Jul 14, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology BS, Molecular and Cell Biology Specialization

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Molecular and cell biology is the study of fundamental processes that form the basis of biological life and the techniques used to study these processes. The study of molecular and cell biology facilitates understanding of a wide variety of disciplines, including genetics, developmental biology, physiology, microbiology, and evolutionary biology. The goal of the MCB emphasis is to prepare graduates to be competitive in applications for entry into graduate degree programs, professional programs in the biomedical fields, clinical laboratory sciences, or jobs in biomedical and agricultural research labs in government and industry.

Students need to consult with the appropriate biology faculty advisor for approval of their BS program and electives, which must be submitted for approval to the biological sciences department at two quarters prior to graduation. All students in the BS biology major must complete all BS core requirements, plus additional specific requirements. Additionally, students will need to choose a specified number of courses from different groupings of upper division courses. A maximum of 15 credits in BIOL 295, BIOL 490, BIOL 495, and BIOL 496 may be included in the major. General education biology courses and biology courses designed for majors outside of the department may not be used to fulfill Biology BS, Biology BA, or minor requirements. Please read course descriptions for details. Courses used as electives are approved by department advisement.

Biology Graduation Requirements

  • Students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.25 in their major to graduate.
  • Application for the bachelor’s degree must be filed by the second Friday of the quarter preceding the quarter in which the degree is to be received. Complete instructions and deadlines are available in the Office of the Registrar.

Biology Program Learner Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • demonstrate broad and detailed knowledge of biology concepts, processes, and principles;
  • develop scientific and technical skills to investigate the natural world; 
  • use critical thinking to solve biological problems; 
  • develop mindsets of curiosity, reliance on evidence, integrity, equity, and professionalism; and
  • effectively communicate biology across varied audiences.  

Select from the following for 9-21 credits.

  • 1 course from the Molecular/Cell Group Credits: (3-5)
  • 2 courses* from the Ecology, Evolution, and/or Structure/Function Groups Credits: (6-16)

(*NOTE: Courses must come from two different groups.)

Department-Approved Electives Credits: 18-30

Total Credits: 100

Evolution Group

Molecular and Cell Group


Additionally, courses from the following group may also be used as electives:

Biological Diversity Group

College and Department Information

Biological Sciences Department  
College of the Sciences  

Program Codes
Major plan codes: BIOLBS, BIOLBSP
Specialization plan code: CAMB

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