Department and Campus Introduction

The Department

The Department of Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB) at the University of California at Berkeley offers outstanding opportunities for scientific training in a highly interactive environment that enables doctoral students to pursue any of a wide range of modern fields of biological research. The Department of Molecular and Cell Biology is organized into five Divisions and includes over 90 faculty, 230 graduate students, and more than 250 postdoctoral fellows and researchers.

The Divisional organization offers the advantages of mid-sized, thematically focused, scientific groupings within the larger, more diverse academic environment in molecular and cell biology. The common purpose of the Divisions is to foster and maintain a closely knit, stimulating and active community for study. A student entering the Department does not assume a divisional affiliation until the thesis laboratory is chosen in April of the first year.

The Department is part of a much more extensive biological sciences community at Berkeley. Many of our faculty are also associated with related programs in computational biology, plant and microbial biology, organismal and evolutionary biology, ecology, biophysics, and chemistry. In addition, a number of institutes, including the Innovative Genomics Institute, the Helen Willis Neuroscience Institute, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, provide ample opportunity for collaboration and training, particularly with respect to translational research and advanced techniques. In total, the breadth and depth of academic resources make Berkeley uniquely able to provide students with a rich, varied, and flexible academic career suited to meet individual backgrounds, interests, and objectives.

The Campus

The Berkeley campus is nestled in the hills across the San Francisco Bay from the city of San Francisco. Established in 1868 it has grown into a world-renowned university with 31,000 students, a distinguished faculty, and nearly 300 degree programs. Berkeley today is a large and complex institution offering students a vast range of scholarly endeavor and a wide arena for personal growth.

By any standard, Berkeley ranks as one of the world's leading intellectual centers, known for the size and quality of its libraries and laboratories, the scope of its research and publications and the distinction of its faculty and students.

The quality of Berkeley's student body complements the stature of its faculty. Nearly every state and 100 foreign countries are represented. The student body can best be characterized by quality and diversity, helping to produce the wide range of opinion and perspective essential to a great university.