Undergraduate Studies
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Research Undergraduate

Undergraduate Administration

Academic Administration

 

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Undergraduate Departmental Representatives

 
MOL concentrators are assigned Dept. representatives. Students will know who their Rep. is when they login to Score. Students must make an appointment with their assigned Rep. using the WASS system.
 Rebecca Burdine, Department Representative

Jane Flint, Department Representative

Fred Hughson, Department Representative

Tom Silhavy, Department Representative

 Advisors

 

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Health Professions Advisor

 

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Undergraduate Studies Committee

 

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Alison Gammie

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Undergraduate Student Committee

The Undergraduate Molecular Biology Committee is here to serve you. Our role is to act as the liaison between students in the department and the faculty. During monthly meetings, led by Dr. Lynn Enquist, we discuss students' concerns regarding courses, professors, TAs, workloads and exam schedules. Basically, if we (the students) don't like something, the department will change it (within reason of course - so please don't request the complete elimination of Biochemistry)!

The committee is a forum to suggest possible improvements. One of our goals is to increase the interaction between faculty and students. We have already begun to implement new things the department can do to create more opportunities for undergrads to "hang out" with Nobel Prize winners and other leaders in various fields of research. We are always looking for new ideas and our primary responsibility is to relay any comments or complaints you have - so be sure to contact any committee member who will ensure that your input is addressed.

Seniors

debolina banerjee jack greismanjr tracie kong wilhemina koomson
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diane manry david wang jr
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Juniors

 dunstan.ug  Kelly Gross  Tiffany  Grzegorz
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Amara Yi
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Undergraduate Teaching Mission

Bonnie Bassler and studentStudents concentrating in Molecular Biology will attain both breadth and depth in Molecular Biology and associated areas of science.

We expect all students to acquire broad mastery of the core disciplines that form the basis of modern Molecular Biology. The overall topic is covered by formal instruction in the introductory Gateway courses (MOL 215/EEB 215 Quantitative Principles in Cell and Molecular Biology or MOL 214 Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology ) or the Integrated Science program (ISC 235 and ISC 236) and further elaborated in the Core courses (Genetics, Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology, Core laboratory). Students pursuing certificates in associated multi-disciplinary fields may substitute other courses for specific designated Core courses.

We expect that all students will acquire depth in their chosen sub-discipline within Molecular Biology. Students will be able to pursue topics in greater detail and sophistication in upper level courses, which will emphasize current topics and readings from the primary literature.

We firmly believe that the best way to learn science is by doing science. All students in Molecular Biology will be expected to apply their knowledge and skills to the practical acquisition of new scientific knowledge. All students in Molecular Biology will do original independent research beginning in the spring of junior year, continuing throughout the senior year, and culminating in the senior thesis. Students may elect to begin independent research earlier than junior year.

We expect students to gain mastery in all aspects of the practice of scientific research. Beginning with the Core lab and continuing through the independent work, students will have multiple opportunities for learning and applying all aspects of modern scientific research. In addition to becoming scholars in their field, they will become adept at the formulation of testable hypotheses, the planning and execution of well controlled experiments, the thorough analysis/interpretation of data, and the formal presentation of their findings.

Junior Independent Work

Beginning with the junior independent work, students will read extensively from the primary literature, the principal mode of scientific communication. A major goal of the fall semester will be to learn how to do critical analysis of the formal scientific literature. In the spring of the junior year, students will meet in individual tutorials with their faculty advisors. The goals of the spring semester are four-fold. First, students are asked to master the relevant background literature and context for their research project. Second, students will learn to formulate hypotheses and design experiments to test the hypotheses critically. Third, at the end of the spring semester, students will integrate the relevant background literature with their ideas for future research to generate a research plan in the form of a grant proposal. The writing of the grant proposal will give students direct experience in the formal communication of scientific hypotheses. Finally, the spring semester and succeeding summer are the times when all students begin the research for their Senior Theses.

