What is Biomolecular Science?
Science has undergone a remarkable transformation over the last few decades and nowhere has the impact been more dramatic than at the interface between biology and chemistry — the biomolecular sciences. Breakthroughs in this field have led to astounding recent developments in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, genetic engineering, and medicine.
Few sciences will have the impact on our lives that Biomolecular Science does — or offer the opportunity for individuals to make such a vast variety of important contributions to the world. Biomolecular science is truly a science for the 21st century.
Growing career opportunities
Clarkson’s degree program in biomolecular science was developed in response to the growing number and variety of industrial and government positions for students with strong backgrounds in both chemistry and biology. Careers span the full range of the chemical and biological sciences, with exceptional opportunities in the following areas:
- Genetic engineering
- Medical industries
- Health sciences
The biomolecular science degree program meets pre-professional requirements for medical, dental and veterinary schools, and Clarkson’s own Doctor of Physical Therapy program. It is also excellent preparation for industrial positions or careers in pharmaceutical, medical and biotechnological industries. And, depending on electives, graduates may enter advanced degree programs across the entire spectrum of the chemical, biological, medical and health sciences.
Teaching and research Clarkson combines two distinctive strengths that benefit students: personalized teaching and high-powered research. With a 16:1 faculty-to-student ratio, our professors get to know students as individuals. These faculty members are also inspired explorers on the very frontiers of knowledge. They conduct world-class research in areas of vital importance — and involve undergraduates as well as graduate students in the process!
Clarkson takes a project-based approach to learning. Because you focus on the creative application of knowledge and skills to solve practical, real-world problems, you gain:
- a strong, hands-on foundation in the basics
- teamwork and leadership skills
- practice in creative problem solving
- techniques in research and analysis
- skills in applying what you know
And at all levels, you enjoy the individualized attention that only an undergraduate centered school can provide.
A rigorous curriculum
One of the strongest programs in biomolecular science anywhere, Clarkson’s curriculum is built on a rigorous foundation in both the chemical and biological sciences. It includes core courses in analytical, organic and physical chemistry as well as cell biology, genetics, and molecular biology. Calculus and physics add to the rigor of the degree program while eight courses from business, engineering and the liberal arts assure a balanced education. The program concludes with a two-semester senior-level capstone course in biochemistry, supplemented by labs in molecular biology and biotechnology, to bring the individual components together.
Flexibility, depth and breadth for specialization
Free electives make it easy to develop a specialization, even outside the chemical and biological sciences. You might, for instance, pursue additional coursework in engineering, management, or the health sciences or use your electives for research.
And even students who have reached their third year in biomolecular science may change majors — or obtain a second major — or add a minor in either chemistry or biology.
Pre-Med and Pre-Physical Therapy
An excellent foundation for careers in medicine and health sciences, our biomolecular science curriculum includes elective courses that enable you to specialize. For example, you might focus in endocrinology, biophysics and microbiology. However, a career in medicine also demands a strong background in the liberal arts, especially in ethics, social issues, and communications skills. And electives will also allow you to build strengths in these areas.
Those interested in Clarkson’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program may utilize electives to develop skills in anatomy and physiology, and to take PT501, Basic Science for Physical Therapy, in their senior year.
Real-world projects and internships
At Clarkson, we believe in learning by doing. Our hands-on, experiential approach truly sets a science education at Clarkson apart from programs at other institutions — and sets our graduates apart in the marketplace and graduate school. Recent internships have included the Trudeau Center in Saranac Lake, Upstate Biotech in Lake Placid, and DuPont Pharmaceuticals, to name just a few.
Undergraduate research opportunities
All Clarkson science majors have the opportunity to participate in faculty directed research, a “trademark” of science education at Clarkson. In fact, it is not uncommon to see first- or second-year undergraduates working side by side in the lab with graduate students and faculty
Under the guidance of these mentors, you learn how to ask key questions, interpret data, and find answers. Invariably, alumni tell us that time spent with the faculty in research turns out to be the most important learning experience of their college career. Recent student projects include:
- Characterization of liposome systems for drug delivery
- Cell interaction infection modeling
- Biomaterials for heart-valve replacement
- Cell development in cervical cancer
- Estrogen receptor binding
Our students have access to some of the newest scientific technologies, many not generally available to undergraduates — even at much larger universities! Because the focus of learning at Clarkson is “hands-on” and “brains-on,” you learn by doing which improves your job prospects and your chances for graduate or medical school. Sophisticated research facilities, fully equipped laboratories, and state-of-the-art equipment available for biomolecular research include:
- Multifaceted protein research facility
- Atomic force microscopy for bio systems
- Full range of chromatographic separation instruments
- Cell and bacterial culturing facilities
- Adsorption, mass and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
Points to remember
Here are two good reasons for choosing Clarkson:
- Our graduates are sought both for their strong technical skills and their versatility.
- A Clarkson science degree builds abilities in teamwork, management, communication, leadership and creative problem solving.