Undergraduate Studies


Note:  A revised curriculum for MOL majors will go into effect in the fall of 2015. The new requirements will apply to the class of 2019.  Changes for the classes of 2016-2018 are listed by class. See below for current requirements.


One of the following prerequisite courses must be taken at Princeton.

Major Requirements

The following courses are requirements:

  • General Chemistry (CHM 201 & 202) or 1 unit of AP credit and CHM 202 or CHM 215 or 2 units of AP credit
  • Organic Chemistry (CHM 301 & 302) or (CHM 303 and 304 and 304B)
  • Math (MAT 100 and MAT 103 OR MAT 103 and [MAT 104, MAT 175, COS 126, PSY 251, ORF 245, or MOL 410]). Other courses may be substituted upon approval by a departmental representative.
  • General Physics (PHY 101 & 102) or (PHY 103 & 104)
  • EEB 211 (or equivalent AP plus one 300-level EEB course)

All of the above requirements may be satisfied with advanced placement and/or summer courses at other universities (within University guidelines). Most of the above requirements may be fulfilled by completion of the entire series of the Integrated Science Program. If EEB 211 is not taken at Princeton University, (for example, because of advanced placement) you must take one upper level course in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, which will also count as a departmental. All 300-level and above courses where EEB is the primary listing will be accepted; cross-listed courses must be individually approved (see Departmentals).

Students who have placed out of EEB 211, and successfully complete the NEU certificate, will be excused from the requirement of taking an upper level EEB course.

The following departmental courses are required:

Except under very special circumstances, it is required that these courses be taken during the junior year or earlier. All count as departmentals and they must be successfully completed. No substitutes are allowed, except for students who wish to study abroad and who have received departmental approval. Additional departmentals can be chosen from among all 300 or higher level courses in Molecular Biology and selected upper level courses with a strong molecular or biological component from other departments (see Departmentals). Other courses can only be taken as departmentals with the approval of the Undergraduate Studies Committee. All students must take at least 8, but not more than 12, departmentals. Only Princeton courses can count as departmentals; there are no exceptions to this rule.

Any course that is a prerequisite, required or departmental must be taken for a letter grade (no P/D/F).

AP Credit

Students who have taken advanced placement courses in High School (and achieved adequate grades on the AP or IB exams) are able to enter the program at an advanced level. AP credit for calculus, chemistry, physics, and biology may all be used to satisfy some of the requirements for entry into the Department of Molecular Biology. In some cases, students may use AP credit for entry into upper level courses, earlier in their careers. Credit for advanced placement is determined by the Dean of the College, using criteria set by each department. Students with a sufficient number of advanced placement courses may apply for advanced standing, and complete their degrees earlier. More information may be obtained from the Dean of the College.


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