May 14, 2021  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog

Department of Medical and Molecular Sciences


Telephone: (302) 831-2849
http://www.udel.edu/mms/
Faculty Listing: http://sites.udel.edu/mms/directory/

The Department of Medical and Molecular Sciences offers majors in Applied Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Medical Diagnostics, Medical Diagnostics - Pre-Physician Assistant Concentration, Medical Laboratory Science, and, minors in Forensic Science, Genetic Counseling, Medical Diagnostics, Molecular Diagnostics, a Certificate in Molecular Diagnostics, Honors Degrees in Applied Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Medical Laboratory Science and Medical Diagnostics, as well as 4+1 BS/MS programs in all its undergraduate majors.

Medical Laboratory Science

Medical Laboratory Science is related to the prevention, diagnosis, and therapy of disease through the understanding, application, and performance of clinical laboratory analyses. This major prepares students for national certification as medical laboratory scientists.

The Medical Laboratory Science major is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (5600 N. River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018; telephone 773-714-8880). The four-year B.S. degree curriculum offers an undergraduate professional education designed to prepare students for career entry positions in hospital clinical laboratories, health care diagnostic laboratories, and industry as well as graduate study for medical laboratory science, physician assistant, and related areas. Graduates of the major are eligible for the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification examination.

During the first two years at the University, students interested in the Medical Laboratory Science major take courses in the basic sciences and liberal arts, including prerequisite courses in biology and chemistry. The professional and clinical courses in the third and fourth years include a period of supervised clinical education in the Christiana Care Health Services and other affiliated institutions. One required Winter Session is included in the B.S. curriculum.

During the clinical practicum period (fall of junior year and winter and spring terms of the senior year), students should plan for the possibility of added expense for transportation and uniforms and added expense for living off-campus at the clinical site for at least a four-week practicum during the senior year when the commuting distance is excessive. Students are required to meet all immunization, antibody titer to certain infectious diseases, routine physical examination, drug screening, safety, criminal background check, child abuse registry investigation and adult abuse registry investigation requirements, and proof of health insurance prior to clinical coursework. Additional requirements for clinical education may be required by the healthcare facilities to which the student is assigned. The profession of medical laboratory science welcomes individuals with disabilities. However, the student must be able to perform certain essential functions throughout the program of study. These physical, emotional, and professional/intellectual demands are necessary for the effective and accurate performance of laboratory analyses.

For exceptionally talented and highly motivated students, several special academic opportunities are available. Students may pursue the Honors Degree with Distinction, the Honors Degree, the Degree with Distinction, or undergraduate research through independent study. A 4+1 (BS/MS) program) is also available allowing students to gain provisional admission to the Masters of Medical Sciences graduate program during their undergraduate years. 4+1 students complete graduate coursework during their undergraduate years, allowing for the completion of the MS in a shorter time frame at reduced cost.

Freshmen or transfer students may be admitted to the University as Medical Laboratory Science Interest students. Students will be evaluated for admission to the Medical Laboratory Science major after completion of the prerequisite courses - typically at the end of the sophomore year. Priority will be given to full-time University sophomores.

Class size is limited by practicum placements. Any interested student should speak with the Program Director as early as possible.

Eligibility for admission to the junior year of the Medical Laboratory Science major is a competitive process, and will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Minimal GPA of 2.0 in first four semesters of coursework.
  2. Minimal grade point index of 2.0 computed from specified courses in biological sciences and chemistry, including laboratories: BISC 207 , BISC 208 , BISC 276 , BISC 300 , and CHEM 103  or CHEM 107 , CHEM 104  or CHEM 108 , CHEM 213 /CHEM 215 , and CHEM 214 /CHEM 216 . Note: All original and repeated attempts for these courses will be included in this calculation.
  3. Completion of at least 60 credits, including the courses listed above.
  4. Within the pool of eligible students, admission to the major courses will be determined by academic achievement. All applicants will be evaluated by the Medical and Molecular Sciences Undergraduate Program Committee. Any student who does not meet the minimum GPA and/or the science grade point index of 2.0 (#1 and #2 above) by the end of the spring semester of the year they would be evaluated for admission to the Medical Laboratory Science major will NOT be considered for admission that corresponding fall semester. However, they may remain a Medical Laboratory Science Interest major and pursue admission in the next year’s cycle.

