May 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Cell and Molecular Biology B.S.

Plans of Study

The Cell and Molecular Biology degree program will provide a strong foundation in general biology with an emphasis on biomedical-related areas, and focusing on the cellular and molecular processes that occur within cells. Many recent breakthroughs in this field have shed light on how cells function in the context of the whole organism. The fields of genomics/computational biology are contributing knowledge to underlying gene regulation, cell-cell interactions, and organismal-environmental interactions. Advances in cell and molecular biology are leading to new treatments for age-related diseases including cancer.

University Admissions - College of Arts and Sciences

Admission to the University is based on the University’s Undergraduate Admission Requirements that may be found by clicking on the following urls:

For Admission information specific to the College of Arts and Sciences, see the information at College of Arts and Sciences .

Progression Requirements - College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)

All students in the below listed programs must successfully complete the below science and math coursework without earning three (3) D and/or F grades. Students unable to successfully complete these courses within these prescribed parameters will be required to select a different major and will not be permitted to take any additional courses offered by the below Departments/Divisions. In addition, registration for all courses offered by these departments will be dependent on students meeting the prescribed parameters regardless of their major. Grade Forgiveness will NOT apply to the mandated requirement of changing majors.

Included Departments/Divisions:

  • Effective Fall 2022: Department of Physics* and all other Departments/Divisions continued from Fall 2018.
  • Effective Fall 2018: Division of Health Professions Advising; Department of Chemistry; Department of Molecular Biosciences; and Department of Integrative Biology.

Furthermore, any student who requests a change of major to one offered in the above identified departments will be required to meet these prescribed parameters as well as those criteria outlined in the Degree Progression Policy 10-505. Students who are able to complete a major in one of the above Departments/Divisions by earning fewer credit hours than required to complete any other major offered at USF may petition to request an exception to the CAS Sciences D/F Policy and should contact the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Advising Office ( for instructions.

*Students who are redirected from one of the above Departments/Divisions as a result of the CAS Sciences D/F Policy may pursue the following degrees offered by the Department of Physics: B.S. Physical Sciences and B.A. Physical Sciences.

Included courses:

Graduation Requirements - College of Arts and Sciences

Satisfactory completion of the following requirements:

  • Students must complete all State and University level graduation requirements.
  •  Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in USF coursework. Note: Some Departments/program/major require a higher GPA. Students should refer to Department/program/major specific catalog requirements.
    • The College may approve an exception when a student has successfully earned the minimum grade required for all courses applied in the major but does not have a major GPA of 2.0.
  • Physical Education coursework is limited to two (2) semester hours.
  • ROTC courses that are primarily physical training and field experiences will not be applied to College of Arts and Sciences degree programs. All other military Science coursework will apply, in particular, coursework utilized toward completing an established ROTC minor will be applied to the total hours toward degree. 
  • When earning a second degree, double major or concurrent degree, the Major Core and Major Elective/Concentration areas of the degree audit must not overlap for both degrees.  All other areas of the degree audit may have overlapping credit hours applied.
  • Maximum of 20 hours of S/U option. S/U contracts must be negotiated in writing within the first three (3) weeks of the term. None of the 20 credits may be taken in the student’s major unless S/U is the only grading option. Coursework fulfilling the General Education Core Curriculum Requirements and the State Communication Requirement (formerly known as Gordon Rule Writing) and State Computation Requirement (formerly known as Gordon Rule Math) may not be taken S/U.
  • The Audit option is available only during the first 5 days of classes.
  • Complete all major course requirements.
  • College of Arts and Sciences students are expected to complete a minimum of 50% of their major and/or minor coursework in residence at USF. Some College of Arts and Sciences Departments/programs/majors have established additional major course hours to be taken in residency at USF. See the major or program section of the catalog for these credit-hour requirements.

State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites - Cell and Molecular Biology B.S.

Following Florida BOG Regulation 8.010, state mandated common course prerequisites are lower-division courses that are required for progression into the upper division of a particular baccalaureate degree program. 

