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Bachelor of Science - Undergraduate Program

Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology (MCCB) - The Program

The global pharmaceutical industry requires well-trained scientists who have the education and ambition to drive innovative drug development. The Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology (MCCB) program places the student at the forefront of those efforts by providing a fundamental understanding of the drug-body interaction from the molecular to the physiological level. By engaging this broader approach, that is, not only trying to cure disease (medicinal chemistry) but also placing an emphasis on the underlying associated cellular pathways (chemical biology), further innovative opportunities for treating disease will come forward. In this regard the MCCB program is unique within the German academic landscape and should help bridge the evolving needs of the high growth pharmaceutical industry.

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Career Perspectives

Students who have completed the MCCB program will understand how the life of cells, organisms, and humans is organized at the chemical molecular level.

Key Facts

Program Start Date 2021:

last week of August (orientation week), first week of September (classes)


€ 20,000 per academic year
+ € 8,000 living expenses


All applicants are considered for merit-based scholarships of up to € 15,000 per year.
EU students are eligible for a minimum guaranteed scholarship of €4,000.

Application Deadlines 2021:

June 1 (global) and July 20 (for applicants who do not need a visa)


3 years full-time


Financing Options:

Each admitted candidate will receive an individual financial package.

5 Reasons

5 reasons why you should study Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology (MCCB) at Jacobs University

  1.  Study a program with a unique interdisciplinary combination of Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology
  2. Benefit from our research-led education approach and learn from our top scientists and their internationally recognized research
  3. Gain lab experience in our modern, well-equipped labs and facilities
  4. Benefit from small classes and our top student-to-teacher ratio
  5. Profit from our network of successful Alumni for you career in science or business


The three-year undergraduate program involves six semesters of study with a total of 180 ECTS credit points (CP). The curricular structure follows an innovative and student-centered modularization scheme - the 3C-Model - that groups the disciplinary content of the three study years according to overarching themes:


Study program structure

The first study year is characterized by a broad offer in disciplinary education that builds on and extends the students’ entrance qualification. MCCB Students select introductory modules with a total of 45 CP from the CHOICE area of a variety of study programs, of which 30 CP will be from their intended major.

Students can still change to another major at the beginning of the second year of studies if they have taken the corresponding modules of the study program in the first year of studies.

MCCB students take the following discipline-specific CHOICE Modules in their first year of study:

  • CHOICE Module: General Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology (7.5 CP)
  • CHOICE Module: General Biochemistry (7.5 CP)
  • CHOICE Module: General Organic Chemistry (7.5 CP)
  • CHOICE Module: General Cell Biology (7.5 CP)

In their second year, students take modules with a total of 45 CP from in-depth, discipline-specific CORE modules. These modules aim to extend the students’ critical understanding of the key theories, principles, and methods in their major at the current state of knowledge and best practice.

MCCB students take 30 CP from the following CORE modules:

  • CORE Module: Medicinal Chemistry (5 CP)
  • CORE Module: Chemical Biology (5 CP)
  • CORE Module: Advanced Organic Chemistry (5 CP)
  • CORE Module: Pharmaceutical Chemistry (5 CP)
  • CORE Module: Advanced Organic and Analytical Laboratory (5 CP)
  • CORE Module: Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology Laboratory (5 CP)

Students can decide to either complement their studies by taking the following mandatory elective CORE modules (15 CP) within MCCB:

  • CORE Module: Scientific Software and Databases (5 CP)
  • CORE Module: High Throughput Screening (5 CP)
  • CORE Module: Physical Chemistry and Molecular Modelling (5 CP)

Or substitute these modules with CORE modules from a second field of studies according to interest and with the aim to pursue a minor.

During their third year, students prepare and make decisions for their career after graduation. To explore available choices fitting individual interests, and to gain professional experience, students take a mandatory summer internship.

The 5th semester opens also a mobility window for ample study abroad options. Finally, the 6th semester is dedicated to fostering the research experience of students by involving them in an extended Bachelor thesis project.

MCCB students take major-specific or major-related, advanced Specialization modules to consolidate their knowledge at the current state of research in areas of their choice.

