Feb 29, 2024
The general education, writing, foreign language and diversity requirements for a degree in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences apply. All students will take foundational courses in biological sciences, chemistry, math, statistics and physics. The Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCDB) emphasis provides a focused and rigorous training in the fundamentals of biology with a concentration on how genes, proteins and pathways give rise to organisms and their phenotypes. Students will conduct hands-on laboratory research and gain experience in reading and critical evaluation of the current research literature. The MCDB emphasis provides a foundation for post-graduate study, and for careers in biomedical research and clinical practice.
Lower-Division BISC Core Courses (8 units)
Collateral Sciences Courses (32 units)
General Chemistry Requirement: 8 units
Organic Chemistry Requirement: 8 units
Calculus Requirement: 4 units
Statistics Requirement: 4 units
Physics Requirement: 8 units
Introduction to Research-Active Faculty (1 to 2 units)
Enroll in one or both courses.
Upper-Division Core Courses (12 units)
MCDB Research or Research-Based Seminar Requirement (2 to 4 units)
Select one MCDB-relevant seminar course from the options listed below. Courses cannot count toward more than one degree requirement.
MCDB Capstone Course Requirement (2 to 4 units)
Select at least one course from the course options below. Courses cannot count toward more than one degree requirement.
Upper-Division Electives (10 to 12 units)
Select three electives from the course options listed below. Courses cannot count toward more than one degree requirement.
Scholarship in Major Subject
The department requires that students receive a grade no lower than C- in the five lower- and upper-division core courses. Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA in the upper-division coursework required for the major, as well as an overall 2.0 GPA. All major core courses must be taken on a letter grade basis.
Honors Program in Biological Sciences
The department offers an honors program to outstanding students already pursuing studies for the BA or BS degree in Biological Sciences. This program offers students an opportunity to participate in undergraduate research, experience in writing an honors thesis summarizing the completed research, and experience in an honors seminar. Honors students are required to take two semesters of BISC 493x Honors Seminar (1 unit/ - semester) and one semester of BISC 494x Honors Thesis (2 units) in addition to fulfilling all requirements of the BA or BS degree. Honors students must also choose BISC 490x as one of their upper division electives. This program leads to the designation on the transcript of Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences with Honors.
Honors Admission Requirements
Students may apply to the department for admission to the honors program after having completed at least one year of work at USC with a minimum GPA of 3.5 in all science and math courses required for the major.
Honors Scholarship Requirements
For continuation in the honors programs, students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the sciences and mathematics courses required for the major.