Declaring the MCB Major

MCB is not an impacted major. Therefore, we will accept any interested student who meets the minimum course and GPA requirements and is realistically able to complete the major requirements during the student's remaining time at Cal. 

In order to declare the MCB major, you must have completed or be enrolled in Biology 1A/1AL (C or better on first midterm) and Chemistry 3B (past the early drop deadline), have at least a 2.0 overall gpa, a 2.0 gpa in the lower-division prerequisites for the major, a 2.0 gpa in all upper division coursework for the major, and know which emphasis you will declare. Intended MCB students are not required to have completed the Math or Physics requirement at the time of declaration (though the requirement must be met in order to graduate).

(Note: Transfer students must have completed at least one semester at UC Berkeley and have received a 2.0 GPA in the courses that you've taken for the major). 

 Check this list before you declare the major. You must have

  • 2.0 overall GPA
  • completed or are currently enrolled in Biology 1A/1AL and have a C or better on the first midterm exam (typically the 7th week), and
  • completed or are currently enrolled in Chemistry 3B after the 2nd week early add/drop deadline, and
  • earned a minimum average GPA of 2.0 in all courses taken for the major, and
  • decided on an emphasis (if you haven't come and talk to a peer advisor for advice/planning suggestions). 
  • (Transfer students: see note above.)

To start the major declaration process, you must


  • Once you've complete the online form, bring a copy of your unofficial Bearfeacts transcript to the UAO, 3060 VLSB, no earlier than the next business day to discuss your academic plan. When you sign in, please inform the Intake Advisor that you declared online. An advisor will have the information you submitted online and will help with planning your courses in the major.

***As of 4/29/16: the declaration form for Spring 2016 is now closed. The form will re-open in the Fall 2016 semester. ***

Only after you have developed and reviewed your plan with a staff advisor, do you take your packet to a faculty advisor for signature, after which you must bring it back to the UAO for processing. First step though - UAO, not the faculty advisor.

Advisor Codes

Once declared, you will be required to meet with an MCB UAO advisor each semester to review your progress toward the major before you receive an advisor code (unique to each semester) in order to be able to use TeleBears. (Note: You need to enter the advisor code only once per semester - the first time you use TeleBears.) We will inform you, via email, when the advisor codes are available, but generally this is two weeks before TeleBears begins.

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 an 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. Once dismissed from the major, students are expected to work with an L & S advisor to pursue an alternative major.