Computational and Systems Biology (CaSB)

is a major that trains students to solve basic and applied biological problems by combining math, computing, and a strong base of biological knowledge and concepts. Students learn to approach problems and formulate questions that span the full range of biological systems, from genes to cells to medicine to ecology to evolution. A major goal is to understand whole systems, from cells to organs to individuals to ecosystems, both in terms of their component parts and their emergent behaviors. Such diverse systems can all be studied and understood using cutting-edge modeling, analytical and numerical techniques, computer simulations, statistics, informatics, and data analysis of biological systems. This is accomplished through a highly integrated and inter-disciplinary training of students in the natural sciences, mathematics, and computer science. The major is designed for students with a strong interest in applying math and computational approaches to study questions in the life sciences that range from how cells process information, to which genes influence disease risk or response to medication, to what determines rates of tumor growth, to which factors drive biodiversity. There are currently five designated concentrations: Systems Biology, Bioinformatics, Neurosystems, Biomedical Systems or Computers, and Biosystems.

What can I do with a degree in CaSB?

The Major is ideally suited for students who plan to pursue jobs in industry or to obtain graduate research degrees that involve the study of biological systems and biomedical problems. It is also appropriate preparation for students who plan to pursue professional degrees in medicine, public health, dentistry, business, engineering, and law. Graduates have been admitted to top-ranking graduate schools as well as medical and dental schools. Moreover, graduates have gone on to work for startup companies, consulting companies, and other industry positions in technology, health sciences, and bioengineering. Click here for a list of career placement of our recent alumni.