The Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology Major 2011-12
The molecular, cell, and developmental (MCD) biology major is designed for students interested in medical or other professional programs in the health sciences, graduate school, and careers in biotechnology industries. This major is more structured than the general biology major and requires that students pay careful attention to the prerequisites required for upper-division biology courses.
Study and Research Opportunities
- B.S., M.A., Ph.D.
- Extensive interaction with faculty in MCD Biology and other biology-related programs at UC Santa Cruz, including computational biology and bioinformatics, biomedical engineering, chemistry and biochemistry, and microbiology and environmental toxicology
High School Preparation
In addition to the courses required for UC admission, high school students who intend to major in biology should take high school courses in biology, chemistry, advanced mathematics (precalculus), and physics.
Junior transfer students who plan to major in molecular, cell, and developmental biology must complete the introductory requirements prior to transfer, in particular a complete year of calculus, general chemistry, and introductory biology. Additionally, students who complete a year of organic chemistry, statistics, and calculus-based physics will transfer prepared to begin their advanced degree requirements and allow time in their senior year for doing research. California community college students should follow the prescribed course work in the UCSC transfer agreements available at www.assist.org. Students at other institutions should compare courses at their school with the degree requirements at undergrad.pbsci.ucsc.edu/programs/mcdb and the UCSC General Catalog course descriptions to ensure courses will qualify for transfer.
The Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) will not provide transfer students with enough mathematics and science courses to allow them to complete the program at UC Santa Cruz in two years. In addition, please review the introductory requirements for the molecular, cell, and developmental biology major:
- Biology 20A, Cell and Molecular Biology; Biology 20B, Development and Physiology; Biology 20C, Ecology and Evolution
- Chemistry 1A, 1B, and 1C/N, General Chemistry with Laboratory (three quarters)
- Chemistry 108A/L and 108B (two quarters)
- Mathematics 11A-B, Calculus with Applications (two quarters)
- Physics 6A/L and 6B or 6C, Introduction to Physics with Laboratory (two quarters)
- Applied Mathematics and Statistics 5, Statistics or 7/L, Biostatistics with Laboratory
Prospective transfer students should visit the Physical and Biological Sciences Undergraduate Affairs web site for further information (see the More Information section).
- Biotechnology research
- Cell biology
- Environmental toxicology
- Industrial ecology
- Medical research
- Molecular biology
- Pharmaceutical research
- Veterinary medicine
These are only samples of the field’s many possibilities.
Education Abroad Opportunities
The UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) offers qualified students unique opportunities to broaden their educational horizons. MCD Biology encourages interested students to participate. Many programs are in English-speaking countries or use English for advanced courses. Many programs offer small classes and extensive laboratory and/or field research experience.
There are excellent programs for biological science students in Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Germany, among others.
Students interested in study abroad need to get an early start on their basic science requirements, including general and organic chemistry, math, and introductory biology. Visit the EAP office as soon as possible to begin planning, and seek advice about your academic plan from the Physical and Biological Sciences Undergraduate Affairs adviser and/or faculty adviser.
Academic advising is available from Physical and Biological Sciences Undergraduate Affairs. The Undergraduate Affairs web site at undergrad.pbsci.ucsc.edu, contains detailed information about the degree programs, sample schedules, transferring credit, placement exams, faculty research, and opportunities in the Physical and Biological Sciences majors.
Winnie M. Chan
Winnie is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Rochester, doing research in Virology. She already has two research articles and has made presentations of her research at international meetings. She earned her Bachelor's degree in MCD Biology in 2003. Winnie worked in biotech before going to graduate school.
Eric Logue, Ph.D.
Eric is presently a postdoctoral fellow at the NYU School of Medicine. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology in 2000 and his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. His area of research is the cell biology of lentiviruses, such as HIV, and their ability to enter the nucleus by hijacking the cellular nuclear import machinery.
Sam Pine, Ph.D.
Currently Sam is a postdoctoral scientist at the Infectious Disease Research Institute in Seattle, WA. He earned a Bachelor's degree in MCD Biology in 1995. He earned his Ph.D. at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/University of Washington in 2009 after having worked at various biotech companies, including Allergan and Chiron. Sam's current work is on the immune response to novel vaccine candidates against tuberculosis.
Jenny is currently a Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley, doing stem cell research and immunology on the thymocyte development in the laboratory of Dr. Ellen Robey. She earned her Bachelor's degree in MCD Biology in 2007.
More InformationPhysical and Biological Sciences Undergraduate Affairs
387 Thimann Laboratories
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, California 95064