Upper Division Requirements, Sample 4-yr Plans, Elective List

The GGED (formerly 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 GGED 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 GGED 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 GGED 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.

Upper Division Requirements

Genetics, Genomics, Evolution, and Development
Track 1: Genetics, Genomics & Development Track 2: Developmental Genetics
MCB C100A: Biophysical Chemistry (Fa,Sp 4 un) MCB 102: Survey of Biochem & Molecular Biology (Fa, Sp, Su; 4 un)
MCB 110: Molecular Biology (Fa, Sp; 4 un) MCB 104: Genetics, Genomics & Cell Biology (Fa,Sp,Su; 4 un) OR MCB 140: General Genetics (Fa, Sp; 4 un)
MCB 140: General Genetics (Fa, Sp; 4 un) MCB 141: Developmental Biology (Sp; 4 un)
MCB 140L: Genetics Lab (Sp; 4 un) MCB 140L: Genetics Lab (Sp; 4 un)
GGD Elective A or B (see lists below) GGD Elective A or B (see lists below)
GGD Elective B (see list below) GGD Elective B (see list below)


Petitioning to Substitute MCB 140L with Research Units

Students may petition to substitute the lab course with equivalent knowledge and units obtained through independent research experience (such as 199 or H196 research), as determined by the Head Faculty Advisor of their major emphasis. Careful consideration and discussion with your faculty advisor are important when making the decision whether to use independent research to substitute the lab, as MCB labs expose students to many biological approaches not always encountered during these research projects. For more information on the approval process see Petition to Substitute MCB Lab Course.

Sample 4-yr Plans

These are just examples, for more sample schedules including spring start and transfer see guide.berkeley.edu or meet with an advisor to explore your options. It is recommended by MCB advisors and faculty to take the upper division lab as early as you can if you are interested in research and/or honors research. 

Track 1: Genetics, Genomics & Development   Track 2: Developmental Genetics
Year 1   Year 1
Fall Un Spring Un   Fall Un Spring Un
Math 10A 4 Math 10B 4   Math 10A 4 Math 10B 4
Chem 1A/1AL 5 Chem 3A/3AL 5   Chem 1A/1AL 5 Chem 3A/3AL 5
Year 2   Year 2
Fall  Un Spring Un   Fall Un Spring Un
Chem 3B/3BL 5 Biology 1A/1AL 5   Chem 3B/3BL 5 Biology 1A/1AL 5
Physics 8A 4 Physics 8B 4   Physics 8A 4 Physics 8B 4
Year 3   Year 3
Fall Un Spring Un   Fall Un Spring Un
MCB C100A 4 MCB 140 4   MCB 102 4 MCB 104 or 140 4
Biology 1B 4 Elective A or B 3-4   Biology 1B 4 Elective A or B 3-4
Year 4   Year 4
Fall Un Spring Un   Fall Un Spring Un
MCB 110 4 MCB 140L 4   Elective B 3-4 MCB 140L 4
Elective B 3-4           MCB 141 4


GGED Approved Electives Lists

GGED Elective List A

GGED Elective List B

Molecular and Cell Biology
  • 100B Biochemistry: Pathways, Mechanisms, and Regulation (Sp; 4 units)
  • C103 Bacterial Pathogenesis (Sp; 3 units)
  • C112 General Microbiology (F; 4 units)
  • C114 Intro to Comparative Virology (Sp; 4 units)
  • C116 Microbial Diversity (F; 3 units)
  • C117 Advanced Plant Biochemistry (Sp, 4 units)
  • 130 Cell & Systems Biology (Sp; 4 units)
  • 135A Molecular Endocrinology (F; 3 units)
  • 136 Physiology (F, Sp; 4 units)
  • 150 Molecular Immunology (F, Sp; 4 units)
  • 153 Molecular Therapeutics (F, 4 units)
  • 160 Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology (F; 4 units)
  • 161 Circuit, Systems and Behavioral Neuroscience (Sp; 4 units)*MCB 160 is a prerequisite*
  • 165 Neurobiology of Disease (Sp; 3 units)
  • 166 Biophysical Neurobiology (F; 3 units)
  • 168 Sensory Neuroscience (F, 4 units)
  • C175 LSBE Capstone (F, 4 units) (restricted to LSBE students only)
  • 113 Advanced Mechanistic Organic Chemistry (F; 3 units)
  • 115 Organic Chemistry - Advanced Lab Methods (F, Sp; 4 units)
  • 130B Biophysical Chemistry (Sp; 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)

Nutritional Sciences & Toxicology

  • C114 Pesticide Chemistry & Toxicology (Sp; 3 units)
  • 112 Intro to Statistical & Thermal Physics (F, Sp; 4 units)

Plant & Microbial Biology

  • 135 Physiology and Biochemistry of Plants (F; 3 units)
  • 150 Plant Cell Biology (F; 3 units)
Molecular and Cell Biology
  • 132 Biology of Human Cancer (F; 4 units)
  • C134 Chromosome Biology/Cytogenetics  (Sp; 3 units)
  • 137L Physical Biology of the Cell  (Sp; 3 units)
  • 141 Developmental Biology (Sp; 4 units) (for track 1 students only)
  • C148 Microbial Genomics & Genetics (Sp; 4 units)
  • 149 The Human Genome (F; 3 units)


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

Computational Biology

  • 156 Human Genome, Environment and Public Health (Fa; 4 units)

Environmental Science and Policy Management

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

Integrative Biology

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


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

Plant & Microbial Biology

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

Public Health

  • 142 Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Bio and Public Health (F, Sp, Su; 4 units)
  • 256 Human Genome, Environment and Public Health (Fa; 4 units)


  • 131A Intro to Probability and Statistics for Life Scientists (F, Sp; 4 units) 
  • 134 Concepts of Probability (F, Sp, Su; 4 units)

* These electives have pre-requisites outside of courses usually required of MCB majors. Please be sure to check guide.berkeley.edu for pre-requisite information.

Approved Elective Courses but NOT Regularly Offered

  • BioEng C141 Stats for Bioinformatics
  • BioEng 142 Programming & Algorithm 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 137 Computer Simulation in Biology (replaced by MCB 137L)
  • MCB 143 Evolution of Genomes, Cells, and Development (F; 3 units)
  • MCB C145 Genomics
  • MCB C146 Topics in Computational Biology
  • PHYSICS 132 Contemporary Physics
  • Pb Hlth 141 Introduction to Biostatistics (Su; 5 units)
  • Pb Hlth 143 Introduction to Statistical Methods in Computational and Genomic Biology
  • Stats C141 Stats for Bioinformatics