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Molecular Biology

The program for molecular biology is designed to provide an intensive exposure to the theoretical concepts and experimental techniques of molecular biology. The concepts and techniques of molecular biology are the foundation for the studies of all aspects of biology in modern time. A focus on molecular biology, therefore, provides an excellent preparation for a wide range of advanced studies including basic research, medicine, bioengineering, and biotechnology. Considerable emphasis is placed on chemistry, biochemistry, and genetics for students enrolled in the program. As such, it is recommended for those students who have a particularly strong interest in this field of study.

Lower-Division Requirements

  • BILD 1, 3, and 4

    Note: Effective fall 2015, entering freshmen are required to complete Introductory Biology Lab (BILD 4). Transfer students will be held to the new requirements beginning fall 2017. Students entering prior to fall 2015 may enroll in BILD 4, but are not required to complete the course for major requirements.

  • Chemistry 6A, 6B, 6C and 7L
  • Mathematics 20A, 20B, and 20C
  • Physics 1A/1AL, 1B/1BL, and 1C/1CL or 2A, 2B, 2C and one lab (2BL, 2CL, 2DL)

Upper-Division Requirements

  • Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 140A)
  • Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 140B)
  • Organic Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 143A) or Physical Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 105A)
  • Structural Biochemistry (BIBC 100)
  • Metabolic Biochemistry (BIBC 102)
  • Genetics (BICD 100)
  • Cell Biology (BICD 110)
  • Molecular Biology (BIMM 100)
  • Recombinant DNA Techniques (BIMM 101)
  • Regulation of Gene Activity in Eukaryotic Cells (BIMM 112)
  • Microbial Genetics (BIMM 122)
  • Upper-division Biology lab: Complete one upper-division lab course (at least four units) offered by the UC San Diego Division of Biological Sciences.
    • Biochemical Techniques (BIBC 103)
    • Eucaryotic Genetics Laboratory (BICD 101)
    • Plant Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology Laboratory (BICD 123)
    • Laboratory in Molecular Medicine (BICD 145)
    • Ecology Laboratory (BIEB 121)
    • Marine Invertebrate Ecology Lab (BIEB 131)
    • Aquatic Ecology Lab (BIEB 135)
    • Computer Modeling in Evolution and Ecology (BIEB 143)
    • Animal Communication Lab (BIEB 167)
    • Laboratory in Microbiology (BIMM 121)
    • Animal Physiology Lab (BIPN 105)
  • Upper-Division Biology Electives - select two additional upper-division courses (each course must be at least four units) taken through the UC San Diego Division of Biological Sciences are required.
    • Only one quarter of BISP 196, 197 or 199 and/or one quarter of BISP 195 may be used to fulfill this requirement. Subsequent quarters of BISP 195, 196, 197 or 199 may be applied toward college and university requirements.
    • The following Scripps Institution of Oceanography courses may be taken and applied to this requirement: SIO 123, 125, 126, 127, 128, 132, 133, 134, 147, 181 and 189. Students are required to meet the Division of Biological Sciences residency requirement
    • Other courses of special interest to molecular biology majors are listed below:
      • Plant Biology (BICD 120)
      • Immunology (BICD 140)
      • Molecular Basis of Human Disease (BIMM 110)
      • Virology (BIMM 114)

Additional Requirements

Minimum Grade Requirement

  • All courses required and used toward any biology major requirements must be passed with a grade of “C-“ or better.
  • The minimum grade requirement applies to all lower-division, upper-division, required courses taken in other departments, as well as courses transferred and used toward major requirements.
  • Exceptions will be made only for those required courses that have a P/NP only grading option (i.e., BISP 199).
  • The minimum major GPA requirement remains 2.0.

Please Note: DARS may not automatically reject D grades for the major. If your DARS audit appears blue and you have a D in a required course for the major, please speak with a biology advisor.

Upper-Division Unit Requirement

To receive a bachelor of science degree in biology from UC San Diego, all biology majors, including transfer students, must complete at least 48 or more units of upper-division course work within the major.

Biology Residency Requirement

To receive a bachelor of science degree in biology from UC San Diego, all students must complete at least nine upper-division biology courses (each course must be at least four units) in the Division of Biological Sciences while officially enrolled at UC San Diego. (Students participating in the Education Abroad Program (EAP), and courses at other UC campuses, may petition up to three of these courses to count toward their residency minima.) Biology courses completed through the UC Extension program (concurrent enrollment) will not be counted toward this residency requirement.