Molecular biology is a branch of biology concerned with the organization and function of cells at the molecular level with emphasis on the molecular basis of inheritance, protein synthesis, experimental discovery, and disease.
At Blackburn College biology majors will learn in state-of-the-art facilities, taught by dedicated and passionate faculty, and earn an educational foundation leading to successful careers in the field of biology. Small class sizes and tight-knit student and faculty relationships mean that all biology majors at Blackburn College are provided the tools to thrive during their time at Blackburn College and beyond.
Points of Distinction
- Molecular biology majors have successfully entered the medical profession, graduate programs seeking a masters or Ph.D., and the biotech industry.
- Biology is the largest major at Blackburn College.
- In the past 10 years, biology graduates have entered more than a dozen health professions.
- Blackburn Biology graduates who have followed the advice of our trained health professions advisors/science professors have all successfully applied, entered, and graduated from programs in:
– human medicine (MD or DO),
– veterinary medicine,
– physical therapy,
– physician’s assistant,
– chiropractic medicine,
– medical laboratory sciences,
– nurse practitioner (after completing a nursing BA), and
– health administration.
Why this Major?
Molecular Biology majors have a wide range of options to choose from regarding career paths. The biotechnology field is a rapidly growing industry in need of well-trained and qualified employees who can think critically, work well in a team, and have the right technical skills for industry.
The faculty works side by side with students in the classroom and labs. Students have the opportunities to directly apply the knowledge they are gaining in lectures through experimental and practical applications in the laboratory or in the field.
Activities & Events
All biology majors have the opportunity to participate in specific course related field trips, campus science projects promoting plants and their pollinators and sustainability, and research experiences with mentoring professors.
Clubs & Organizations
All biology majors have the opportunity to participate in the Sustainability Club and the Pre-Healthcare Professions Society.
We encourage and assist our biology majors who seek summer internships or professional shadowing prior to graduating from Blackburn College. Local physicians, optometrists, physical and occupational therapists, veterinarians, and dentists welcome our students to shadow their professions within a few miles of campus. The Biology Department has several ongoing opportunities for internships, for example; University of Missouri Kansas City Medical Center, Macoupin Watershed Project, Bayer (formerly Monsanto), Pollinator Project, and McCully Heritage Project.
Work Program Opportunities
Through the work program students assist faculty with laboratory preparation and delivery, tearing down the labs, and conducting evening tutor session. Biology majors will receive ample opportunity to put their learning to practical use, through fieldwork, research, and Work Program positions within the department.
Hot Job Outlooks
- Agriculture Specialist
- Genetic Counselor
- Genetic Engineering Researcher
- Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
- Healthcare Professionals
3 Blackburn alumni are members of the National Academy of Sciences.
Blackburn students have planted more than 10,600 walnut trees as part of the Mahan Forestry Project. Read more about the project here.
Our graduates who have followed our advice have all entered the graduate program or professional school in the field of their choice. These have included programs leading to a doctoral degree in human medicine, veterinary medicine, podiatry, physical therapy, optometry, dentistry, pharmacy, molecular biology, virology, neurobiology, and developmental biology.
Our graduates with at least two years of chemistry have been hired by many science and tech industries large and small. These have included positions at Bayer/Monsanto, Millipore/Sigma, Anheuser Busch, and Boeing.
The healthcare and the biotech industries are rapidly expanding as the population ages and technology improves. The job outlooks for students with either a biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, or chemistry degree are very promising.
The Marvin and Ingrid Mahan Science Laboratory Wing is a state-of-the-art, 28,000 square foot facility with nine dedicated teaching laboratories for biology, chemistry, and physics. Off the spacious lobby are science faculty offices with a large outer office area for those students who need tutoring and assistance or may be working on projects. The Mahan Wing is one of the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rated buildings in central Illinois.
Alumni Hall and the Olin Science Building offer several research laboratories, two lecture rooms, a vivarium, three greenhouses, a herbarium, a math and science teaching laboratory, and a science library.
Dedicated, award-winning faculty members are actively involved in the classroom, in research projects and mentoring students so they thrive at Blackburn and after graduation.
Three of the current biology faculty have each received the Outstanding Teaching and Leadership Award from Blackburn College.
Dr. Edward Zalisko was named the Illinois Professor of the Year 2000 by the Carnegie Foundation for Education/CASE.
All biology faculty have terminal degrees (Ph.D.) in their chosen and related field of study.
The biology department has not used an adjunct instructor for majors courses in more than 30 years. Instead, all biology faculty teach all of their own laboratories and lectures and are available for advice, career counseling, and general discussion for many hours throughout each week.
All biology freshmen have a biology faculty instructor five days a week (every weekday) of their freshman year. Biology faculty are deliberately available every weekday to assist freshmen students with coursework or for general advice and counsel.
We understand that many of our students require regular advice throughout the freshman year as they adjust to the unique circumstances of the college experience.