Information for Students
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.
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.
- Your application arrives in the program from the university's Graduate Admissions Office.
- When complete (letter of intent, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and transcripts), the application will be reviewed by the Integrative Biosciences Graduate Program director.
- The application is then forwarded to possible mentors/advisors in the program for review.
- All applications are then reviewed by IB Graduate Program Committee for decisions on possible acceptance.
- Acceptance/Rejection notification is sent out.
- Acknowledgement of acceptance by the student must be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions in order to retain a position in the program.
Ready to apply? Proceed by filling out an online application HERE
In order to graduate, students should successfully fulfill the following requirements:
- Completion of 60 credits: 28 course credits and at least 32 dissertation research credits.
- Passing of a written qualifying examination in 4 topics.
- Passing of an oral qualifying examination, including defense of the dissertation proposal.
- Presentation of a research seminar to the program.
- Dissertation defense of the original research work, including description of interdisciplinary and/or collaborative approaches.
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:
- All students take two required program courses: INTR-D 601 (Program Seminar) and BIOL 650 (Scientific Communication).
- Students take three core courses from their selected track.
- Each student must also take at least one course from each of the other two tracks. We consider this requirement to be important for the interdisciplinary nature of the training.
- Additional courses for a total of 28 credits are taken from a common pool of electives. Note that core courses can also be used as electives.
Interdisciplinary Nature of the Program
The following elements of the IB program are designed to emphasize its interdisciplinary and collaborative nature:
- As part of the Program Seminar (INTR-D 601), students will learn about the research conducted in the faculty laboratories in different departments within the College of Science and Mathematics.
- Students are required to take at least one course in each of the other two tracks.
- Written qualifying exams include at least one topic outside of student’s primary track.
- Students have primary and secondary dissertation advisors from different disciplines.
- Dissertation includes a section that explicitly describes an interdisciplinary aspect of student’s research.
- Student training will include rotations in laboratories that belong to different tracks and departments.
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.
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.
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: https://www.nsfgrfp.org
National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31): https://researchtraining.nih.gov/programs/fellowships/F31
Students can also look into grants at a federal level through the website Grants.gov by doing a search for student level or graduate-level grants. The Community of Science (COS) also offers grant opportunities at the federal level.