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Curriculum

Graduate curricula at UCSF in Bioinformatics (BI), Biophysics (BP), and Complex Biological Systems (CBS) all share a common core curriculum under an umbrella called the Integrative Program in Quantitative Biology (iPQB). That common core curriculum is reflected below.

Year one requirements

TermRequired coursesOther requirements
Late summer

Bootcamp

  • Math/Matlab
  • Biology Didactic
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
 

Fall term

Select either:

  • BP 204a Macromolecular Methods (required for Biophysics)
  • BMI 206 Biostatistics (required for Bioinformatics)

Required:

  • BP 205A Physical Underpinnings of Biological Systems (PUBS-Interactive Labs/Group Challenges)

 

Complete First Rotation

Journal Clubs (QBC and iPQB)

Pizza Talks, Faculty speak

BBC Seminars

Program Retreats

Winter term

ALL: Complete Proposal and Mini Oral

BIOPHYSICS:

Required:

  • BP 204B Macromolecular Interactions 

And select one of the below:

  • BP 205B Dynamical Systems Modeling (required for the CBS emphasis)
  • BMI 203 Algorithms
  • Chem 241 Molecular Thermodynamics
  • Bioreg (Tetrad course)
  • Systems Pharmacology (PSPG 245B)
  • Non iPQB course approved by academic advisor

BIOINFORMATICS:

Required:

  • BMI 203 Algorithms

And select one of the below:

  • BP 205B Dynamical Systems Modeling (required for the CBS emphasis)
  • BP 204B Macromolecular Interactions
  • Chem 241 Molecular Thermodynamics
  • Bioreg (Tetrad course)
  • Systems Pharmacology (PSPG 245B)
  • Non iPQB course approved by academic advisor (must include oral component)

Complete Second Rotation

Journal Clubs

Seminars

Pizza Talks

Spring term

Students will take a portion of the Ethical Conduct of Science course in Spring of year 1. The bulk of this course will be taken in year 2.

3 mini courses

Complete third rotation

Journal Clubs

Seminars

Pizza Talks

End of spring

Select: Biophysics or BMI

Optional: Systems Biology Emphasis (Must be declared at time of qualifying exam. Must take BP 205A and BP 205B

 

Notes

  1. Bootcamp: Two-week immersion that provides basic competency and breadth before the start of the formal curriculum. Fosters group cohesion while breaking down barriers of scientific communication and provides a level playing field.
  2. Rotations: 3 ten-week rotations starting Fall quarter. Must include at least 1 experimental and 1 computational. Details: Selecting rotations and a research advisor.
  3. Curriculum Selection: While program selection is not required until end of spring, appropriate corresponding coursework must be taken. If corresponding coursework is not taken in year one, it must be completed in year two.
  4. Mini courses: Two-week elective courses that allow for diversification of curriculum. Each student will take 3 mini courses in spring quarter. One of them must be outside iPQB.
  5. Advising: Rotations and coursework must be approved by your assigned academic advisor.

Additional year one requirements

CourseCourse informationDescription

Lab rotations

BP 215/BMI 221

Fall/Winter/Spring

3 units each, 3 rotations

3 ten - week rotations (one per quarter), at least 1 experimental, 1 computational

Details: Selecting rotations and a research advisor

QBC Journal Club

BMI 223

Fall/winter/spring

1 unit

Journal club presentations by first- and second-year students in iPQB, CCB, and PSPG graduate programs.

Graduate research opportunities

BMI 224 for both programs

Fall/winter

1 unit

Faculty-student talks

Additional requirements for the duration of your time in the program

CourseCourse informationDescription

Research Seminars

BP 220/BMI 220

Fall/winter/spring

1 unit

Research seminars presented by visiting scientists 

iPQB Journal Club

No course number

Fall/winter/spring

Journal club presentations by first- and second-year iPQB students (required)

Year two requirements

CourseCourse informationDescription

Oral qualifying examination

Must complete by end of second year

(If selecting an emphasis in Complex Biological Systems, this must be declared at time of qualifying exam)

Research

(every quarter, year two and forward)

BP 250/BMI 250

Fall/winter/spring

1-8 units

Research in your thesis lab; sign up every quarter in years two to six

Ethical Conduct of Science

BMS 214

Spring

1 unit

Ethical Conduct of Science course

Teaching Assistantship

Fall/winter/or spring

One quarter teaching assistant position in iPQB or School of Pharmacy

QBC Journal Club

BMI 223

Fall/winter/spring

1 unit

Journal club presentations by first- and second-year students in the iPQB, CCB, and PSPG programs

Details: QBC Journal Club requirements

Grant Writing

BP 297

Fall

1 unit

Support for fellowship applications

Year three requirements and beyond

CourseCourse informationDescription

Advancement to candidacy

Within 6 months following qualifying examination

 

Annual thesis meetings, year three and forward

On or around the anniversary of your qualifying examination

Thesis meetings are to be held at least once per year following completion of oral examination

Those who have not graduated by Winter of 6th year must retake Ethical Conduct of Science

Neuroscience 214

Spring 1 unit

 

Ethical Conduct of Science must be taken once every 4 years

Details: Advancement to candidacy and thesis progression.

Sometime in either the fourth or fifth year all students give a talk on their research at the iPQB program retreat.

Students are expected to graduate within six years of starting the program. Details: Six-year policy. In order to graduate you must submit your thesis to the Graduate Division and give a thesis seminar. Extending time in the program beyond six years is subject to the approval of the iPQB Executive Committee.

Next topic: Progression