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Computational Biology

Technological advances in the past 15 years have revolutionized biological sciences, as they have allowed large-scale simulations and high-throughput experiments throughout the Tree of Life. Unarguably, there is a need for computational methods that enable us to efficiently store, analyze and visualize the plethora of biological information available. Scientific methods from many areas of computer science such as machine learning, graph theory, scientific computation, visualization and databases, have been employed to address problems in biological sciences, while projections support that biological-related research in those areas will continue to increase in the next decade.

The minor in Computational Biology (CB) will provide students with engineering, physical or biological majors the foundations necessary to build efficient computational models and algorithms, use state-of-the-art techniques for scientific analysis and create scalable infrastructure environments for biological and biotechnological applications.


    *Student and pupils must take a total of 20 upper-division units, with two required courses and three upper-division electives, as specified below. At most one course may be counted toward both the student’s minor and major.

    *A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for coursework in the minor. 

    *Student and pupils should note that most of the courses listed below have lower division prerequisites. In particular, the required course ECS 122A has a prerequisite chain of ECS 32A and 32B or ECS 36A, 36B, and 36C.

20 units

Complete the following courses (8 units)​

  • ECS 122A Algorithm Design and Analysis (4 units)
  • ECS 124 Theory and Practice of Bioinformatics (4 units)

Electives (12 units)

  • Choose at least one biology course (3-4 units)
    • MCB 121 Advanced Molecular Biology (3 units)
    • MCB 124 Macromolecular Structure and Function (4 units)
    • MCB 182 Principles of Genomics (3 units)
    • EVE 100 Introduction to Evolution (4 units)
    • EVE 101 Introduction to Ecology (4 units)
    • EVE 102 Population and Quantitative Genetics (4 units)
    • EVE 103 Phylogeny, Speciation and Macroevolution (4 units)
    • EVE 131 Human Genetic Variation and Evolution (3 units)
    • BIS 101 Genes and Gene Expression (4 units)
    • BIS 104 Cell Biology (3 units)
    • BIS 122 Population Biology and Ecology (3 units)
  • Choose at least one computational or statistics course (4 units)
    • ECS 130 Scientific Computation (4 units)
    • ECS 132 Probability and Statistical Modeling for Computer Science (4 units)
    • ECS 140 (Discontinued 1993)
    • ECS 145 Scripting Languages and Their Applications (4 units)
    • ECS 158 Programming on Parallel Architectures (4 units)
    • ECS 160 Software Engineering (4 units)
    • ECS 165A Database Systems (4 units)
    • ECS 170 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (4 units)
    • ECS 177 Scientific Visualization (4 units)
    • STA 130A Mathematical Statistics: Brief Course (4 units)
    • STA 141 Statistical Computing (Discontinued) (4 units)
    • BIT 150 Applied Bioinformatics (4 units)
    • BIS 132 Introduction to Dynamic Models in Modern Biology (4 units)
  • Choose at least one computational biology and bioinformatics course (4 units)
    • ECS 129 Computational Structural Bioinformatics (4 units)
    • BIS 132 Introduction to Dynamic Models in Modern Biology (4 units)
    • BIM 117 Modeling Strategies for Biomedical Engineering (4 units)
    • BIT 150 Applied Bioinformatics (4 units)

Total = 20 units


Minor Advisors

L. Filkov
[email protected]
(530) 752-8393

I. Tagkopoulous
[email protected]
(530) 752-4821

P. Koehl
[email protected]
(530) 754-5121

D. Gusfield
[email protected]
(530) 752-7131

T. Pham
[email protected]
(530) 752-7036

J. Sison
[email protected]
(530) 752-1338

What Can I Do With My Major, UC Davis, Photo of student using magnifying glass on photographic negatives