Bachelor of Arts in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
The Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology B.S. and B.A. degrees provide students with a broad understanding of biological systems at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels. The MCDB degree includes study of genetics, cell biology, developmental biology, cancer biology, and neurobiology. Students have the option of elective courses in these areas for an advanced, in-depth learning experience.
Admission to KU
All students applying for admission must send high school and college transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Unless they are college transfer students with at least 24 hours of credit, prospective students must send ACT or SAT scores to the Office of Admissions. Prospective first-year students should be aware that KU has qualified admission requirements that all new first-year students must meet to be admitted. Consult the Office of Admissions for application deadlines and specific admission requirements.
Visit the International Support Services for information about international admissions.
Students considering transferring to KU may see how their college-level course work will transfer on the Office of Admissions website.
Admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Admission to the College is a different process from admission to a major field. Some CLAS departments have admission requirements. See individual department/program sections for departmental admission requirements.
First- and Second-Year Preparation
Because biology study requires preparation in other sciences, students should begin meeting major requirements in the first year. It is particularly important to take CHEM 130 and CHEM 135 in the first year and, for several majors, to take CHEM 330, CHEM 331, CHEM 335, and CHEM 336 in the second year. Ideally, most majors should also take BIOL 150 and BIOL 152 during the first year, as well as BIOL 105.
|General Science Requirements|
|BIOL 105||Biology Orientation Seminar||1|
|CHEM 130||General Chemistry I||5|
|CHEM 135||General Chemistry II||5|
|CHEM 310||Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry||3|
|or CHEM 330||Organic Chemistry I|
|CHEM 331||Organic Chemistry I Laboratory||2|
|MATH 121||Calculus I||4-6|
|or MATH 115|
& MATH 116
| Calculus I|
and Calculus II
|or MATH 125||Calculus I|
& PHSX 115
|College Physics I|
and College Physics II
|or PHSX 211|
& PHSX 216
& PHSX 212
& PHSX 236
| General Physics I|
and General Physics I Laboratory
and General Physics II
and General Physics II Laboratory
|Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology Requirements|
|BIOL 150||Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology||4|
|or BIOL 151||Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Honors|
|BIOL 152||Principles of Organismal Biology||4|
|or BIOL 153||Principles of Organismal Biology, Honors|
|BIOL 350||Principles of Genetics||4|
|or BIOL 360||Principles of Genetics, Honors|
|BIOL 405||Laboratory in Genetics||3|
|or BIOL 426||Laboratory in Cell Biology|
|BIOL 412||Evolutionary Biology||4|
|BIOL 416||Cell Structure and Function||3|
|or BIOL 536||Cell Structure and Function (Honors)|
|BIOL 417||Biology of Development||3-4|
|or BIOL 545||Evolution of Development|
|BIOL 600||Introductory Biochemistry, Lectures||3|
|BIOL 435||Introduction to Neurobiology||3|
|or BIOL 672||Gene Expression|
|or BIOL 688||The Molecular Biology of Cancer|
|BIOL 599||Senior Seminar: _____||1|
|One of the following laboratory courses:|
|Fundamentals of Microbiology Laboratory|
|Laboratory in Genetics|
|Laboratory in Cell Biology|
|Microbial Genetics Laboratory|
|Evolution of Development|
|Introductory Biochemistry Laboratory|
|Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology Electives||6|
|Any Biology course numbered 400 or higher. No more than 3 hours of BIOL 423: Non-Lab Independent Student and/or BIOL 424: Independent Study (combined) may be used to fulfill the elective requirement|
Major Hours & Major GPA
While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:
Satisfied by 68-74 hours of major courses.
Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major.
Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 36-37 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.
Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.
