Home > Information for Academic Credit Programs >Molecular Biology

Master of Science in Molecular Biology

The biological sciences include the study of living systems at levels ranging from the structure and function of molecules to the behavior and evolution of communities of organisms. Within the Department of Biological Sciences at Lehigh, research areas in Molecular Biology include Microbial Evolution and Genetics, Plant and Animal Molecular Genetics, Developmental Genetics, Eukaryotic Cell Biology, Regulation of Gene Expression, and Virology.

The Master’s Degree in Molecular Biology includes: 30 credit hours of graduate work; not less than 18 credits of 400-level courses (six credit hours of research count as part of the 400 level requirement) and not less than 18 credits of coursework in the major of which 15 credits must be at the 400 level. The remaining credits are completed from electives, which are added to the schedule on a non-regular basis or may be selected from courses offered outside the Molecular Biology program, with program advisor approval. Students must register for six credits of research and successfully complete their research credits under the direction of a faculty member of the Department of Biological Sciences. Research credits may be fulfilled with a thesis or a non-thesis option (described below). All research projects (reported as a thesis or a research report) must be completed under the direction of a faculty member of the Department of Biological Sciences, and in collaboration with a research mentor at the student’s site. For students undertaking the thesis option, a thesis committee (comprised of at least three faculty-level members, including the site advisor) oversees the completion of the research requirements for the degree.

This program includes courses that require real-time participation using our learning platform, Classroom LIVE, an integrated, web-based virtual environment that delivers programs in real time from classrooms on Lehigh's campus to students, in their homes, at their workplaces, or while traveling.   Other courses to complete program requirements will be available through Classroom ONLINE, an asynchronous online format that offers flexible scheduling and participation.


Undergrad Course Requirements

New students will apply for associate admission through the Biological Sciences Department. [Please note: Students admitted for associate status must complete nine consecutive credit hours of coursework of 300-level or higher, with generally no grade lower than a B-, in order to continue taking courses. Transfer to regular status may be petitioned to complete a Master’s in Molecular Biology after completion of the nine credit hours. GRE scores may be required before a transfer is approved.]

With the approval of the Department Graduate Committee and the Lehigh University Registrar, a maximum of six credits of molecular biology–relevant courses may be transferred in toward completion of the Master’s Degree. A course grade of B or better is required for transfer credits.

Students completing the program will receive a Master of Science Degree in Molecular Biology from Lehigh University.


Required courses:

BioS 345 Molecular Genetics (3) BioS 411 Advanced Cell Biology (3)
BioS 371 Elements of Biochemistry I (3) BioS 421 Molecular Cell Biology I (3)
BioS 372 Elements of Biochemistry II (3) BioS 422 Molecular Cell Biology II (3)
BioS 407 Research (1-9) BioS 427 Techniques in Cell and Molecular Biology* (3)

* Note: This course may be completed by arrangement at Lehigh or at the distance site in consultation with a staff research advisor and Lehigh faculty. However, this course may not be required (and another one may be substituted in its place) if the student has demonstrated proficiency in molecular biology and biochemical techniques. In this case, a description of research or technical experience in the field should be summarized and submitted with the student’s admission application.

A non-thesis research option (fulfilled by a research report, a comprehensive review, or a comprehensive written and oral examination) is available upon approval by student’s departmental advisor.  For this option a research mentor at the student’s site is required only for the research report. 


Elective courses offered through the student’s program will include various specialization courses such as:

BioS 353 Virology (3) BioS 464 Molecular Biology of Eukaryotic Organisms (3)
BioS 356 Human Genetics and Reproduction (3)
BioS 466 Structure and Function of RNAs and Ribonucleoprotein Complexes (3)
Bios 433 Classical and Molecular Embryology (3)  

This elective list is preliminary and is shown for information only. There is no relationship to the order in which they appear above and when they will be scheduled for broadcast.

Academic Advisor

Professor Vassie C. Ware

Phone: 610-758-3690

E-mail: vcw0@lehigh.edu