Molecular and Cellular Biology

Brief Description of Concentration

mcb logoMolecular and Cellular Biology is rooted in the investigation of biological processes based on the study of molecules and their interactions in the context of cells and tissues, and how the genome orchestrates cell behavior. 

Learning Objectives

The Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) concentration has several learning objectives, a few of which are listed below:

  • Investigate biological processes at the level of cells and molecules
  • Apply the scientific method to solve problems, both in and out of the lab
  • Critically review scientific literature and evidence

Gateway Courses

First Year

  • Math: Starting as recommended, up to Math 19A,B/Math 21A,B/Applied Math 21A,B or equivalent
  • Chemistry: General chemistry PS1/PS10/PS11/CHEM 40
  • Life sciences: either LS 1a (or LPSA) and LS 1b, or LS50

Second Year

  • MCB 60 and MCB 63/64/65/68/80
  • Organic chemistry starting with CHEM 17/CHEM 20


Many alumni go on to pursue graduate or professional programs, either straight out of college or after having spent a few years in the workplace. The concentration builds a strong foundation in the life sciences, naturally equipping concentrators for research-based opportunities. Our students have excelled in a wide variety of spaces like consulting, finance, education, medicine, etc. A handful of our alumni are highlighted below.

Alissa D’Gama (MCB ’11) MD/PhD Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellow

Zuri Sullivan PhD (MCB ’12) HHMI Fellow

Nathaniel Brooks Horwitz (MCB ’18) Principal, RA Capital