Degree Requirements

The catalog is the document of record for major and program requirements. It is updated annually.

Students may follow the degree requirements from either the UCSC General Catalog published at the time of entering UCSC or subsequent catalog(s). Students need not follow a catalog in its entirety, but may elect to follow different catalog years for their college requirements, university and general education requirements, the requirements of their major(s), and the requirements of any minor(s). The catalog year will initially be set for the first year of enrollment at UCSC. Students may elect to follow major or minor requirements from other catalog years(s) when filing the Petition for Declaration of Major/Minor.

Following are excerpts of degree requirements from the current year catalog (16-17):

Archive of Previous Years' General Catalogs

Note:  All Major Classes must be taken for a letter grade.


    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology B.S.

  • The BMB major constitutes an integrated curriculum of basic instruction in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics, followed by the opportunity to pursue advanced study in specialized areas of interest.

    Lower-Division Requirements

    General Chemistry: Chemistry 1A, 1B/M, and 1C/N

    Calculus: Mathematics 11A-B and 22; or Mathematics 19A-B and 22

    Statistics: Applied Mathematics and Statistics 5 or 7/L

    Introductory Biology: Biology (BIOL) 20A and Biology (BIOE) 20B

    Organic Chemistry: Chemistry 8A/L and 8B/M

    Physics: Physics 5A/L, 5B/M, and 5C/N; or 6A/L, 6B/M, and 6C/N

    Upper-Division Requirements

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BIOC) 100A, 100B, and 100C and BIOL 101L (formerly 100K)

    Genetics: Biology (BIOL) 105

    Cell Biology: Biology (BIOL) 110

    Molecular Biology: Biology (BIOL) 115

    Physical Chemistry: Chemistry 163A and 163B

    One of the following laboratory courses:

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BIOC) 110L, Advanced Biochemistry Laboratory

    Biology (BIOL) 100L, Biochemistry Laboratory

    Biology (BIOL) 105L, Eukaryotic Genetics Laboratory

    Biology (BIOL) 105M, Microbial Genetics Laboratory

    Biology (BIOL) 109L, Yeast Molecular Genetics Laboratory

    Biology (BIOL) 110L, Cell Biology Laboratory

    Biology (BIOL) 115L, Eukaryotic Molecular Biology Laboratory

    Biology (BIOL) 121L, Environmental Phage Biology Laboratory

    Biology (BIOL) 186L, Undergraduate Research in MCD Biology

    Biology (BIOL) 187L, Molecular Biotechnology Laboratory

    Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology (METX) 119L, Microbiology Laboratory

    Disciplinary Communication (DC)

    Students of every major must satisfy that major’s upper-division Disciplinary Communication (DC) requirement. The DC requirement in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is satisfied by completing one of the following courses: BIOC 110L, BIOL 100L, 105L, 105M, 109L, 110L, 115L, 121L, 186L, 187L, or METX 119L. The DC requirement must be satisfied at UCSC and may not be transferred from another institution

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  • Chemistry B.S.

  • The bachelor of science major program is designed for students who intend to pursue a professional career in chemistry. It is rigorous and broadly based, appropriate for that purpose.

    Lower-Division Requirements

    General Chemistry: Chemistry 1A, 1B/M, and 1C/N

    Calculus: Mathematics 11A, 11B, and 22; or Mathematics 19A, 19B, and 22

    Advanced Mathematics: Applied Mathematics and Statistics 10, or Mathematics 21, or Mathematics 24

    Physics: Physics 5A/L, 5B/M, and 5C/N; or Physics 6A/L, 6B/M, and 6C/N

    Organic Chemistry: Chemistry 8A/L and 8B/M

    Upper-Division Requirements

    Intermediate Organic Chemistry: Chemistry 110/L

    Inorganic Chemistry: Chemistry 151A/L

    Biochemistry: Chemistry 103

    Physical Chemistry: Chemistry 163A, 163B, 163C, and 164

    One of the following laboratory courses:

    Chemistry 146A, Advanced Laboratory in Organic Chemistry

    Chemistry 146B, Advanced Laboratory in Inorganic Chemistry

    Chemistry 146C, Advanced Laboratory in Physical Chemistry

    Students currently conducting senior thesis research are strongly encouraged to choose an advanced laboratory in the Chemistry 146-series that is outside their research area.

