Carnegie Mellon University

Additional Major in Computational Biology

The Additional Major in Computational Biology is designed for undergraduate students wishing to study computational biology as a second field of study at Carnegie Mellon University in addition to their primary major.

We anticipate high interest in our additional major program from other majors in the School of Computer Science (SCS) as well as students from outside SCS who would like to study computational biology without having to meet the stringent requirements needed to transfer into SCS in order to complete the computational biology major as a primary degree program.  In particular, the additional major is open to all students who complete the prerequisite coursework, with the requirement that a student from outside SCS must have a 3.0 overall QPA when applying.

To prevent double-counting, students must complete at least seven courses of at least 9 units each as part of the additional major in computational biology (not including pre-requisites) that are unique to the additional major.  If you’re an SCS student who is interested in seeing how to maximize double counting for the additional major, please check out our page with double counting suggestions.

Students interested in the Additional Major in Computational Biology should contact Dr. Phillip Compeau, Asst. Dept. Head for Education in the Computational Biology Department.

Degree Requirements

Prerequisite Courses Units
02-251 Great Ideas in Computational Biology 12
  or 02-250 Introduction to Computational Biology
03-121 Modern Biology 9
  or 03-151 Honors Modern Biology (if seats available)
15-122 Principles of Imperative Computation 10
15-151 Mathematical Foundations for Computer Science 10
  or 21-127 Concepts of Mathematics
  or 21-128 Mathematical Concepts and Proofs
  or 15-260 Statistics and Computing
21-120 Differential and Integral Calculus 10
21-122  Integration, Differential Equations, and Approximation 10
Total Units 61
Math/Stats Core Units
36-218 Probability Theory for Computer Scientists 9
  or 36-226 Introduction to Statistical Inference
  or 36-326 Mathematical Statistics (Honors)
21-241 Matrices and Linear Transformations 10
  or 21-242  Matrix Theory
Total Units 19
General Science Core Units
09-105 Introduction to Modern Chemistry I 10
  or 09-107 Honors Chemistry: Fundamentals, Concepts, and Applications
33-121 Physics I for Science Students 12
  or 33-141 Physics I for Engineering Students
Total Units 22
Biological Core Units
03-221 Genomes, Evolutions, and Disease: Introduction to Quantitative Genetic Analysis 9
  or 03-220 Genetics
03-232 Biochemistry I 9
  or 03-231 Biochemistry I (Students taking 03-231 will take organic chemistry as a prerequisite, which will satisfy a biology electives requirement)
03-320 Cell Biology 9
Total Units 27
Computer Science Core Units
15-251 Great Ideas in Theoretical Computer Science  12
15-531 Algorithms and Advanced Data Structures (Students taking 15-150 and 15-120 as prerequisites for 15-451 may apply these courses as CS electives 12
  or 15-451 Algorithm Design and Analysis
10-315 Introduction to Machine Learning (Undergrad) 12
Total Units 36
Computational Biology Core Units

Quantitative Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory

(majors must take 12 unit version) 
  or 03-343 Experimental Techniques in Molecular Biology
02-402 Computational Biology Seminar 3
02-510 Computational Genomics 12
02-512 Computational Methods for Biological Modeling and Simulation 9-12
Total Units 36-39
Major Electives Units
02-3xx Computational Biology electives at 300 level or above (includes 03-445/03-545 if research is computational) 18-24
03-3xx Biology electives at 300 level or above (09-217 or 42-202 also count as biology electives) 9-12
xx-3xx School of Computer Science electives at 300 level or above 18-24
Total Units 45-60
General Education (Humanities and Arts)
For specific courses that may be used to satisfy each elective, please consult the General Education Requirements for your primary major