Computational Biology Molecular Genetics PhD Track

Computational biology is playing an increasingly critical role in molecular genetics. The availability and continuing generation of large-scale molecular-genetic datasets, covering nearly all aspects of cellular and organismal biology, has created a high demand for researchers with advanced computational skills who have a solid grounding in biology.

To learn more about CBMG, come to our informational session on November 10, 2016! For more details click below:

PDF iconQBMG:CBMG promotional event.pdf (582.91 KB)


The Computational Biology Ph.D. Track in Molecular Genetics (CBMG) Program aims to provide students who have been primarily trained in biology, but also have an aptitude for quantitative science, with an immersive computational biology education.

CBMG provides a curriculum that will convey the core knowledge expected of all Molecular Genetics students, furthers quantitative skills that are foundations to computational biology, and provides specialized training in computational biology.


Admission requirements*

  • A Bachelor’s degree in any life science.
  • An undergraduate average of A- or higher (or equivalent)
  • Comfort with and love of computer programming.  Evidence could come from academic excellence in multiple computer courses, or programming through employment or extracurricular activities.
  • Academic excellence in two or more quantitative subjects: calculus, linear algebra, probability/statistics or other math or quantitative courses.
  • Research experience – ‘wet’ or ‘dry’.
  • Completion of the online application form, indicating “CBMG” in the “Proposed Area of Study” in the “Areas of Study” sections.   
  • At least two letters of reference.
  • A letter of intent (be sure to explain your interest in the CBMG program).
  • A successful interview.

*International applicants may need to provide additional materials in support of their application 

 All successful CBMG applicants will be admitted directly into the Ph.D. program.


CBMG Curriculum

  • Background reading/study:  Once accepted into the CBMG track, students will be assigned reading and study to be carried out over the summer preceding their arrival in our program. It is expected that CBMG students will be highly self-motivated and will carry out substantial study prior to commencing graduate studies in the Department.
  • Summer computational biology research experience:  Also preceding formal entry, CBMG students will be placed in a research lab (a paid position) to gain background and hands-on experience in computational molecular genetics.
  • Topics in Molecular Biology, Genomics, and Computational Biology:  In the Fall of the first year, students will be exposed to diverse current research topics relevant to quantitative biology.
  • Rotations: Students will undertake three five-week rotations within any Molecular Genetics laboratory.  Rotations will take place in the first fall semester and students will join their thesis lab in January.
  • Graduate Computational Biology:  In the Winter of the first year, students will take a more intensive course in computational biology.
  • Thesis topic: Students will have the opportunity to choose any thesis topic within the many fields of study represented in the department.
  • Socializing: Annual retreats, and other social and scientific events aimed at promoting communication and scientific exchange between CBMG students and other Molecular Genetics students at all stages of their Ph.D. training.


To learn more about our faculty members, application deadlines and how to become a PhD student in our department, please visit:


CBMG Coordinator

Professor Fritz Roth

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