Transfer students should complete the State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites at the lower level prior to entering the university. If these courses are not taken at a Florida College System institution, they must be completed before the degree is granted. Successful completion of the common prerequisites alone does not guarantee a student admission into the degree program. 

Unless stated otherwise, a grade of C- is the minimum acceptable grade in prerequisite courses.

  • (BSC X010 and BSC X010L Biology I with Lab) or BSC X010C or BSC X040C - 4 credit hours
  • (BSC X011 and BSC X011L Biology II with Lab) or BSC X011C or (ZOO X010 and ZOO X010L) or (BOT X010 and BOT X010L) or BSC X041C or ZOO X010C or BOT X010C - 4 credit hours
  • (CHM X045 and CHM X045L Chemistry I with Lab) or CHM X045C or (CHM X040 and CHM X041) - 4-6 credit hours
  • (CHM X046 and CHM X046L Chemistry II with Lab) or CHM X046C - 4 credit hours
  • [(CHM X210 and CHM X210L) and (CHM X211 and CHM X211L) or (CHM X210C and CHM X211C)] or [(PHY X053 and PHY X053L) and (PHY X054 and PHY X054L) or (PHY X048 and PHY X048L) and (PHY X049 and PHY X049L) or (PHY X053C and PHY X054C) or (PHY X048C and PHY X049C)] - 8-10 credit hours
  • MAC X311 or MAC X233 or MAC X253 or MAC X281 or MAC X241 - 3-4 credit hours
  • MAC X312 or MAC X282 or MAC X234 or STA X023 or STA X024 or STA X321 - 3-4 credit hours

Cell and Molecular Biology Supporting Required Courses:

The following courses are supporting courses for this major. They are required for the major. The degree will not be awarded if these courses have not been taken by the end of the student’s final semester.

The minimum acceptable grade in each Supporting Required Course is a grade of C-.

Note: The course sequence that will count toward the Support Required Courses requirement is based on which sequence (Organic Chemistry or Physics) the student took to meet the common prerequisite requirement. If the Organic Chemistry sequence was taken to fulfill the common prerequisite requirement, the Physics sequence will meet the Supporting Required Courses requirement. The opposite is true if the Physics requirement was used to meet the common course requirement.

Organic Chemistry Sequence: 4 courses; 10 credit hours

Physics Sequence: 4 courses; 8 credit hours

Cell and Molecular Biology B.S. Required Courses: (32 credit hours)

Cell and Molecular Biology Major Core Courses: 7 courses; 17 credit hours

Students choose one (1) course from the following list of courses.

Major (Restricted) Elective Courses: 5 courses; 15 credit hours

Students choose a minimum of 15 credit hours of electives from the following list of courses.

Additional Information - Cell and Molecular Biology B.S.

GPA Requirements

Major GPA (All USF Courses which are applied to major requirements):  2.0
General Education GPA (All USF Courses which are applied to General Education requirements):  2.0
USF GPA:  2.0
Overall GPA: 2.0

Grading Requirement

A student must receive a C- grade or better in all Department of Molecular Biosciences courses and supporting courses in the natural sciences, except if they are used as general elective courses. This specification applies to both USF and transfer courses.

Note:  Some USF courses have higher grade criteria to meet prerequisite knowledge necessary for progression into higher level courses.

Residency Requirement

Department and College of Arts and Sciences Major Academic Residency Requirement - Fifty percent (50%) of major must be completed at USF.

USF Academic Residency Requirement - thirty (30) of the last sixty (60) credit hours earned must be from USF.

Research Opportunities

A maximum of 4 credit hours of Undergraduate Research (BSC 4910 ) may be applied as electives.

Advising Information - College of Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate Advising Information

The College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) Advising Team provides students with support to create timely graduation plans that will integrate both their academic and professional goals.  Each of our undergraduate programs has dedicated professional advisors with specialized knowledge and understanding of the major requirements, course offerings, undergraduate research, and career opportunities in their field.  Additionally, we have dedicated pre-health and prelaw advisors to help students prepare for admission to professional graduate programs.


CAS Academic Advisor Contact information can be found here: CAS Advisors

To schedule an advising appointment: Advising Appointments