    Elective(s)

    At least two from the following list:

    Chemistry 122, Principles of Instrument Analysis*

    Chemistry 143, Organic Chemical Structure and Reactions

    Chemistry 151B, Chemistry of the Main Element Groups

    Chemistry 156C, Advanced Topics in Inorganic Chemistry

    Chemistry 167, Modern Chemical Biology

    Chemistry 169, Chemistry and Biology of Drug Design and Discovery

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 100A, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 100B, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 100C, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology 101, Sources and Fates of Pollutants

    Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology 102, Cellular and Organismal Toxicology

    Ocean Sciences 120, Aquatic Chemistry: Principles and Applications

    Ocean Sciences 220, Chemical Oceanography

    Physics 180, Biophysics

    *To receive certification from the American Chemical Society, you must complete Chemistry 122; see additional information below.

    Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement

    Students of every major must satisfy that major’s upper-division Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement. The DC Requirement for the bachelor of science degree in chemistry is satisfied by completing Chemistry 151L, Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, and either Chemistry 146A, 146B, or 146C.

    Comprehensive Requirement

    The comprehensive requirement is a part of all UCSC degrees. In the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, there are two options for satisfying this requirement:

    Senior thesis: A senior research project based on original experimental or theoretical research (Chemistry 195A-B-C, Senior Research). At the conclusion of the project, the student submits a satisfactory formal research paper to the faculty sponsor. Students arrange for a faculty sponsor by consulting with a relevant faculty member within the chemistry and biochemistry or the biochemistry and molecular biology major programs. In some cases, faculty outside these major programs (for example, in biology, ocean sciences, microbiology and environmental toxicology, or Earth sciences) may be an appropriate sponsor. Students who select a sponsor outside the chemistry or the biochemistry and molecular biology major programs should have the title and description of the proposed thesis reviewed by the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department undergraduate faculty adviser. Students, usually working in the laboratory of the faculty sponsor, acquire experimental and/or theoretical research experience and skills in the laboratory as well as instruction in the writing of a research paper. Students are expected to make satisfactory academic progress and be in good academic standing while they take Chemistry 195 courses. Students who achieve excellence in both research and thesis may be awarded honors in the thesis upon graduation.

    Senior essay: An essay based on literature research (Chemistry 194, Senior Essay). After agreeing in advance on an appropriate topic of interest and a format, the student submits a satisfactory essay on the topic. Students arrange for a faculty sponsor by consulting with a relevant faculty member within the chemistry and biochemistry major program. In some cases, faculty outside these major programs (for example, in biology, ocean sciences, microbiology and environmental toxicology, or Earth sciences) may be an appropriate sponsor. Students who select a sponsor outside the chemistry and biochemistry major program should have the title and description of the proposed essay reviewed by the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department undergraduate faculty adviser. Students acquire experience and skills in scientific literature research as well as in the writing of a research paper.

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  • Chemistry B.A.

  • The requirements for the bachelor of arts in chemistry have been kept to a minimum so that students may tailor their program to their own purposes, for example, to pursue a double major, to study areas of the humanities or social sciences, to complete major requirements late in their college career, or to concentrate on a study in a specific branch of chemistry.

    Lower-Division Requirements

    General Chemistry: Chemistry 1A, 1B/M, and 1C/N

    Calculus: Mathematics 11A, 11B, and 22; or Mathematics 19A, 19B, and 22

    Physics: Physics 5A/L, 5B/M, and 5C/N; or Physics 6A/L, 6B/M, and 6C/N

    Organic Chemistry: Chemistry 8A/L and 8B/M

    Upper-Division Requirements

    Intermediate Organic Chemistry: Chemistry 110L

    Inorganic Chemistry: Chemistry 151A/L

    Physical Chemistry: Chemistry 163A, 163B, and 164

    One of the following laboratory courses:

    Chemistry 146A, Advanced Laboratory in Organic Chemistry

    Chemistry 146B, Advanced Laboratory in Inorganic Chemistry

    Chemistry 146C, Advanced Laboratory in Physical Chemistry

    Students currently conducting senior thesis research are strongly encouraged to choose an advanced laboratory in the Chemistry 146-series that is outside their research area.

