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England: London - Molecular Biology

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London - MoBio Quick Facts

Language of Instruction

Fields of Study
Molecular Biosciences, with electives in humanities or social sciences.

Host Institution
University College London (UCL)

UCL residences with program participants and/or British students.

Program Dates
Fall Semester:  late August to mid-December. 

Faculty Liaisons
Lenny Seligman and Dan O'Leary

Pomona College: Molecular Biosciences Program

University College London (UCL), founded in 1826, is the oldest and largest College of the University of London.  It was the first university institution to be set up in England after Oxford and Cambridge, and the first to admit students regardless of class, religion, race, or sex.  The College boasts 21 Nobel prizewinners, and is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the world.    

UCL is located in the heart of the Bloomsbury district in the center of London.  Most attractions of London are within walking distance of the College: national art galleries, museums, theatres, cinemas, concert halls, opera houses, rock and jazz venues, bookshops, and a variety of cafes and restaurants.

The Pomona College Molecular Biosciences Program is run in cooperation with UCL's International Office and the Department of Molecular Biosciences in the Division of Biosciences.  The Department is recognized for its world-class teaching and research.  Close links with the Bloomsbury Structural Biology consortium, Medical Research

Council laboratories and the UCL Institute of Child Health enrich the academic program.  The Pomona students are fully integrated into academic life at UCL in classes, labs, lectures, seminars, and more. 

Academic Program

The program begins with a dedicated two-and-one-half-week lab component.  Students will work in a UCL research lab on an existing research project.  Students will be assigned to different research labs based upon availability and interest and will continue their projects over the course of the UCL semester by spending two afternoons each week in the lab.  A written report on the lab experience is due at the end of the semester.  (1.0 Pomona course credit).

During the UCL Autumn Term, students take three university courses (each worth 1.0 Pomona course credit). Typical enrollment includes two electives in biology or chemistry, though students may choose another discipline for one of these courses in consultation with the Pomona faculty liaisons and the OSA. 

This program requires students to enroll in an elective with focus on British art, history, politics, or culture.

Students identify a maximum of two UCL departments in which they wish to enroll; they are admitted directly by these departments.  One department must be the Division of Biosciences.

Applicants should schedule an advising session with Prof. Seligman or Prof. O'Leary, the program's faculty liaisons, to assist in course selection.  Course selection will be finalized upon arrival in London in consultation with the on-site Pomona director. 

Pomona's P/NC option is limited to non-science courses only. 

Living Arrangements

Pomona students are housed in UCL residence halls, and students may choose either catered or self-catered halls.  In catered halls, meals are provided in hall cafeterias.  For students in self-catered residences, Pomona provides a full meal allowance.

Number of Students

Enrollment is limited to 8 Pomona students. UCL enrollment is approximately 22,000 students. 


  • Students must be established Molecular Biology majors or Biochemistry track Chemistry majors.
  • Completion of CHEM 1a and 1b, or CHEM 51; CHEM 110a and b; BIO 40; and BIO 41c. 
  • 10.0 GPA and junior standing.

Internet Links

Study Abroad