Study Abroad Programs

You Can Study Abroad!

A recent MCB alumna, Caitlin Sorensen, said the following about studying abroad in Denmark. 

"Study abroad has been helpful in so many aspects of my life- it helped me get a job!  When I studied abroad in Copenhagen, I was accepted to the Human Biology Program at the Pannum Institute, a leading biology program through The University of Copenhagen.  The 3rd year Cell Biology course that I took gave me my first exposure to world class equipment, techniques, and theories in cell biology and immunology.  In fact, it ended up counting as my MCB 150L requirement due to the large amount of lab work.  When I started applying to research positions, my experience at University of Copenhagen was a large determining factor in my acceptance to a UCSF immunology lab.  My class abroad required a great deal of independent project planning, group work, and PI interaction- all of which are instrumental to my Staff Research Associate position in the Pathology Department at UCSF.  Studying abroad in Denmark offered me a wealth of courses suitable for MCB, and even presented me with additional laboratory knowledge could not have received in a classroom setting at Cal."

Many students choose to spend a summer, one, or two semesters abroad during their undergraduate studies at Cal. MCB students have participated in study abroad programs in Australia, Costa Rica, Japan, Spain, France, Germany, Scotland, England, Denmark, New Zealand, China, Chile, Brazil, Singapore, and many other countries.
 
Lower division MCB requirements such as physics, chemistry, and biology can be satisfied through the UC Education Abroad Program. With your faculty advisor's approval, the MCB department may also accept up to two appropriate courses from abroad toward your MCB upper division major requirements. With careful early planning, it is possible to go abroad your sophomore, junior, or senior year and still graduate in eight or nine semesters.
 
Faculty advisors are happy to review UCEAP coursework for pre-approval before your departure to give you an idea of whether your courses are appropriate for the major, although you cannot receive official approval until you return to campus. Once you return to campus, bring your UCEAP course syllabus and exams to a faculty for approval. See a staff advisor for more information.

Process for Course Approval

Students who study abroad may use up to TWO upper division courses toward the major requirements. Once you have identified courses of interest for your specific campus, students should collect as much information about the courses (syllabi/reading lists/course descriptions) and bring the information to the Undergraduate Affairs Office for review by a staff advisor. Once we've identified the courses that are most like major-related courses at the appropriate level, the staff advisor will refer you to the faculty advisor for tentative approval.
 
For final approval, students must bring a course syllabus and copy of their transcript to the Undergraduate Affairs Office AFTER returning from the program. Staff advisors will provided the necessary exceptions paperwork and then refer you to the advisor that gave the pre-approval. Please note that most courses that go through the pre-approval process are accepted toward major requirements as long as the content is similar to what was originally proposed and you earn a C or better in the course.
 
Students are responsible for determining that they have the adequate prerequisites and background when enrolling in a course abroad. These courses must be LETTER Graded if used for the major.

Helpful Websites

There are a number of useful offices and websites on campus that can help you identify programs of interest to you and incorporate a study abroad experience into your academic plan.  

 Here are just two examples of ways in which students might schedule study abroad into their undergraduate program:

Sample GG&D Curriculum - Summer in Sussex, England

Year 1 at UCB Math 1A
Chemistry 1A/1AL 
Math 1B
Chemistry 3A/3AL
Summer abroad in Sussex Physics 8A and 8B equivalents
Year 2 at UCB     Chemistry 3B/3BL
Biology 1A
MCB C100A
Biology 1B
Year 3 at UCB MCB 110 GGD Elective A/B
GGD Elective B
Year 4 at UCB MCB 140 MCB 140L

Sample CDB - Physiology Curriculum - Junior Year Abroad

Year 1 at UCB Math 1A
Chemistry 1A/1AL 
Math 1B
Chemistry 3A/3AL
Year 2 at UCB  Chemistry 3B/3BL
Biology 1A/1AL 
Biology 1B
MCB 102
Year 3 - Abroad      Breadth Course CDB Elective B
Year 4 at UCB Physics 8A
MCB 104
Physics 8B
MCB 133L
9th semester at UCB CDB Elective B
MCB 136
none