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Academic Preparation

The foundation disciplines for BCB are genetics, molecular biology, mathematics, computer science, statistics and physics. Students entering the BCB program are expected to have a strong undergraduate background in at least one of these disciplines and additional coursework in another.

The following table summarizes the three areas in which BCB majors must demonstrate basic competence.

Students are strongly encouraged to take courses equivalent to the ISU courses listed below prior to enrollment in the BCB program. Where such preparatory coursework has not been taken, students will have the opportunity to take these courses during their first year of BCB graduate training to prepare for BCB core courses.

The temporary advisor or major professor helps each student determine whether additional courses are needed. The student's POS committee will evaluate competence in the three background areas during the student's first POS Committee meeting.

Background Courses for Admission to BCB and as preparation for BCB Core courses

Courses (or equiv.) that should be taken prior to enrollment or during first year unless similar coursework was completed prior to joining the BCB Program

Category I - Mathematics and Statistics

Math 265 - Calculus III

STAT 341 - Introduction to the Theory of Probability and Statistics I

STAT 342 - Introduction to the Theory of Probability and Statistics II

STAT 587 - Statistical Methods for Research Workers

STAT 588 - Statistical Theory for Research Workers

STAT 483/583 - Empirical Methods for the Computational Sciences

Category II - Biological Sciences

Biol 313 - Principles of Genetics

Biol 314 - Principles of Molecular Cell Biology

Biol 315 - Biological Evolution

BBMB 404 - Biochemistry I

BBMB 405 - Biochemistry II

Category III - Computer Science

COM S 227 - Introduction to Object-oriented Programming

COM S 228 - Introduction to Data Structures

COM S 230  - Discrete Computational Structures

COM S 311 - Introduction to the Design and Analysis of Algorithms

updated 11/10/2023