MCB Honors Program

The MCB Honors program offers outstanding seniors the opportunity for recognition of their research through presentation and a thesis. H196 students usually work in an MCB laboratory. However, a student may work in any appropriate lab, on campus or off campus, and receive H196 academic credit for the research, with sponsorship from an MCB faculty member or head advisor. A student is regarded as participating in the MCB departmental honors program once he/she has been accepted into a laboratory and has enrolled in MCB H196 (independent study). We strongly encourage students who are interested in pursuing departmental honors to look for a research spot during their first semester of their junior year. Students who fulfill all MCB Honors criteria receive a notation on their transcript and diploma which reads "Department Honors in Molecular and Cell Biology." 

The Honors Research Program consists of up to 8 units of independent research. Please be aware of relevant deadlines and feel free to ask questions along the way.

To participate in the honors program seniors must:

  1. work in a lab and have an MCB faculty research sponsor, and
  2. currently have a 3.0 cumulative UCB grade point average and the mathematical possibility of a cumulative UCB grade point average of at least 3.3 or higher by graduation, and
  3. currently have a 3.3 grade point average in EITHER all courses required for the major OR all upper division MCB courses; and the mathematical possibility of achieving an MCB major or upper-division GPA of 3.5 or higher by graduation, and
  4. enroll in MCB H196A/B by submitting a completed application each semester, and
  5. have completed at least two MCB requirements for the major (see below)
    • BMB - Track 1: MCB C100A and 100B
    • BMB - Track 2: MCB C100A and Chem 130B
    • CDB - MCB 102 and one additional upper-division major requirement
    • GG&D - MCB C100A and one additional upper-division major requirement
    • Immuno - Track 1: MCB C100A and one additional upper-division major requirement
    • Immuno - Track 2: MCB 102 and one additional upper-division major requirement
    • Neuro - MCB 102 and one additional upper-division major requirement

Note: H196 grades are not used in major GPA calculations.

To graduate with honors in the major, students must

  1. write an honors thesis approved by their MCB faculty sponsor due by the last day of instruction. An H196 Honors Approval form must be submitted to the UAO on the last weekday of final exams of their graduating semester,
  2. present their research in an approved forum, such as an MCB symposium or poster session, or other scientific meeting,
  3. complete at least two semesters of research including (4) units and no more than (8) units of MCB H196A/B (Sign up for H196B during the final semester of research, in which you will be writing your thesis, and for which you will receive a letter grade. If desired, one semester of MCB 199 can be used, in place of H196A, towards satisfying the two-semester research requirement.),
  4. have a cumulative UCB grade point average of at least 3.3 or higher in all work completed at UCB, and
  5. have a MCB major or upper-division GPA of 3.5 or higher. MCB H196B cannot be used to calculate their MCB upper-division GPA;

NOTE: Calculating the GPA 

  • We will round the GPA to the hundredths place, for example, 3.294=3.29 and 3.295=3.30. In the first case, a student would not be able to participate in the honors program. In the second case, a student would.
  • We will include grades of all courses you have taken for the major at UCB, even if you have earned AP credit that would have waived you from those requirements, e.g. if you received a 5 on the AP biology exam, then took Bio 1B here and earned a C, we will include the C in your GPA calculation.
  • Your GPA calculation will be based upon the grades in the courses you have taken to date, including electives. We will not disregard a grade in an elective already taken until you have taken and received a grade in a class to replace it. An example would be that you take MCB 165 toward your Neurobiology major and earn a C in it. You decide that you want to use MCB 167 as your elective instead. We will not exclude the C in MCB 165 until you have taken and earned a grade in MCB 167.

Students participating in the MCB Honors Program are encouraged to enroll in appropriate graduate level courses. Additional information on H196 and receiving honors is available in the Undergraduate Advising Office. To find out about how to get on the Dean's Honor List, click here. To find out how to qualify for distinction in general scholarship at graduation, click here.

You can calculate your major GPA here.

MCB Honors and Academic Misconduct

"Any delcared MCB student who is shown to have cheated in coursework or in laboratory research will not be allowed to enroll in the department honors program or graduate with departmental honors."