Information for Students

Application and Decision Process
Degree Requirements
Financial Support

Application and Decision Process

Application Deadlines

Fall admission: January 2
Review of fall applications will commence on January 2. Fall applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by this deadline, as priority in funding will be given to these early applications.

Spring admission: October 15
We begin reviewing applications and making offers within a month of the deadline, but continue reviewing applications and making awards until available slots are filled.

Application Process

Applicants are required to demonstrate adequate preparation at the undergraduate level in the form of relevant coursework and research experience. Given the multi-disciplinary nature of the IB, we expect that our applicants will be undergraduates with Bachelor of Science degrees in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, environmental or computer science or graduates with Master’s degrees in these areas.

Complete application as required by Graduate Admissions (see Graduate Bulletin). The IB program requires a general GRE test for all applicants, and a TOEFL or IELTS test for foreign applicants.

The university requires a detailed statement of interests and intent. As described in the Application Requirements, you must include a two-part essay. In the first part, include your reasons for wishing to pursue graduate studies. In the second part, describe the area of research you wish to pursue. Explain why an interdisciplinary program is best suited for your research interests, and indicate which of the three program tracks (Biochemistry, Biophysics, or Bioinformatics) you would like to pursue. It is helpful if you identify members of the faculty whose research interests are similar to your own (see list of participating faculty). These faculty members will likely serve as laboratory rotation advisors. Feel free to contact individual faculty members to discuss your interests and inquire about availability of positions.

Note that the IB program requires three letters of recommendation submitted with the application. 

Decision Process

Apply Online

Ready to apply? Proceed by filling out an online application HERE


Degree Requirements

In order to graduate, students should successfully fulfill the following requirements:

It is expected that all IB students will contribute to original research in their primary dissertation advisor’s laboratory and will publish at least one first-author paper by the time of graduation.


The IB program has three tracks: Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Bioinformatics. The course curriculum includes the following:

Interdisciplinary Nature of the Program

The following elements of the IB program are designed to emphasize its interdisciplinary and collaborative nature: 

List of Courses

Required Program Courses:

INTR-D 601      Integrative Biosciences Graduate Program Seminar;
BIOL 650          Scientific Communication;

Biochemistry Track Core Courses:

BIOL 612         Advanced Cell Biology;
BIOL 676         Advanced Molecular Biology;
BIOL 678         Protein Chemistry and Enzymology;
BIOL 680L/CHEM 680L           Physical Biochemistry;
CHEM 681       Medical Biochemistry;

Biophysics Track Core Courses:

PHYSIC 645     Cancer Biophysics;
PHYSIC 610     Topics in Medical Imaging;
PHYSIC 640     Scientific Computations and Visualization;
PHYSIC 614     Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics;
PHYSIC 650     Introductions to Stochastic Processes;

Bioinformatics Track Core Courses:

BIOL 625         Genomics and Biotechnology;
BIOL 664         Bioinformatics for Molecular Biologists;
CS 612            Algorithms in Bioinformatics;
MATH 480       Statistical Learning (MATH 648 if approved);
PHYSIC 640    Scientific Computations and Visualization;

Elective Courses (Common Pool):

BIOL 607         Introduction to Computational Data Analysis for Biology;
BIOL 615         Immunology;
BIOL 626         Molecular Genetics of Bacteria;
BIOL 627         Bacterial Physiology and Genomics;
BIOL 642         Biogeography;
BIOL 691         Developmental Biology;
BIOL 666         Mammalian Toxicology;
BIOL 674         Cell Signaling;
BIOL 677         Advanced Eukaryotic Genetics;
BIOL 681         Network Biology;
CHEM 658       Medicinal Chemistry;
CS 672             Neural Networks;
MATH 303       Introductions to Mathematical Biology;
PHYSIC 602    Laser Optics;
PHYSIC 632    Advanced Laser Optics;
PHYSIC 635    Physics on the back of an envelope (estimation in Physics);
EEOS 611        Applied Statistics.


Financial Support

Assistantships and Fellowships

Students in the IB program are supported through Graduate Research Assistantships (RAs) and Teaching Assistantships (TAs) provided by the Office of Graduate Studies and faculty grants. Additional university sources of support include Sanofi Genzyme and Oracle Fellowships, available to students who have advanced to candidacy, as well as various travel grants to support conference participation.

External Support

All IB students are strongly encouraged to apply for extramural fellowship support. A partial list is included below.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Fellowships: First-year graduate students are urged to apply for these prestigious three-year fellowships. NSF Fellowship applications are due in November of each year   For applications and instructions go to:

National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31):

Students can also look into grants at a federal level through the website by doing a search for student level or graduate-level grants. The Community of Science (COS) also offers grant opportunities at the federal level.