Graduate Training Program

Quantitative Biology graduate training at MSU is centered on two interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs:

Graduate Students at Conference
  • The dual-major Ph.D. program, the Quantitative Biology (QB)interdisciplinary Ph.D. program, or QB program, trains Ph.D. students in the quantitative, computational, and biological aspects of one of four research concentrations: Molecular Biophysics (MB); Systems Biology (SB); Ecological and Evolutionary Modeling (EEM); or Genomics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology (GBCB). These concentrations appear on the student's transcript.

    The QB program features an interdisciplinary research project with two faculty mentors, one each from biological and non-biological disciplines, coursework that extends beyond that found in the primary department, and teaching responsibilities and comprehensive exams centered in the primary department.

    Students can belong to one of many primary departments (e.g., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Chemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Mathematics, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Physics and Astronomy, Physiology, Plant Biology, Statistics and Probability, or Zoology) in addition to the QB program.

    Receiving a dual-major degree in a traditional discipline plus QB indicates proficiency in that discipline (as fundamental training to ensure future job prospects) as well as expertise in the rapidly growing area of quantitative biology. Contact Helen Geiger ( if you are interested in pursuing a QB Ph.D. degree.
  • Additional Interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs (based on the University's dual-major Ph.D. guidelines) feature an interdisciplinary research project with faculty mentors in two departments, and include dual-major Ph.D. programs between Biochemistry and Chemistry, Biochemistry and Computer Science, Biochemistry and Physics, Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering, and Biochemistry and Mathematics. Contact Helen Geiger if you are interested in pursuing a joint degree in these or other areas!