Below is a sample 4-year plan for students pursuing the B.A. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. To view the list of courses approved to fulfill KU Core Goals, please visit the KU Core website.
|CHEM 130 (Goal 1.2 Quantitative Literacy or Goal 3 Natural Science, General Science Requirement)1||5||BIOL 152 or 153 (Goal 3 Natural Science, Major Requirement)||4|
|BIOL 105 (General Science Requirement)9||1||CHEM 135 (Goal 1.2 Quantitative Literacy or Goal 3 Natural Science, General Science Requirement)||5|
|BIOL 150 or 151 (Goal 3 Natural Science, Major Requirement)2||4||MATH 115 (Goal 1.2 Quantitative Literacy, General Science Requirement)1||3|
|ENGL 101 (Goal 2.1 (2 crs req), BA Writing I)||3||ENGL 102 (Goal 1.2 (2 crs req), BA Writing II)||3|
|Goal 2.2 Communication||3|
|1st Semester Language (BA Second Language)||5||2nd Semester Language (BA Second Language)||5|
|MATH 116 (General Science Requirement)1||3||BIOL 412 (Major Requirement)3||4|
|CHEM 330 (General Science Requirement)4||3||BIOL 416 (Major Requirement)||3|
|CHEM 331 (General Science Requirement)4||2||Goal 3 Arts and Humanities||3|
|BIOL 350 (Major Requirement)||4|
|3rd Semester Language (BA Second Language)||3||4th Semester Language (BA Second Language)||3|
|PHSX 114 or 211 and 216 (Goal 1.1 Critical Thinking, General Science Requirement)||4-5||PHSX 115 or 212 and 236 (General Science Requirement)||4|
|BIOL 600 (Major Requirement)||3||BIOL 405 or 426 (Major Requirement)3,5,6||3|
|Goal 3 Social Science||3||BIOL 417 (Major Requirement)3||3|
|Elective or possible minor course 300+ (Total Hours)||3||Elective or possible minor course 300+ (Total Hours)||3|
|BIOL 435 or 688 (or BIOL Elective 400+ Major Requirement)5,7,8||3||BIOL 672 (or BIOL Elective 400+ Major Requirement)3,8||3|
|BIOL Elective 400+ (Major Requirement)7||3||BIOL 599 (Goal 6; Major Requirement)||1|
|Goal 4.1 US Diversity||3||Goal 5 Social Responsibility and Ethics||3|
|Goal 4.2 Global Awareness||3||Elective or possible minor course 300+ (Total Hours)||1|
|Elective or possible minor course 300+ (Total Hours)||3||Elective or possible minor course (Total Hours)||2|
|Total Hours 120-121|
1 Requires MATH ACT scores of 26+, a comparable SAT or KU Math Placement Exam score, or credit for a MATH 101 or MATH 104 equivalent course. MATH 125 can be taken instead of MATH 115 + MATH 116 to fulfill the math requirement.
2 Concurrent or prior enrollment in CHEM 130 is required.
9 BIOL 105: Biology Orientation Seminar (1 hour online course) is required for the major. It can be taken the summer prior to your freshman year.
Undergraduate majors are eligible to graduate with honors in biology if they fulfill the following requirements:
- Complete all course work required for the appropriate degree in biology.
- Achieve a minimum grade-point average of 3.5 in the major.
- Complete BIOL 499 Introduction to Honors Research with a grade of B or higher.
- Complete BIOL 699 Biology Honors Research Colloquium with a grade of B or higher.
- Complete an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty member in an area appropriate to the degree sought.
- Submit an honors thesis to the honors committee once the research is complete and present the results of the completed research at the honors research symposium.
Students majoring in Human Biology with Anthropology, Applied Behavioral Science, Psychology, or Speech-Language-Hearing concentrations will follow the honors requirements for their respective concentration department.
Specific guidelines and intent forms are available in the Undergraduate Biology Program office and online. Candidates must declare their intent to graduate with honors at least 2 semesters before graduation.
Consult an advisor at least 4 months before undertaking study abroad. Consult the Office of Study Abroad, 108 Lippincott Hall, for information about study in one of the many countries (e.g., Scotland, Australia, Switzerland) with special arrangements with KU.