This Concentration is designed for students who want to understand biological systems holistically and quantitatively, and pursue research with an emphasis on systems and integrative principles in biology.  The curriculum in this Concentration imparts an understanding of systems biology (often called the new physiology) using dynamical systems, control, computer simulation and other computational methods – integrated with the biology. Typical problem areas include single-scale or multiscale modeling for enhancing understanding of regulatory biomechanisms at molecular, cellular, organ and/or whole-organism levels.  A major challenge is to integrate proteomic, transcriptomic and metabolomic information into a more complete picture of living organisms. The methodologies also extend readily to studies of societal or ecosystem problems, as well systems-level problems in medicine and pharmacology.


Recommended courses are shown with *.

Consult Curricular and Courses at for detailed course descriptions.

See Schedule of Classes for this year’s course offerings.


REQUIRED CORE – Courses in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Physiology

1. MCDB 144 Molecular Biology (Fall) 5 units OR
MCDB 140 Introduction to Cell Biology (Winter) 5 units
2. Phy Sci 125
Phys Sci 166 Animal Physiology (Summer only) 6 units
EE Biol 170 Animal Environmental Physiology (Fall) 6 units
Biomed CM102 and CM103 Basic Human Biology for Biomedical Engineers I and II
(Fall, Winter sequence)
4 + 4 = 8 units

SUBAREA 1: Information and Control in Biosystems

Bioeng 180 System Integration in Biology, Engineering and Medicine I 4 units
Bioeng 180L System Integration in Biology, Engineering and Medicine I Laboratory 3 units
Bioeng 181 System Integration in Biology, Engineering and Medicine II 4 units
Bioeng 181L System Integration in Biology, Engineering and Medicine II Laboratory 3 units
Biomath 108 Introduction to Modeling in Neurobiology 4 units
Biomath C108C Introduction to Neural Networks: Modeling and Applications 4 units
Biomath 206 Introduction to Mathematical Oncology 4 units
CS M296D Computational Cardiology 4 units
Neurosci M148 Neuronal Signaling in Brain 4 units
Neurosci 205 Systems Neuroscience 4 units
Physiol Sci 107 Systems Anatomy 5 units
Physiol Sci C144 Neural Control of Physiological Systems 5 units
Physiol Sci M145 Neural Mechanisms Controlling Movement 5 units
Physiol Sci M173 Anatomy and Physiology of Sense Organs 4 units

SUBAREA 2: Molecular and Cellular Biosystems

Biomath 106 Introduction to Cellular Modeling 4 units
Bioeng 110 Biotransport and Bioreaction Processes 4 units
Biomed Eng C101/C201 Introduction to Biomedical Engineering 4 units
Chem 153A/153AH Biochemistry: Introduction to Structure, Enzymes and Metabolism 4 units
MCDB C139/CM220 Cell, Developmental and Molecular Neurobiology 6 units
MCDB M140 Cell Biology: Cell Cycle 5 units
MCDB CM156/CM256 Human Genetics 4 units
MCDB CM160/CM252 Biological Catalysis 4 units
MCDB 165A Biology of Cells 5 units
MCDB 165B Molecular Biology of Cell Nucleus 5 units
MCDB CM169/CM223A Cell Biology 4 units
Psych 119A Neuropsychopharmacology 4 units
Psych 119D Behavioral Neuropharmacology 4 units

METHODOLOGY PERTINENT TO BOTH SUBAREAS – These courses can be included in either S1 or S2, to make up additional units for the total 28 units required in the concentration.

Biomath 220 Kinetic and Steady State Models in Pharmacology and Physiology 4 units
Biomath M230 Computed Tomography: Theory and Applications 4 units
Biomath M271 Statistical Methods in Computational Biology 4 units
Chem 110A Physical Chemistry: Chemical Thermodynamics 4 units
Chem 156 Physical Biochemistry 4 units
Chem C160A/CM260A Introduction to Bioinformatics (4 units; NEW Pre-Requisite: PIC 60 or CS 180) 4 units
Chem C160B/C260B Algorithms in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology 4 units
Chem Eng CM145 Molecular Biotechnology for Engineers 4 units
CS CM186C/CM286C Biomodeling Research and Research Communication 2 to 4 units
CS M296B Optimal Parameter Estimation and Experiment Design for Biomedical Systems 4 units
EE 131B Introduction to Stochastic Processes 4 units
EE 136 Introduction to Engineering Optimization Techniques 4 units
EE 142 Linear Systems: State-Space Approach 4 units
MAE 105A Introduction to Engineering Thermodynamics 4 units
Math 134 Linear and Nonlinear Systems of Differential Equations 4 units
Math 136 Partial Differential Equations 4 units
Math 151A Applied Numerical Methods 4 units
Math 151B Applied Numerical Methods 4 units
Math 171A Stochastic Processes 4 units
Physics 105A Analytic Mechanics 4 units
Physics 112 Thermodynamics 4 units