Declaring the MCB Major

The majority of MCB upper division courses give enrollment priority to declared MCB students only. To have enrollment priority during course registration, students must have finished declaring or completed MCB conditions to declare before the start of Phase 1 enrollment.  

In order to declare the MCB major, you must have:

  • 2.0 overall UC Berkeley GPA,
  • 2.0 MCB major GPA (all lower and upper division courses taken for MCB),
  • 2.0 MCB upper division GPA (all upper division requirements including electives),
  • Bio 1A/1AL (either completed or are currently enrolled with a C or better on the first midterm in Bio 1A) or a score of 4 or 5 on AP Bio can be used to declare.
  • Chem 3B (completed or are currently enrolled after the regular add/drop deadline), and
  • decided on an emphasis (it is possible to change this after you declare).

MCB Declaration Process

  1. Fill out the MCB online major declaration form. (New declarations are CLOSED, online form link will be back in Fall 2024.)
  2. Receive a confirmation email from (will take 2-3 business days)
  3. Make an appointment to see a staff advisor (after you have received the confirmation email). You can find directions on making MCB appointments here. The staff advisor will have the information you submitted online and will help with planning your courses in the major during your appointment.
  4. After you have met with a staff advisor you will take your declaration form to a faculty advisor for approval.
  5. Turn in the signed declaration form to the advising office in 3060 VLSB. *During remote instruction, email the signed declaration form back to your staff advisor from step #3.*

After you Declare

Registration Hold
Once declared, you will be required to meet with an MCB UAO advisor each semester to review your progress toward the major before you register for the next semester. An advisor will then lift your registration hold in Cal Central.

Major Probation Policy
An MCB major must maintain a 2.0-grade point average (GPA) in a) the complete set of all upper- and lower-division courses taken for the major at UC Berkeley and b) all upper-division courses taken for the major at UC Berkeley. Upper-division or graduate level MCB courses that are not used to satisfy major requirements are excluded from this calculation. Students for whom either GPA calculation falls below 2.0 will either (a) be placed on departmental probation for the following semester, or (b) dismissed from the major. The decision to dismiss or place on probation will be made by the Undergraduate Affairs Committee and communicated to the student before the following semester begins. If placed on probation, the student has one semester to raise both GPAs to the required 2.0 and will be subject to dismissal if this is not achieved. If dismissed from the major, students must work with an L & S advisor in order to pursue another major.

Please note that probation within the major is a department process to identify and work with students who are having academic difficulties with the major-related coursework. It is not considered an institutional action and not noted on the student's transcript.  Questions concerning the MCB probation and dismissal policy may be directed to the staff advisors in the MCB Undergraduate Affairs Office.