Senior Research

The capstone of the Princeton degree is the opportunity for all students to conduct original research in their chosen field of study. Over the course of the year, students will work both independently, and under supervision, to plan and conduct experiments to advance scientific knowledge, with due attention to proper controls. These students will be expected to analyze and interpret critically the results of experiments, to use the conclusions of individual experiments to plan and revise subsequent experiments, and to integrate their knowledge from all sources. Students choosing to do non-experimental thesis research will, likewise, be expected to describe thoroughly, and analyze critically the full body of experimental work on a topic directly related to Molecular Biology. As their research progresses, students will have several opportunities to present their work in the form of poster presentations to their peers, to graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and members of the faculty. At regular intervals, students will give formal oral presentations to the members of their laboratories or to the group of students doing non-experimental theses and their advisors.

Senior Thesis

Ultimately, students will formally describe their research in the form of a written thesis. Taking the form of an extended science paper, the thesis will describe all aspects of the research, from the context and hypothesis, through the materials and methods, to the results, conclusions, and discussion. The thesis will be read and evaluated by three faculty readers, including the advisor, who will evaluate all aspects of the thesis research. Finally, the student will defend the thesis orally before the two non-advisor readers. The oral defense will provide an opportunity to assess the students' ability to discuss their research, test their knowledge of the discipline, and their ability to extend their research by proposing new hypotheses and experiments to test them.

Undergraduate Program Overview

Undergraduates in the Department of Molecular Biology are actively engaged in cutting–edge research in a fast-paced and innovative area of modern science.

Princeton University provides a unique learning experience, in which every undergraduate student completes a Senior Thesis as the culmination of their educational career. Often recalled by alumni as their single most profound and meaningful experience at Princeton, the Senior Thesis allows students to combine and apply 4 years of scholarship into an original research effort. In the Department of Molecular Biology, the Senior Thesis is a remarkable opportunity for students to work in the laboratories of world famous scientists, conducting experimental research at the frontiers of modern science.

Princeton is known for its warm collegiality and its nurturing environment for students, while still challenging them to attain the highest levels of intellectual achievement. The Department of Molecular Biology is home to almost 60 fulltime and associated faculty, housed in 4 adjacent buildings. Each year, between fifty and sixty students choose Molecular Biology for their concentration, insuring that each student receives a high degree of individual attention while pursuing their research.

The Molecular Biology Undergraduate web pages are designed to provide information to prospective students and current majors regarding degree requirements, courses, research opportunities, early concentration, study-abroad options, as well as junior & senior independent work.

If after browsing these pages you still have questions, feel free to contact a member of the current senior class for an inside perspective.


Visiting the Department

Prospective students will have an opportunity to receive detailed information about the program, tour the department, and meet with students and faculty. Tours and meetings with students/faculty must be arranged in advance.  To make an appointment, please contact Elena Chiarchiaro, Manager of Student Services, to arrange a visit.

Undergraduate Program in Molecular Biology

Undergraduates in the Department of Molecular Biology are actively engaged in cutting–edge research in a fast-paced and innovative area of modern science.

Princeton University provides a unique learning experience, in which every undergraduate student completes a Senior Thesis as the culmination of their educational career. Often recalled by alumni as their single most profound and meaningful experience at Princeton, the Senior Thesis allows students to combine and apply 4 years of scholarship into an original research effort. In the Department of Molecular Biology, the Senior Thesis is a remarkable opportunity for students to work in the laboratories of world famous scientists, conducting experimental research at the frontiers of modern science.


Subcategories

  • Certificate Programs
  • Courses

    Office of the Registrar: Timetable of Courses

  • Current Students
  • Perspectives
  • Premed
  • Publications
  • Requirements
  • Research

    The undergraduate research program begins in the junior year after students have declared their majors. Starting in the fall of the junior year , Molecular Biology students are expected to read, understand, and write critiques of the primary scientific literature. In the spring, juniors take an advanced project-based laboratory course and begin their independent work in one of the research laboratories affiliated with the department. The independent research continues through the summer and the senior year. Oral presentations and poster sessions are required throughout to encourage students to gain expertise in data presentation. At the end of the senior year, students present their research findings in an original thesis. Upon graduation, Molecular Biology students have gained a strong academic foundation as well as important research skills that prove invaluable in their future careers.

  • Study Abroad

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