Graduate Programs

The department offers three graduate degrees.

PhD in Biomathematics

The goal of the doctoral program is to train creative, fully independent investigators in mathematical, theoretical, and computational biology who can initiate research in both applied mathematics and their chosen biomedical specialty. This is reflected in a curriculum providing doctoral-level competence in biology or a biomedical specialty; substantial training in applied mathematics, statistics, and computing; and appropriate biomathematics courses and research experience.

MS in Biomathematics

The master’s program is used primarily as a step to further graduate work in biomathematics, but it can also be adapted to the needs of researchers desiring supplemental biomathematical training.

Individualized programs permit students to select graduate courses in applied mathematics, biomathematics, and statistics appropriate to their area of research and to choose among diverse biomedical specialties.

MS in Clinical Research

The Master of Science in Clinical Research is designed for physicians and other health care professionals. It provides rigorous training in the methodology and techniques utilized in patient-oriented research.  The curriculum provides didactic course work including the computational and statistical sciences, fundamental methods of clinical trials, biomedical ethics, principles of pharmacology and a mentored research thesis.  Trainees who successfully complete this program are awarded a Master of Science in Clinical Research degree.  For more information, visit

Financial Support

Financial support is provided from a variety of sources, including the Systems and Integrative Biology Training Program, the Genomic Analysis Training Grant University-sponsored fellowships, other affiliated training grants, research assistantships, and other merit-based funds. Supplementation is also possible from consulting and teaching assistantships.


Entering students usually have a strong background in mathematics, statistics, and/or physics, in addition to some training in biology or biomedicine. 

Sample programs for students interested in biophysics, neuroscience, molecular imaging, genetics, cancer, phylogenetics, population dynamics, systems, pharmacokinetics are available from the department.  Students with substantial upper-division or graduate-level training in biology or mathematics may have some course requirements waived.

The course requirements for the doctoral degree fall into three categories:
Biomathematics: 4 core courses and 2 electives: Six courses
Biological electives: 24 units, at least 16 graduate level
Quantitative electives: 24 units, at least 16 graduate level

The departmental written comprehensive exams test competency in each of the areas covered by the student’s 4 core and 2 Biomathematics elective courses.  Exams for elective courses are given after the end of spring quarter, and exams for core courses are given in August before the beginning of fall quarter, with the option to re-take a failed exam in a subsequent year.