Pathway Through the Major

Entry into the MB&B Major

Most MB&B majors start by taking the Introductory Biology course, MB&B/BIOL181, and the associated laboratory, MB&B/BIOL191, in their first semester.

Students may take MB&B/BIOL181 in either first semester freshman year or first semester sophomore year; however, starting the sequence in the first year allows more curricular flexibility in later years.

We recommend that students, especially those intending to major in the life sciences, take introductory chemistry concurrently or prior to MB&B/BIOL181.

Students should enroll separately in MB&B/BIOL191.

The Introductory Biology series (MB&B181 and MB&B182) counts towards the NSM General Education expectation.

Ideal Sequence of Requirements

See the About the Major page for a more detailed description of course requirements and options. Checklists and elective information is available in our Course Planning section

Below are the required courses that comprise the MB&B major.  The sequence of courses shown is an ideal one; however the major can be readily accommodated even if begun after the first year. 

Ideal Pathway Through the MB&B Major
First Year
MB&B 181 Principles of Biology I
MB&B 191 Principles of Biology I Lab 
CHEM 141/143 Introductory Chemistry I
CHEM 152 Introductory Chemistry Lab
MB&B 182 Principles of Biology II
MB&B 192 Principles of Biology II Lab
CHEM 142/144 Introductory Chemistry II
MB&B 208 Molecular Biology 
CHEM 251 Organic Chemistry I
MB&B elective (200 level or above)
CHEM 252 Organic Chemistry II
MB&B 209 Research Frontiers (optional)
MB&B 395 Advanced Lab*
MB&B 383 Biochemistry
MB&B 394 Advanced Lab*
MB&B 381 Physical Chemistry for Life Scientists**
MB&B elective
MB&B elective

*One advanced laboratory class is required. Majors interested in a concentration in molecular biology should take MB&B394, which is offered every spring semester and generally taken in the junior or senior year. Students interested in the molecular biophysics minor should take MB&B395, which is offered every other year in fall semester. The Chemistry Integrated Laboratory courses (CHEM375 and CHEM376) do not satisfy this requirement. Students taking both of the advanced lab courses (MB&B394 and MB&B395) may count one of the two courses as their 300-level elective. 

**MB&B381 may be replaced by two semesters of Introductory Physics (PHYS111 and PHYS112, or PHYS113 and PHYS116) or by Physical Chemistry (CHEM337 and CHEM338). Students enrolling in two semesters of physics or physical chemistry may count MB&B381 as one of the required 300-level electives.