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Bachelor of Science in Biology, Major in Molecular Biology

A Bachelor of Science in Biology with a Major in Molecular Biology combines a basic education in science with specialist lectures from all areas of molecular biology. An early involvement in cutting-edge research as well as excellent supervision make studying at the Biozentrum internationally unique.

How does a cell develop? How does a stem cell know what to become? How does a blood vessel form or the nervous system develop? Biology explores how life works at all levels from the molecule to complex organisms and whole ecosystems.

The Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Basel takes three years. In the first-year you will acquire the scientific fundamentals needed for your more specialized advanced studies in the following years. This basic education in the first year is the same for all biology students. In the second year differentiation into one of the three Majors begins: 

  • Molecular Biology studies structures and functions vital to life at the molecular and cellular level
  • Animal and Plant Sciences investigates organisms, populations and aspects of both cell and developmental biology.
  • Integrative Biology is a combination of these two directions. 

The Biozentrum, one of the leading institutes in basic molecular and biomedical research worldwide offers the Major in Molecular Biology.  You can find out first hand from two Bachelor's students about their studies at the Biozentrum.

Julian Dommann
For Julian Dommann, his studies open up many exciting prospects ranging from doing research to teaching or working as a consultant. There is no rush for a decision. First, he wants to immerse himself deeper. More

Catherine Helbing
In networking she was a surefire success. Now she helps others to do so. Catherine Helbing heads the Student Committee Biology and besides her studies works part-time. For her, good organization is the be-all and end-all. More

Study program

1st Year Studies: 
The courses impart fundamental knowledge in biology, mathematics, physics and general chemistry. These compulsory core subjects are the same for all biology students.

2nd Year Studies: 
If you choose to do a major study in Molecular Biology, you will attend courses in biochemistry, developmental biology, genetics, human physiology, immunology, molecular microbiology, neurobiology, structural biology and biophysical chemistry among others. With the Biozentrum Research Summer program, we also offer the unique opportunity to actively immerse yourself into research already in your second year of study. In this program, you can participate in a research group at the Biozentrum for seven to nine weeks.

3rd Year Studies: 
The third year of studies is highly practice-oriented. You will attend four six-week, all-day block courses including both theoretical and practical aspects. Your choice of block courses is decisive for your specialization in one of the three Majors. For a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a Major in Molecular Biology you will need to take the block courses “Structural Biology and Biophysics”, “Biochemistry”, “Microbiology and Immunology” and “Cell Biology and Neurobiology”. 

For any questions concerning your studies, please contact the Student Office Biology (see below). In the first year, you will be additionally tutored by a student from an advanced semester. During your studies, you will also be personally mentored by a lecturer as part of a career tutorial.

Career perspectives

The Bachelor's degree in Biology opens up diverse career perspectives. These include a research career at a university or in industry, work in a lab or at a school, in a patent attorney firm or in consulting, in bioinformatics or in science journalism. With your knowledge of life processes, many doors will open in medicine, biotechnology, the pharmaceutical and food industries, at universities or in state organizations. Depending on the professional position, it may be recommended to complete a Master of Science degree or to acquire other additional qualifications.

Key facts

Students require a Swiss “Matura” or equivalent high-school degree to enroll. Further information can be found here.

Course start
The Bachelor's degree program starts each year in the fall semester. The application deadline is April, 30. Further information can be found here.

Course structure
The Bachelor's degree program Biology is a mono course consisting of a single core subject.

Elective subjects
In the first two years of study, elective subjects supplement the compulsory science subjects. These may be chosen, according to individual interests, from almost the whole range of subjects offered at the university.

Duration of study
6 semesters

Mostly German in year 1 and 2. Some of the compulsory courses in year 2 and the entire 3rd year (block courses) are held in English.

Credit points
Credit points (CP) are awarded for successfully completed course work, in accordance with the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). One credit point corresponds to a workload of approx. 30 hours. Evidence of the achievement of 180 CP is required for the award of a Bachelor of Science in Biology.

  • 1st year basic studies course 60 CP
  • 2nd year 60 CP
  • 3rd year block courses 60 CP

Preparatory course in mathematics
Prior to the start of the semester, an intensive, one-week preparatory course in mathematics is offered for all new science students. The aim of this course is to refresh previous knowledge and to help fill any gaps. 

Further information
Detailed information:
The University of Basel organizes an Information day for high-school graduates each January.

click below for leaflet download
Bachelor & Master of Science


University of Basel, Student Office Biology
Susan Kaderli
Biozentrum, Room 04.046
Spitalstrasse 41
4056 Basel
Tel.: +41 (0) 61 207 14 35
email: susan.kaderli(at)

Contact hours: Daily 8 am - 12 noon and 2 pm - 4 pm, appointments on request