Molecular Biology FAQ

What exactly is molecular biology?

Molecular Biology is the study of DNA, RNA, and the related enzymes.

My lab partner at work in Mammalian Physiology Lab
My lab partner at work in Mammalian Physiology Lab

What’s the difference between molecular biology and microbiology?

Molecular biology studies DNA and genetics typically in human cells. Molecular biology is at a molecular level while microbiology is at a cellular level. Molecular biologists work with all kinds of cells while microbiologists only work with single-celled organisms (e.g. bacteria).

What can you do with a degree in molecular  biology?

I personally want to get a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology and continue with cancer research. After getting a bachelor’s, you could go to graduate school to study biology, biotechnology, medicine or veterinary medicine, patent law, forensic science, education or even genetic counseling. If you do not continue on to graduate school, you could get a job at a pharmaceutical company, a biotechnology company, a blood center, a hospital, a research lab, a criminology lab or a high school teacher.

Who should I talk to about this program?

Dr. Charles Polson teaches at least four of the classes a Molecular Biology major would take, two of which are your senior research courses. He could answer any questions you have about the program.

What are the best electives to take?

Undergraduates can take an undergraduate research course under a professor of their choice. This involves the instructors approval because you’d be working in their lab doing research alongside the graduate students. It’s an excellent experience—it allows you to be hands-on and learn the lab techniques and technology. It also looks great on a resume! FIT also allows undergraduates to take graduate level courses when they are only 30 credit hours from graduation. I highly recommend taking advantage of both of these opportunities.

What was your favorite class at Florida Tech?

My favorite class at Florida Tech is a toss up between Genetics and Molecular Biology. I really liked the subject material taught in those two classes as well as the professors that teach them.

Can you do any internships or research over the summer?

Yes! I did a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) at the University of Toledo in Ohio last summer. Many of my friends also did SURF or Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) programs over the summer at different schools around the country, including Princeton and study abroad programs.  If you want to stay local, Dr. David Carroll  is starting in the summer of 2015 an REU in Biomath. This REU comes with free housing, and you’d be working with one of the nicest professors in the Biology Department.

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