FAQs about the Molecular Biology Major

Who should declare the Molecular Biology major?

Students who plan to enter a research career in molecular biology or related areas such as biochemistry, genetics, oncology, microbiology, cell biology, or developmental biology; Pre-professional students who plan to enter either a research or clinical career in medicine or allied health fields; Students who plan to teach biology at the college or secondary levels.

What can I do with a Molecular Biology major?

 The Molecular Biology major provides broad foundational knowledge and skills for employment in a variety of public and private agencies, both domestic and international. Opportunities exist in lab research, product development, government agencies, healthcare, medicine, education, and many more!

Check out the What Can I Do With A Molecular Biology Major? document to see what MolBio alumni are doing and the organizations for which they've worked. Also see the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's guidebook on preparing for careers in Molecular Biology.

How do I declare the Molecular Biology major?

You will need to schedule an appointment with the student services coordinator to declare the major. Appointments made via WiscCal must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance.

If I take courses at another UW institution, how do they transfer?

You can check the Transfer Information System (TIS) or go to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

Can I declare Honors in the Major for the Molecular Biology major?

Yes. Please speak with the student services coordinator, to discuss honors in the major and how to declare.

Who is my advisor?

Your advisor(s) are listed on the homepage of your Student Center and on your DARS report. If your listed advisor is incorrect or if you would like to change advisors, please contact the Molecular Biology student services coordinator.

How do I find a faculty research mentor?

To explore undergraduate research opportunities and to find a research mentor, check out the Undergraduate Research tab.

Can I use a Senior Thesis or Directed Study from a different department to fulfill the Lab/Research requirement for the major?

Yes. A Senior Thesis course or Directed Study course from other departments is acceptable as long as the work is sufficiently related to molecular biology.

If you have questions about how to determine if the course is sufficiently related to molecular biology, please contact the molecular biology student services coordinator.

Should I double major in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry? Or Molecualr Biology and Genetics?

 We do not recommend these double major combinations as the majors are very similar. Most graduate and professional schools will look more closely at your coursework, rather than what your specific major(s) was as an undergraduate.

What courses count towards the 15 credit rule?

The Molecular Biology major allows all courses in 2B, 4B, 4C, 5A-F and 6 to count towards fulfilling the 15-credit rule. Notes: a maximum of 3 credits will be accepted from Molecular Biology 681, 682, 691, 692, or 699.

Can I take a course for Pass/Fail?

Yes. However, courses taken Pass/Fail will not count towards your major, breadth, or general education requirements.