MCCB students can choose four of the following Specialization Modules:

  • Specialization: Fluorine in Organic Synthesis and Drug Development (5 CP)
  • Specialization: Advanced Organic Synthesis (5 CP)
  • Specialization: Current Topics in the Molecular Life Sciences (5 CP)
  • CORE (CBT):  Physical Chemistry (5 CP)
  • CORE (BCCB): Advanced Biochemistry I (5 CP)
  • CORE (BCCB): Advanced Biochemistry II (5 CP)
  • CORE (BCCB): Infection and Immunity (5 CP)

Available for MCCB students minoring in CBT and meet the pre-requisites

  • Specialization (CBT): Organometallic Chemistry (5 CP)

Available for MCCB students who take CHOICE (CBT): Introduction to Biotechnology

  • Specialization: Chemical & Pharmaceutical Technology (5 CP)

As a core element of Jacobs University’s employability approach students are required to engage in a mandatory two-month internship of 15 CP that will usually be completed during the summer between the second and third year of study. This gives students the opportunity to gain first-hand practical experience in a professional environment, apply their knowledge and understanding to a professional context, reflect on the relevance of their major in employment and society, reflect on their own role in employment and society, and find professional orientation. As an alternative to the full-time internship, students interested in setting up their own company can apply for a start-up option to focus on the development of their business plan.

The Jacobs Track, an important feature of Jacobs University’s educational concept, runs parallel to the disciplinary modules across all study years and is an integral part of the study program. It reflects a university-wide commitment to an in-depth training in scientific methods, fosters an interdisciplinary approach, raises awareness of global challenges and societal responsibility, enhances employability, and equips students with extra skills desirable in the general field of study. Additionally, it integrates (German) language and culture modules.

Methods and Skills modules
Methods and skills such as mathematics, statistics, programming, data handling, presentation skills, academic writing, and scientific and experimental skills are offered to all students as part of modules within the Methods and Skills area. Students are required to take 20 CP in the Methods/Skills area.

MCCB students have to take the following Methods modules:

  • Methods Module: Mathematical Concepts for the Sciences (5 CP)
  • Methods Module: Physics for the Natural Sciences (5 CP)
  • Methods Module: Analytical Methods (5 CP)
  • Methods Module: Plant Metabolites and Natural Products (5 CP)

Big Questions modules
The modules of the Big Questions area intend to broaden the students’ horizon with applied problem solving between and beyond the disciplines. The offerings comprise problem-solving oriented modules that tackle global challenges from the perspectives of different disciplinary backgrounds and that allow, in particular, a reflection of the acquired disciplinary knowledge in economic, societal, technological, and/or ecological contexts.

MCCB students take 2-4 modules (10 CP) from a broad portfolio of modules.

Community Impact Project
In their 5th semester, students are required to take a 5 CP Community Impact Project (CIP) module. Students engage in on-campus or off-campus activities that challenge their social responsibility, i.e., they typically work on major-related projects that make a difference in the community life on campus, in its neighborhood, in Bremen, or on a cross-regional level.

Language modules
Jacobs University supports its students in acquiring and improving these skills by offering a variety of language modules at all proficiency levels. Emphasis is put on fostering German language skills of international students as they are an important prerequisite for non-native speaking students to learn about, explore, and eventually integrate into their host country and its professional environment.
All students take four language courses in the first and second year.


The curriculum of the study program is outlined in the schematic study plan:


THE Young University Ranking 2019 Jacobs University has been top-ranked # 26 of 351 universities worldwide younger than 50 years, #11 in “Teaching” among the young universities worldwide as well as #1 in “International Outlook” and “Teaching” in Germany

CHE Ranking 2019 Jacobs University achieved top results in numerous other areas of the CHE ranking 2019. The most detailed university ranking in the German-speaking region not only takes into account facts on the range of courses but also questions students themselves.


The laboratories of the MCCB faculty have all of the state-of-the-art instrumentation required to compete on a world-wide research level, and we frequently publish in the top journals within Chemistry and the Life Sciences. Early research opportunities are a hallmark of our program with students often incorporated into our Ph.D. research groups as early as the first year of their B.Sc. study. Because of our low student to faculty ratio, strong mentorship is provided by our Ph.D. students and professors. This extra assistance not only allows students to conduct research projects throughout their career at Jacobs but with real research achievement. For example, many of those same students obtain peer-reviewed publications that are a core component of a successful graduate school application.

Students & Alumni

You get to work in very close proximity with the professors which is irreplaceable in my opinion. It is a program that is as much challenging as it is rewarding.

Margaret Nandudu

Studying at Jacobs is truly a unique experience in essence. Jacobs is the only university in Germany where you can learn both inside and outside class.

Tarek Marei

Jacobs is the perfect place for eager learners, every day you get to learn something new.

Juan Ignaciao Oviedo

Designing solutions for a healthier world has always been one of the great challenges of science. Food, plants and marine algae can have a positive effect on health similar to that of conventional medicine. However, scientists first have to identify and isolate bioactive substances and explore their safe application.
Life on campus
Jacobs Students come from all over the world to live and learn at Jacobs University. Our student body represents 110 nations. They form an ambitious campus community whose internationality is unprecedented in Europe. Jacobs University’s green and tree-shaded 80-acre campus provides much more than buildings for teaching and research.
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