Undergraduate Option Requirements

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It is recommended that all students contemplating application to medical school consult with the premed adviser at the Career Development Center or Professor David Chan in the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering.

Biology Option Requirements

  1. Bi8, Bi 9, Bi 117, Bi 122, Bi/CNS 150, and Ch 41 abc
  2. Ma 2, Ma 3, and any two terms of Ph 2 abc.  These courses need not be taken consecutively or in a fixed order.  This requirement can also be satisfied in part by successfully taking a "reasonable" replacement for any of these required courses.  A "reasonable" replacement will be defined by: (1) Equally or more advanced quantitative coursework; and (2) Essentially similar scope of subject matter as the course replaced.  The Biology Option representative will be empowered to make this determination with aid of an advisory list which can be updated as relevant new courses are developed inside and outside of biology.
  3. One advanced laboratory course (100- or 200- level), or at least 12 units of independent research such as bi 22.
  4. Two courses chosen from Bi/Ch 110, 111, 113, and/or Bi/Ch 132.
  5. Scientific writing requirement met by taking Bi 24 (six units), CNS/Bi/Ph 107 (nine units), or by taking any other writing course such as E 11 (three units), En 84 or Ge 13 (three units) plus oral presentation at SURF Seminar Day or equivalent, with option representative approval.
  6. None of the courses satisfying requirements 1–4 may be taken pass/fail, except Bi 8 (if taken Freshman year),Bi 22 and Bi/Ge 180.  Freshmen taking Bi 8 must maintain shadow grades that indicate satisfactory progress.
  7. A total of 146 units of biology must be taken and passed (Bi 1,  Bi 2, and Bi 10 cannot be counted toward this total), including at least 6 additional biology classes which satisfy the following:

    a. Distribution requirement: These additional courses must be drawn from at least two of the following course "tracks" defined below.

    b. At least four of these additional courses (including courses drawn from at least two tracks) must be taken for letter grades.

    c. At least two of these additional graded courses (from different tracks) must be for at least nine units.

  8. Passing grades must be earned in a total of 486 units, including the courses listed above.

Bioengineering Option Requirements

  1. BE 1; either BE 150 or BE 159; BE/APh 161; ChE/BE 163; BE/CS/CNS/Bi 191 a.
  2. Experimental methods: Bi 1 x; BE/EE/MedE 189 a; ChE 130.
  3. Biology, chemistry and physics: two terms out of three from Ph 2 abc; Bi 8; Bi 9; Ch 25; Ch 41 a; Bi/Ch 110. One advanced biology course selected from Bi/Ch 111, Bi/Ch 113, Bi 114, Bi 117, Bi 122, Bi 145 ab, Bi/CNS/NB 150, BE 150. Students may pass out of Bi 8 and Bi 9 via placement exams administered by the Biology Option.
  4. Mathematical and computational methods: ACM 95 abc; CDS 110 a or ChE 105; Ma 2, Ma 3; 9 units selected from CS 1, CS 2, CS 3.
  5. 36 units of BE electives (selected from the elective lists below or approved by the student's academic adviser).
  6. Communication: E 10; E 11.
  7. Courses satisfying option requirements must be taken for grades (except when courses are only available P/F) and passed with a grade of C– or higher. Passing grades must be earned in a total of 486 units.


For core Institute requirements for all options, click here and view pages 199-204.

For biology option requirements and typical second-, third-, and fourth-year course schedules, click here and view pages 216-217.

For a complete list of biology courses, click here.

To give feedback on courses and for other undergraduate resources please go to the Biology Undergraduate Study Advisory Committee (BUSAC) website, click here.

The biology option advisor is Professor Bruce Hay.