Carnegie Mellon University


For students planning their undergraduate course schedules in anticipation of applying for the Ph.D. in Computational Biology, the courses listed below are examples of recommended courses/topics for you to consider. We expect students from different backgrounds and with different research interests to choose differently from these courses; we do not expect applicants to have taken all these courses.

  • Life Sciences
    • Cell Biology (e.g. CMU 03-240 or Pitt BIOSC 1500)
    • Molecular Biology (e.g. Pitt BIOSC 1940 or CMU 03-742)
    • Biochemistry (e.g. CMU 03-231/03-232 or Pitt BIOSC 1000)
    • Genetics (e.g. CMU 03-330 or Pitt BIOSC 0350)
  • Computer Science
    • Intermediate Programming (e.g. CMU 15-111)
    • Fundamental Data Structures and Algorithms (e.g. CMU 15-211 or Pitt CS 1501;at other universities this may be either one or two courses)
    • Algorithms (e.g., CMU 15-451 or Pitt CS 1501)
  • Physical Sciences
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Applied Mathematics (Probability & Statistics)
  • Analysis (Calculus & Numerical)
  • Algebra (Linear & Multilinear)
  • Probability & Statistics
  • Computational Biology
  • Intro. to Computational Biology or Bioinformatics (e.g., CMU 03-510 or Pitt BIOSC 1540)

Depending on an individual student’s background, remedial or additional courses at undergraduate level may be offered, which will be selected/tailored to the needs and research interests of each student in consultation with the student advising committee.