Courses taken pass/fail cannot be used to complete major requirements. Pass/fail courses are for free electives only. A minimal grade of C- is required in each MMSC course in the Medical Laboratory Science major. In order to meet degree requirements, Medical Laboratory Science majors must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 to progress in the Medical Laboratory Science sequence. A student who earns a grade lower than C- in a MMSC course must repeat the course and achieve a grade of at least C- before enrolling in any MMSC course which has the prior course as a prerequisite. Students are not permitted to repeat any MMSC course more than once. Further, students who earn a grade lower than C- in more than one MMSC course will not be permitted to continue in the major pending appeal processes outlined in the Student Handbook. Please note that most MMSC courses are offered once per year.

Medical Diagnostics

Medical Diagnostics is a clinical-oriented science program that incorporates the basic science courses required for admission to medical school and physician assistant programs with medically-related courses that impact on the diagnosis and therapy of disease. This major prepares students for postgraduate study in health-related areas upon graduation. Students may choose to pursue the original Medical Diagnostics degree or the Medical Diagnostics - Pre Physician Assistant concentration degree.

Both Medical Diagnostics B.S. degree curricula provide a solid theoretical foundation for further study in the healthcare-related professions. Students will learn the pathophysiology of diseases in five major areas of study: clinical chemistry, immunology, immunohematology, medical microbiology, and hematology. Students will study detailed information about laboratory analyses and how clinical laboratory data correlate to human disease and diagnosis. The Medical Diagnostics degrees are designed for those with an interest in healthcare including careers in medicine, dentistry, and optometry.

The concentration in Pre-Physician Assistant is designed to include the course prerequisites required for admission to physician assistant graduate programs. Completion of the concentration does not guarantee entry into a physician assistant program. Students should familiarize themselves with the requirements of physician assistant programs to which they might apply.

For exceptionally talented and highly motivated students, several special academic opportunities are available. Students may pursue the Degree with Distinction, Honors courses, or undergraduate research through independent study. A 4+1 (BS/MS program) is also available allowing students to gain provisional admission to the Masters of Medical Sciences graduate program during their undergraduate years. 4+1 students complete graduate coursework during their undergraduate years, allowing for the completion of the MS in a shorter time frame at reduced cost.

Admission to the Medical Diagnostics major is as follows: freshmen and sophomores are admitted as “Medical Diagnostics Interest” majors followed by application to the junior year of study after completion of and academic achievement in the following criteria, typically by the end of the sophomore year:

  1. Minimal GPA of 2.5 in the first four semesters of coursework is highly recommended.
  2. Completion of approximately 60 credits including designated chemistry, biological science and mathematics prerequisites prior to admission into the major. These prerequisite courses include BISC 207 , BISC 208 , CHEM 103  or CHEM 107 , CHEM 104  or CHEM 108 , and mathematics (see below).

Note: The science/math prerequisites for medical, dental, optometry, podiatry and other professional programs may include BISC 207 , BISC 208 , BISC 300 , CHEM 103  or CHEM 107 , CHEM 104  or CHEM 108 , CHEM 321 , CHEM 325 , CHEM 322 , CHEM 326  and the science sequence of BISC 276  and PHYS 201 /PHYS 202  plus one of the following calculus courses: MATH 221  or MATH 241 . Students should familiarize themselves with course content on the MCAT as well as the requirements of medical schools to which they might apply.

Courses taken pass/fail cannot be used to complete major requirements. Pass/fail courses are for free electives only. A minimum grade of C- is required in each MMSC course in the Medical Diagnostics major. Please note that most MMSC courses are offered once per year.

Admission to the Medical Diagnostics - Pre-Physician Assistant Concentration major is a two-step process. While the freshman or transfer student is accepted by the University as a Medical Diagnostics Interest student, final acceptance into the major as a junior is dependent on completion of the prerequisite courses and the student’s academic performance during their freshman and sophomore years. All applicants will be evaluated by the Medical and Molecular Sciences Undergraduate Program Committee.

