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Sample Cross-Disciplinary Curriculum at MARC U-STAR Institutions (Biology Major)

MARC U*STAR is an institutional training program designed to prepare honors students in their final 2 years of undergraduate education for competitive biomedical research Ph.D. programs. The goal of the program is to create a diverse and inclusive workforce by increasing the number of students from underrepresented groups obtaining Ph.D. degrees in the biomedical sciences. To this end, MARC institutions must provide a rigorous curriculum steeped with training in the quantitative sciences (physical, mathematical, chemical, engineering, and/or computer science) along with the study of life sciences for a cross-disciplinary approach to student learning. The curriculum must prepare students to enter competitive Ph.D. science programs upon graduation. The sequence of courses (i.e., taking calculus early in their academic tenure) and course content are important in preparing high caliber graduate school (Ph.D.) entry. Below is an example of a typical curriculum of study at a MARC institution:

  Fall Spring
  Course Units Course Units
Year 1 Biology  4 Biology  4
Chemistry 4 Chemistry 4
Calculus 4 Calculus 4
English 3 English 3
Freshman Experience 1 Freshman Experience 1
Research Lab Rotations H Research Lab Rotations H
Year 2 Molecular Biology 4 Environmental Biology 4
Organic Chemistry 4 Organic Chemistry 4
Physics 4 Physics 4
Math-Statistics 4 Math 4
Research Lab H Research Lab H
Possible Extramural Summer Research Training Experience
Year 3 Genetics 4 Cell Biology 4
Biochemistry 4 Physical Chemistry 4
Research Readings 1 Research Readings 1
Research 1 General Education 7
General Education 6    
An Extramural Summer Research Training Experience
Year 4 Bioinformatics 4 Senior Seminar (Thematic) 4
Biology Research 1 Biology Research 1
Honors Thesis Prep H Thesis Presentation 3
Complete Gen Education  10 Complete Gen Education  8
This page last reviewed on October 21, 2014