Undergraduate Program

University of Arizona Molecular and Cellular Biology students learn cutting edge biology through innovative teaching methods and hands-on research experiences. The MCB degree provides students the strong foundation in genetics, development, and biotechnology they need to pursue careers in medicine and other health care fields, pharmaceutical and biology research, and education. 

We aim for students to develop a deep understanding of current ideas and problems in molecular and cellular biology. At the same time, we help to build foundational skills in logic, reasoning, self-expression and communication--skills relevant to any career. Throughout our coursework, the MCB Department emphasizes active learning and problem-solving skills, encourages interdisciplinary pursuits, and is committed to providing hands-on and intellectually challenging experiences in research labs. Our goal is to prepare students for creative futures in the pursuit of scientific discovery, science education, health, or as knowledgeable representatives of science in society.

Degree Requirements

Students starting in Fall 2018 will select one of four sub-plans to tailor their degree: Genetics & Human Health, Education & Communication, Systems & Big Data Biology, and our general sub-plan Molecular & Cellular Biology. Each sub-plan has different degree requirements--please select the appropriate major check sheet and sample 4-year plan below for a detailed list.

For students who started in Fall 2017, the Bachelor of Science program in Molecular and Cellular Biology offers a comprehensive course of study across a wide span of scientific inquiry. The 35-unit major includes core courses in Introductory Biology (MCB 181R/L & ECOL 182R/L), Molecular Basis of Life (MCB 301), Molecular Genetics (MCB 304), Cell & Developmental Biology (MCB 305), and Metabolic Biochemistry (BIOC 385).

Beyond these required courses, students select a minimum of 12 upper division MCB elective units. These elective courses allow students to explore course work in related fields, including microbiology, evolutionary biology, biochemistry, physiology, and plant sciences. Courses taken as part of these 12 units must also address laboratory, writing-emphasis, and in-depth study (Core Elective) requirements set forth by the department. Independent laboratory research is a strongly encouraged supplement to MCB undergraduate studies.

The Accelerated Master's Program (AMP) in MCB allows UA undergraduate students to earn both a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree in MCB in a total of 5 years.

2018-2019 Catalog Year:
Genetics & Human Health Sub-Plan
Education & Communication Sub-Plan
Systems & Big Data Biology Sub-Plan
MCB Sub-Plan
MCB Sub-Plan Sample 4-Year Plan (PDF)

2017-2018 Catalog Year:
- Major Requirement Check Sheet (PDF)
Sample 4-Year Plan (PDF)

2016-2017 Catalog Year:
Major Requirement Check Sheet (PDF)
Sample 4-Year Plan (PDF)

2015-2016 and Earlier Catalog Years:
Major Requirement Check Sheet (PDF)
Sample 4-Year Plan (PDF)

2017-2018 Catalog Year and Prior Years: