Applied Mathematics–Biology

Standard program for the Sc.B. degree.

The Applied Math - Biology concentration recognizes that mathematics is essential to address many modern biological problems in the post genomic era. Specifically, high throughput technologies have rendered vast new biological data sets that require novel analytical skills for the most basic analyses. These technologies are spawning a new “data-driven” paradigm in the biological sciences and the fields of bioinformatics and systems biology. The foundations of these new fields are inherently mathematical, with a focus on probability, statistical inference, and systems dynamics. These mathematical methods apply very broadly in many biological fields including some like population growth, spread of disease, that predate the genomics revolution. Nevertheless, the application of these methods in areas of biology from molecular genetics to evolutionary biology has grown very rapidly in with the availability of vast amounts of genomic sequence data.

Required coursework in this program aims at ensuring expertise in mathematical and statistical sciences, and their application in biology. The students will focus in particular areas of biology. The program culminates in a senior capstone experience that pairs student and faculty in creative research collaborations. Applied Math – Biology concentrators are prepared for careers in medicine, public health, industry and academic research.


  1. APMA 0350, 0360 (or 0330, 0340), 1650, and another approved 1000-level course.
  2. Four biology courses agreed upon by the student and advisor (see below for some possible areas of emphasis).
  3. MATH 0090, 0100 (or 0170); 0180, 0520 (or an approved applied math course).
  4. CHEM 0330; recommended for some concentrators: organic chemistry; biochemistry.
  5. PHYS 0030, 0040, 0060 (or equivalents).
  6. Two additional courses in applied math, biology, chemistry, math, or physics. At least one of these must be a directed research course that reflects the theme of this program (e.g., APMA 1970; BIOL 1950/1960).

Possible areas of emphasis and suggested courses include:

  1. Biochemistry: BIOL 0280; 1270; and CHEM 0350, 0360; 1230, 1240.
  2. Cells, tissues, and organs: BIOL 0800; 1100; 1190; and/or appropriate bioengineering courses, such as: BIOL 1090; 1120; 1140; 1150.
  3. Neurosciences: NEUR courses; APMA 0410.
  4. Population biology and ecology: BIOL 0380; 0420; 0430; 0480; 1410; 1420; 1430; 1460.
  5. Genetics: BIOL 0470; 1410.

Page last reviewed in September, 2012.

Back to Brown University Registrar's Home Page