Genetics, Genomics & Development

The Genetics, Genomics and Development (GGD) emphasis is dedicated to preparing students for the revolution in biology that is fueled by the genome sequences of an ever-increasing spectrum of life. The GGD emphasis explores how the information in these genomes program the development of diverse organisms including humans, classical model organisms, and species that represent pivotal nodes in evolution. In the GGD emphasis, you will explore how different sequences lead to phenotypic variation among individuals, and how these differences are inherited and fixed by natural selection. You will also learn how sequence diversity influences human phenotypes, from how we appear to how we behave. These differences also have a major influence on health and disease, and you will learn how the study of human genomes has revolutionized modern medicine.

The GGD emphasis also focuses on how genetic, molecular genetic and genomics tools are used to understand various aspects of biology, ranging from how cells with the same genetic information express different sets of genes and exhibit distinct phenotypes, to how pattern develops in metazoans, to how organisms sense and respond to their environment, and to how cell divisions are orchestrated to ensure proper chromosome integrity and segregation during formation of egg and sperm and the multitude of cell divisions of the developing organism.

The emphasis has two tracks, Genetics, Genomics, & Development (Track 1) and Developmental Genetics (Track 2), each require six upper-division courses.


Track 1: Genetics, Genomics & Development

(shows as 966: Mo&CEL BIO P1 I, EM 1 on some official University documents)

  • MCB C100A, Biophysical Chemistry: Physical Principles (4 units)
  • MCB 110 Molecular Biology: Macromolecular Synthesis and Cellular Function (4 units)
  • MCB 140 General Genetics (4 units, fall only)
  • MCB 140L Genetics Laboratory (4 units, spring only)
  • One elective from each of GG&D Electives List A or B, or
  • 2 electives from GG & D Approved Electives list B

Track 2: Developmental Genetics

  • MCB 102 Survey of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (4 units)
  • MCB 104 Genetics, Genomics & Cell Biology (4 units)
  • MCB 141 Developmental Biology (4 units, spring only)
  • MCB 140L Genetics Laboratory (4 units, spring only)
  • One elective from each of GG&D Electives List A or B, or
  • 2 electives from GG & D Approved Electives list B

GGD Approved Electives List A

Molecular and Cell Biology

  • 100B Biochemistry: Pathways, Mechanisms, and Regulation (Sp; 34 units) 
  • C103 Bacterial Pathogenesis (Sp; 3 units) 
  • C112 General Microbiology (F; 4 units)
  • C114 Comparative Virology (Sp; 4 units)
  • C116 Microbial Diversity (F; 3 units)
  • 130A Cell & Systems Biology (Sp; 4 units)
  • 135A Molecular Endocrinology (F; 3 units)
  • 136 Physiology (F; 4 units)
  • 150 Molecular Immunology (F, Sp; 4 units)
  • C160 Intro to Neurobiology (F, Sp; 4 units)
  • 165 Molecular Neurobiology (Sp; 3 units)
  • 166 Biophysical Neurobiology (F; 3 units)


  • 113 Advanced Organic Chemistry (F; 3 units)
  • 115 Organic Chemistry - Advanced Lab Methods (F, Sp; 4 units)
  • 130B Biophysical Chemistry (Fa; 3 units)

Environmental Science, Policy & Management

  • C148 Pesticide Chemistry and Toxicology (Sp, 3 units)
  • 162 Bioethics & Society (Sp, 4 units)

Integrative Biology

  • 160 Evolution (F, 4 units)


  • 110 Linear Algebra (F, Sp, Su, 4 units)


  • 112 Stats & Thermal Physics (F, Sp, 4 units)
  • 132 Contemporary Physics (Sp, 3 units)

Plant Biology

  • 135 Physiology and Biochemistry of Plants
  • 150 Cellular and Developmental Plant Biology

GGD Approved Electives List B

Molecular and Cell Biology

  • 132 Biology of Human Cancer (F; 4 units)
  • C134 Chromosome Biology/Cytogenetics  (Sp; 3 units)
  • 137 Computer Simulation in Biology (Sp; 3 units)  
  • 141 Developmental Biology (Sp; 3 units) (for track 1 students only) 
  • 143 Evolution of Genomes, Cells, and Development (F; 3 units)
  • C148 Microbial Genomics & Genetics (Sp; 4 units)
  • 149 The Human Genome (Sp; 3 units)
  • 167 Physiological & Genetic Basis of Behavior (Sp; 3 units)


  • *131 Intro to Computational Molecular and Cell Biology (F; 4 units)
  • 144 Introduction to Protein Informatics (Sp; 4 units)

Environmental Science and Policy Management

  • 108B Environmental Change Genetics (F, 3 units)

Integrative Biology

  • 161 Population & Evolutionary Genetics (Sp, 4 units)
  • 162 Ecological Genetics (F, 4 units)
  • 163 Molecular & Genomic Evoluation (Sp, 3 units)


  • *127 Mathematical and Computational Methods in Molecular Biology (F, 4 units)

Plant & Microbial Biology

  • C134 Chromosome Biology/Cytogenetics (alt Sp, 3 units)
  • 160 Plant Molecular Genetics (Sp, 3 units)

Public Health

  • 141 Introduction to Biostatistics (Su; 5 units) 
  • 142 Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Bio and Public Health (F, Sp;, 4 units) - For students declaring Fa16 and beyond, this course is no longer accepted to meet the elective requirement.
  • 256 Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology and Human Health in the 21st Century (Sp; 4 units)


  • 131A Statistical Inference for Life Scientists (F, Sp; 4 units) - For students declaring Fa16 and beyond, this course is no longer accepted to meet the elective requirement.
  • 134 Concepts of Probability (F, Sp; 3 units)

*GG&D electives with an asterisk showing before the course number have pre-requisites outside of courses usually required of MCB majors. Please be sure to check these online.

***GGD APPROVED ELECTIVES But not Regularly Offered

  • BioEng C141 Stats for Bioinformatics
  • BioEng 142 Programming & Algorithim Design for Computational Biology & Genomics  Application
  • BioEng 143 Computational Methods in Biology
  • IB 165 Introduction to Quantitative Genetics
  • MCB 115 Molecular Biology of Animal Viruses
  • MCB C145 Genomics
  • MCB C146 Topics in Computational Biology
  • Pb Hlth 143 Introduction to Statistical Methods in Computational and Genomic Biology
  • Stats C141 Stats for Bioinformatics