The Department of Molecular Biology and Chemistry (MBCH) will develop a meaningful level of scientific literacy in all students through exploration of fundamental concepts and processes of the natural world. Majors build upon this foundation and gain the necessary background, understanding, and experience to be successful in the fields of biology and chemistry; this is achieved through coursework complemented by research and independent study opportunities. The MBCH faculty members are actively engaged in quality teaching, research, mentoring and service. These traditions provide the model for our goal to instill motivation, intellectual drive, dedication, integrity, and professionalism in all graduates.

Our goal is

  • to provide a quality education in the biological sciences;
  • to train biology majors who are competent to function as professionals in the field or to continue their education; and
  • to enhance scientific literacy in non-majors.

An interdisciplinary degree in Neuroscience is also available.

Available Minors

The Minor in Biology (19 Credits)

The Minor in Chemistry (23 Credits)

Effective for students entering the MBCH program fall 2010 or later.

The curriculum of the Department of Molecular Biology and Chemistry, in addition to the Liberal Learning Core Requirements, is designed to acquaint students with the body of knowledge in the discipline and facilitate leadership development through useful and responsible hands-on application of this knowledge.  Major requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Biology degree are detailed below.

Core Requirements

  • The Triad, beginning fall freshman year: BIOL 211/211L-212/212L-213/213L (sequential) (12 credits)
  • BIOL 391(W) - Junior Seminar, Writing Intensive (1 credits)
  • BIOL 491(W) - Senior Seminar, Writing Intensive (1 credits)
  • CHEM 103/103L-104/104L (Introductory Chemistry & Lab) (8 credits)
  • MATH 125, and 130 or higher (6 credits)
  • BIOL Electives:  21 credits of biology courses

Category Lists:

Choose a minimum of 4 credits from each of the following three categories.

1)  Cellular, Molecular, & Physiological Biology 

2)  Environmental Biology

3)  Organismal Biology

Biology and Chemistry course options


This information is for reference only and does not supersede the current Undergraduate Catalog.

The curriculum of the Department of Molecular Biology and Chemistry, in addition to the Liberal Learning Core Requirements, is designed to acquaint students with the body of knowledge in the discipline and facilitate leadership development through useful and responsible hands-on application of this knowledge.  In the Bachelor of Science in Biology, students must choose one of four available majors.

See information on the Major in Biochemistry

Core Requirements for Each Major

  • The Triad, beginning fall freshman year: BIOL 211/211L-212/212L-213/213L (sequential) (12 cr)
  • BIOL 391(W) - Junior Seminar, Writing Intensive (1 cr)
  • BIOL 491(W) - Senior Seminar, Writing Intensive (1 cr)
  • CHEM 121/121L-122/122L (8 cr); 321/321L-322/322L (8 cr)
  • MATH 125, and 130 or higher (6 cr)
  • PHYS 151/151L-152/152L (8 cr)

Available majors

The Major in Cellular, Molecular, & Physiological Biology

21 credits of biology courses, only three of those credits can be at the 200-level. Of these 21 credits at least 15 must come from the following courses, and three of these courses must have a laboratory component: BIOL 301/301L, 307/307L, 309/309L, 313, 314/314L, 315/315L, 412/412L, 414/414L, 420/420L. (Credit will not be given for both BIOL 414/414L and CHEM 414/414L.)

The Major in Environmental Biology

21 credits of biology courses, only three of those credits can be at the 200-level. Of these 21 credits at least 15 must come from the following courses, and three of these courses must have a laboratory component: BIOL 302/302L, 304/304L, 306/306L, 308/308L, 321/321L**, 322/322L**, 325, 403/403L, 407/407L, 435/435L, 450/450L, 454; CHEM 465, 440.

The Major in Organismal Biology

21 credits of biology courses, only three of those credits can be at the 200-level. Of these 21 credits at least 15 must come from the following courses, and three of these courses must have a laboratory component: BIOL 309/309L, 312/312L, 313, 321/321L**, 322/322L**, 403/403L, 409/409L, 418/418L, 425/425L, 440/440L, 445/445L, 457/457L, 465/465L.

