Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


The biochemistry and molecular biology (BMB) major constitutes an integrated curriculum of basic instruction in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics, followed by the opportunity to pursue advanced study in specialized areas of interest. In modern, well-equipped laboratories, distinguished faculty are engaged in frontline research at UCSC. The BMB program features close faculty-student interaction, stimulating learning environments, and opportunities for independent research and study. Students majoring in BMB are encouraged to become involved in research under the guidance of a faculty sponsor. Many students participating in this aspect of the program have made important contributions to the scientific literature. The Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Molecular, Cell, and Developmental (MCD) Biology host a very active seminar series of national and international scholars in which advanced undergraduates are encouraged to participate.

Degrees Offered

  • B.S.

Study and Research Opportunities

  • Students are required to participate in at least one small upper-division research lab course focused on teaching valuable research skills that help prepare students for graduate school and careers in biotechnology.
  • Opportunities for faculty-mentored research and independent study.

Information for First-Year Students (Freshmen)

In addition to completing the courses required for UC admission, high school students who intend to major in biochemistry and molecular biology should take courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and advanced mathematics (precalculus or calculus). 

Information for Transfers

Prior to transfer, students must satisfy major qualification requirements: CHEM 1B, General Chemistry; CHEM 1C: General Chemistry; BIOL 20A, Cell and Molecular Biology; CHEM 8A, Organic Chemistry, and calculus equivalent to MATH 11A or 19A. Transfer applicants must also achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.50 across these qualification courses.

Junior-level transfer students are also strongly encouraged to complete courses equivalent to CHEM 8B, MATH 11B/19B, and a physics series equivalent to PHYS 6ABC/LMN prior to transfer. Prospective transfer students should review the transfer information on the Chemistry website.


  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Research
  • Government Research
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Public Health
  • Teaching

These are only samples of the field’s many possibilities. For more information you can check the American Chemical Society college to career website.


The following sites list Chemistry and Biomedical research facilities:

Department Website

More Information

Chemistry and Biochemistry Department Office:
Physical Sciences Bldg, Rm 230


University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, California 95064
(831) 459-4002