The required coursework is designed with three tiers of formal training: foundational (introductory) courses, core modules, and electives. Since incoming students come from a broad range of disciplines (e.g., math, computer science, biology, genetics, statistics), it is important to ensure that all students have a common foundation on which to build their BCB training. The first year is dedicated to establishing this foundation and training all students with a common set of core BCB courses.
Incoming students will consult with their first-year advisors in the BBSP first year group as well as the BCB Student Progression Director to select one or two introductory-level courses that address any specific deficiencies in their backgrounds. For students who do not require any foundational classes, these credit hours can be taken as additional electives to provide more in-depth training.
During their first year, most BCB students will also take five core modules, four in the first semester and one in the second semester. Students will be expected to demonstrate competence in all five subject areas covered by the modules for the written qualifying exam. Each module is a short course designed to address a specific topic in bioinformatics and computational biology.
Since bioinformatics and computational biology encompass diverse fields of study, students are required to take electives to receive specialized, in-depth training in mathematical, computational, physical, or biological sciences to enhance their specific research interests. All electives must be approved by the student’s thesis advisor and the BCB Student Progression Director.