The genetic engineering major is offered through the Department of Biological Sciences where state-of-the-art laboratories allow students to experience biotechnology first-hand. Genetic engineering students develop a strong understanding of molecular genetics as they explore the technology that has led us to recent advances in the field and discover how molecular biology impacts various other fields such as oncology, gene therapy, immunology, medical genetics, etc. All coursework and laboratories emphasize reading, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating assumptions along with development in technical writing and oral presentation skills. Students are exposed to original research during their freshman year as they work as members of research teams in a professor’s ongoing research program. The capstone experience is an independent research project conducted in a professor's lab. At a minimum, students are required to develop their research proposal during their junior year, and spend at least two consecutive semesters, usually their entire senior year, conducting the research project. At the end of their senior year, students must present their research to the department in a seminar talk or a poster. Graduates from the genetic engineering program are prepared for (1) immediate employment as a research technician in an industrial or academic setting, (2) admission to graduate school, or (3) admission to a professional school.
The Coursework Component
The GE major curriculum provides a strong foundation in Chemistry and Biology, and then intensive courses in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, and Biotechnology. The GE program includes lecture, laboratory, and techniques courses that strive to accomplish the following:
- Expose students to primary literature so they can gain an understanding of current research in the field of molecular genetics
- Develop the students’ ability to give scientific presentations and clearly communicate with other scientists
- Give students "hands-on" experience with the latest high-tech equipment.
The Research Training Component
Training students in the skills of independent research is accomplished by three mechanisms:
- Independent work outside the scheduled course time in upper-level laboratory courses
- An on-campus, multi-semester research project that serves as the capstone project for the major
- An off-campus research internship in a university or industrial laboratory for eligible* students.
*Successful placement is dependent upon the student’s academic performance and the selection criteria of the university or biotechnology company. Final decisions are made by the university or company to which the student applies. Cedar Crest College cannot guarantee a position
Specific Course Requirements
See the GE program checklists for specific course requirements.
Last Updated: 8/25/11