Molecular Biotechnology

This concentration is a joint effort between the biology department of UALR and the Medical Technology department of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.   While not intended as pre-medical or pre-professional, the curriculum is designed for students who want to pursue a research career in molecular biotechnology at the bachelor’s level.

The program will prepare students for technical occupations in basic and applied molecular biotechnology research and positions with federal and state governmental agencies and private or commercial enterprises that conduct either basic or applied research in biotechnology.

UALR Biotechnology

The concentration is divided into two levels: a four-semester pre-biotechnology curriculum that leads to admission to the Molecular Biotechnology Research Program (MBRP), which is a joint curriculum between UALR and UAMS.

Completion of the pre-biotechnology curriculum and candidacy to the MBRP requires a minimum of 60 hours including Biology 2401, 2402, 2403, and 3300;  eight hours of general chemistry;  four hours of organic chemistry; and a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Students transferring to UALR who wish to apply to the MBRP may substitute transferring courses for these requirements with the approval of the Molecular Biotechnology Research Committee. Admission to the MBRP will be competitive, based on the student’s cumulative GPA, an interview with the Molecular Biotechnology Research Committee, and two faculty recommendations.

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Each fall, a maximum of 20 students meeting these requirements will be admitted to the program.  This program of courses is a major-minor combination;  no separate minor field is required. Requirements for this concentration are as follows:

1. Biological Sciences: A total of 56 hours is required including the following:

A. Biology Core : 23 hours
1400 Evolutionary and Environmental Biology or 1401 Science of Biology
2401 Microbiology
2402 Botany
2403 Zoology
3300 Genetics
3303 Principles of Ecology
4190 Biology Seminar

B. UALR Biotechnology: 8 hours
4417 Molecular Biology
4418 Biotechnology

C. Biology Electives (upper level courses with laboratories): 12 hours
A recommended course list is available from the Biology Department

D. UAMS Biotechnology: 13 hours
3210 Laboratory Principles and Techniques
3211 Introduction to Research
4305 Cell Culture Principles and Techniques
4106 Technology Transfer
4507 Biotechnology Laboratory Internship

2. Physical sciences, Mathematics, and Computation: a total of the following 24 hours:

Chemistry: 12 hours
1400 Fundamental Chemistry I or 1402 General Chemistry I
1401 Fundamental Chemistry II or 1403 General Chemistry II
2450 Organic Chemistry Short Course

B. Physics: 6 hours
1321 Elementary Physics I 1322 Elementary Physics II

C. Mathematics: 3 hours
1302 College Algebra

D. Computer Science: 3 hours
1370 Computer Literacy or equivalent course

Emphasis areas generally have fewer course options than standard majors so it is strongly suggested that students interested in this program declare a biology major and seek counseling in the Department of Biology as early as possible. The following model curriculum depicts a selection and sequence of courses that is strongly recommended.

Recommended Sequence Pre-Biotechnology Curriculum
First Semester Hours

RHET 1311 Composition I 3
MATH 1302 College Algebra 3
BIOL 1401 Science of Biology or BIOL 1400 Evolutionary and Environmental Biology 4
CHEM 1400 or 1402 Chemistry 4
Core Curriculum Course 3 =17 total hours

Second Semester Hours
RHET 1312 Composition II 3
CSCI 1370 Computer Literacy 3
BIOL 2402 Botany 4
CHEM 1401 or 1403 Chemistry 4
Core Curriculum Course 3 =17 total hours

Third Semester Hours
BIOL 2401 Microbiology 4
BIOL 3303 Principles of Ecology 3
CHEM 2450 Organic Chemistry Short Course 4
Core Curriculum Courses 6 =17 total hours

Fourth Semester Hours
PHYS 1321 Elementary Physics I 3
BIOL 2403 Zoology 4
BIOL 3300 Genetics 3
Core Curriculum Courses 6 =16 total hours

Fifth Semester Hours
MET 3210 Laboratory Principles and Techniques 2
MET 3211 Introduction to Research 2
BIOL Upper Level Electives 8
PHYS 1322 Elementary Physics II 3 =15 total hours

Sixth Semester Hours
BIOL 4417 Molecular Biology 4
BIOL 4418 Biotechnology 4
Core Curriculum Courses 3
Unrestricted Electives 6 =17 total hours

Seventh Semester Hours
BIOL Upper Level Electives 4
Upper Level Electives 3
Core Curriculum Courses 6 =13 total hours

Eighth Semester Hours
MET 4305 Cell Culture Principles and Techniques 3
MET 4106 Technology Transfer 1
MET 4507 Biotechnology Laboratory Internship 5
BIOL 4190 Biology Seminar 1
Upper Level Electives 3 =13 total hours

Requirement for BS in Molecular Biotechnology Tech Sheet