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Training Program

Overview of QCB First Year

The first year QCB Program is designed to matriculate students with a background in quantitative physical science or engineering, and prepare them to complete a Ph.D. degree in one of the participating departments. The courses taken during the first year contribute to those required by all departments, so that the remaining didactic requirements can be satisfied during the second year of graduate study.


Students admitted to the QCB Program have varied backgrounds and interests. Coursework for the Ph.D. degree is selected based on the students’ undergraduate training and the primary research track that the student is interested in. Suggested coursework for each track can be found here. In both the fall and spring semesters, all first-year QCB students are required to take a seminar series course in which internal and external speakers describe state-of-the-art research programs that span the Chemistry-Physics-Biology interface.

Research Rotations

The most important element in any scientific Ph.D. program is research training in the laboratory. Selecting a suitable research problem and laboratory environment for this training is a focus of the QCB first year. To help them choose a laboratory for the dissertation research, students undertake four sequential 8 week rotations. Students may rotate in any of the participating laboratories. By the end of April of the first year in the program, the final preceptor decision is made, and the student enters one of the departmental or interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs.