At Cedar Crest, we are proud to have one of the first genetic engineering programs in the country. The GE Program begins with a solid foundation in the breadth of biology, taking students from the world of ecology to the amazing world of cellular biology. Next, students build on this foundation through two years of intense upper-class coursework in molecular genetics and the applications of biotechnology. Small courses with individualized attention from faculty help students to gain extensive knowledge of the details of molecular biology and witness a glimpse into what graduate-level learning environments are like. In state-of-the-art laboratories students apply knowledge they’ve gained in the classroom to molecular experiments that test their abilities and prepare them to work independently post-graduation. By the time students complete this program, they are prepared for immediate employment in industrial or university labs as technical personnel, for advanced study at the master's or Ph.D. levels in graduate schools, or for admission to professional schools of medicine, veterinary medicine, or dentistry.
Research Training Program
The Genetic Engineering Program provides students with extensive training, as early as their freshman year, using original research projects to teach them about the equipment and procedures of the laboratory. Independent work outside the scheduled course time is emphasized in upper-level laboratory courses. Students are encouraged to compete for paid internships during the summer in order to experience more fully research in varied academic settings and in industry. All genetic engineering students design their own proposal for an independent research project. They are then encouraged to spend the next three semesters working in the lab to complete the objects of their research. Their senior research culminates in an undergraduate research that documents their findings and they publicly present their work to the entire department in a seminar. In addition, many students present their work at regional, national, and international conferences.
Within the broader mission of the Department of Biological Sciences, the mission of the Genetic Engineering Program is to provide undergraduates with an intensive, progressive, and balanced learning experience in cell and molecular biology, emphasizing theory and basic laboratory skills. It provides a molecular genetics-based curriculum with studies in cellular and molecular biology and a significant chemistry component, thus producing a solid background for continuing graduate work in genetics, molecular biology, and biochemistry as well as the technical skills needed for directly entering the workforce as a laboratory technician.
In addition to meeting the departmental goals for all programs coming out of the Department of Biological Sciences, the goal of the Genetic Engineering program is to provide undergraduates with opportunities to acquire
1) a fundamental knowledge base in the breadth of biology, spanning from molecular genetics to ecology.
2) a fundamental knowledge base in chemistry.
3) a specific knowledge base in the molecular mechanisms of genetic and biochemical processes.
4) the ability to critically analyze scientific data to include a deeper understanding of molecular technologies.
5) an appreciation for the connections between molecular biology and the liberal arts.
6) a realization of the connections between molecular genetics and different areas of biology.
7) an understanding of biotechnology through theory and practice.
8) initiative and independence in scientific inquiry.
9) expanded oral presentation skills to effectively communicate with others within and outside the field of genetic engineering.
10) expanded writing skills to include technical writings in molecular genetics.
Last Updated: 1/18/10