Quantitative Biology Major


The new Quantitative Biology (Q-Bio) undergraduate major will be a Biology major for students with quantitative minds

The Q-Bio major, developed with supported from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) will be one of only several such programs nationwide and the first in the University of California system. The interdisciplinary quantitative biology major will be unique in the value placed on seamlessly combining and applying quantitative approaches and skills to biological questions.

Graduating Q-Bio students will be equipped with the rigorous, quantitatively based foundation required of modern biology including mathematical and computational tools and skills that they can apply to solving real-world, open-ended questions in the biological sciences.

They will be able to interpret a mathematical representation of a biological system, evaluate how well a model represents data, create mathematical models of a biological system, critically evaluate mathematical models, and use models to make experimental predictions.

These skills should prepare our graduates to become leaders in cutting edge fields of biology, with applications ranging from medicine to the environment.

Q-Bio Approaches emphasized:

  • How to ask interesting questions of biological relevance from quantitative or computational viewpoints
  • How to address interesting questions of biological relevance utilizing a suite of quantitative and computational approaches in conjunction with experimental or empirical approaches.
  • How to merge theory and experiment in biology

Q-Bio Skills emphasized:

  • Quantitative intuition
  • Analytic skills
  • Logic skills
  • Modeling skills
  • Experimental skills
  • Programming skills