As an MCB major, you will explore fundamental questions about how organisms work at molecular, cellular, and systems levels and how these processes can go awry during injury, infections, and genetic diseases. You’ll build a strong foundation in biological sciences, chemistry, physics, statistics, and math, and gain knowledge of core MCB subjects such as cell communication and gene expression. As you progress through the major, you will be able to customize the curriculum according to your interests. Faculty have designed a variety of advanced courses, from cancer cell biology to neuro and molecular pharmacology. As an MCB student, you will learn not only the basic principles of modern biology, you will also acquire the fundamental, critical, and analytical skills necessary for a successful career.

Degree requirements  4-year plan for MCB majors  4-year plan for pre-health

First-year students start in biology in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and generally declare MCB as their major before their second year. Students are encouraged to take MCB 150: Molecular & Cellular Basis of Life on this campus regardless of AP credit earned.

Detailed information on graduating with distinction, including academic distinction and research distinction, is available on our distinction page.

More options

MCB Honors Concentration

The MCB Honors Concentration is designed for exceptional MCB Majors who are motivated to explore a fuller complement of experiences in biology. MCB Honors students typically plan to enter graduate or professional programs to reach their career goals and want an intensive undergraduate education as preparation.

MCB + Teaching License

The MCB + Teaching Licensure program provides certification to teach biology at the high school level. Students take courses for the MCB major, in addition to the requirements for a Minor in Secondary Education.


MCB certificates allow undergraduates the ability to obtain recognition for completing coursework in a focused area.

Please consult with an MCB advisor if you are interested in completing a certificate.

Minor in MCB (for non-MCB majors)

A minor in Molecular and Cellular Biology will prepare students for training in medicine and other health sciences, for graduate studies in related disciplines, as well as for employment opportunities in pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Please attend an information meeting or meet with an MCB Advisor to learn more.

The MCB community

Empowering students

Hear from MCB majors

MCB: Preparation for career and life


The MCB major provides a strong foundation in molecular and cellular biology and offers an array of advanced courses and hands-on learning opportunities in a supportive environment. 

A bright future


Our students are well-prepared for graduate schools as well as medical, dental, and other professional schools. Alumni go on to develop novel medicines at biotechnology companies, conduct research at national laboratories, teach at universities, or pursue careers in a range of  fields, including the following:

  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries
  • Bioinformatics and data science
  • Education
  • Academic research
  • Government agencies, such as CDC, FDA, NIH, USDA, DOE, DOD, NASA, and EPA
  • National laboratories
  • Armed forces 
  • Forensic science
  • Genetic counseling
  • Law
  • Science writing