Graduate Program in Quantitative and Computational Biology

QCB @Princeton is a degree granting Ph.D. Program, with an application deadline of December 1. Apply directly to the Quantitative and Computational Biology Department through the Graduate School.

The Program in Quantitative and Computational Biology (QCB) is intended to facilitate graduate education at Princeton at the interface of biology and the more quantitative sciences and computation. Administered from The Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, QCB is a collaboration in multidisciplinary graduate education among faculty in the Institute and the Departments of Chemistry, Computer Science, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Molecular Biology, and Physics. The program covers the fields of genomics, computational biology, systems biology, biophysics, quantitative genetics, molecular evolution, and microbial interactions.

Who Should Apply

QCB @Princeton aims to educate the next generation of leaders at the interface of biology with math, physics, chemistry, and computation. We recognize, however, that undergraduates need not have developed skills in both quantitative science and biology to be future leaders. Accordingly, we strongly encourage applications from those with stellar backgrounds either in quantitative science or biology, and the desire to learn the other. As quantitative skills reliably translate well across disciplines, we particularly encourage applications from those with undergraduate degrees in math, physics, chemistry, or computer science. Students receive a stipend and tuition that is covered throughout the program.

Program Highlights

  • An Outstanding Tradition: Chartered in 1746, Princeton University has long been considered among the world’s most outstanding institutions of higher education, with particular strength in mathematics and the quantitative sciences. Building upon the legacies of greats such as Compton, Feynman, and Einstein, Princeton established the Lewis-Sigler Institute of Integrative Genomics in 1999 to carry this tradition of quantitative science into the realm of biology. Under the direction of renowned geneticist David Botstein, the Institute immediately received an NIH Center Grant in Systems Biology, which was renewed successfully in 2009.
  • World Class Research: The Lewis-Sigler Institute and the QCB program focus on attacking problems of great fundamental significance using a mixture of theory and experimentation. To maximize the chances of paradigm shifting advances, there is an emphasis on studying molecular networks of central importance to biology, such as transcription and metabolism, in tractable model organisms, including bacteria, yeasts, worms, and fruit flies.
  • World Class Faculty: The research efforts are led by the QCB program’s 30 faculty, who include a Nobel Laureate, 8 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 4 Howard Hughes Investigators, and over a dozen early career faculty who have received major national research awards (e.g., NSF CAREER or NIH Innovator).
  • Personalized Education: A hallmark of any Princeton education is personal attention. The QCB program is no exception. Lab sizes are generally modest, typically 6 – 16 researchers, and all students have extensive direct contact with their faculty mentors. Many students choose to work at the interface of two different labs, enabling them to build close intellectual relationships with multiple principal investigators.
  • Stimulating Environment: The physical heart of the QCB program is the Carl Icahn Laboratory, an architectural landmark located adjacent to physics, biology, chemistry, and mathematics on Princeton’s main campus. Students have access to a wealth of resources, both intellectual and tangible, such as world-leading capabilities in DNA sequencing, mass spectrometry, and microscopy. They also benefit from the friendly atmosphere of the program, which includes tea and cookies every afternoon. When not busy doing science, students can partake in an active campus social scene and world class arts and theater events on campus.

Diversity and Inclusion:  We believe that the highest levels of research, scholarship, and teaching are obtained only through the combined participation of people with a diversity of viewpoints, backgrounds, and experiences. For this reason, we welcome under-represented and socio-economically disadvantaged students and faculty and provides an environment that embraces all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and physical abilities.  See The Program for Diversity and Graduate Recruitment for more information.  

The Office of Disability Services (ODS) at Princeton University offers a range of services to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to Princeton's academic and extracurricular opportunities. Prospective students with disabilities considering study in any of Princeton’s programs are encouraged to contact ODS to learn more about the services and accommodations that can be provided. The Disability Services staff is available to meet with prospective students who are visiting the campus and current students who have a disability or suspect they mayhave a disability.