Eligibility for admission to the junior year of the Medical Diagnostics major will be determined by academic achievement based on the following criteria:

  1. Minimal GPA of 3.0 in first four semesters of coursework.
  2. Approximately 60 credits including designated chemistry, biological science, physics, mathematics, and kinesiology and applied physiology prerequisites must be completed prior to admission into the major. The science prerequisites for medical school include BISC 207 , BISC 208 , BISC 300 , CHEM 103  or CHEM 107 , CHEM 104  or CHEM 108 , CHEM 321 , CHEM 325 , CHEM 322 , CHEM 326  and the science sequence of BISC 276  and PHYS 201 /PHYS 202 . The mathematics prerequisites include one of the following courses: MATH 221  or MATH 241 .
    • The concentration in Pre-Physician Assistant requires an overall minimum GPA of 3.0. Students take BISC 207 , BISC 208 , BISC 300 , CHEM 103  or CHEM 107 , CHEM 104  or CHEM 108 , CHEM 213 /CHEM 215  or CHEM 321 /CHEM 325 , CHEM 214 /CHEM 216  or CHEM 322 /CHEM 326 , KAAP 309 , KAAP 310 , and NTDT 200 . Students choosing to take the sequence of CHEM 321 /CHEM 325  and CHEM 322 /CHEM 326  must take CHEM 214 . 
    • The mathematics prerequisites include one of the following courses for the MDD Pre-PA concentration: MATH 114 , MATH 115 , MATH 117 , MATH 221 , or MATH 241 . 

Courses taken pass/fail cannot be used to complete major requirements. Pass/fail courses are for free electives only. A minimum grade of C- is required in each MMSC course in the Medical Diagnostics major. Please note that most MMSC courses are offered once per year.

Applied Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

The Applied Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (AMBB) program prepares students to work in a wide variety of biotechnology-related settings. With a locked-step curriculum, the program emphasizes hands-on education and practical experience, while providing a solid foundation in the basic subjects from which biotechnology evolved. Faculty from academia and industry give students a broad perspective of biotechnology’s applications and possibilities. Graduates are uniquely positioned to begin research laboratory careers in the biopharmaceutical industry, public health, molecular diagnostic, forensic, academic or government laboratories. Those completing this program are also well-positioned to pursue further education at the graduate or professional level.

Following completion of the traditional STEM prerequisites in their freshman and sophomore years, students advance into intensive laboratory skills courses and upper-division science courses. Our competency-driven curriculum trains students in current molecular and cell biology techniques utilized in a wide range of biotechnology sectors. This includes: cell and tissue culture techniques; protein expression and purification; recombinant DNA technology; molecular diagnostics; flow cytometry and bioinformatics. Students are tested via rigorous practical and theoretical exams to assess competency in each skill set.

The curriculum also includes advanced theoretical basic science coursework including: molecular and cell biology; biochemistry; immunology; virology; microbiology; human and microbial genetics; regulatory compliance and biomedical ethics.

In the final phase of their training (senior year), students engage in practical rotations in various laboratory settings. Students work full-time over a period of 7-8 months, contributing to their site, training in more specific techniques and receiving evaluations. AMBB students enter their internships already equipped with laboratory skills, strong basic science theory, and strong motivation.

During the biotech practicum period (senior year), students should plan for the possibility of added expense for transportation and uniforms and added expense for living off-campus at the clinical site for at least a four-week practicum during the senior year when the commuting distance is excessive. Students are required to meet all immunizations, antibody titers to certain infectious diseases, routine physical examination, drug screening, safety, criminal background check, child abuse registry investigation and adult abuse registry investigation requirements, and proof of health insurance prior to clinical coursework. Additional requirements for clinical education may be required by the practicum facility to which the student is assigned. The biotechnology profession welcomes individuals with disabilities. However, the student must be able to perform certain essential functions throughout the program of study. These physical, emotional, and professional/intellectual demands are necessary for the effective and accurate performance of laboratory analyses.

For exceptionally talented and highly motivated students, several special academic opportunities are available. Students may pursue the Degree with Distinction, Honors courses, or undergraduate research through independent study. A 4+1 (BS/MS program) is also available allowing students to gain provisional admission to the Masters of Medical Sciences graduate program during their undergraduate years. 4+1 students complete graduate coursework during their undergraduate years, allowing for the completion of the MS in a shorter time frame at reduced cost.

Admission to the Applied Molecular Biology and Biotechnology major is a two-step process. While the freshman or transfer student is accepted by the University as an Applied Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Interest student, final acceptance into the major as a junior is dependent on the student’s academic performance during his/her freshman and sophomore years. All applicants will be evaluated by the Medical and Molecular Sciences Undergraduate Program Committee.

