What is Computational Biology?

Spectacular developments in biomedical sciences have occurred over the past two decades, including advances in biomedical imaging, genomics and proteomics. These changes have created a need to organize, analyze and interpret large amounts of data, and to devise new ways to modify biological function.

Computational biologists apply computer science techniques to complex biological and biomedical problems. The highly selective program at CMU-Q is open to students who are already studying biological science or computer science.

Bachelor of Science in Computational Biology

Carnegie Mellon offered one of the first degree programs in computational biology in the United States. In 2009, CMU created the Computational Biology Department within the School of Computer Science.

The Computational Biology Program at CMU-Q provides an intensive, interdisciplinary education that enables outstanding students to solve biological problems using computational methods.

The curriculum is grounded in the disciplines of biology and computer science, with a strong component of physical science and mathematics. In addition to the core courses, the program includes major-specific and general electives, allowing students to shape their degree program according to their interests and goals.

Areas of study

The CMU-Q Computational Biology Program includes required courses in the following areas:

  • Computational Biology
  • Biology
  • Computer Science
  • General Science
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • General Education
  • Free Electives

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What will I do with my degree?

Computational biology graduates pursue many different career paths, including biomedical imaging, genomics research and bioinformatics. Many students go on to perform graduate research in areas like predicting disease susceptibilities, sequencing genomes and automatically analyzing biomedical images.

Careers for computational biology graduates

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Where do graduates work?

Computational biology is an emerging field that provides students with a unique set of skills. Graduates are prepared to directly contribute in challenging fields in the health care, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

How do graduates in computational biology further their studies?

Graduates from CMU Computational Biology often further their studies, pursuing programs in diverse areas such computational or systems biology, quantitative genetics, and medicine.

Noora Al-Muftah

“I have so many great memories from Carnegie Mellon, from the hilarious situations my friends and I encountered on trips to Pittsburgh and Tokyo, to the feeling of being part of a community when a former professor recognizes me and asks how I am doing.”

Noora Al-Muftah, Class of 2016

Program at a Glance


Standard completion time

4 Years


Minimum units required for degree:

360 units

Mathematics/Statistics Core: 47, General Science Core: 41, Biological Sciences Core: 51, Computer Science Core: 56, Major Electives: 45, Electives: 120


Admission requirements
All applicants are required to meet the following academic and subject prerequisites.


Application deadline
Fall Semester: March 1


Research opportunities

Research opportunities

Students at CMU-Q have many opportunities to engage in research: they have the option of a senior thesis project, independent study guided by a faculty mentor, and summer research opportunities in a variety of laboratories within Carnegie Mellon University and Education City.

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Academic Enrichment

Academic Enrichment

Computational biology students at CMU-Q can choose from an extensive slate of academic enrichment opportunities that enhance their work in the classroom.

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General Education

General Education

General Education includes mandatory and elective classes in a wide range of academic areas, including Arabic, architecture, chemistry, design, English, history, math and physics.

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What will your day look like?

What will your day look like?

Take a look at a day in the life of a student at Carnegie Mellon Qatar.

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Meet the Faculty

Nesrine Affara

Nesrine Affara

Assistant Teaching Professor, Biological Sciences

Mohamed Bouaouina

Mohamed Bouaouina

Assistant Teaching Professor, Biological Sciences

Valentin Ilyin

Valentin Ilyin

Associate Teaching Professor, Computational Biology

Gordon Rule

Gordon Rule

Professor, Biological Sciences

Annette Vincent

Annette Vincent

Assistant Teaching Professor, Biological Sciences

Ihab Younis

Ihab Younis

Assistant Teaching Professor, Biological Sciences

Upcoming Events

Tartan Talks

12:00PM - 1:30PM

Spring 2018 Dean's List Award Ceremony

12:00PM - 1:00PM

Experience CMU-Q

8:00AM - 5:00PM

Biotechnology Explorer Program

8:00AM - 3:00PM