BS Requirements

The Department of Biology offers a Bachelor of Science degree in molecular and cellular biology. This degree will increase the breadth of undergraduate training and afford biology majors a greater range of educational possibilities and career options. The BS program is designed to provide a more rigorous preparation for advanced study in the biomedical sciences. The program is tailored not only to students planning to enter PhD programs or obtain employment in the biotechnology industry, but also to premedical students. The BS program in molecular and cellular biology is administered by the faculty of the biology department and is open to all Hopkins undergraduates.


The four-year BS program in molecular and cellular biology requires specialized coursework in addition to the BA program and a two-semester (6 credits) laboratory research experience. The major emphasis of the BS degree in molecular and cellular biology is the participation of the students in an original research project.

Students completing these requirements will be awarded a BS degree in molecular and cellular biology only, not double BA in biology/BS in molecular and cellular biology degrees.

The major emphasis of the BS program¬†in molecular and cellular biology is the student’s participation in an original research project. A BS degree in molecular and cellular biology requires, in addition to the present requirements for the BA degree in biology, at least five courses totaling 13 credits or more from the approved upper-level science courses listed in Appendix I, and 6 credits of research supervised by a faculty member in Biology, Biophysics, or basic science departments in the School of Medicine currently involved in graduate PhD programs.

Two of the upper-level electives must have a 020 number and be 3 or more credit hours.

The supervised research will include participation in group meetings and writing a summary of accomplished work at the end of each term. Supervised research is initiated by an agreement between the student and the faculty member with whom the student wishes to work. This agreement specifies the obligations of the student in terms of amount and scheduling of time dedicated to laboratory work, as well as a commitment from the mentor in terms of supervision, readings, and guidance in pursuing the project. For help in finding a research supervisor, students should discuss their interests with their adviser or other faculty. Students would then contact researchers with whom they might like to work and discuss possible research opportunities. We urge students to make these arrangements well before the end of the semester prior to the beginning of the work. If the research supervisor is not a full-time member in the biology department, students must find a sponsor among the full-time biology faculty. The sponsor must decide whether the work is relevant to the molecular and cellular biology major and must agree to serve as the sponsor. When registering for research, students must submit an Undergraduate Research/Independent Study/Internship Supplemental Registration Form that has been signed by the faculty sponsor. Forms and other information can be obtained from the Registrar.

In addition to 6 credits of supervised research, 020.503-504, 020.513-514, 020.572 (intersession) or 020.597 (summer), and the university’s core requirements, the course requirements for the BS in molecular and cellular biology degree are as follows:


  • Biochemistry 020.305
  • Cell Biology 020.306
  • Biochemistry Lab 020.315
  • Cell Biology Lab 020.316
  • Genetics 020.330
  • Developmental Biology 020.363
  • Developmental Genetics Lab 020.340


  • Introductory Chemistry I & II 030.101-102
  • Introductory Chemistry Lab I & II 030.105-106
  • Introductory Organic Chemistry I & II 030.205-206
  • Introductory Organic Chemistry Lab 030.225


  • Calculus I & II 110.106-107 or 110.108-109


  • General Physics 171.103-104 or 171.101-102
  • General Physics Lab 173.111-112

At least five courses totaling 13 credits or more from additional upper-level sciences courses in Appendix I.

View a sample schedule.