Major in MCB
Official Requirements for MCB Major (PDF Summary), Effective beginning fall 2015
Freshmen start as Biology Majors and can declare MCB just before their sophomore year.
The MCB undergraduate curriculum is focused on the fundamental structures, functions, and mechanisms of living organisms. The curriculum provides you with a solid foundation in biochemistry, cell and developmental biology, microbiology, molecular genetics, and physiology and structural biology. You will also develop a strong foundation in math and physical sciences. Our curriculum is proven to prepare students for medical, dental and graduate schools, and for a broad range of careers involving molecular and cellular biology. MCB is home to most of the premed students on the UIUC campus.
The program of study begins with five required courses—MCB 250, 251, 252, 253, and 354. Students then choose from a broad set of advanced offerings to complete the major. Students are required to maintain a major GPA and cumulative GPA of 2.00 in order to graduate as a MCB major. We encourage students to meet regularly with their academic advisor in the MCB Advising Program to ensure appropriate course selection and enhanced career planning.
Minimum Requirements: Course requirements for the major will sum to 67–72 hours including 21 hours of 300- or 400-level courses (15 hours must be from our approved list of advanced courses for MCB majors and include one lab). A minimum of 12 hours of advanced level courses in the MCB major must be taken on the Illinois campus at Urbana-Champaign. Students will complete a total of 120 hours prior to graduation. Detailed course requirements are shown below.
General Education Requirements: MCB majors are requierd to complete all LAS degree requirements. See LAS general education requirements for specifics.
Minimum GPA Requirement: Students are required to maintain a major GPA and cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better.
Distinction: To be considered for graduation with distinction for research, a student must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 and present a poster at an approved venue. To be considered for graduation with high distinction for research, a student must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25, present a poster and submit a thesis for approval by the MCB Distinction Committee. To be considered for graduation with highest distinction for research, a student must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.90, present a poster and submit a thesis for approval by the MCB Distinction Committee. To be considered for graduation with academic distinction , a student must earn a minimum major GPA of 3.90 or higher. Detailed information regarding distinction is available at Graduating with Distinction in MCB.
|Hours||Requirements (Course rubrics, numbers, & titles effective spring 2016)||Category Subtotal|
|4 - 5
||MATH 220 or MATH 221: Calculus I|
MATH 231: Calculus II
STAT 212: Biostatistics (for students matriculating FA 2015 or later)
|Select one group of courses:
CHEM 102: General Chemistry I, and
CHEM 103: General Chemistry Lab I, and
CHEM 104: General Chemistry II, and
CHEM 105: General Chemistry Lab II
CHEM 202: Accelerated Chemistry I, and
CHEM 203: Accelerated Chemistry Lab I, and
CHEM 204: Accelerated Chemistry II, and
CHEM 205: Accelerated Chemistry Lab II
|6||CHEM 232: Elementary Organic Chemistry I, and
CHEM 233: Elementary Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
|Select one group of courses:
PHYS 101: College Physics, Mech & Heat, and
PHYS 102: College Physics, E&M and Modern Physics
PHYS 211: University Physics, Mechanics, and
PHYS 212: University Physics, Elect & Mag, and
PHYS 213: University Physics, Thermal Physics, and
PHYS 214: University Physics, Quantum Physics.
|Introductory Biology Sequencea||8|
|4||IB 150: Organismal and Evolutionary Biology|
|4||MCB 150: Molecular and Cellular Basis of Life|
|MCB Core Coursesb||13|
|3||MCB 250: Molecular Genetics (Lecture)|
|2||MCB 251: Experimental Techniques in Molecular Biology (Lab)|
|3||MCB 252: Cells, Tissues, and Development (Lecture)|
|2||MCB 253: Experimental Techniques in Cell Biology (Lab)|
|3||MCB 354: Biochemical and Physical Basis of Life (Lecture)c|
At least four additional MCB courses from the disciplines of Biochmemistry, Microbiology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Biophysics and Neuroscience at the 300-level or 400-level are required, including one laboratory course. Please see the Approved List of Advanced Courses for the complete set of courses which serve to fulfill the hours in this category.
Note: Students who earn AP credit or IB credit in MCB 150 should consult with an advisor in MCB before deciding which biology to take during their first semester. We highly recommend that biology majors refrain from using AP credit earned in MCB 150 and take the introductory course on this campus, so that they are appropriately prepared for the subsequent MCB courses.
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