CaSB is in the process of revising the current concentrations into new tracks. Information on the proposed changes can be found here. The revision is currently under review by the University, and we expect these changes to go live effective Winter 2022. 

Proposed Tracks

With this revision, CaSB students will choose from one of three tracks: Bioinformatics, Biological Data Sciences, or Dynamical Modeling. These areas represent different domains of computational biology/technical computing. Each track has a list of courses related to that area that are more computational or quantitative in nature. Students will be required to take 3 courses from their chosen track’s course list. In addition to these 3 more computational courses, students will also take 2 courses from a list of life science courses. The life science courses are organized into different categories, including: neurosystems, genetics and molecular biology, ecology, epidemiology, physiology, and biochemistry. Students can take both life science courses within one of these categories, or take one course each in two different categories. The list of approved life science courses is the same across all three tracks, allowing students in any track to apply their computational coursework to any of these biological areas. There will also still be an opportunity for students to propose a customized track for faculty approval, just as students are currently allowed to propose a customized concentration.

Track Requirements (effective 22 Winter, pending final approval from the University): 5 upper division courses; one track must be declared when admitted to the major

Bioinformatics Track 1 Course from COM SCI CM121; COM SCI CM122; COM SCI CM124

2 Courses from COM SCI CM121; COM SCI CM122; COM SCI CM124; EE BIOL C135; MCD BIO CM156; MCD BIO 187AL; PHYSCI 125; STATS M254

2 Courses from list of Life Science courses (see below)

Biological Data Sciences Track 3 Courses from COM SCI CM124 OR COM SCI M226; COM SCI M146 OR STATS C161 OR MATH 156; COM SCI 161; COM SCI 168; COM SCI 180 OR MATH 182; EC ENGR C143A; EC ENGR C147; MATH 155; MATH 164; STATS 101A; STATS 101C

At most two courses may be from Mathematics

2 Courses from list of Life Science courses (see below)

Dynamical Modeling Track 3 Courses from C&S BIO M186 OR COM SCI M182; EC ENGR 102; EC ENGR 113; EE BIOL C119A; EE BIOL C119B; MATH 134 OR MATH 135; MATH 136; MATH 142; MATH 146; MATH 168; MATH 171

At most two courses may be from Mathematics

2 Courses from list of Life Science courses (see below)

Life Science Courses (select any two; courses can be from different areas)
Biochemistry CHEM 153A; CHEM 153B
Ecology EE BIOL 100; EE BIOL 116; EE BIOL 120; EE BIOL 129; EE BIOL 161; EE BIOL C172; EE BIOL C174
Epidemiology EPIDEM 100; MIMG 101; MIMG 102; MIMG 168; MIMG C185A
Genetics & Molecular Biology LIFESCI 107; MCD BIO 138; MCD BIO 140; MCD BIO 144; MCD BIO 165A OR 100
Neurosystems NEUROSC M101A OR PSYCH 115; NEUROSC M101B; NEUROSC 102; NEURO 205; NEURO 260; PHYSCI C144;PHYSICS C186; PSYCH 119M
Physiology BIOENGR C102; BIOMATH 206; EE BIOL 170 OR PHYSCI 166; PHYSCI 149

Additional Prep for the Major: (depending on chosen track)

The following courses do not have to be completed prior to admission into the major.

Bioinformatics Track: must also complete Computer Science 32; OR Program in Computing 10B and 10C.

Biological Data Sciences Track: must also complete Computer Science 32. MATH 61 and/or MATH 115A are also recommended pre-reqs for this track depending on chosen track courses.

Dynamical Modeling Track: MATH 32A is a recommended pre-req depending on chosen track courses.

All Tracks: LIFESCI 23L and/or CHEM 14C/30A are recommended pre-reqs depending on chosen Life Science courses.

NOTE: Additional pre-reqs (beyond the required and recommended courses above) may be required for certain track courses. Students should check pre-reqs on the Schedule of Classes.

Proposed Track Curriculum Major Sheet

Please note, the pre-major curriculum (with the exception of the additional requirements depending on concentration/track) and the major core curriculum are not impacted by these changes.

Students also still have the opportunity to propose a Customized track.

Rationale for Revision

Why is CaSB shifting from concentrations to tracks?

The main goals of the revision are to:

  1. Update the curriculum and tracks to better align with modern themes in computational and systems biology, as well as with the current administrative structure of UCLA.
  2. Add more flexibility to the major (by allowing students to choose from a list of courses rather than requiring specific courses) and better align requirements with what students are actually taking.
  3. Better ensure that all students take a mix of both computational and life science coursework.
  4. Reduce students’ time to degree by eliminating strict requirements of courses with hidden pre-requisites.
  5. Accommodate growth in the major by no longer requiring all students in a concentration to take a specific course, reducing reliance on and competition/demand for seats in individual courses offered by other departments, such as Computer Science and Statistics.
  6. Reduce the number petitions needed (for example, when a required concentration course is not being offered, has too few available seats, or will no longer be offered).

Who will be held to the new requirements?

The tracks are pending final approval from the University in Fall, but we expect them to be implemented in Winter 2022. If you have already been admitted (or are admitted prior to the start of Winter 2022) to the CaSB MAJOR, you will not be held to the new tracks. You will continue with your concentration. If you would rather switch over to one of the new tracks, please contact CaSB Counselor, Annelise Werhel, to update your catalog term.

If you are currently in the CaSB PRE-MAJOR, you will be held to these new requirements, unless you are admitted to the major prior to the start of Winter 2022.

If you will be finishing your last pre-major requirements this Spring, Summer, or Fall, you are strongly encouraged to apply to the major as soon as your grades post. If you are admitted to the major prior to the first day of Winter Quarter (Week 0), you will not be held to the new requirements. Once Winter quarter officially begins, students admitted to the major will be held to the new requirements.

Other questions or concerns?

Check out this FAQ document and/or contact the CaSB Departmental Counselor.

Important Information

All major courses must be taken for a letter grade, C or better, with the exception of C&S BIO/COM SCI/BIOENGR M184 which is only offered on a Pass/No Pass basis.^
^CaSB made a temporary exception allowing pre-major courses taken between Spring 2020 and Summer 2021 to be taken for a Pass grade. More details on this exception can be found here.

Students must have a minimum 2.0 GPA in upper-division major coursework to graduate.

Students who receive a C- or below in a major course must either repeat the course or petition to have the lower grade count for the major. More information on petitioning can be found here.

Students are subject to any requirement changes in the major until they are officially admitted to the major.