MCB 99/199 and MCB 191 - Research

Eligible students interested in receiving academic units for research experience can register for MCB 99/199: Supervised Independent Study and Research or MCB 191: Senior Research Thesis through the MCB department.

To receive MCB 99/199 Pass/No Pass credit for research, you must:

  1. Discuss your proposed project with your lab group's faculty principle investigator (PI). If the lab is outside of the MCB department, find an MCB faculty member to sponsor your research.
  2. Submit the MCB Research Application online form by the Friday of the third week of the semester (must be logged in to Berkeley email). This form requires student information from CalCentral, lab information (PI/sponsor name and email, lab department, lab location), project title, and project proposal (up to one page). The online form replaces the paper form starting in Fall 2020.
  3. If the proposal is eligible for the units requested, the PI is sent an email with a copy of the student's application. If approved, the MCB faculty sponsor, if applicable is also asked for approval.
  4. Once approved, the advising office will send students their class numbers to enroll in research units on a daily basis. Students must enroll themselves by the campus add/drop deadline: Wednesday of the fourth week of instruction.
  5. If required by PI/MCB sponsor, submit a written report on the research project to your PI and/or MCB sponsor at the end of each semester. Expectations should be discussed with your PI and/or MCB faculty sponsor prior to the completion of the semester.

MCB 99/199 Requirements:

  • Admission to MCB 99 requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 in fewer than 60 units and is restricted to P/NP. 
  • Admission to MCB 199 requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in at least 60 units and is restricted to P/NP.
  • You may receive 1 unit of credit for every 3 hours of work per week in the lab, up to a maximum of 4 units per semester for MCB 99/199.
  • MCB 99/199 must be sponsored by an MCB faculty member, though the research experience can be in any appropriate laboratory. If you are in an MCB lab, then the PI is your sponsor. If you are in a non-MCB lab, you must find an MCB faculty member to sponsor the units. Typically, students will check with their PI for existing collaborations with MCB faculty members or approach past instructors. Note: If you are in a non-MCB lab on campus you can probably get units through that department.
  • You may not receive MCB 99/199 credit and simultaneously be on the payroll for research done in the same lab. (Some exceptions are made for students receiving research grants, please talk to an advisor for more information.)

To receive MCB 191 letter graded credit for Senior Thesis Research, you must:

  1. Discuss your proposed project with your lab group's faculty principle investigator (PI). If the lab is outside of the MCB department, find an MCB faculty member to sponsor your research.
  2. Submit the MCB Research Application online form by the Friday of the third week of the semester (must be logged in to Berkeley email). This form requires student information from CalCentral, lab information (PI/sponsor name and email, lab department, lab location), project title, and project proposal (up to one page). The online form replaces the paper form starting in Fall 2020.
  3. If the proposal is eligible for the units requested, the PI is sent an email with a copy of the student's application. If approved, the MCB faculty sponsor, if applicable is also asked for approval.
  4. Once approved, the advising office will send students their class numbers to enroll in research units on a daily basis. Students must enroll themselves by the campus add/drop deadline: Wednesday of the fourth week of instruction.
  5. To receive a passing letter grade, you must turn in a copy of your research thesis paper to 3060 VLSB, along with the Senior Research Thesis Approval Form signed by your PI. This is due by the last day of RRR week in the MCB 191 semester. Expectations should be discussed with your PI and/or MCB faculty sponsor prior to the completion of the semester.

MCB 191 Requirements:

  • Admission to MCB 191 is restricted to declared MCB majors in their graduating semester, and requires a minimum 2.0 GPA in all MCB major coursework and a prerequisite of minimum 1 upper div research unit  (e.g. MCB 199, UGIS 192C etc) from a previous semester
  • This is a 3-unit, letter-graded course and assumes an average of nine hours of work/week or more in a lab with the completion of a thesis paper.
  • MCB 191 may be taken in your graduating semester only.
  • It is prohibited to enroll concurrently in MCB 191 and MCB H196A/B.
  • MCB 191 must be sponsored by an MCB faculty member, though the research experience can be in any appropriate laboratory. If you are in an MCB lab, then the PI is your sponsor. If you are in a non-MCB lab, you must find an MCB faculty member to sponsor the units. Typically, students will check with their PI for existing collaborations with MCB faculty members or approach past instructors. Note: If you are in a non-MCB lab on campus you can probably get units through that department.
  • You may not receive MCB 191 credit and simultaneously be on the payroll for research done in the same lab. (Some exceptions are made for students receiving research grants, please talk to an advisor for more information.)

 

Petitioning to Substitute MCB Lab with Research Units

Students may petition to substitute the lab course with equivalent knowledge and units obtained through independent research experience (such as 199 or H196 research), as determined by the Head Faculty Advisor of their major emphasis. Careful consideration and discussion with your faculty advisor are important when making the decision whether to use independent research to substitute the lab, as MCB labs expose students to many biological approaches not always encountered during these research projects. For more information on the approval process see Petition to Substitute MCB Lab Course.