​Program of Study

The curriculum is designed to meets the needs of students with a wide variety of backgrounds. Program students come from undergraduate disciplines including biology, genetics, biochemistry, computer science, mathematics, statistics, physics and others. The specific courses taken by any student will be determined by that student's needs and interests, in consultation with an advisory committee. All students in the program will take three required courses:

Computational Molecular Biology (BIO 5495)
Genomics (BIO 5488)
​Graduate Research Fundamentals (BIO 5098)

Students who enter the program needing additional training in computer science take Fundamentals of Computer Science (CS514), a graduate level course designed by the Computer Science Department for students without an undergraduate computer science degree whose graduate work will involve significant computational activities.

In consultation with their advisors, students choose a minimum of three advanced electives or special topics. The interdisciplinary nature of the program allows considerable flexibility in choosing these courses, and sometimes more than two courses may be recommended, depending upon the student's needs. Common choices for these advanced electives include the following:

Population Genetics (Bio 4181)
Molecular Evolution (Bio 4183)
Macromolecular Interactions (Bio 5312)
Mathematical Methods for Biophysics and Biochemistry (Bio 5329)
Algorithms for Computational Biology (Bio 5474)

Nucleic Acids and Protein Biosynthesis (Bio 548)
Advanced Genetics (Bio 5491)
Statistical Thermodynamics (Chem 562)
Statistical Computation (Math 475)
Probability (Math 493)
Mathematical Statistics (Math 494)
Stochastic Processes (Math 495)
Statistical Mechanics (Phys 529)
Intro to Formal Languages and Automata Theory (CS 507)
Information Systems and Database Design (CS 530)
Numerical Methods (SSM 465)

A variety of Division special topics courses are available for students.

All graduate students are encouraged to begin attending relevant journal clubs in their first year of study and to continue participating on a regular and active basis throughout their graduate careers. New journal clubs will no doubt emerge on specialized topics within Computational and Systems Biology; one already exists and is well attended by students within the Division as well as students from Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering (see Bio5496/CS6805 Computational Biology Journal Club.) All students are also required to take an Ethics course (Spring of 2nd year - Bio 5011) and complete the Mentored Teaching Experience (Fall or Spring of 2nd year).

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