Computational Biology


Computational biology involves the analysis and discovery of biological phenomena using computational tools, and the algorithmic design and analysis of such tools. The field is widely defined and includes foundations in computer science, applied mathematics, statistics, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, ecology, evolution, anatomy, neuroscience, and visualization.

The doctoral program is interdepartmental and the result of a collaboration between the four academic units that comprise the CCMB:  Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, and Molecular Biology, Cell Biology & Biochemistry.

The Undergraduate program offers four possible tracks: computational genomics, biological sciences, molecular modeling and applied mathematics and statistical genomics. The program requires a senior capstone experience that pairs students and faculty in creative research collaborations.

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Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Develop a broad foundation in biological sciences, applied mathematics, and statistics
  • Understand the history and evolution of the study of the human genome
  • Acquire advanced computational skills
  • Learn how to formulate a scientific question related to statistical genomics
  • Collaborate with a faculty member on a research-based senior capstone experience


Click here for a list of requirements.

Honors and Capstones

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Capstone Experience

Students enrolled in the computational biology concentration will complete a research project in their senior year under faculty supervision.  The themes of such projects evolve with the field and the technology, but should represent a synthesis of the various specialties of the program.  A minimum of one semester of independent study is required (such as BIOL 1950 or CSCI 1970), although many students may conduct a full year of independent study.


The requirements for being awarded Honors in Computational Biology are largely dependent upon the Advising faculty member’s home department. If a student is in the Computer Science track, they are held to the standards of the CS department, the same for Applied Mathematics & Statistics, and Biological Sciences.

  • Students seeking honors are advised to choose a Thesis Advisor prior to the end of their Junior year
  • Students must complete the Registration form for their respective track in Comp Bio and submit it to CCMB@BROWN.EDU

Any deviation from these rules must be approved by the director of undergraduate studies, in consultation with the student's advisor.


  • Applied Mathematics and Statistics
  • Biological Sciences
  • Computer Science

Liberal Learning

This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:

  • Collaborate fully
  • Engage with your community
  • Develop a facility with symbolic languages
  • Experience scientific inquiry

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Affiliated Departments


Director of Undergraduate Studies

Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors

Alumni Pathways

Alumni with degrees in Computational Biology have gone on to careers in management consulting, Bioinformatics and Quantitative Biology research, medicine, and in health technology fields.

See more details on the CareerLAB website.

Dept. Undergraduate Group

Student Leaders:

  • Tara Basu Trivedi

If you are an advisor and would like to make changes to the information on this page, contact, or email Dean Besenia Rodriguez.