CMB Majors, Information for Students & Advisors, Feb 2014
CMB Majors, Information for Students & Advisors, March 2014
The following information addresses some common questions regarding scheduling of courses, as well as some updated information regarding changes in the time courses are offered & newer course offerings.
In general, you will have no problem accounting for prerequisites & completing your degree in a timely manner if you:
1) take BIO 120 (General Biology I) & CHM 115 & 116 (Principles of Chemistry I & II) in your freshman year.
2) take CMB 250 (Introduction to Biotechnology) your sophomore year.
3) take BIO 375 & 376 (Genetics lecture & lab) & CHM 241 & 242 (Organic Chemistry series) in your sophomore year.
4) take BIO 405 & 406 (Cell & Molecular Biology lecture & lab) in your junior or first semester senior year.
5) begin independent research prior to your final Fall semester; we encourage you to begin research early in your undergraduate career & strongly encourage you to at least begin your research during the spring/summer periods. You will ultimately be presenting your research in the Capstone course (CMB 495) which is offered Winter semesters only & is typically taken during your final semester. You will begin hearing about research options in the CMB 250 course. In addition, please talk with your advisor. Information regarding research & internship opportunities is also posted on the CMB website, & the Department & student chapter of the American Society of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (ASBMB) periodically host events regarding research opportunities.
6) meet with your advisor regularly. Do not panic(!) if you did not take the courses in the above order.
1) Courses can be repeated once without additional permissions.
2) Prerequisites are enforced through Banner.
Even though the Admission to Major Standing application process was not in effect when you declared CMB as your major, you still must meet the minimal grade requirement (C+) for the 8 courses listed in the catalog (BIO 120, 375, 376, CHM 115, 116, 241, 242 & CMB 250) in order to graduate as a CMB major. If your grade is lower in any of these courses, please talk with your advisor. There is an appeal process. Please talk to your advisor earlier rather than later.
Either MTH 125 OR 201 is acceptable for the CMB major.
PHY 230/231 is a calculus-based physics series; take this series if you have a strong interest. Otherwise, take the PHY 220/221 series.
* Note that PHY 221 can conflict scheduling-wise with CHM 461, so it is best to take this PHY series early (before you are ready for CHM 461). Both PHY 221 & CHM 461 are offered Fall & Winter semesters & there are multiple sections of each.
* Note that PHY 221 requires some knowledge of trigonometry (covered in MTH 123). If you took the math placement exam & were placed in MTH 201, you should be fine. If you have not had trigonometry before, you will want to take MTH 123 prior to taking PHY 221.
Either BIO 357 OR BMS 212/213 will fulfill this requirement. BIO 357 is a general microbiology course while BMS 212/213 is more of a medical microbiology course.
CMB 250 – Introduction to Biotechnology
One section is offered each semester. This class fills so do not delay in registering for this class. If you can’t register for this because it is full, please keep in close contact with the listed instructor so we can get you in as seats become available.
CHM 241, 242 – Organic Chemistry
You can substitute CHM 245 through 248 for the CHM 241/242 Organic Chemistry series. This option is listed on the Advising Worksheet for CMB Majors.
CMB 351 – Bioinformatics for Life Sciences – newer course
Offered Fall semesters – this course will be offered on Tues 6-8:50 on the Pew Campus (DEV or EC). The course explores online biological databases & includes discussion of their content, applicability, & methods of searching & retrieving the desired information. Methods employed by bioinformatics are discussed: to compare the sequences of proteins & nucleic acids, to build phylogenetic trees, to predict protein structure & function, to find & annotate genes, & to compare & analyze whole genomes. The class includes an extensive hands-on but no programming experience is necessary. Prerequisites: BIO 120, CMB 250 or BIO 375, or permission of instructor, junior status.
CMB 452 – Computational Biology – newer course
Offered Winter semesters - this course is now offered on Tues 6-8:50 on the Pew Campus (DEV). The course covers the computational methods of: predicting protein 3D structure (emphasis on homology modeling); predicting & simulating biomolecular function (enzymatic reactions, functional motions, molecular recognition); discovering new drugs & engineering new biomolecules. The class includes an extensive hands-on but no programming experience is necessary. Prerequisites: BIO 120, CHM116, PHY 221 or PHY 231, CMB 250 or CHM 461, or permission of instructor.
BIO 405 – Cell & Molecular Biology lecture
BIO 405 is offered Fall, Winter, & Spring sessions. You must complete the organic chemistry requirement (& BIO 375 Genetics) before taking BIO 405. The pace in BIO 405 is very fast if you take the Spring section, so do not plan on taking any other courses at the same time.
