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. 

Students may pursue a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. Students pursuing the ScB have the option of electing a concentration in Computational Biology with one of three focus areas: Computer Sciences, Biological Sciences, or Applied Mathematics & Statistics. Both programs require 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

Seniors complete a research project 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.  Students must enroll in either one semester of reading and research with a CCMB faculty member or approved advisor or a 2000-level computational biology course. 


To be considered an honors candidate, students are expected to maintain an outstanding record, with no "C's" in concentration courses and with a minimum of an "A-" average in concentration courses. Students should take at least one semester, and are strongly encouraged to take two semesters, of reading and research with a CCMB faculty member or approved advisor. Students must submit to a public defense of their theses, open to the CCMB community.

  • Students seeking honors are advised to choose a Thesis Advisor prior to the end of their Junior year
  • Students must complete the Comp Bio registration form 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:

  • Alice Chu

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