Eligibility for admission to the junior year of the Applied Molecular Biology and Biotechnology major will be determined by academic achievement based on the following criteria:

  1. A GPA of 2.9 in the first four semesters of coursework is strongly recommended.
  2. At least 60 credits including designated chemistry, biological science, physics or anatomy and physiology, and mathematics prerequisites must be completed prior to admission into the major. The science prerequisites include BISC 207 , BISC 208 , CHEM 103  or CHEM 107 , CHEM 104  or CHEM 108 , the sequence of CHEM 321 /CHEM 325  and CHEM 322 /CHEM 326  or CHEM 213 /CHEM 215 , and CHEM 214 /CHEM 216 , and the science sequence of PHYS 201  and PHYS 202  or KAAP 309 /KAAP 310 . The mathematics prerequisites include one of the following math courses: MATH 114 , MATH 115 , MATH 117 , MATH 221 , or MATH 241 . In addition, the student must have made satisfactory progress towards a baccalaureate degree.

Courses taken pass/fail cannot be used to complete major requirements. Pass/fail courses are for free electives only. A minimal grade of C- is required in each MMSC course in the Applied Molecular Biology and Biotechnology major. Please note that most MMSC courses are offered once per year.

Minors and Certificate Program

The interdisciplinary Forensic Science minor is designed to prepare students earning a Bachelor of Science degree in a life science or basic science for an entry-level position in the field of forensic science. In addition, this minor will appeal to students wanting a fundamental knowledge of forensic science who do not want a position as a forensic scientist. The minor provides students with an understanding of the judicial system, procedures for proper collection and preservation of physical evidence, laboratory skills, and knowledge about the methods of analysis of physical evidence.

The minor in Medical Diagnostics may be achieved by a student in any University bachelor’s degree program, except students earning a major in the Department of Medical and Molecular Sciences, through successful completion of a minimum of 15 credits. This Minor provides students, especially those preparing for admission to professional schools in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and to graduate programs in related health fields, with the basic knowledge to evaluate and interpret clinical laboratory data. Before beginning these courses, the student must meet the required course prerequisites. Additional courses for satisfying the requirements for the minor may be approved by the Department.

The minor in Molecular Diagnostics may be achieved by a student in any University bachelor’s degree program, except students earning a major in the Department of Medical and Molecular Sciences, through successful completion of a minimum of 20-21 credits. The Molecular Diagnostics minor is designed to assist students earning a Bachelor of Science degree in such majors as Animal and Food Sciences, Food Science, Ecology, Environmental Science, Earth Science Education, Geological Sciences, Marine Science, Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Neuroscience, Exercise Science, and Nutritional Sciences, for an entry-level position in a laboratory utilizing molecular diagnostic techniques. This 20-21 credit minor utilizes both online and on-campus delivery of educational material, along with an intensive laboratory practicum. At this time, a lack of knowledge in this subject area can be limiting to career prospects and progression. This minor will broaden an undergraduate’s education in the areas of molecular diagnostics, genetics, and molecular techniques. Toward that end, completion of coursework will allow students to acquire basic molecular diagnostics theory and laboratory skills that may enhance future job opportunities.

The minor in Genetic Counseling is designed to help students who are interested in pursuing a career in genetic counseling. Genetic counselors are professionals who have specialized education in genetics and counseling to provide personalized help patients may need to make decisions about their genetic health. Open to students in all majors, this 22-23 credit minor is designed to provide students with an understanding of the field of genetic counseling and to help prepare them to meet the criteria for applying for an advanced degree (MS) in genetic counseling. The minor can also benefit students interested in pursuing other health related professions such as medicine, physician’s assistant, nursing and clinical psychology.

The nine-credit, primarily web-based, Molecular Diagnostics certificate program is open to junior and senior students in an appropriate science-based program of study or with permission from the Department of Medical and Molecular Sciences. Additionally, experienced medical laboratory scientists, not exposed to the topics of Molecular Diagnostics, Genetics, and Molecular techniques during their education, may enroll in this program, at either the graduate or undergraduate level. This program will contribute to the health sciences body of knowledge utilizing both basic and clinical topics. Students interested in the certificate should contact the Department of Medical and Molecular Sciences.

Programs

    MajorHonors DegreeMinor4+1Certificate