    Elective(s)

    At least one from the following:

    Chemistry 103, Biochemistry

    Chemistry 143, Organic Chemical Structure and Reactions

    Chemistry 151B, Chemistry of Main Element Groups

    Chemistry 156C, Advanced Topics in Inorganic Chemistry

    Chemistry 163C, Kinetic Theory and Reaction Kinetics, Statistical Mechanics, Spectroscopic Applications

    Chemistry 167, Modern Chemical Biology

    Chemistry 169, Chemistry and Biology of Drug Design and Discovery

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 100A, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 100B, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 100C, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology 101, Sources and Fates of Pollutants

    Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology 102, Cellular and Organismal Toxicology

    Ocean Sciences 120, Aquatic Chemistry: Principles and Applications

    Ocean Sciences 220, Chemical Oceanography

    Physics 180, Biophysics

    Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement

    Students of every major must satisfy that major’s upper-division Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement. The DC Requirement for the bachelor of arts degree in chemistry is satisfied by completing Chemistry 151L, Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, and either Chemistry 146A, 146B, or 146C.

    Comprehensive Requirement

    The comprehensive requirement is a part of all UCSC degrees. In the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, there are two options for satisfying this requirement:

    Senior thesis: A senior research project based on original experimental or theoretical research (Chemistry 195A-B-C, Senior Research). At the conclusion of the project, the student submits a satisfactory formal research paper to the faculty sponsor. Students arrange for a faculty sponsor by consulting with a relevant faculty member within the chemistry and biochemistry or the biochemistry and molecular biology major programs. In some cases, faculty outside these major programs (for example, in biology, ocean sciences, microbiology and environmental toxicology, or Earth sciences) may be an appropriate sponsor. Students who select a sponsor outside the chemistry or the biochemistry and molecular biology major programs should have the title and description of the proposed thesis reviewed by the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department undergraduate faculty adviser. Students, usually working in the laboratory of the faculty sponsor, acquire experimental and/or theoretical research experience and skills in the laboratory as well as instruction in the writing of a research paper. Students are expected to make satisfactory academic progress and be in good academic standing while they take Chemistry 195 courses. Students who achieve excellence in both research and thesis may be awarded honors in the thesis upon graduation.

    Senior essay: An essay based on literature research (Chemistry 194, Senior Essay). After agreeing in advance on an appropriate topic of interest and a format, the student submits a satisfactory essay on the topic. Students arrange for a faculty sponsor by consulting with a relevant faculty member within the chemistry and biochemistry major program. In some cases, faculty outside these major programs (for example, in biology, ocean sciences, microbiology and environmental toxicology, or Earth sciences) may be an appropriate sponsor. Students who select a sponsor outside the chemistry and biochemistry major program should have the title and description of the proposed essay reviewed by the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department undergraduate faculty adviser. Students acquire experience and skills in scientific literature research as well as in the writing of a research paper.

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  • Chemistry B.S. with Environmental Concentration

  • A concentration within the biology, chemistry and biochemistry, and Earth sciences disciplines, collectively identified as the environmental sciences program, is offered. Students will develop a core competence suitable for pursuing graduate work in the environmental chemistry area or in graduate environmental sciences programs.

