of C- or better.

Coursework Requirements for the Genetic Engineering Major

Biology Core Courses (50 credits)
BIO 121 Principles of Biology I 4 credits
BIO 122 Principles of Biology II 4 credits
BIO 235 Ecology, Evolution and Genetics 4 credits
BIO 236 Cell and Molecular Biology 4 credits
BIO 350 Junior Colloquium 2 credits
BIO 355 Science, Ethics & Society 2 credits
CHE 111 Chemical Principles 4 credits
CHE 112 Chemical Equilibrium and Analysis 4 credits
CHE 205 Organic Chemistry I 4 credits
CHE 206 Organic Chemistry II 4 credits
PHY 101 Introductory College Physics I 4 credits
PHY 102 Introductory College Physics II 4 credits
MAT 141 Calculus I 3 credits
MAT 142 Calculus II 3 credits
  
Genetic Engineering Core Courses (15 credits)
BIO 335  Molecular Genetics I 4 credits
BIO 336  Molecular Genetics II 4 credits
BIO 345  Advanced Recombinant DNA 3 credits
CHE 307  Biochemistry I 4 credits
 
Genetic Engineering Elective Courses (3 credits)
Choose two courses:
BIO 343  Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) 1.5 credits
BIO 344  DNA Sequencing 1.5 credits
BIO 347  Microscopy and Image Analysis 1.5 credits
BIO 349  Protein Purification and Analysis 1.5 credits
 
Genetic Engineering Elective Courses (11 credit minimum):
Choose three courses, two must contain a lab:
BIO 227 Microbiology                                         
BIO 300  Evolution     
BIO 332  Developmental Biology 
BIO 323 Advanced Bioinformatics 
NEU 348 Diseases of the Nervous System 
BIO 327 Microbial Pathogenesis 
BIO 313  Adv Mendelian and Population Genetics 
BIO 36x Biology of Cancer
CHE 308 Biochemistry II 
CHE 348 Forensic Molecular Biology 

Transfer students must take the following courses at Cedar Crest College:
BIO 335 Molecular Genetics I 4 credits
BIO 336 Molecular Genetics II 4 credits
BIO 345 Advanced Recombinant DNA 3 credits
BIO 350 Junior Colloquium 2 credits
BIO 351 Biological Sciences Seminar 2 credits
Two Techniques Courses (see list above) 3 credits

Other Minors and Majors

A concentration in Forensic Science is an option for Genetic Engineering majors. All students in the Forensic Science concentration must take the four core forensic courses (CHE 241, CHE 347, CHE 348, and CHE 361). Additional courses that are not already required for the Genetic Engineering major are Biostatistics (BIO 248) and Instrumental Analysis (CHE 302), Advanced Mendelian and Population Genetics (BIO 313), and Ethics (PHI 200).  Two of these courses (CHE 348 and BIO 313 can be used to fulfill GE electives. In addition, there is a research requirement for the Forensic Science concentration. By completing the Thesis Option, as described above, Genetic Engineering students will satisfy this requirement. Please refer to the Forensic Science section of the catalog for details.
 
Genetic Engineering majors commonly minor in chemistry. This requires one additional chemistry course (CHE 331 or CHE 335). By fulfilling all of the other requirements for a major in Genetic Engineering (i.e.: C- or better in all courses), students will meet the remaining requirements for the chemistry minor. Please refer to the Chemistry section of the catalog for details.
 
A Genetic Engineering major is not allowed to complete a second major in Biology, nor may she minor in Biology.

Liberal Arts Curriculum Requirements fulfilled within the Major

Students fulfill the the Technology, Oral Presentation, and Information Literacy requirement through successful completion of the following required courses: BIO122, BIO235, BIO236, BIO350, and BIO355.

Last Updated: 7/8/10