What can I do with a degree in MCB?

A major in Molecular and Cell Biology can prepare you for a variety of graduates programs, professional schools, and careers. If you are just beginning your career search, we suggest starting the Career Center's Career Field:Sciences-Biological & Physical webpage. This page has many resources including links to career profile guides, professional organizations, and internships/job listings.

If you want to see what recent MCB majors have done after graduating from Cal, check out the Career Center's annual Career Destination Survey.

Students with undergraduate degrees in MCB have many different career options. Here are just a few:

  • Academic Research - laboratory technicians, research assistant/associate, 
  • Business and Law - consulting, business finance, administration, management, marketing, science journalism, science writing, patent law
  • Pharmaceutical and Biotech Industries - pharmaceutical sales, scientific equipment sales, research associates
  • Technology - project management, software development, IT associates
  • Graduate School - MA, MS, and PhDs in the bioscience fields, bioengineering
  • Professional Programs - medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, optometry, public health, law
  • Government and Education - public policy, Teach for America, National Institute of Health, tutoring, high school education
  • Public Service - Americoprs, Peace Corps, Health Corps, etc

For more information about career opportunities in the life sciences, make an appointment with an MCB career specialist at the Career Center. Subscribe to the Career Mail listserve for announcements of events.

Career Center

Medical School and Other Health Professions

Considering graduate or professional school?  Check out the Career, Links & Tools page links to various programs.

About half of MCB students are preparing for acceptance to professional schools such as medical, dental, optometry, or pharmacy school. In general, the MCB major requirements more than fulfill the science admission requirements for these schools. The following MCB requirements are considered "pre-med" and fulfill admission requirements to the programs mentioned above:

Math 10A-B (or Math 1A-1B)
Chem 1A/1AL, 3A/3AL & 3B/3BL
Physics 8A-B
Biol 1A/1AL & 1B
MCB C100A or 102

Graduate School

Approximately 25% of MCB students continue their education at the graduate level (i.e. Ph.D., MBA., masters programs, etc.). Students who receive a graduate degree can pursue careers as research scientists, teachers, or professors. In addition to excellent academic achievement in appropriate courses and on entrance exams (such as the GRE) graduate study in a biological science generally requires laboratory research experience. Refer to the research section of the web site for information on obtaining research experience as an undergraduate. Students planning to pursue a graduate degree are encouraged to take MCB graduate level courses (this requires approval of the instructor). Talk with your faculty advisor and contact the Career Center for additional graduate school guidance.