    Lower-Division Requirements

    General Chemistry: Chemistry 1A, 1B/M, and 1C/N

    Introductory Biology:  Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology (BIOL) 20A, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (BIOE) 20B

    Geology: Earth Sciences 20/L, 10/L, or 5/L

    Environmental Policy and Economics: Environmental Studies 25

    Calculus: Mathematics 11A, 11B and 22; or 19A, 19B and 22

    Physics: Physics 5A/L, 5B/M, and 5C/N; or Physics 6A/L, 6B/M, and 6C/N

    Organic Chemistry: Chemistry 8A/L and 8B/M

    Upper-Division Requirements

    Environmental Toxicology: Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology 101 or 102

    Biochemistry: Chemistry 103

    Intermediate Organic Chemistry: Chemistry 110/L

    Instrumental Analysis: Chemistry 122

    Inorganic Chemistry: Chemistry 151A/L

    Physical Chemistry: Chemistry 163A, 163B, and 164

    Earth Sciences: Earth Sciences 110B/M

    Ocean Sciences: Ocean Sciences 120 or 220 (Ocean Sciences 220 must be taken for a letter grade)

    One of the following laboratory courses:

    Chemistry 146A, Advanced Laboratory in Organic Chemistry

    Chemistry 146B, Advanced Laboratory in Inorganic Chemistry

    Chemistry 146C, Advanced Laboratory in Physical Chemistry

    Students currently conducting senior thesis research are strongly encouraged to choose an advanced laboratory in the Chemistry 146-series that is outside their research area.

    Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement

    Students of every major must satisfy that major’s upper-division Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement. The DC Requirement in chemistry with an environmental chemistry concentration is satisfied by completing Chemistry 151L, Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, and either Chemistry 146A, 146B, or 146C.

    Comprehensive Requirement

    The comprehensive requirement is a part of all UCSC degrees. In the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, there are two options for satisfying this requirement:

    Senior thesis: A senior research project based on original experimental or theoretical research (Chemistry 195A-B-C, Senior Research). At the conclusion of the project, the student submits a satisfactory formal research paper to the faculty sponsor. Students arrange for a faculty sponsor by consulting with a relevant faculty member within the chemistry and biochemistry or the biochemistry and molecular biology major programs. In some cases, faculty outside these major programs (for example, in biology, ocean sciences, microbiology and environmental toxicology, or Earth sciences) may be an appropriate sponsor. Students who select a sponsor outside the chemistry or the biochemistry and molecular biology major programs should have the title and description of the proposed thesis reviewed by the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department undergraduate faculty adviser. Students, usually working in the laboratory of the faculty sponsor, acquire experimental and/or theoretical research experience and skills in the laboratory as well as instruction in the writing of a research paper. Students are expected to make satisfactory academic progress and be in good academic standing while they take Chemistry 195 courses. Students who achieve excellence in both research and thesis may be awarded honors in the thesis upon graduation.

    Senior essay: An essay based on literature research (Chemistry 194, Senior Essay). After agreeing in advance on an appropriate topic of interest and a format, the student submits a satisfactory essay on the topic. Students arrange for a faculty sponsor by consulting with a relevant faculty member within the chemistry and biochemistry major program. In some cases, faculty outside these major programs (for example, in biology, ocean sciences, microbiology and environmental toxicology, or Earth sciences) may be an appropriate sponsor. Students who select a sponsor outside the chemistry and biochemistry major program should have the title and description of the proposed essay reviewed by the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department undergraduate faculty adviser. Students acquire experience and skills in scientific literature research as well as in the writing of a research paper.

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  • Chemistry B.S. with Biochemistry Concentration

  • The biochemistry concentration is designed for students who intend to pursue a career in biochemistry or in a related field such as biotechnology, and it provides an exceptionally rigorous chemistry emphasis.

    Lower-Division Requirements

    General Chemistry: Chemistry 1A, 1B/M, 1C/N

    Calculus: Mathematics 11A, 11B, and 22; or Mathematics 19A, 19B, and 22

    Advanced Mathematics: Applied Mathematics and Statistics 10, or Mathematics 21, or Mathematics 24

    Introductory Biology: Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (BIOL) 20A, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (BIOE) 20B

    Physics: Physics 5A/L, 5B/M, and 5C/N; or Physics 6A/L, 6B/M, and 6C/N

    Organic Chemistry: Chemistry 8A/L and 8B/M

    Upper-Division Requirements

    Intermediate Organic Chemistry: Chemistry 110/L

    Inorganic Chemistry: Chemistry 151A/L

    Biochemistry: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 100A-B-C and 110L

    Physical Chemistry: Chemistry 163A, 163B, and 163C

    Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement

    Students of every major must satisfy that major’s upper-division Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement. The DC Requirement in chemistry with a biochemistry concentration is satisfied by completing Chemistry 151L, Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 110L, Advanced Biochemistry Laboratory.

