Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
In the B.A./M.S. program, Clark Biochemistry and Molecular Biology majors have an opportunity to gain further experience by participating in laboratory-based research - and obtain a Master of Science degree in the process. This is through an intensive and uniquely designed program starting as an undergraduate and completed in an additional tuition-free year as a graduate student. The program nicely complements classroom learing with hands-on experience, preparing the student for further graduate studies, or a career in the health sciences or industry. Although students can become involved in research at any point in their undergraduate career, the program typically begins during the junior year, when the student identifies a professor whose research interests them. Research can also be conducted off campus, under the guidance of qualified mentors, in research labs throughout greater Massachusetts. The research continues through the senior year (while at the same time completing the degree requirements for the B.S. degree), the following summer, and for the additional fifth year. The goal is to generate a defendable thesis, often producing publishable research results in the process, and to become well prepared for a career in biochemistry and/or molecular biology.
Entry into the program
During their junior year, students contact a faculty member whose research interests mesh with their own (descriptions of Clark BCMB program faculty research interests are available on the web). With the consent of the faculty member, the student then applies to the program by completing the application no later than May 1 of their junior year.
Program of study
During their senior year, in addition to completing the B.A. requirements for their undergraduate degree, the student must take at least one credit of directed study (or honors research) each semester. In the fifth year, students typically take one or two courses at the 300 level each semedster. The remainder of credits to be considered a full-time student are generally filled by directed study and seminar credits. The program is only open to Clark University BCMB majors.
During the senior year, the summer following it, and the entire fifth year, the student will pursue an independent research project. Research, although it can be initiated during any prior stage of the student's undergraduate career, must begin no later than the fall semester of the senior year. Also, the undergraduate and graduate research projects must be with the same faculty member. Students will be assessed a $1000 lab fee in their fifth year to defray the cost of conducting lab research. Students prepare a written thesis based on their original research, which must be presented and defenced in an oral presentation. The defense normally occurs during the late spring or early summer at the end of the fifth year.
Students are required to pay a one-time program fee of $1,000 which is assessed in the first semester of graduate study. Graduate students also pay a $15.00 activity fee in the fall and in the spring semesters and a one-time Enrollment Fee of $100 in the first semester of graduate study.
Please note: Students who stay beyond the fifth year must register as a non-resident student and pay the $200/semester non-resident fee as well as a $500/semester lab fee. It is also important to note that ADP students are allowed one year of non-residency beyond the fifth year.
Denis Larochelle, Accelerated BA/MS Program Director/Advisor
Lasry Center for Bioscience, 15 Maywood Street