UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

Division of Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences
Life Sciences & Technology Building, Rm. 3308
Telephone: (805) 893-3512
Undergraduate Information (805) 893-5191
Graduate Information (805) 893-8499
Undergraduate e-mail: mcdb-ugrad@lifesci.ucsb.edu
Graduate e-mail: mcdb-gradasst@lifesci.ucsb.edu
Website: lifesci.ucsb.edu/MCDB
Department Chair:  Stephen J. Poole


 
Undergraduate Program

Note: Students are not admitted directly into MCDB majors. Instead, they are first admitted to the pre-biology major, and they may advance to full major standing only after fulfilling specified pre-major course and grade requirements.

Pre-Biological Sciences (Requirements - PDF)

Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology offers the following undergraduate majors:

Bachelor of Arts—Biological Sciences (Requirements - PDF)

UCSB offers both a bachelor of arts (B.A.) and a bachelor of science (B.S.) degree in biological sciences. The B.A. degree is intended to provide flexibility in curriculum planning for students interested in obtaining a degree in biology accompanied by a broader background in the liberal arts. Either degree is acceptable to most graduate and professional schools. Students are encouraged to seek advice from biology faculty and academic advisors regarding which degree option is most appropriate to their career goals.

Bachelor of Science—Biochemistry-Molecular Biology (Requirements - PDF)

This major is designed for students interested in the characteristics of the molecules and the molecular mechanisms involved in living systems. It is especially recommended for those plan­ning graduate work in biochemistry, molecular biology, or microbiology.

Bachelor of Science—Biological Sciences (Requirements - PDF)

UCSB offers both a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in biological sciences. The B.S. degree is intended for those students desiring a more focused and intensive curriculum in biology, including the development of laboratory skills. Either degree is acceptable to most graduate and professional schools. Students are encouraged to seek advice from biology faculty and academic advisors regarding which degree option is most appropriate to their career goals.

Bachelor of Science—Cell and Developmental Biology (Requirements - PDF)

Modern cell and developmental biology brings together a diverse group of disciplines and tech­nologies linked by the common goals of understanding the nature and behavior of cells and how these cells work together to assemble an organism. Whereas some cell and developmental biologists may concentrate on the role that one particular molecule plays within cells, others study the way that many different molecules assemble into structures such as chromosomes or the nucleus, while others may examine how groups of cells interact to form systems of greater complexity, ultimately leading to the progression of a fertilized egg through the many stages of development to form an adult organism. The range of instruments and methods employed by cell and developmental biologists is equally diverse, including recombinant DNA technology, biochemistry, cell culture, genetics, light and electron microscopy, and many others.

The course requirements for the major in cell and developmental biology reflect the diversity within the field. Upper-division coursework includes work in genetics, cell biology, developmental biology (students may choose from among animal, plant, and neuronal development), biochem­istry, and additional electives, including extensive laboratory experience. The major is designed to prepare students for graduate training in a wide range of molecular, cellular and developmen­tal biology disciplines; medical, dental, nursing, optometry, and other health-related professions; and employment in the public or private sector (such as biotechnology) research communities.

Bachelor of Science—Microbiology (Requirements - PDF)

Microbiology has been and continues to be at the forefront in contributing to human welfare and to our understanding of the basic mechanisms of life processes. Three concentrations in micro­biology are available.

General microbiology will provide the student with a broad knowledge of both procaryotic and eucaryotic microorganisms. Such a background will form the basis for understanding the rela­tionships between the various groups of microorganisms and their environment and the relation­ship of those microorganisms to human welfare. This program will stress the contribution of microbiology to our understanding of basic life processes, and will provide a background for careers in food, industrial, marine, and pharmacological microbiology, and for graduate work in microbiology.

Biomedical sciences, in addition to providing a basic training in microbiology, will also provide a specialized background for students whose careers lie in the fields of medical technology and for those who wish to pursue graduate work in medical or clinical microbiology.
Genetic engineering, in addition to providing a basic training in microbiology, will provide spe­cialized training in the methodology of recombinant DNA research. This area of research is paving the way for a fundamental understanding of the nature of the eucaryotic gene and its regulation. It is also ushering in a revolution in the pharmaceutical industry in the production of hormones and other biologically useful agents.

Bachelor of Science—Pharmacology (Requirements - PDF)

The emphasis in this major is on pharmacology as a basic science, rather than on the therapeu­tic principles of pharmacology. The curriculum content is designed to prepare students for careers in pharmaceutical research-and-development laboratories; the program also provides a strong background for graduate study in pharmacology.