Biology: Molecular & Cell Biology, BA

The concentration in Molecular and Cell Biology explores how the techniques of molecular biology and genetics are used to understand cell function. As with the previous Molecular Biology Concentration, this concentration allows Biology majors to focus on a molecular approach to biological problems by combining lecture and seminar coursework with training in laboratory research. The list of course electives is organized into two categories: Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics and Genomics. Advanced Experimental Research is required for the concentration.

The minimum total course units for graduation in this major is 36. Double majors may entail more course units.

With permission of the Undergraduate Chair, two course units away or LPS courses may count toward the Biology major. This limit does not apply to Study Abroad.

For information about the General Education requirements, please visit the College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum page.

College General Education Requirements and Free Electives
Foundational Approaches + Sectors1 + Free Electives18.5
Major Requirements
Introductory Biology
Select one of the following tracks:1.5-3
Track 1:
Introduction to Biology - The Molecular Biology of Life
Introductory Molecular Biology Laboratory
Track 2:
Introduction to Biology A
Introduction to Biology B
Chemistry Requirement
Select 4 course units of Chemistry4
Calculus/Statistics Requirement
Select 2 units of Calculus/Statistics2
Intermediate Biology
BIOL 2810Biochemistry1
or CHEM 2510 Principles of Biological Chemistry
BIOL 2010Cell Biology1
BIOL 2210Molecular Biology and Genetics1
Intermediate and Advanced Biology Electives 24-5
Select 2 course units of Molecular/Cell electives
Select 2 course units of Genetics/Genomics electives
Select 1 course unit of an additional elective
Research Requirement2
Independent Study
Advanced Independent Study
Microbial Diversity and Pathogenesis Lab
Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics Superlab
Symposium on Undergraduate Research in Biology (SURB)
Total Course Units36

You may count no more than one course toward both a Major and a Sector requirement. For Exceptions, check the Policy Statement.


Students in Track 2 need only 4 electives.


Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.25 in the major and have taken BIOL 399 Independent Study. Thesis must be approved by the departmental honors committee.


The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.