Degrees in MCDB Major

In addition to the course work described on previous pages, all majors in MCDB must satisfy the senior requirement of Yale College. This can be accomplished in any of several ways, depending on whether the student is a candidate for a B.A. or B.S. degree. The senior requirement must be done during the senior year.


The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree

The B.A. requirement can be met by either submitting a senior essay of 15-20 pages evaluating current research in a field of biology or by successful completion of one credit of individual research (MCDB 475a or b).

A senior choosing to fulfill the requirement with a senior essay must consult with a faculty advisor on the scope and literature of the topic and submit their written approval to the director of undergraduate studies at least one month before the paper is due in the student’s last term. The senior essay may be related to the subject matter of a course, but the essay is a separate departmental requirement in addition to any work done in a course. It does not count toward the grade in any course. The senior essay must be completed and submitted to the office of the director of undergraduate studies by the last day of classes. Students electing this option should obtain an approval form from the office of the director of undergraduate studies.


The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree

The B.S. differs from the B.A. in its greater emphasis on individual research. The senior requirement for the standard B.S. is two contiguous terms of MCDB 475a or b, at least one of which must be taken during the senior year, or MCDB 485a and 486b. Ordinarily both terms of  MCDB 475a or b will be taken during the senior year, but it is possible for a student to begin work toward the senior requirement in the spring of the junior year, continue it over the summer, and complete it during the final year, an arrangement that may be particularly useful for students doing field work. Yale College does not grant academic credit for summer research unless the student is enrolled in an independent research course in Yale Summer Session.


The MCDB Intensive major

For the MCDB B.S. intensive major students fulfill the senior requirement by taking MCDB 495a and 496b, Intensive Research, for four credits.


The Bachelors of Science/Master of Science (B.S./M.S. degree)

The combined B.S./M.S. degree program in MCDB is designed to allow exceptional students with a strong interest in biological and biomedical research to accelerate their professional education.  This program is to be completed in eight terms of enrollment.  Entry to this program must be applied for in the first term of the Junior year.  See the MCDB handbook for further details.