Skip over navigation

QCB Certificate Requirements

Admission to the Program

Students are admitted to the program after they have chosen a concentration and consulted with the program committee in May of their sophomore year. The program committee will also assist students in selecting a laboratory for their junior independent and thesis work. Admission requires the completion of prerequisites listed below. The course of study is structured upon department concentration, plus junior and senior independent work in genomics or quantitative and computational biology. Electives are chosen in consultation with the advisor.

There are two possible tracks for entry into the QCB certificate program:

1. For those students who have completed the integrated science curriculum ISC/CHM/COS/MOL/PHY 231-234 during their freshman year and ISC/CHM/COS/MOL/PHY 235-236 during their sophomore year. (See Integrated Science Curriculum below under "Additional Information").

2. For those students who have not taken the integrated science series, the following courses are the minimum that must be completed before the end of their sophomore year:

• COS 126 or higher
• MOL 342
• One year of physics as a Princeton undergraduate (PHY 103-104 or higher)
• One year of chemistry as a Princeton undergraduate (CHM 201-202 or higher)
• One year of mathematics as a Princeton undergraduate
• Either Biochemistry (MOL/CHM 345) or one semester of Organic (CHM 301/302 or CHM 303/304)
 

QCB Program of Study: Requirements

1.QCB 302: Research Topics in QCB (taken in the fall of junior year)

2. MOL/COS 455: Introduction to Genomics and Computational Molecular Biology (taken in fall of your senior year)

3. Elective course with strong component of quantitative and computational analysis of biology, to be approved by the QCB Director of Undergraduate studies

4. Senior thesis with a strong component of quantitative and computational analysis of biology
 

Additional Departmental Requirements

Molecular biology concentrators will be required to take eight departmentals: which may include the QCB courses listed above; see Molecular Biology for additional details. Molecular biology concentrators will do a quantitative or computationally oriented junior paper in the spring of their junior year. Seniors will choose a thesis project under the broad umbrella of quantitative or computational biology and with a faculty member and project approved by the QCB program committee.

Physics concentrators may take half a semester of MOL 350 Laboratory in Molecular Biology and half a semester of PHY 311-312 Experimental Physics in the spring of their junior year. One junior paper and the senior thesis should be QCB related.
Computer science concentrators are required to take eight computer science departmentals. The junior paper and senior thesis must be QCB related.

Chemistry concentrators are required to take four 300-, 400-, or 500-level courses in chemistry (at least one term each of organic, physical, inorganic, and experimental chemistry) plus four science cognates at the 300, 400, or 500 level. MOL 350 Laboratory in Molecular Biology can be substituted for CHM 371 Experimental Chemistry. One junior paper and the senior thesis should be QCB related.

Ecology and evolutionary biology concentrators are required to take eight EEB departmentals, at least five of which must normally be upper-level EEB or MOL courses. One junior paper and the senior thesis should be QCB related.

Students interested in a B.S.E. degree should contact Associate Dean Peter Bogucki in the School of Engineering and Applied Science for general information and electrical engineering concentrators should contact Professor Antoine Kahn.

Junior and Senior Independent Work Junior and senior independent work should be arranged with the help of the program director and committee and supervised by the faculty in the various home departments. The senior thesis should make significant use of computational or quantitative methods.
 

Administrative Details

A minimum of a B average in program courses and junior and senior independent work is required for successful completion of the program. Program courses cannot be taken Pass/D/Fail.

Applications for program admission, including the Research Lab form, must be submitted by May 31 of sophomore year and should include the following information: prerequisite courses, plans for courses in the junior and senior years, and independent work plans. Admission decisions are made by June 30.

Students who fulfill the requirements of the program receive a certificate of proficiency in quantitative and computational biology upon graduation. Students who pursue a certificate in quantitative and computational biology may not also receive a certificate in biophysics.
 

Additional Information

Integrated Science Curriculum Integrated science is a revolutionary new introductory science curriculum developed at Princeton, intended for students considering a career in science. By breaking down traditional disciplinary barriers, a series of courses taken in the freshman and sophomore years provides students with first-rate preparation for a major in any of the core scientific disciplines, and in such a way that helps retain the connections to the other disciplines. The curriculum is founded on the expectation that much of the most important science of the future, though based on the classical disciplines, will lie in areas that span two or more of them.

The integrated science sequence is suitable for any undergraduate considering concentrating in the sciences or engineering at Princeton. The core training is perfect preparation for a very broad range of careers, both within and outside science. The curriculum is especially valuable for students interested in bridging the traditional barriers between the biological and the physical sciences.

The integrated science sequence provides an alternative path into the Departments of Chemistry, Computer Science, Molecular Biology, and Physics. ISC/CHM/COS/MOL/PHY 231-234 (a double course) can be taken in the freshman year and ISC/CHM/COS/MOL/PHY 235-236 can be taken in the sophomore year. These courses can be substituted for CHM 203/204, PHY 103/104 or 105/106, COS126, and MOL214/215 in the freshman year and MOL 214, 342, and 345 in the sophomore year.
 

QCB302 Research Topics in QCB This class is aimed at Juniors pursuing the QCB Certificate. In this course, we will discuss the independent research projects that the juniors are performing in order to provide guidance and feedback. We will emphasize critical thinking about experiments and large dataset analysis along with the ability to clearly communicate one's research. Students will present background research (journal club style presentations) and progress reports. Written work will consist of an NSF-style proposal and an NIH-style grant proposal/research paper. Students must choose their research labs in the spring of their sophomore year and be engaged in the research from the start of the Fall semester. (the course is taken in the fall of junior year)