Javascript is currently not supported, or is disabled by this browser. Please enable Javascript for full functionality.

    Feb 24, 2020  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog

Cell and Molecular Biology B.S.

(CIP = 26.0101) (CAM) Track 1 of 2

This degree provides a strong foundation in general biology, with an emphasis on biomedical related areas, but focuses on the cellular and molecular processes that occur within cells. Many of the breakthroughs in the field of biology over the past several decades have shed light on how cells function in the context of the whole organism. The fields of genomics and computational biology have begun to solve the mystery of how networks of genes are regulated and how cells interact with each other and the how complex organisms react to their environment. Advances in cell and molecular biology continually lead to new treatments for age-related diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. This degree prepares students for application to medical school, dental school, graduate school and careers in biotechnology, science policy, biomedical research, teaching, science writing and illustration. Many of our students continue their studies by attending graduate school in biology and other related disciplines.

Admission Requirements

Students applying to the University of South Florida are expected to meet the University’s admissions
standards, as listed on USF’s Office of Admissions’ website (

Graduation Requirements

For graduation, students must satisfy the requirements from their catalog year while maintaining GPA and grading requirements, and satisfactory completion of the following requirements:

  • General Education Program (36 credit hours), including State Core General Education, State
  • Computation and Communication;
  • Minimum of 120 unduplicated credit hours;
  • A minimum adjusted grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 on all coursework taken at USF and an overall 2.0 GPA average on all college-level coursework;
  • Major and college requirements in a chosen degree program;
  • Nine credit hours of coursework taken during the summer term(s) (if entered USF with less
  • than 60 credit hours);
  • Registration and successful completion of at least thirty (30) of the last sixty (60) credit hours;
  • 42 credit hours of upper-level coursework;
  • Civics Literacy;
  • Foreign language admissions coursework;
  • Specific Grading Requirement: Unless otherwise stated, the minimum acceptable grade in all BSIS required courses, including the prerequisite math, statistics, and programming courses, is a C or higher (C- is insufficient).
  • Each College of Arts and Sciences student is required to complete an application for graduation and graduation checklist.

State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites

Students wishing to transfer to USF should complete an A.A. degree at a Florida College System institution. Some courses required for the major may also meet General Education requirements thereby transferring maximum hours to the university.

If a student wishes to transfer without an A.A. degree and has fewer than 60 semester hours of acceptable credit, the student must meet the university’s entering freshman requirements including ACT or SAT test scores, GPA, and course requirements.

Transfer students are also required to comply with the immunization, foreign language, and continuous enrollment policies of the university.

Students should complete the following prerequisite courses at the lower level prior to entering the university. If these courses are not taken at a Florida College System institution, they must be completed before the degree is granted.

Unless stated otherwise, a grade of C- is the minimum acceptable grade in prerequisite courses.

  • (BSC X010 and BSC X010L Biology I with Lab) or BSC X010C or BSC X040C - 4 credit hours
  • (BSC X011 and BSC X011L Biology II with Lab) or BSC X011C or (ZOO X010 and ZOO X010L) or (BOT X010 and BOT X010L) or BSC X041C - 4 credit hours
  • (CHM X045 and CHM X045L  Chemistry I with Lab) or CHM X045C or (CHM X040 and CHM X041) - 4 credit hours
  • (CHM X046 and CHM X046L Chemistry II with Lab) or CHM X046C - 4 credit hours
  • (CHM X210 and CHM X210L) and (CHM X211 and CHMX211L) or (CHM X210C and CHM X211C) or (PHY X053 and PHY X054 and PHY X053L and PHY X048L) or (PHY X048 and PHY X048L) and (PHY X049 and PHY X049L) or PHY X053 and PHY X048L and PHY X054 and PHY X049L - 4 credit hours
  • MAC X311 or MAC X233 or MAC X253 or MAC X281 or MAC X241 - 4 credit hours
  • MAC X312 or MAC X282 or MAC X234 or STA X023 or STA X024 or STA X321 - 3-4 credit hours

Required Supporting Courses for the Major (8-10 Credit Hours)

The following courses are supporting courses for this major. They are required for the major, but are not counted in the total major hours but are counted toward the total program hours of 120 credit hours. The degree will not be awarded if these courses have not been taken by the end of the student’s final semester.

