The Molecular, Cellular, and Development Biology (MCD Bio) degree takes an integrative approach to the cellular, organismal, and molecular levels of organisms to include studies in the major areas of cancer biology, repair and replication of DNA, gene expression, RNA biology, molecular neurobiology, cell biology, virology, development biology, and plant molecular biology.
There is no bachelor’s degree in MCD Bio per se because it comes as a departmental major when the student pursues a Bachelor of Science degree. Regardless of educational institution, MCD Bio prepares the student with a solid foundation in modern biology through interdisciplinary interaction that can open many opportunities for rewarding careers.
As a departmental major, the study of MCD Bio will familiarize the student with the biological sciences that include a thorough understanding of the most important aspects of cellular biology, biochemistry, developmental biology, molecular biology, and genetics. The student will also be taught to recognize the broader scope of science in societal context including ethical concerns resulting in biological research.
The MCD Bio student will learn skills in detailed procedures conducted in laboratory work, evaluation of biological problems, communication of scientific concepts as well as analytical arguments in a clear and concise manner, demonstration of a thorough understanding of particular research methods, application of these methods, and unbiased judgment of work quality.
Employment Opportunities for an MCD Bio Degree Holder
Research is the major occupation which most MCD Bio degree holders go into but there is a myriad of jobs that are possible with such a degree. For starters, a graduate of MCD Bio can be a barrier beach manager, microbiologist, ecologist, aquarium museum worker, forensic science technician, toxicologist, local, state or federal health officer, conservationist, coastal research worker or writer.
The MCD Bio graduate can find employment in food, cosmetic, chemical, and pharmaceutical companies as well as hospitals, research foundations, environmental agencies, colleges and universities, medical facilities, disease prevention agencies, stations for agricultural experiments, pollution control agencies, natural resources management organizations, biotechnology, education, and research laboratories.
The Top Schools Offering MCD Bio as a Major
There are few schools offering MCD Bio as a major because it is a relatively new field of study. Look for a school with a comprehensive MCD Bio curriculum, a faculty that counts several MCD Bio experts or specialists, and a high national ranking for MCD Bio departments. Some MCD Bio graduates go on to pursue medical school studies or take a master’s degree in MCD Bio or even a doctorate.
Since MCD Bio is a departmental major of a bachelor’s degree in biology, it is best to look for schools with molecular biology departments. As relatively new as it is, MCD Bio is complimentary to genomics, bioinformatics, and genetics so students who are interested should look for schools with these complements. Incidentally, MCD Bio is still considered a limited specialization as far biology in general is concerned.
According to U.S. News, the top schools with such departments (in this particular order) include Harvard University, the University of California-Berkeley, Johns Hopkins University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford and Yale Universities, the California Institute of Technology, the University of California-San Francisco, Princeton University, and Rockefeller University.