The discipline of Molecular and Cellular Biology focuses on the study of the primary structures of life, specifically, how biological molecules function at the level of the cell and how their function is controlled through genetics.
MCB researchers focus on model systems that allow them to query the most basic of questions about nature, whether they be at the molecular level, at the level of a cell or organism or in development of clinical application of new human disease therapies. The MCB department at UA represents a diverse group of faculty members' research interests including cancer, neurobiology, heart development and disease, plant development, evolutionary biology, cell signaling, gene expression, RNA biology, genetic networks and systems biology, and genome stability.
Our department aims for its students to develop a deep understanding of current ideas and problems in molecular and cellular biology. At the same time, we help to build foundational skills in logic, reasoning, self-expression and communication-skills relevant to any career. Throughout our coursework, the MCB department emphasizes active learning and problem-solving skills, encourage interdisciplinary pursuits, and are committed to providing hands-on and intellectually challenging experiences in research labs. Our goal is to prepare students for creative futures in the pursuit of scientific discovery, science education, or as knowledgeable representatives of science in society.
With approximately 600 undergraduates, Molecular and Cellular Biology is one of the most popular biological science majors at the University of Arizona. In a recent class of our graduating seniors, 29% graduated with honors through UA's Honors College, 53% graduated with academic distinction (Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, or Cum Laude), and the average graduating cumulative GPA was 3.434. 70% of our graduates conducted independent research during their time as an undergraduate, with an average of 5 semesters of involvement. Beyond graduation, the Molecular and Cellular Biology major has enabled our alumni to pursue careers in medicine, research, dentistry, education, law, pharmacy, forensics, biotechnology, and more.