Undergraduate Program in Biological Sciences
Distance Education at Lehigh University

Distance Education Master's Degree in Molecular Biology

Program OverviewCurriculumProgram Adviser | Application Deadline | Distance Education website

The biological sciences include the study of living systems at levels ranging from the structure and function of molecules to the behavior and evolution of communities of organisms. Within the Department of Biological Sciences at Lehigh, research areas in molecular biology include microbial evolution and genetics, plant and animal molecular genetics, developmental genetics, eukaryotic cell biology, regulation of gene expression, and virology.

Program Overview

The Master’s Degree in Molecular Biology includes: 30 credit hours of graduate work; not less than 18 credits of 400-level courses (six credit hours of research counts as part of the 400 level requirement) and not less than 18 credits of coursework in the major of which 15 credits must be at the 400 level. The remaining credits are completed from electives, which are added to the schedule on a non-regular basis or may be selected from discipline-related courses offered outside the Molecular Biology program. Students must register for six credits of research (two options available – see Curriculum below) and successfully complete a research project under the direction of a faculty member of the Department of Biological Sciences, in collaboration with a staff research advisor at their site.

New students will apply for admission through the Biological Sciences Department using the Distance Learning Program admission form. Two letters of recommendation and an official transcript of previous educational experience are required for consideration of admission in the Distance Education Master's Degree program. [Please note: Students admitted  into the program must complete 9 consecutive credit hours of coursework of 300-level or higher, with no grade lower than a B-, in order to continue taking courses.]

With the approval of the Department Graduate Committee and the Lehigh University Registrar, a maximum of six credits of molecular biology–relevant courses may be transferred in toward completion of the master’s degree. A course grade of B or better is required for transfer credits.

Students completing the program will receive a Master of Science Degree in Molecular Biology from Lehigh University.

Undergraduate Course Requirements

    • 2 semesters: General Chemistry
    • 2 semesters: Organic Chemistry
    • 2 semesters: Physics
    • 1 semester: Genetics
    • 1 semester:  Intro to Cell & Molecular Biology
    • 2 semesters:  Math courses   


    Required Courses

      • BioS 345 Molecular Genetics (3)
      • BioS 473 Principles of Biochemistry I (3)
      • BioS 372 Elements of Biochemistry II (3)
      • BioS 407 Research (6 credits required)
    • BioS 411 Advanced Cell Biology (3)
    • BioS 421 Molecular Cell Biology I (3) ^
    • BioS 422 Molecular Cell Biology II (3) ^
    • BioS 427 Techniques in Cell and Molecular Biology* (3)

    * This course may be completed by arrangement at Lehigh or at the distance site in consultation with a staff research advisor and Lehigh faculty. However, this course may not be required (and another one may be substituted in its place) if the student has demonstrated proficiency in molecular biology and biochemical techniques. In this case, a description of research or technical experience in the field should be summarized and submitted with the student’s admission application.

    ^ These courses require live participation through the Classroom LIVE (CL) platform. This may also be the case for some elective courses. See Distance Education website for more information about instructional platforms.

    non-thesis research option is available upon approval by student’s departmental committee.


    Elective courses offered through the student’s program will include various specialization courses such as:

    • BioS 328 Immunology (3)
    • BioS 376 Developmental Biology (3)
    • BioS 396 Development and Disease (3)
    • BioS 404 Behavioral Neuroscience (3)
    • BioS 405 Special Topics in Molecular Biology (1-3)
    • BioS 464 Molecular Biology of Eukaryotic Organisms (3)
    • BioS 466 Structure and Function of RNAs and Ribonucleoprotein Complexes (3)
    • BioS 476 Eukaryotic Signal Transduction (3)
    • BioS 498 Cellular Basis of Human Disease (3)

    This elective list is preliminary and is shown for information only. There is no relationship to the order in which they appear above and when they will be scheduled for broadcast.

    Program Adviser:

    Professor Vassie C. Ware
    e-mail: vcw0@lehigh.edu 

    Application Deadline

    Application deadlines for acceptance in to the Distance Education program are:

    Entrance beginning.... Regular Degree Non-Degree
    Fall Semester July 15 August 1
    Spring Semester December 1 December 1
    Summer Semester April 30 May 1

    Apply to the Distance Education program at Lehigh

    For more information, including current course offerings and tuition, please visit our web site at: www.distance.lehigh.edu





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Biological Sciences
111 Research Drive
Bethlehem, PA 18015
Phone: 610-758-3680
Fax: 610-758-4004
Email: inbios@lehigh.edu