• Lower Division Courses: General Chemistry with laboratory, Organic Chemistry with laboratory, Calculus, Physics.
  • Upper Division Courses: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Genetics, and one additional advanced Biological Science course such as Microbiology, Immunology, Virology.
  • Laboratory courses: Advanced laboratory and/or research experience is strongly recommended.
  • Successful completion of a Bachelor of Science degree, or equivalent.

The admission process is holistic, and applications are evaluated on the basis of:

  • Grades (minimum 3.0 GPA)
  • Three recommendation letters
  • Foreign students will be required to submit a TOEFL score and occasionally a TSE score
  • Applicant essays.

Course Notes

You must complete 12 units per quarter to be considered a full-time student.

  • Enrollment in both Mol Bio 221L during spring quarter of the first year is mandatory.
  • Three electives are required.
  • Electives must be approved in advance, in writing, by the Program Director.
  • All courses must be taken for a grade. A grade of “B” or better is considered a passing grade.
  • Mol Bio 250L is a prerequisite to 251L.
  • Research Units: Molecular Biology 200 courses represent full-time research in a specific faculty member’s laboratory. They provide further training in a research setting to gain specialized experience in areas of biotechnology such as immunology, virology, protein engineering, nucleic acids. This phase of the training will use the skills acquired in the Core Technical Laboratories to pursue directed research goals of the laboratory in which you work.


  • Students must pass each required course and two electives with a grade of “B” or better.
  • Students must complete the required courses within two academic years.
  • The Molecular Biology labs, 250L and 251L, may not be repeated.
  • Research progress in the second year (Molecular Biology 200 courses) will be monitored each quarter by the Program Director, who will solicit a written report from the faculty advisor. In addition, at the end of the spring quarter and before graduation from the program, all students are required to submit a comprehensive report of the research project to the Program Director.


  • No support other than financial aid and awarded fellowships is provided for this program.
  • If qualified, students may apply for positions as Teaching Assistants.
  • The University limits employment of enrolled graduate students to 50% time.
  • Students will work in research labs during their second year to earn research units (Mol Bio 200 courses); students may not be compensated for this time.

General Notes

  • The program may not be attempted on a part-time status.