Requirements in MCDB

MCDB offers a standard track and three interdisciplinary programs of study in biotechnology, neurobiology and quantitative biology. Once the requirements for the area of concentration have been met, students can choose electives from MCDB and from certain other departments. When in doubt, consult Crystal Adamchek.  All majors in MCDB have the same choices for meeting the senior requirement. The requirements differ for the B.A., the B.S., the Intensive B.S., and the combined B.S./M.S. degrees.

Prerequisites for the MCDB Major

BIOL 101, 102, 103 , 104; CHEM - 2 terms of General Chemistry and labs and 1 term of Organic Chemistry with lab (CHEM 124 , 125, with 222L and 223L satisfies both requirements); PHYS 170, 171 or higher; MATH 115 or above (except MATH 190); all courses taken for letter grades.  Click this link for more information on this subject.

Tracks for the MCDB Major

MCDB BA
The BA Degree - 11.5 or 12.5 Total Credits (total credits depends on senior requirement choice)

MCDB - BS and BS INT
The BS Degree - 18.5 Total Credits
The BS INT Degree - 20.5 Total Credits

Requirements of the Neurobiology track

In addition to the core courses for the standard major, the neurobiology track requires the core course MCDB 320 as well as one MCDB elective numbered 350 or above and electives chosen from BENG 410, CPSC 475, MCDB 240, 310, 315, MCDB 361, 415, 430, 440, PSYC 270, and either STAT 101 or PSYC 200.  Other courses may be substituted with the approval of the student’s track adviser.  (Students should note that PSYC 110 is a prerequisite for many psychology courses but does not substitute as an elective in the neurobiology track.)  Two laboratories chosen from MCDB courses numbered 201L or above are also required.  Students interested in the neurobiology track should consult an adviser for the track. 

Neurobiology track advisers:
P. Forscher, YSB 120 (203-432-6344)
H. Keshishian, YSB 228 (203-432-3478)
R. Wyman, YSB 139 (203-432-3475)
W. Zhong, YSB 225 (203-432-9233)

Requirements of the Biotechnology track

In addition to the core courses for the standard major, the biotechnology track requires the core course MCDB 370 and electives chosen from any MCDB course numbered 200 or above, MB&B 420, 421, 443, BENG 351, 352, 410, 435, 457, 464, CENG 210, 411, 412, CPSC 437, 445, 470, or 475.  (One course must be from MCDB 350 or above.)  Two laboratories are required: either two from MCDB (including at least one from MCDB 341L to MCDB 345L), or BENG 355L, 356L or CENG 412.  Students interested in the biotechnology track should consult an adviser for the track.  Advisers whose names are listed folloed by “[F]” may be consulted during the fall term; others may be consulted during either term. 

Biotechnology track advisers:
R. Breaker, YSB 311 (203-432-9389)
K. Nelson, YSB 137 (203-432-5013)
J. Wolenski, YSB C112 (203-432-6912)

Requirements of the Quantitative Biology track

In addition to the core courses for the standard major, the quantitative track requires the core course MCDB 261 as well as one MCDB elective numbered 350 or above, and any of the following courses: MCDB 361, BENG 467/ENAS 567, MB&B 452a, MB&B 302b, MB&B 435, MB&B 523, PHYS 402, MATH 246, MATH 251, CPSC 475, CPSC 440, MCDB 320, CENG 320.  Two laboratories chosen from MCDB courses numbered 201L or above are also required.  Students interested in the quantitative biology track should consult an adviser for the track. 

Quantitative Biology track advisers:
M. Acar, WB31 201A (203) 737-3255)
D. Clark, YSB C148 (203-432-0750)
T. Emonet, YSB C169 (203-432-3516)
D. Kankel,  YSB 111 (203-432-3532)

Click this link for more information on this new track.

Interdisciplinary Track

Click this link for more information on this track.

Research courses before senior year

The research courses MCDB 475, 485, 486, and 495, 496 exist primarily to fulfill the senior requirement.  Some students may wish to take MCDB 474 earlier in their course of study. This contributes to the thirty-six course credits required for graduation, but does not substitute for any of the requirements for the major, including the senior requirement.  By Yale College regulation, students may take up to three credits in MCDB 474 during their first six terms as a Yale undergraduate. 

Underclassmen and non-majors are only able to take MCDB 474 - Independent Research as a Pass/Fail.  This contributes to the thirty course credits required for graduation, but does not substitute for any of the  requirements for the major, including the senior requirement.