The Major in Integrative Biology

21 credits of biology courses, only three of those credits can be at the 200-level. At least four credits will come from the required courses list of each of the other three majors. At least three of the courses taken must have a laboratory component.

**Only counts as a laboratory course if both are taken.

Notes

  • Grades: The biology degree requires that students have a C or better in BIOL 211/211L-212/212L-213/213L; and a C- or better in BIOL 391W and 491W and CHEM 121/121L-122/122L. Students may present no more than two biology courses with grades lower than C- for the degree.
  • It will be difficult (if not impossible) for a student to complete a biology degree in four years if, by the end of the second year, the student has not yet completed: BIOL 211/211L-212/212L-213/213L (sequential).

Biology and Chemistry course options


This information is for reference only and does not supersede the current Undergraduate Catalog.

The Bachelor of Science in Chemistry promotes an in-depth understanding of the core areas of chemistry: inorganic, organic, analytical, instrumental and physical chemistry. Hands-on experience with modern analytical instruments is also provided.  The Chemistry Program prepares students for careers in the chemistry industry as well as graduate programs in all areas of Chemistry and related fields including health professional programs. 

In addition to the Liberal Learning Core Requirements, the Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry requires a minimum of 41 credits above the 100 level. 

Required Support Courses

CHEM 121/121L-122/122L (8 cr)

MATH 140; MATH 240 (8 cr) (Preparatory math may be necessary before taking these courses.)

PHYS 201/201L-202/202L or PHYS 151/151L-152/152L (8 cr)

Required Chemistry Courses

  • CHEM 321/321L-322/322L (8 cr)
  • CHEM 341-342/342L (8 cr)
  • CHEM 361/361L (4 cr)
  • CHEM 445/445L(W) (5 cr)
  • CHEM 401/401L (4 cr)
  • CHEM 391(W) (3 cr)
  • CHEM 492 (3 cr)
  • 6 additional credits of CHEM at the 300-/400-level

Chemistry Faculty

  • Dr. Kathleen Brunke, Chemistry Program Coordinator
  • Dr. Tarek Abdel-Fattah
  • Dr. Jeffrey Carney
  • Dr. Geoffrey Klein
  • Dr. Tyler Sullens
  • Dr. Phil Young

Research Opportunities

Students have the opportunity to work with a faculty member on research in many areas of chemistry. This will polish laboratory skills and improve problem solving abilities. It is also beneficial when applying for graduate school.

Current Instrumentation

CNU's Instrumentation is new and state of the art for both the teaching and research labs.  Most instrumentation has been purchased in the last 3 - 4 years with the generous support from the state for the initiation of our new chemistry major. 

Students have the opportunity to gain valuable experience operating all instruments throughout their education as a major in our department. 

Instrumentation List:

  • Varian Gas Chromatograph (GC)
  • Shimadzu Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GC x MS)
  • Thermo Scientific LCQ-Fleet - Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometer (ESI-MS)
  • Anasazi 60 MHz FT-NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer)
  • UV-Vis Spectrophotometer
  • Varian FT-IR
  • Dionex ICS-3000 - High Performance Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC)
  • Dionex Ion Chromatograph (IC)
  • MiniFlex II X-Ray Defractometer
  • Shimadzu UV-Mini
  • Varian ICP - AES
  • Shimadzu Spectrofluorophotometer
  • GOW MAC Gas Chromatographs

Biology and Chemistry course options


This information is for reference only and does not supersede the current Undergraduate Catalog.

Master of Science in Environmental Science
The M.S. in Environmental Science has been designed to provide the knowledge and technical skills and provides a solid background in ecological and environmental conservation theory.

Bachelor's to Master's 5 Year Degree Program  
CNU students have the opportunity to qualify to participate in the Bachelor’s to Master’s 5 Year Degree Program for a graduate degree in Environmental Science.

Bachelor's to Master's in Teaching 5 Year Program 
Designed to prepare you to become a highly qualified teacher of Biology, licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia and in reciprocal states throughout the United States.