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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.  Electives are chosen in consultation with the adviser.

Prerequisites (which are to be completed by the end of the second year)

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

1. Integrated Science: ISC 231-234

2. All of the following courses:
• COS126 or higher
• MOL215
• 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 200-level math course or higher
• One semester of statistics: ORF245, MOL/EEB355 or higher (but not PSY251)

QCB Program of Study: Requirements

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

2. Three electives from the course list below (Additional courses may be taken as electives with approval from the Director):

  • PHY 209 Computational Physics Seminar
  • PHY 412 Biological Physics
  • MAT/APC 321 Numerical Methods
  • QCB 511 Modeling Tools for Cell and Developmental Biology
  • QCB 455 / MOL 455 / COS 455: Introduction to Genomics and Computational Molecular Biology
  • MOL 515 Method and Logic in Quantitative Biology
  • MOL/COS 557 Analysis & Visualization of Large-Scale Genomic Data Sets
  • CBE 433 Mechanics/Dynamics of Soft Living Matter
  • CBE/MAT481 Introduction to Nonlinear Dynamics
  • CBE 440 The Physical Basis of Human Disease
  • CHM 440 Drug Discovery in the Genomics Era
  • NEU 408 Cellular and Systems Neuroscience

3. Junior and Senior Independent Work:
Junior and senior independent work must have significant overlap with areas in quantitative and computational biology.

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)