The Major in
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Interactions with Participating Faculty

Sample Program

Degree Requirements

Specific Courses for the Major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The Major for Freshmen and Sophomores

The Major for Juniors and Seniors

Transfers into the Major from other Majors or other Schools

Accelerated Tracks and Joint Majors

Application for the Major


The School of Biological Science

The Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry

Entering the Program from another Major or Institution

THE program is designed to allow students to move between the major and the general Biological Sciences major without penalty.  Providing for such movement is necessary because a student will NOT be allowed to major both in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and in Biological Sciences.  A student may move into the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major at any time during their third or even fourth years simply by taking Bio 114L as the prerequisite to Bio 114 and Bio 116.  These courses will not carry majors only restrictions, leaving the path to the Biochemistry and Molecular major open to Biological Sciences majors even as late as the fourth year.  Late transfers will of course, need to take appropriate satellite courses during their third year. There is no impediment to this since many satellite courses require Bio 98 and Bio 99 as prerequisites but won't require either Bio 114 or Bio 116.  Such late transfer might provide a path into the major for a student who does not meet the eligibility requirement based on their second year Bio and Chem GPA.  Such a student could petition for entry based on their performance in the appropriate Bio courses during their third and/or fourth years.

Conversely, since the existing Bio Core beyond Bio 99 requires no set order in which the courses must be taken, and since both Bio 114 and Bio 116 should be acceptable satellites for the Bio major, a student can move out of the major and into the Biological Sciences major at any time without penalty.

Many majors, particularly those who are interested in attending medical or professional school after receiving their bachelor's degree, will want to take the current core courses in Developmental and Cell Biology and/or Physiology (Bio 108 and Bio 109).  Others may wish to specialize in molecular neurobiology and will want to take Bio 110 (Neurobiology) as a prerequisite to satellites in this field.  To accommodate these specific interests, a student will receive satellite course credit for Bio 108, Bio 109, Bio 110 and other selected upper division Biological Sciences courses following consultation with major advisors.  These courses will not substitute for any of the four satellite courses required from those offered by the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry.

We encourage Community College and other transfer students to apply for entrance into the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major.  It is important to be sure that you take the appropriate courses prior to transfer.  Students will not transfer directly into the Biochemistry and Molecular major, but instead will transfer into the Biological Sciences major.  To be eligible to transfer subsequently from the Biological Sciences major into the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major, a student must have completed 3 quarters in residence at UCI, have taken at least six of the required four unit courses in Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Math and/or Physics (including labs and eligible Satellites) and earned a GPA of 3.0 or above in those courses.  This policy is so an interested student can demonstrate interest by doing B or better work in the field over an extended period of time.

In accordance with this principle, a UCI student transferring from outside of Biological Sciences is also required to transfer initially into the Biological Sciences major.  Subsequent eligibility to transfer into the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major will be as described for other Biological Science majors.

Here are two examples illustrating how these rules apply.

  • Consider a student transferring to UCI from another institution at the beginning of the third year. If planning a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major, such a student would normally take Bio 114L, Bio 114, Bio 116, the Physics 3 series and 1-3 satellites or advanced labs.  By earning a B average in these courses, the student would be eligible to transfer into the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major at the end of the third year.  The accelerated tracks would also be open to these students (including those wishing to complete a joint major with Chemistry) provided they start the appropriate Physics series in the second year prior to their transfer.

  • Consider a student who enrolls at UCI as a freshman Dance major but who then transfers at some point to Biological Sciences. When this student completes Bio 99, Bio 100LW and Chem 51C, they will be eligible to ransfer into the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major based on having earned a 3.0 GPA in Bio 97, 98, 99, 100LW and Chem 51A-B-C and 51LA-LB.