QCB Certificate Requirements

Admission to the Program

Students are admitted to the program after they have chosen a concentration and consulted with the program committee, or the Director of the program, in May of their sophomore year. Although students are encouraged to find a lab on their own, the program committee will, if necessary, assist students in selecting a laboratory for their junior independent and thesis work. Students must have identified a lab and research project by the first day of their junior year fall semester. Admission requires the completion of prerequisites listed below. Electives are chosen in consultation with the adviser.


There are two possible tracks for entry into the QCB Certificate program, and are to be completed by the end of your second year:

  1. Integrated Science: ISC 231-234
  2. All of the following courses:
    • COS 126 or higher
    • MOL 214 
    • PHY 103-104 or PHY 103-108 or the equivalent by permission of the Director
    • CHM 201-202 or the equivalent by permission of the Director
    • One 200-level math course (or higher) -OR- one semester of statistics: SML 201, ORF 245, MOL/EEB 355 or higher (but not PSY 251)

*Please note that students can use their AP credits for the PHY and CHM requirements as per the university’s Reference Table for AP Credit:
                      AP 5 on Parts I and II of Physics C gives equivalency for PHY103-104
                      AP 4 on Chemistry gives equivalency for CHM 201 (but not CHM 202)
                      AP 5 on Chemistry gives equivalency for CHM 201-202

QCB Program of Study: Requirements

  1. QCB 302: Research Topics in QCB (taken in the fall term of sophomore or junior year)
  2. CHM 301* / CHM 304*: Organic Chemistry I: Biological Emphasis and Organic Chemistry II: Foundations of Chemical Reactivity and Synthesis
    - OR -
    CHM 301* / CHM 302*: Organic Chemistry I: Biological Emphasis and Organic Chemistry II with Biological Emphasis
    - OR -
    CHM 337*: Organic Chemistry: Bioengineering Emphasis

    *CHM301/304 or CHM301/302 or CHM337 is required for students starting as first-years in the 2018-2019 academic year.
  3. Three electives from the course list below. 
  4. Junior and Senior Independent Work:  Junior and senior independent work must have significant overlap with areas in quantitative and computational biology.

Elective Course List (additional courses may be taken as electives with approval from the Program Director; please check with us by emailing jgiraldi@princeton.edu). 

  • CBE 433 Mechanics/Dynamics of Soft Living Matter
  • CBE 440 The Physical Basis of Human Disease
  • CBE 447/GHP 447 Metabolic Engineering
  • CHM 440 Drug Discovery in the Genomics Era
  • CHM 541/QCB 541 Chemical Biology II
  • COS 343 Algorithms for Computational Biology
  • EEB 324 Theoretical Ecology
  • EEB 325 Mathematical Modeling in Biology and Medicine
  • ENV 302/EEB 302 Practical Models for Environmental Systems
  • GEO 523 / CEE 572 Geomicrobiology
  • ISC 326 Human Genomics: Past, Present, Future
  • MAE 344/MAE 566 Biomechanics and Biomaterials: From Cells to Organisms
  • MAT/APC 321 Numerical Methods
  • MAT 586/APC 511/MOL 511/QCB 513 Computational Methods in Cryo-Electron Microscopy
  • MOL/QCB 485 Mathematical Models in Biology
  • NEU 314 Mathematical Tools for Neuroscience
  • NEU 437 / MOL 437 / PSY 437 Computational Neuroscience
  • PHY 209 Computational Physics Seminar
  • PHY 412 Biological Physics
  • QCB 408/508 Foundations of Applied Statistics and Data Science (with Applications in Biology)
  • QCB 455/COS 551 Introduction to Genomics and Computational Molecular Biology
  • QCB 490 Molecular Mechanisms of Longevity: The Genetics, Genomics, and Cell Biology of Aging
  • QCB 505 Topics in Biophysics and Quantitative Biology: Statistical Mechanics for Real Biological Networks
  • QCB 511 Modeling Tools for Cell and Developmental Biology
  • QCB 515 Method and Logic in Quantitative Biology

Administrative Details

A minimum of a B average in program courses and junior and senior independent work is required for successful completion of the program. Program courses cannot be taken Pass/D/Fail.

Applications for program admission must be submitted by June 1st of your sophomore year and should include the following information: prerequisite courses, plans for courses in the junior and senior years, and independent work plans. Admission decisions are made by June 30.

Students who fulfill the requirements of the program receive a certificate of proficiency in quantitative and computational biology upon graduation. Students who pursue a certificate in quantitative and computational biology may not also receive a certificate in biophysics.