    Comprehensive Requirement

    The comprehensive requirement is a part of all UCSC degrees. In the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, there are two options for satisfying this requirement:

    Senior thesis: A senior research project based on original experimental or theoretical research (Chemistry 195A-B-C, Senior Research). At the conclusion of the project, the student submits a satisfactory formal research paper to the faculty sponsor. Students arrange for a faculty sponsor by consulting with a relevant faculty member within the chemistry and biochemistry or the biochemistry and molecular biology major programs. In some cases, faculty outside these major programs (for example, in biology, ocean sciences, microbiology and environmental toxicology, or Earth sciences) may be an appropriate sponsor. Students who select a sponsor outside the chemistry or the biochemistry and molecular biology major programs should have the title and description of the proposed thesis reviewed by the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department undergraduate faculty adviser. Students, usually working in the laboratory of the faculty sponsor, acquire experimental and/or theoretical research experience and skills in the laboratory as well as instruction in the writing of a research paper. Students are expected to make satisfactory academic progress and be in good academic standing while they take Chemistry 195 courses. Students who achieve excellence in both research and thesis may be awarded honors in the thesis upon graduation.

    Senior essay: An essay based on literature research (Chemistry 194, Senior Essay). After agreeing in advance on an appropriate topic of interest and a format, the student submits a satisfactory essay on the topic. Students arrange for a faculty sponsor by consulting with a relevant faculty member within the chemistry and biochemistry major program. In some cases, faculty outside these major programs (for example, in biology, ocean sciences, microbiology and environmental toxicology, or Earth sciences) may be an appropriate sponsor. Students who select a sponsor outside the chemistry and biochemistry major program should have the title and description of the proposed essay reviewed by the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department undergraduate faculty adviser. Students acquire experience and skills in scientific literature research as well as in the writing of a research paper.

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  • Chemistry Minor

  • Requirements for the Minor

    The course requirements for the minor, including electives, are the same as for the B.A. degree, with the exclusion of Chemistry 146A, 146B, 146C, 151A/151L, and 164. The minor has no senior comprehensive requirement.

    Lower-Division Requirements

    General Chemistry: Chemistry 1A, 1B/M, and 1C/N

    Calculus: Mathematics 11A, 11B, and 22; or Mathematics 19A, 19B, and 22

    Physics: Physics 5A/L, 5B/M, and 5C/N; or Physics 6A/L, 6B/M, and 6C/N

    Organic Chemistry: Chemistry 8A/L and 8B/M

    Upper-Division Requirements

    Intermediate Organic Chemistry: Chemistry 110L

    Physical Chemistry: Chemistry 163A and 163B

    Elective(s)

    At least one from the following:

    Chemistry 103, Biochemistry

    Chemistry 143, Organic Chemical Structure and Reactions

    Chemistry 151B, Chemistry of Main Element Groups

    Chemistry 156C, Advanced Topics in Inorganic Chemistry

    Chemistry 163C, Kinetic Theory and Reaction Kinetics, Statistical Mechanics, Spectroscopic Applications

    Chemistry 167, Modern Chemical Biology

    Chemistry 169, Chemistry and Biology of Drug Design and Discovery

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 100A, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 100B, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 100C, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology 101, Sources and Fates of Pollutants

    Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology 102, Cellular and Organismal Toxicology

    Ocean Sciences 120, Aquatic Chemistry: Principles and Applications

    Ocean Sciences 220, Chemical Oceanography

    Physics 180, Biophysics

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