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Molecular & Cellular Biology (MCB) Undergraduate Major

The MCB Major is designed to provide a strong platform for future medical or research careers. The curriculum features a set of required courses (below), but also provides the student with flexibility to tailor their ISU experience to suit their goals and interests. This flexibility comes from the “MCB elective basket” (see Table), and from additional elective hours that can be applied toward independent research experiences (please contact advisor for details).

This Table gives the selection of courses that the student can use to fulfill the “MCB elective” requirement for the MCB Major. The student needs to take any two of these courses. This instructor list is current as of Fall 2022. Please consult the ISU Catalog for your current requirements.

​Electives for the MCB Undergraduate Major (pick 2)​ ​
CourseTitleRecent Instructors
​BSC 329​Human Genetics​Moore
BSC 343
​Intro. Neurobiology​Garris, Stein
​BSC 345​Intro. EndocrinologyPaitz
BSC 346
​Developmental Biol.​Kirik
​BSC 351​Cell Signaling & Regulation​Edwards
​BSC 353​Biotech Lab I (DNA & RNA) [lab course]​​Engelke
​BSC 354​Biotech Lab II (Cells & Proteins) [lab course]​N. Mortimer
​BSC 355​Genomics & Bioinformatics​Hammond
​BSC 361​Microbial Pathogens [4 cr hr including lab]​Nichols
​BSC 365​Bioenergy​Sedbrook
​BSC 367​Immunology [4 cr hr including lab]​Vogel
​BSC 370​Topics in Molec. & Cellular Biol.Dahl, Hammond

–All of the MCB elective courses are 3 cr hr except for BSC 361 and BSC 367, which are 4 cr hr and include a lab section.

–The MCB degree also has a separate lab requirement; students must pass five BSC courses with laboratories. This will include the required courses BSC 196, BSC 197, and BSC 260 (Microbiology), along with two additional lab courses selected by the student (see Catalog for all the lab courses). The following four courses can be used to fulfill BOTH an MCB elective and a remaining lab requirement: BSC 353, 354, 361, and 367.

Here are the full requirements (As of 2017; See current Catalog for any updates):


— 72 total hours required.

— 37 hours in Biological Sciences.

— Required Biological Sciences courses (22 hours) BSC 196*, 197*, 203, 204, 219, 260*, 350 (* denotes laboratory courses).

— A minimum of 6 hours in 300-level Biological Sciences courses is required, selected from the following: BSC 329, 343, 345, 346, 351, 353*, 354*, 355, 361*, 365, 367*, 370.

— Students must pass five BSC courses with laboratories (*).

— 8-10 hours required in Physics: Either PHY 108 and 109 (10 hours), or PHY 110 and 111 (8 hours).

— 7-8 hours required in Mathematics: MAT 145 and 146. NOTE: One of the following may substitute for MAT 146: ECO 138, GEO 138, or PSY 138.

— 20 hours required in Chemistry: CHE 140, 141, 230, 231, 232, 233, 342. Advisor may substitute CHE 242 for 342.

— BSC 202, 307, and Biological Sciences courses below 195 may not be used in the major.

— A minimum of 12 hours in Biological Sciences must be completed at Illinois State University.

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