Major in Biology - Cell and Molecular Biology Concentration

Completion of this concentration provides background for advanced studies in cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, immunology and diverse fields that involve molecular tools in research. In addition, students may select this concentration as preparation for professional degree programs in medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine or for a career in biology education, biomedical research or fields that integrate biology with other disciplines such as business or law. Students completing this concentration are encouraged to take at least two upper-level labs among the elective courses within this concentration. Students are encouraged to participate in a research experience or as an intern (e.g., BIOL 491, BIOL 493 or BIOL 499). They should consult with their adviser regarding these opportunities. 

Specific requirements for the Cell and Molecular Biology concentration are listed under Requirements and outlined in the suggested Four-Year Plan of Study.

The Biology major requires a minimum of eleven courses within the biological sciences with a range of 36 to 50 units, depending upon the concentration and configuration of electives selected. A typical student will complete a minimum of 38 to 40 units in biology. Four courses are required and seven elective courses are selected from within the department to complete a concentration. In addition, six to seven ancillary courses (24–30 units) must be completed in the disciplines of chemistry, mathematics and physics. The program must be completed with a grade equivalent of 2.00 or higher in all course work.

Selection of appropriate electives allows students to fulfill the requirements of any of four areas of concentration: Cell and Molecular Biology, Functional Biology of Animals, Organismal Biology and Ecology, or Secondary Education. Completion of one of these concentrations is required for a major in Biology. Students are strongly encouraged to plan their programs in consultation with an adviser who is a member of the biology faculty.

Foundation Courses
BIOL 200
200L
INTRODUCTION TO CELLULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS [LECTURE]
and INTRODUCTION TO CELLULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS [LAB]
4
BIOL 202INTRODUCTION TO ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION4
BIOL 204EDUCATIONAL AND CAREER PLANNING FOR THE BIOLOGIST1
BIOL 309GENETICS4
Breadth Courses
Select one of the following:3-8
GENERAL BOTANY
and GENERAL ZOOLOGY
BIODIVERSITY
Select two of the following:8
MOLECULAR ECOLOGY, EVOLUTION AND CONSERVATION
CELL BIOLOGY
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Select BIOL 221 and BIOL 222, OR BIOL 325, OR BIOL 436:3-8
HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY I [LECTURE]
and HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY I [LAB]
and HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY II [LECTURE]
and HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY II [LAB] (See note under Free Elective below)
ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY
PLANT PHYSIOLOGY
Elective Courses
Select one of the following2
GENETICS LABORATORY
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY LABORATORY
CELL BIOLOGY LABORATORY
BIOCHEMISTRY LAB
Select two of the following:6-8
MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY
MICROBIOLOGY
HISTOLOGY
CANCER BIOLOGY
BIOTECHNOLOGY
ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY
MICROBIOLOGY OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE
IMMUNOLOGY
VIROLOGY
DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY
BIOCHEMISTRY I
INTRO TO BIOINFORMATICS
GENOMICS
Free Elective
Select one biology elective from lists of electives in any Biology concentration or successfully complete BIOL 491 or BIOL 4993-4
If BIOL 221/BIOL 222 are completed as part of the Breadth requirement, this satisfies the Free Elective requirement.
Ancillary Courses
As required for Biology major24-30
Recommended Courses
CALCULUS I
CALCULUS FOR APPLICATIONS
Total Units62-81

Suggested Four-Year Plan

Based on course availability and student needs and preferences, the selected sequences will probably vary from those presented below. Students should consult with their adviser to make the most appropriate elective choices.

Freshman
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
BIOL 200
200L
4BIOL 202 or 3094
MATH 115 or 119 (Courses for students who need additional preparatory MATH; students ready for Calculus may take MATH 211 or MATH 273 and may take CHEM 131 & CHEM 131L this term.)13-4CHEM 131
131L (or CHEM 132/132L if CHEM 131/131L taken in Term 1)
4
TSEM 102 or ENGL 1023ENGL 102 or TSEM 1023
Core3Core (Must be a MATH course, if no MATH course was taken in Term 1)3
Core3 
 16-17 14
Sophomore
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
BIOL 20421BIOL 408, 208, or 4093-4
BIOL 309 or 2024PHYS 21144
CHEM 132
132L (If General Chemistry was completed in freshman year, then another required course may be taken if prerequisites have been fulfilled.)
4Required Lab course (if prerequisites met)4
Core3Core3
One additional course required to complete degree but no more than 3 courses total with labs3-4 
 15-16 14-15
Junior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
BIOL 221
221L5
4BIOL 208, 408, or 409 (Required Lab class)3-4
BIOL 408, 409, or 2084BIOL 222
222L (If needed)
4
PHYS 212 or 242 (Can take PHYS 242 instead if PHYS 241 was already taken.)4CHEM 33135
One or two additional courses required to complete degree but no more than 3 courses total with labs6-8Two additional courses required to complete degree (one course if taking 222/222L) but no more than 3 courses total with labs5-7
 18-20 17-20
Senior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
CHEM 3325Elective3-4
Two or three additional courses required to complete degree but no more than 3 courses total with labs (minimum of 120 credits required to graduate)9-11Two or three additional courses required to complete degree but no more than 3 courses total with labs (minimum of 120 units required to graduate)9-11
 14-16 12-15
Total Units 120-133
  1. Explain the core concepts and principles of Biology.
  2. Demonstrate the scientific method through the use of hypothesis testing in the design and implementation of an experiment.
  3. Utilize scientific methodologies from the biological sciences in the evaluation of issues in society.
  4. Apply appropriate critical-thinking/problem-solving skills in biological sciences.
  5. Communicate both verbally and in writing in discipline specific contexts.
  6. Identify fundamental similarities and differences among various fields of study within the Biological Sciences.