Cell Molec students.

Program Overview

Quick Facts

  • Delivery: On Campus
  • Credits: 120

What causes a cancer cell to undergo uncontrolled division, and, more importantly, how can we stop it from growing?  How do cells know when to divide and when to die? How can manipulating cells help us improve crops or decrease pollution in our environment? How do pathogens infect cells, and how can infectious disease and transmission be arrested?

You will learn the answers to these questions as a Cellular and Molecular Biology major.

The Cellular and Molecular Biology concentration allows you to explore basic molecular interactions that both drive and regulate cellular processes by studying model systems in animal, plant, fungal, and bacterial cells. It also prepares you for advanced graduate studies, attaining professional degrees, or working in the industry.

In addition to student-centered coursework, you will get hands-on learning through laboratory courses and research opportunities.

Meet the Biology Faculty Who Teach in this Concentration

Research Opportunities

While pursuing studies in cellular and molecular biology, you may choose to participate in research in a faculty member’s lab. These scientific experiences will allow you to generate and communicate new scientific knowledge that could lead to improved understanding and treatment of human diseases and solve other important biological problems. Undergraduate research will boost your resume and dramatically increase your marketability with employers and advanced graduate programs.

Ball State Cellular and Molecular Biology faculty are leaders in their fields and are performing cutting-edge research with Ball State undergraduates! These faculty-student partnerships result in publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at regional and international scientific conferences.

  • RNA modifications in fungal pathogens 
  • nervous and immune system responses following traumatic injury
  • novel approaches to combat the antibiotic resistance crisis
  • molecular analysis of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • cutting-edge technologies to study neuronal circuitry
  • detection and destruction of disease-causing aberrant proteins
  • molecular underpinnings of cancer and ALS
  • cardiovascular development and regeneration

In addition to faculty research labs, you will have the opportunity to contribute to authentic, publishable cell biology research projects in the Methods in Cell Biology laboratory class (BIO 315).

Laboratories and Advanced Equipment

In a laboratory-focused field, it is important to have access to labs and equipment that you will use in your career or in graduate school. In laboratory classrooms and faculty research labs, Cellular and Molecular Biology students work with cutting-edge equipment in state-of-the-art facilities, rivaling those of larger institutions and elite scientific companies.

Student Organizations

The Department of Biology is home to several academic clubs that provide an opportunity to connect with other students in your concentration for support, professional development opportunities and academic discussion.

A few student organizations you may be interested in joining as a Cellular and Molecular Biology student include:

Small Class Size

Our low student-to-professor ratio and small class sizes will give you personalized attention from faculty, who are world-class experts in their disciplines.

Launching Your Career

Students who have studied Cell and Molecular Biology at Ball State have been hired at:

  • Eli Lilly
  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
  • Elanco Animal Health
  • Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Large and small biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and start-ups
  • and more!

Many of our students pursue advanced graduate study (such as PhD programs, medical school, and veterinary school). Students who have studied Cellular and Molecular Biology at Ball State have gained admission to:

  • Vanderbilt University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • University of Washington
  • Yale University
  • University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
  • Indiana University
  • Purdue University
  • Notre Dame University
  • and more!

The concentration in cellular and molecular biology fulfills part of the requirements that lead to a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree with a major in biology. All biology majors must also complete the biology core curriculum and the University Core Curriculum.

Credits Required

Total to Graduate: 120

  • Biology Core Curriculum: 37-38
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology Concentration: 39-40
  • University Core Curriculum: 66-70


All biology majors in every concentration are required to complete a core curriculum in biology that is separate from your concentration requirements and from the University Core Curriculum.

These foundational courses provide you with an overview of the principles in biology and develop a necessary competency in chemistry, physics and math.

Biology Core Courses: 18 credits

  • BIO 111 – Principles of Biology 1
  • BIO 112 – Principles of Biology 2
  • BIO 201 - Symposium
  • BIO 214 – Genetics
  • BIO 216 – Ecology
  • One of the following:
    • BIO 314 – Methods in Genetics
    • BIO 315 – Methods in Cell Biology
    • BIO 316 – Methods in Ecology

*Note:  All Cellular and Molecular Biology concentration students are required to take BIO 315.

Other Required Courses: 18-20 credits

  • CHEM 111 – General Chemistry 1
  • CHEM 112 – General Chemistry 2
  • PHYC 110 – General Physics 1
  • One of the following:
    • CHEM 230 – Organic Chemistry for the Life Sciences AND CHEM 241 – Organic Chemistry Laboratory 1
    • CHEM 231 – Organic Chemistry 1 AND CHEM 241 – Organic Chemistry Laboratory 1

*Note:  All Cellular and Molecular Biology concentration students are required to take CHEM 231 and CHEM 241.

  • One of the following:
    • MATH 112 – Precalculus Trigonometry
    • MATH 114 – Precalculus Trigonometry (accelerated 8 week course)
    • MATH 161 – Applied Calculus 1
    • MATH 165 – Calculus 1 


The courses you will take to complete the cellular and molecular biology concentration are:

  • BIO 215 – Cell Biology
  • BIO 313 – Microbiology
  • BIO 315 – Methods in Cell Biology
  • BIO 444 – Immunology
  • BIO 457 – Molecular Biology
  • CHEM 231 – Organic Chemistry 1
  • CHEM 231 – Organic Chemistry 2
  • CHEM 241 – Organic Chemistry Laboratory 1
  • CHEM 242 – Organic Chemistry Laboratory 2
  • One of the following:
    • CHEM 360 – Essentials of Biochemistry AND CHEM 361 – Introductory Biochemistry Lab
    • CHEM 463 – Principles of Biochemistry 1 AND CHEM 465 – Biochemistry Laboratory Techniques
  • Nine credits from:
    • BIO 369, BIO 394, BIO 448, BIO 456, BIO 498, BIOT 490, BIOT 491, BIOT 494, BOT 446, CHEM 464

For a complete list of all the courses you will take for your degree and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

Keep Exploring

Take the Next Step

Do you want to learn more about our program or have questions about the application process or financial aid? We’re here to help! One of the best ways to understand why Ball State is right for you is to schedule a visit through our Office of Undergraduate Admissions to see it for yourself. Or if you’d like to speak directly to someone in our department, please feel free to call or email us.


Related Programs