Note: The course sequence that will count toward the Support Courses requirement is based on which sequence (Organic Chemistry or Physics) the student took to meet the common prerequisite requirement. If the Organic Chemistry sequence was taken to fulfill the common prerequisite requirement, the Physics sequence will meet the supporting courses requirement. The opposite is true if the Physics requirement was used to meet the common course requirement.

Total Major Hours: 32

Other Program Information

Effective Fall 2018, all students in the below listed programs must successfully complete the below science and math coursework without earning 3 D and/or F grades. Students unable to successfully complete these courses within these prescribed parameters will be required to select a different major and will not be permitted to take any additional courses offered  by the below Departments/Divisions. In addition, registration for all courses offered by these departments will be dependent on students meeting the prescribed parameters regardless of their major.

Furthermore, any student who requests a change of major to one offered in the below identified departments will be required to meet these prescribed parameters as well as those criteria outlined in the Degree Progression Policy 10-505. Any continuing student who was previously forced to select a different major based on previous versions of this policy may now be eligible to pursue the majors listed below, but only if they meet both the criteria described here as well as the Degree Progression Policy 10-505 criteria. Students who are able to complete one of the below majors by earning fewer credit hours than required to complete any other major offered at USF may petition to request an exception and should contact the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Advising Office for instructions. Grade Forgiveness will NOT apply to the mandated requirement of changing majors.

Included Departments/Divisions

Division of Health Professions Advising; Department of Chemistry ; Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology ; and Department of Integrative Biology .

Included courses

Course Grade Requirement

Please note that some supporting science courses may require a grade of C (2.0) or better in order to meet the prerequisite requirements for course sequences.

Grading Requirement

A student must receive a C- grade or better in all Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology courses and supporting courses in the natural sciences, except if they are used as general elective courses. This specification applies to both USF and transfer courses.

Residency Requirement

A minimum of 20 credits hours of courses must be taken in residency and be applicable to the major.

Once a student has matriculated to USF Tampa, he/she is expected to take 100 percent of the required major coursework at USF Tampa.

Research Opportunities

A maximum of 2 credit hours of Undergraduate Research (BSC 4910  ) may be taken in a single semester, and a maximum of 4 credit hours of Undergraduate Research may be applied as electives.

Accelerated Non-Thesis B.S./M.S. Program

Accelerated B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology and M.S. in Biology with a concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology (Non-Thesis)

This program allows Cell and Molecular Biology majors to take graduate courses for the elective part of the major and apply them to a non-thesis M.S. degree in Biology with a concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology. Successful students will be able to earn the M.S. degree in two additional semesters beyond the completion of the B.S. degree.

For more information, see the Graduate Catalog for Accelerated Majors.

Advising Information

Bioadvise: Science Center (SCA) 203; (813) 974-3250

Cell and Molecular Biology Faculty

Chairperson: C. Chalfant; Professors: J. Garey, D. Lim, R. Pollenz, L. Shaw, D. Te Strake, Emeritus Professors: J. Romeo, R. Wunderlin; Associate Professors: M. Dao, G. Daughdrill, M. Nanjundan, C. Nunes, K. Schmidt, S. Stevens. Assistant Professors: B. Burkhardt, P. Eswaramoorthy, Y. Kee, J. Riordan, S. Stevens, S. Varma, S. Westerheide, B. Xue. Instructors: W. Brazelle, J. El-Rady, E. Jones-Mason, E. Sikorski, A. Upadhyaya.

Plan of Study

Click here for Plan of Study. Once on this page, select the program from the available drop-down and then click ‘View Selected Plan.’