Faculty member with three students in the lab wearing lab gear

Technological innovations have revolutionized the scale and detail with which biological systems can be explored. With that revolution has come a demand for scientists who can develop and analyze quantitative and predictive models of biological systems. The doctoral minor in Quantitative Biology is designed to complement the depth of training in biological or quantitative sciences that a student achieves through UW–Madison’s graduate programs with the breadth that is needed to conduct research under this paradigm. In addition to coursework in biological, quantitative, and integrated courses, students in the program will take an inter-disciplinary research seminar to prepare them for research that crosses these boundaries. This training will prepare students for careers in academic and industrial settings, where the ability to cross disciplinary lines and work in teams with diverse expertise is critical.


Candidates should have an undergraduate degree in a biological, quantitative, or physical science/engineering. A minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) is required. 

Students interested in completing a Quantitative Biology doctoral minor should discuss with their thesis advisor and contact the minor's faculty director to determine appropriate coursework.
All Graduate School students must utilize the Graduate Student Portal in MyUW to add, change, or discontinue any doctoral minor. To apply to this minor, log in to MyUW, click on Graduate Student Portal, and then click on Add/Change Programs. Select the information for the doctoral minor for which you are applying.


PhD candidates in any department or program may obtain an interdisciplinary minor in Quantitative Biology by earning: 

  • A minimum of 10 credits from the courses listed below, including:
    • A required, 1-credit research seminar (students are advised to take during first year of graduate program)
    • One course from a quantitative science
    • One course from a biological science
    • One integrated course
Students must complete the following course.
B M E 780 Methods in Quantitative Biology1
Quantitative Courses3-4
Students must complete one of the following courses.
Intermediate Problems in Chemical Engineering
Introduction to Optimization
Machine Learning
Applied Linear Algebra
Numerical Linear Algebra
Numerical Analysis
Ordinary Differential Equations
Probability Theory
Stochastic Methods for Biology
Analysis of Partial Differential Equations
Methods of Computational Mathematics I
Introduction to the Theory of Probability
Introduction to Biostatistics
Statistical Methods for Bioscience I
Statistical Methods for Bioscience II
Mathematical Statistics I
Introduction to Statistical Inference
Introduction to Stochastic Processes
Mathematical Statistics
Mathematical Statistics
Integrated Courses3
Students must complete one of the following courses.
Systems Biology: Mammalian Signaling Networks
Modeling Biological Systems
Design of Biological Molecules
Introduction to Bioinformatics
Mathematical Methods for Systems Biology
Computational Network Biology
Advanced Bioinformatics
Special Topics in Biostatistics and Biomedical Informatics (Statistics in Human Genetics)
Statistics in Human Genetics
Statistical Methods for Molecular Biology
Computational Modeling of Biological Systems
Phylogenetic Analysis of Molecular Data
Advanced Genomic and Proteomic Analysis
Bioinformatics for Microbiologists
Bioinformatics for Biologists
Biological Courses2-3
Students must complete one of the following courses.
Introduction to Biochemistry
Protein and Enzyme Structure and Function
Prokaryotic Molecular Biology
Eukaryotic Molecular Biology
Plant Biochemistry
Mechanisms of Action of Vitamins and Minerals
Chemical Biology
From Atoms to Molecules
Principles of Genetics
Biology and Genetics of Fungi
Advanced Genetics
Physiology of Microorganisms
Advanced Microbial Genetics
Microbiology at Atomic Resolution
Carcinogenesis and Tumor Cell Biology
Cellular and Molecular Biology/Pathology
and Cellular and Molecular Biology/Pathology Seminar
Cell Biology
Total Credits10


Quantitative Biology PhD minor committee

A. Gitter (BMI)
M. McClean (BME)
S. Roy (BMI)
O. Venturelli (Biochem)

For a complete list of relevant Quantitative Biology faculty, please see All Faculty.