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qBio Specialization

The qBio specialization/track is designed to equip quantitatively inclined PhD students with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead quantitative, multi-faceted investigations of living systems.


Prospective students need to apply to a base PhD program within one of the participating departments listed below and choose the qBio specialization within that program. Students are admitted to the qBio track by a competitive process.

Participating Departments

Funding options

Some funding is available for the qBio students through the QIB Training Grant. All other students are funded according to the rules set by their base PhD program.

Requirements to complete qBio specialization

  1. Take required courses (see Courses below)
  2. Attend weekly seminars and participate in other qBio events
  3. Pass qualifying exam and thesis requirements (according to rules set by the home department) 

qBio PhD Program Sample Schedule

The requirements of the qBio specialization come on top of the core requirements set by the home department, mostly as required electives. We compiled below a template schedule based on the requirements of the Biology program. It is meant as an example only.

Year 1

Fall: Seminar (PHYS 254). Critical Reading (PHYS 259A). Into into qBio (BGGN 214). Rotations

Winter: Seminar (PHYS 254). Quantitative Physiology Reading (BGGN 259/PHYS 259B). Rotations

Spring: Seminar (PHYS 254). Quantitative Physiology Reading (BGGN 259/PHYS 259B). Hacker lab (PHYS 270A). Rotations

Find research lab. Pass department exam

Year 2

Directed research

qBio electives (see Courses below). Scientific Ethics

Year 3

Directed research

Student Research Talks

Advance to Candidacy


BGGN 214. Introduction to Quantitative Biology (usually offered in Fall quarter)

BGGN 212. Intro to Quantitative Evolutionary Biology (usually offered in Winter quarter)

BNFO 284. Nonlinear Dynamics in Quantitative Biology (alternate years)

MAE 263. Mechanics Inside the Cell

PHYS 275. Fundamentals of Biological Physics (usually offered in Fall quarter)

PHYS 276. Quantitative Molecular Biology (usually offered in Winter quarter)

PHYS 277. Physical Biology of the Cell (usually offered in Spring quarter)

PHYS 273. Information Theory in Biological Systems (usually offered in Fall quarter)

PHYS 239. Spatiotemporal dynamics in biological systems (usually offered in Spring quarter)