BIO 406 – Cell & Molecular Biology Laboratory
This course can be taken concurrently with BIO 405. Note that BIO 406 is the prerequisite for BIO/CMB 426; these courses cannot be taken concurrently. Also, note that 2 sections of BIO 406 are offered at CHS downtown, so you do not want to schedule this course back-to-back with anything on the Allendale campus because you will need to allow for travel time. BIO 406 is being offered again this summer (12 week session on Wednesday afternoons).
BIO/CMB 426 – Nucleic Acids Laboratory
This course is offered both Fall & Winter semesters (Tues/Thurs afternoons). BIO 406 is the prerequisite. If you are planning on submitting applications in the Fall for graduate school, you may well be interviewing for graduate programs during the Winter semester. Therefore, we recommend you take BIO/CMB 426 in the Fall. This course fills, so do not delay in registering for this class. If you cannot register because the course is full, please keep in close contact with the listed instructor.
CHM 461 – Biochemistry I
This course is offered Fall, Winter, & Spring semesters. The pace is very fast if you take the Spring section, so do not plan on taking any other courses at the same time. Pay close attention to the section locations as some sections are downtown & some are on the Allendale campus.
CHM 462 – Techniques in Biochemistry
Two sections are offered in both the Fall semester & Winter semesters (Tues/Thurs morning &Tues/Thurs afternoon sections). All four sections are held in Room 543 CHS downtown, so don’t schedule this back-to-back with an Allendale course as you need to allow for travel time. If you are planning on submitting applications in the Fall for graduate school, you may well be interviewing for graduate programs during the Winter semester. Therefore, if you want to take CHM 462 in the Winter, you will want to register for the morning section as it will interfere less with the typical grad school interview schedule. RE taking BIO/CMB 426 & CHM 462 the same semester – it is do-able, but you will be very busy. If you can, take them separate semesters.
CMB 480 – Drosophila Genomics – newer course
Offered Winter semesters. This course provides experiential learning in the field of genomics, focusing on two areas common in determining a genome’s sequence: sequence finishing & annotation. Finishing utilizes Consed & phrep/phrap to analyze sequence data from a Drosophila genome database, which is then used to make changes to improve sequence quality. The annotation uses many online resources from a variety of publicly available servers to identify genetic elements. The course utilizes the resources of the Genomics Education Partnership (GEP). Prerequisites: CMB 250, BIO 355 or BIO 375/376.
CMB 495 – Perspectives in Cell & Molecular Biology (Capstone)
One section of the Capstone will be offered in the Winter semester (1:30 - 2:45 on Mon/Wed). Remember, you must have previously been registered for CMB/BIO/BMS/CHM 499 (Independent Research) or 490 (internship) before registering for CMB 495. If you are registering for CMB 499 for the first time & 495 concurrently (which is not a good idea), you will need permission from Dr. Staves.
1) Do not delay in registering for this course.
2) You are very strongly encouraged to have initiated your research well before the semester you take the Capstone course as you will be doing an oral presentation of your research in this course.
3) If you cannot register because the course is full, please contact the instructor as soon as possible.
CMB 499 – Independent Research
You are required to do at least 3 credits of research as a CMB major; you can do more than 3 (& most majors do). To register for these credits, you will fill out a short form in the CMB/BIO office (212 Henry Hall) which will then go to Dr. Staves. With his approval, you will be able to register for CMB 499 through Banner. If you will be doing research with a GVSU faculty member, he/she may ask you to fill out a second short form at the same time for funding for supplies for your research.
As mentioned above, there will be several opportunities to learn about research options, & there are many options as to where you do the research. That said, it never hurts to start asking about it early. You can do research here with a GVSU faculty member (from a variety of departments), with a mentor at the Van Andel Research Institute or with MSU faculty housed at the Institute, elsewhere in the country (or world) through an established program (see the CMB website for suggestions), or via an internship situation you identify & which is approved by GVSU. To get started thinking about research, please talk with your advisor.
While we believe the information in this document is correct, be sure to confirm it in Banner.
Coming attractions – the CMB Combined BS/MS Degree Program
As a junior, you will be able to apply for entrance to this program. Upon finishing the program (potentially in 5 years), you will have both a BS and an MS degree from the CMB Department. You will be hearing more about this opportunity shortly on the CMB website.
Page last modified March 17, 2014