Undergraduate Program


The undergraduate major in Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB) focuses on the study of molecular structures and processes of cellular life and their roles in the function, reproduction, and development of living organisms. This covers a broad range of specialized disciplines, such as biochemistry, microbiology, biophysics, molecular biology, genetics, cell physiology, cell anatomy, immunology, and neurobiology. The types of living organisms from which the departmental faculty draws its working materials are as diverse as its disciplinary specializations, ranging from viruses and microbes through plants, roundworms, annelids, arthropods, and mollusks, to fish, amphibia and mammals. 

There are five emphases to choose from: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Cell & Developmental Biology, Genetics, Genomics & Development, Immunology & Pathogenesis, and Neurobiology. Information about the emphases, including the lower-division and upper division requirements, can be found on the Major-At-Glance webpage

Students majoring in any of these emphases have been highly successful in entering graduate or medical school and in other science- and health-related careers.  For more information about what our students do with an MCB major, checkout our Career webpage.

Staff advisors are available year-round to help you plan for the upcoming semesters. For more information about how the advisors can help you succeed, please visit the Advising Services webpage.



  • Upcoming Office Closures
    • The office will be closed on Friday, March 27, 2015. 
  • Faculty advising office hours are posted on the Advising Services webpage. Peer advising information and availability can be found on the Peer Advisor webpage. Any changes to advising ours will be posted here.
    • No changes at this time.
  • The Neurobiology emphasis requirements have changed. Please visit the NEU emphasis webpage for more information and sample schedules. Some highlights include...
    • Introduction of a two semester Neurobiology sequence (MCB 160 and MCB 161) that replaces MCB C160 and Elective B, and
    • an updated elective list.
      • The changes affect all students declaring the NEU emphasis in sp15 and beyond, and any declared NEU student who has not completed MCB C160 by Sp15.

MAJOR DECLARATIONS: Information about declaring the MCB major can be found on the Major Declaration webpage. 

MCB HANDBOOK: 2014-2015 (updated 3/10/15)- Download it here.

FAQS: We've compiled a list of FAQs to answer some of the most common questions we're asked.

MCB COMMENCEMENT 2015: Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 9-11a in the Hearst Greek Theatre. More information can be found on the commencement webpage.

Major At A Glance

MCB Major Programs, at a Glance

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Genetics, Genomics & Development Immunology & Pathogenesis Cell & Developmental Biology Neurobiology
Track 1: BMB Track 2: Biological Chemistry** Track 1: GGD Track 2: Developmental Genetics Track 1: Immunology Track 2: Infectious Disease Track 1: Cell & Systems Biology Track 2: Medical Biology & Physiology  
MCB C100A Chem 112A MCB C100A MCB 102 MCB C100A MCB 102 MCB 102 MCB 102 MCB 102
MCB 100B Chem 112B MCB 110 MCB 104 MCB 110 MCB 104 MCB 104 MCB 104 MCB 104
MCB 110 MCB C100A MCB 140 MCB 141 MCB 104 or MCB 140 MCB 150 MCB 130A MCB 136 MCB 160
MCB C110L Chem 130B MCB 140L MCB 140L MCB 150 MCB 150L MCB 133L MCB 133L MCB 161
MCB 140 or MCB C148 Chem 135 GGD Elective A/B GGD Elective A/B MCB 150L IMM Elective A CDB Elective A CDB Elective B MCB 163 or MCB 160L
BMB Elective MCB C110L GGD Elective B GGD Elective B IMM Elective C IMM Elective B CDB Elective A CDB Elective B NEU Elective
  MCB 130A or MCB 140