Getting started in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: 2023-2024 Entering Frosh


Students are admitted to UCSC with a "proposed major" in most cases, and later petition to officially declare the major. Admission to UCSC does not guarantee acceptance into a particular major. Students must be declared in a major by the end of the second year (or equivalent), so learning about and preparing for a major is a primary goal for first-year students.

Importance of an early start:

This is a course-intensive and/or sequential program, and students who intend to pursue this major must begin taking classes for the major in their first year at UCSC.

Qualification requirements and/or prerequisites for the major:

Review major qualification requirements in the General Catalog.

Frosh who intend to pursue this major should do the following things prior to the beginning of fall term...

  • Complete the Math Preparation and placement process. You have 15 free hours of math skills review to prep you for placement or your next course. It takes up to three business days for ALEKS PPL placement to post in your student record. Completing the assessment by August 2 will ensure your placement is posted before enrollment begins (although depending on your enrollment appointment, you may have more time!).
  • Decide which General Chemistry series to take:
    • See the “Getting Started in the Major” section of the BMB program statement in the General Catalog (and scroll down) to learn the difference between CHEM 3 & CHEM 4.
      • CHEM 3 - General Chemistry
      • CHEM 4 - Advanced General Chemistry

...and should take these courses their first term:

  • CHEM 3A or CHEM 4A - see special enrollment procedures below)
  • The appropriate Mathematics course based on placement

Special enrollment procedures:

  • Enroll in classes during your online enrollment appointment time.
  • If you have decided to enroll in the CHEM 3 General Chemistry series…
    • You may directly enroll into CHEM 3A, so long as you have achieved the necessary mathematics prerequisite/placement.
  • If you have decided to enroll in the CHEM 4 Advanced General Chemistry series…
    • You must reach qualification for CHEM 4 by completing the ALEKS online learning module and assessment as described in the General Catalog (Scroll down to Getting Started in the Major).

Sample Academic Plan:

Review the Sample Academic Plan in the General Catalog.

Other Information:

Links to Review:

Program Description (Catalog)
Chemistry & Biochemistry Advising Webpage
Degree Website

Advisor Contact Information:
Physical Sciences Building (PSB) 230C

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (BMB)Advising Webpage