Cell Biology


Cell Biology

About the Major

The cell biology major provides a comprehensive understanding of the cell, the basic structural and functional unit of all living organisms. The major will emphasize the principles that govern how biomolecules interact with one another to organize themselves into higher order structures that comprise cells and how cellular organization and function contribute to the development, maintenance, and reproduction of adult organisms.

Download the CBS Majors Diagram to compare the cell biology degree requirements to all other degrees offered in our college. For detailed information about this major, visit Undergraduate Admissions, or click on the links to the left.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • 1. Describe the molecular and structural unity of life, explain how the diversity of living things is generated and perpetuated, and exemplify this diversity among and within life's three domains.
  • 2. Demonstrate knowledge of how genetics, biochemistry and direct observation are used to elucidate cell organization and function.
  • 3. Develop skills in applying quantitative methods to describe, evaluate and model biological processes.
  • 4. Demonstrate the ability to design and execute collection, evaluation and interpretation of experimental data.
  • 5. Demonstrate scientific literacy and skill in communication of scientific concepts, data, and interpretation using multiple formats appropriate for target audiences.
  • 6. Develop a mechanistic understanding of how macromolecules, macromolecular assemblies and organelles govern the dynamic organization, behavior, function and developmental fate of living cells.


The cell biology major provides students with solid grounding in biological principles. Indeed, the discipline of cell biology lies at the core of the biological sciences because to understand living organisms the biologist must understand the cell. Consequently, the major provides an excellent background for students wishing to enter post-graduate and professional programs in biological, medical or veterinary sciences, for students pursuing careers involving teaching or research in the biological sciences, as well as for students who are interested in careers related to administrative, legal or commercial aspects of biomedical science.

For more information about the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology within the College of Biological Sciences, visit the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology website.