Program Description

PhD Program in Computational Biology & Bioinformatics (CBB)

Students admitted to the CBB program will generally have taken prerequisite courses in both computational and biological sciences to an advanced level. Students are expected to have taken the following courses:

  • Mathematics through differential equations and linear algebra
  • 2 courses in statistics
  • 2 courses in computer science
  • 1 course in genetics
  • 1 course in cell and molecular biology
  • 1 semester of organic chemistry

Otherwise competitive students lacking one or more of these requirements will be expected to satisfy these prerequisites prior to or during their first year in the program.

Required Courses
The CBB program is designed to be responsive to the breadth, newness and rapidly evolving nature of the CBB arena, so it does not have a heavy emphasis on required courses. However, students in the CBB Graduate Program must complete the following core courses:

  • CBB 520 Genomic Tools and Technologies
  • CBB 540 Statistical Methods for Computational Biology
  • CBB 561, 662, 663 Algorithms in Computational Biology
  • Biology 201L or 202L   (equivalent or previous training)
  • CPS 330/530 Algorithms
  • Stats 611

Elective Courses
Most students take a broad set of elective CBB courses as they define their own paths through the program. Acceptable electives in other departments include not only genomics, statistics, genome technology and computer science courses, but also can entail course offerings, particularly in the biological sciences, that support each student's specific research interests.

Seminar and Journal Club
All first and second year CBB students are required to register for seminar and journal club. Students in their third year and beyond are expected to present one 50-minute seminar per year in this series, which will also include faculty speakers from on and off campus.

During their first year in residence, students should complete three "research rotations," each consisting of a tutorial-level independent study or a laboratory experience with different faculty members in the CBB Program. Students are strongly encouraged to select one rotation experience with a primarily biological faculty member, and at least one with a primarily computational faculty member. Typically, each rotation lasts 12 weeks.

Financial Support
The CBB Graduate Program provides support for students admitted directly into the program for the first two years of doctoral study. Beginning July 1 of the third year in residence, the faculty advisor will become responsible for the student's stipend and fees for the duration of the student's dissertation work.

Additional Resources