Feb 25, 2024  
2018-2019 University Catalog 
2018-2019 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology, BS

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About the Program

Understanding how eukaryotic cells process information from their environment and initiate programs of gene expression leading to growth, development, and functional specification is the essence of a cell, molecular, and developmental (CMD) biology major. Students enrolled in this curriculum will take courses providing a solid foundation in the molecular biology of cells and gain a full appreciation of how molecular complexes interact to make a cell function. This fundamental knowledge in cell and molecular biology will be applied through further coursework in genetics and developmental biology to examine how eukaryotic organisms function and how specific aspects of that function are perturbed by disease. Within the CMD major, students have the option of focusing their studies on animal systems, plant systems, or both. Graduates with a CMD major are well-prepared to pursue careers in academic or industrial research, biotechnology, genetic engineering, medicine, veterinary medicine, and other health-related professions.

Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology Website

Degree Requirements

120 Credits Required

Curriculum and Degree Requirements for College of Science

A College of Science degree is conferred when a student successfully completes all requirements in their degree program.  Students will complete coursework or approved experiential learning activities to meet the following three degree components:

  1. Major
  2. Science Core Curriculum
  3. Electives

Students may use any of the following options to meet College of Science degree requirements:

  • Purdue Coursework
  • Ap, IB, and CLEP credit.  The use of AP and IB coursework varies between College of Science degree plans.
  • Transfer Credit. Students should consult the Admissions Transfer Credit Resource page for all available transfer options.

College of Science degree programs vary widely in their approval and use of the proceeding options and thus students are strongly encouraged to work closely with their academic advisors and to regularly consult their MyPurduePlan to view the use of each option in their degree plan. 

Most College of Science degree programs contain elective credits students may use to pursue courses that relate to their interests or which support their major area of study. The elective area of a degree plan may also be used to complete minors, second majors and certificates such as the Entrepreneurial Certificate. With the exception of courses on the No Count List, any Purdue course may be used to meet the elective area of a student’s degree plan.

College of Science Core Requirements

All Students starting Purdue University Fall semester, 2007 or later are required to pursue the 2007 Science Core curriculum.

The College of Science Core Curriculum requires the completion of approved coursework and/or experiential learning opportunities in the following academic areas:

Earning Core Curricular Requirements through Experience

Students may meet selected core curriculum requirements through approved experiential learning opportunities. Interested students should contact their academic advisor for more information on this option and incorporating experiential learning into their four-year program of study. For more information on earning requirements through experience, please click here.

Departmental/Program Major Courses (39-41 credits)

A minimum 2.0 average in all biology courses is required for this major. 

Each student must take at least one 500-level BIOL course other than BIOL 54200 or a 59500 lab.

Required Major Courses

Additional Biology Requirements: Intermediate, Base Lab, Biology Selective

Click Intermediate Selectives for all Biology majors  for additional lists.

Click Biology Selectives List for Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology  for additional lists.

Click Base Lab Requirements for all Biology majors  for additional lists.

Other Departmental Requirements: (61-69 credits)

Additional Other Requirements

Electives (10-20 credits)

University Core Requirements

  • Human Cultures Humanities
  • Human Cultures Behavioral/Social Science
  • Information Literacy
  • Science #1
  • Science #2
  • Science, Technology, and Society
  • Written Communication
  • Oral Communication
  • Quantitative Reasoning

For a complete listing of course selectives, visit the Provost’s Website.

Prerequisite Information:

For current pre-requisites for courses, click here.


Program Requirements

16-18 Credits

16-19 Credits

Fall 2nd Year

15 Credits

14-15 Credits

Fall 3rd Year

Intermediate Requirement Selective - Credit Hours: 3.00

PHYS 1 Selective - Credit Hours: 4.00

General Education 2 Selective - Credit Hours: 3.00

Elective - Credit Hours: 3.00

Elective - Credit Hours: 3.00

16 Credits

Spring 3rd Year

  • Cell/Molecular/Developmental Selective I - Credit Hours: 3.00

    PHYS 2 Selective - Credit Hours: 4.00

    Computer Science Selective - Credit Hours: 3.00 - 4.00

    General Education 3 Selective - Credit Hours: 3.00

    Elective - Credit Hours: 2.00

  • (Recommended Elective)

15-16 Credits

Fall 4th Year

  • Cell/Molecular/Developmental Selective I - Credit Hours: 3.00

    Base Lab Requirement - Credit Hours: 2.00 - 4.00

  • Multidisciplinary Selective - Credit Hours: 1.00 - 3.00

  • Elective - Credit Hours: 3.00

12-16 Credits

Spring 4th Year

BIOL Selective - Credit Hours: 3.00

Cell/Molecular/Development Selective II - Credit Hours: 3.00

Great Issues Selective - Credit Hours: 3.00

Elective - Credit Hours: 4.00

Elective - Credit Hours: 3.00

16 Credits


2.0 Graduation GPA required for Bachelor of Science degree.

Foreign Language Courses

Foreign Language proficiency requirements vary by program. 

For acceptable languages and proficiency levels, see your advisor: American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, (ancient) Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish

Critical Course

The ♦ course is considered critical. A Critical Course is one that a student must be able to pass to persist and succeed in a particular major.


The student is ultimately responsible for knowing and completing all degree requirements.

The myPurduePlan powered by DegreeWorks is the knowledge source for specific requirements and completion.

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