BS, Biological Sciences, Concentration in Molecular Biology

Description of the Program

San Jose State University has an outstanding curriculum in molecular biology that includes courses providing a strong theoretical background as well as intensive hands-on laboratory experience. Graduates from this program typically pursue PhDs, MDs and other health science-related graduate degrees, or careers in the biotechnology industry. Biotechnology is one of the most rapidly growing industries in the Bay Area and the world with an accelerating need for employees with training in the biological sciences. Career opportunities for students with a concentration in Molecular Biology include teaching, research, drug development, marketing, management, and patent law.


The faculty in the Molecular Concentration were trained at prestigious institutions including UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, the Salk Institute, and Stanford University, and their research is funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.  Students in our program have the opportunity to directly interact with their professors, an important advantage over programs at many other universities. 

This year President Obama named one of our program’s professors, Dr. Julio Soto, as one of fourteen recipients nation-wide of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). Professor Soto will receive his award at a White House ceremony later this year.

Course Requirements

Minor in Chemistry is required for this degree.

Four-Year Roadmap

This is a recommended 4-year academic plan for the B.S. in Biological Sciences with a Concentration in Molecular Biology, which has been carefully designed by faculty with input from students. Students are best served by following this roadmap as closely as possible and consulting with their academic advisor if and when changes are necessary.

Research Opportunities in Molecular Biology

Original undergraduate research is important for students interested in pursuing PhDs, MDs and other health-related graduate degrees, careers in biotechnology, and many other career paths.  Students in the molecular concentration can complete undergraduate research in faculty research labs for credit (BIOL 180 or BIOL 198), which can be used to count for 3 units of upper division elective courses and one laboratory elective unit. If you are interested in undergraduate research, read more on the Research in Biological Sciences page.