Molecular and Cellular Biology Major Requirements (B.S.)

(Also see Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree.)

The Biology Department offers a B.S. degree in molecular and cellular biology. The B.S. program is designed to provide a rigorous preparation for advanced study in the biomedical sciences. The program is tailored not only to students planning to enter Ph.D. programs or obtain employment in the biotechnology industry but also for premedical students.

All courses required for the molecular and cellular biology major must be taken for a letter grade (not S/U) and be passed with a grade of C- or better with one exception. The department will accept one passing grade below C- in senior year provided that the average for all formal lecture and laboratory courses is at least 2.0.

AS.110.106Calculus I (Biology and Social Sciences)4
or AS.110.108 Calculus I (Physical Sciences & Engineering)
AS.110.107Calculus II (For Biological and Social Science)4
or AS.110.109 Calculus II (For Physical Sciences and Engineering)
or AS.110.113 Honors Single Variable Calculus
AS.171.101General Physics: Physical Science Major I4
or AS.171.103 General Physics I for Biological Science Majors
or AS.171.107 General Physics for Physical Sciences Majors (AL)
AS.171.102General Physics: Physical Science Major II4
or AS.171.104 General Physics/Biology Majors II
or AS.171.108 General Physics for Physical Science Majors (AL)
AS.173.111General Physics Laboratory I1
AS.173.112General Physics Laboratory II1
Introductory Chemistry I
and Introductory Chemistry Laboratory I
Introductory Chemistry II
and Introductory Chemistry Laboratory II
or AS.030.103 Applied Chemical Equilibrium and Reactivity w/lab
AS.030.205Introductory Organic Chemistry I4
AS.030.206Organic Chemistry II4
or AS.030.212 Honors Organic Chemistry II with Applications in Biochemistry and Medicine
AS.030.225Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory3
or AS.030.227 Chemical Chirality: An Introduction in Organic Chem. Lab, Techniques
AS.020.340Developmental Genetics Lab2
AS.020.304Molecular Biology3
AS.020.306Cell Biology4
AS.020.316Cell Biology Lab1
AS.020.315Biochemistry Project lab2-3
or AS.250.253 Protein Engineering and Biochemistry Lab
or AS.250.254 Protein Biochemistry and Engineering Laboratory
AS.020.363Developmental Biology3
At least four courses totaling at least 12 credits (see POS-Tag BIOL-UL in the Schedule of Classes) from the courses approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. At least one course must be taught by the Biology Department ( and be a 2 or 3 credit course.12
Research (totaling at least 6 credits) *6
Total Credits77-78

Sample Program of Study

First Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
AS.030.105 or 1071AS.030.1061
 8 13
Second Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
AS.030.225 or 2273AS.020.3161
 10 9
Third Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
AS.020.315 or AS.250 2531AS.171.104 or 1024
AS.171.103 or 1014AS.173.1121
Upper Level Biology Elective2-3Upper Level Biology Elective2-3
 12-13 10-11
Fourth Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
Upper Level Biology Elective2-3Upper Level Biology Elective (if needed)2-3
Upper Level Biology Elective2-3Research3
 7-9 5-6
Total Credits 74-79

Honors in Molecular and Cellular Biology

Students completing the B.S. in molecular and cellular biology major are eligible to receive their degree with honors.

The B.S. in molecular and cellular biology with honors requires, in addition to the regular requirements for the major, a 3.5 GPA for natural sciences and quantitative studies courses, a presentation of a poster describing the independent research, and a recommendation from the research sponsor.

The research requirement must be completed under the direction of a faculty member in a department associated with the Johns Hopkins University or the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. If the student’s research director for independent research is not a member of the Department of Biology, a Biology faculty member must serve as a sponsor and approve the recommendation from the research director.