B.S. in Computational Biology - Ray and Stephanie Lane Center for Computational Biology - Carnegie Mellon University


Bachelor of Science in Computational Biology

Computational Biology is concerned with solving biological and biomedical problems using mathematical and computational methods. It is recognized as an essential element in modern biological and biomedical research. There have been fundamental changes in biology and medicine over the past decade due to spectacular advances in biomedical imaging, genomics, and proteomics. The nature of these changes demands the application of novel theories and advanced computational tools to decipher the implications of these data, and to devise methods of controlling or modifying biological function. Consequently, Computational Biologists must be well trained and grounded in biology, mathematics, and computer science.

The School of Computer Science and Mellon College of Science have joined forces to establish an exciting interdisciplinary program leading to a B.S. in Computational Biology. The goal of this degree program is to provide an intensive interdisciplinary education to enable outstanding students to become leaders in identifying and solving tomorrow's biological problems using computational methods. The program's curriculum is truly interdisciplinary and is designed for students interested in the intersection of Biology and Computer Science.

Applications to the program are invited from current sophomores. Applicants must have completed, or be currently enrolled in: 03-231 Biochemistry I and 15-210 Parallel and Sequential Data Structures and Algorithms. Applicants must submit an informal transcript (whiteprint, obtainable from their academic advisor) and an essay describing their interest in the program. Completed applications should be submitted to Dr. Maggie Braun at mabraun@andrew.cmu.edu in Doherty Hall 1320, Dr. Karen Thickman at krthickman@cmu.edu in GHC 7403, or Dr. Tom Cortina at tcortina@cs.cmu.edu in GHC 4117 no later than one week after midsemester grades are released in a given semester.

Degree Requirements

Math/Stats Core - 47 units

21-120 Differential and Integral Calculus  10
21-122 Integration, Differential Equations and Approximation  10
21-127 Concepts of Mathematics  9
21-XXX Math Elective (21-241, 21-260, 21-341)  9
36-XXX Statistics Elective (36-217, 36-225, 36-247, 36-625)  9


General Science Core - 41 units

09-105 Introduction to Modern Chemistry I  10
09-106 Modern Chemistry II  10
09-217 Organic Chemistry I  9
33-111 Physics I for Science Students  12


Biological Sciences Core - 51 units

03-121 Modern Biology  9
03-231 Biochemistry I  9
or 03-232 Biochemistry I (9 units)
03-240 Cell Biology  9
03-330 Genetics  9
03-343 Experimental Techniques in Molecular Biology  12
03-342 is a corequisite for 03-343  
03-201 Undergraduate Colloquium for Sophomores  1
or 15-128 Freshman Immigration Course (1 units)
03-411 Topics in Research  1


Computer Science Core - 56 units

15-122 Principles of Imperative Computation  10
15-150 Principles of Functional Programming  10
15-210 Parallel and Sequential Data Structures and Algorithms  12
15-251 Great Theoretical Ideas in Computer Science  12
15-451 Algorithm Design and Analysis  12


Major Electives - 45-54 units

03-511 Computational Molecular Biology and Genomics  9
03-XXX, 15-XXX, or 02-XXX Computational Biology Electives  18-24
03-3XX Advanced Biology Elective  9
15-XXX Advanced Computer Science Elective (15-211 or higher)  9


General Education - 75 units

99-10x Computing @ Carnegie Mellon  3
76-101 Interpretation and Argument  9
Elective Cognition, Choice and Behavior  9
Elective Economics, Political and Social Institutions  9
Elective Cultural Analysis  9
Elective Non-technical Elective  9
Elective Non-technical Elective  9
Elective Non-technical Elective  9
Elective Non-technical Elective  9
Free Electives  40-49

Minimum number of units required for degree: 360