Bioinformatics and Computational Biology


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Doctoral Degrees Offered: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Master Degrees Offered: Master of Science (M.S.)

Online Degrees: None

Area(s) of Specialization (will appear on all ISU transcripts after graduation): Predictive Plant Phenomics (Ph.D.);

Area(s) of Emphasis (for program use only): Structural Bioinformatics; Comparative Genomics; Transcriptomics; Proteomics; Predictive Plant Phenomics (P3); Metabolomics; Machine Learning; Image Processing; Biological Data Mining

Learning Goals that students in this program are expected to meet include:

  1. Be able to formulate a research question, devise a plan to answer it, and independently implement it, as evidenced by passing their preliminary exam and the dissertation defense.
  2. Have a minimum of one paper submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. The manuscript should be directly related to their dissertation project, and they should have contributed a substantial part of the work and authorship. However, the expectation is that a typical dissertation consists of 2-4 independently publishable manuscripts.
  3. Be able to communicate science clearly as evidenced by oral presentations, poster presentations, and the writing of articles, grant proposals, or both.
  4. Be able to program: develop and encode methods for data discovery and/or analysis (as opposed to the exclusive deployment of existing software and tools for computational analyses).
  5. Be experts in both the biological and computational components of their fields of study.
  6. Meeting these expectations is built into BCB course requirements and POS committee expectations. The major professor, or the major professor and co-major professor jointly, must be competent to oversee the interdisciplinary research required of students. Care should be taken that each student supervised in the program shall be able to receive unhindered guidance in both fields, to best serve the program’s requirements.

Doctoral Degree Outcomes

Master's Degree Outcomes

Career Placement Outcomes

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Contact: Carla Harris
Phone: please e-mail
E-mail Address:


ISU-wide: Academic Records, GPA, Statement of Purpose, Letters of Recommendation

Application Deadlines: For guaranteed Fall consideration, please submit your application no later than January 1st . We will continue reviewing applications until all openings are filled. For Spring admission check with program for funding availability.

Program Requires GRE: No

Program Requires GMAT : No

GRE's are optional. Statement detailing past research experience and present research interests at Iowa State. We would appreciate it if your supplemental materials (resume, research experience, research interests) were submitted as a pdf into the on-line application system.
CV should also include relevant preparatory coursework for a BCB program...see
For more information and requirements for the Predictive Plant Phenomics (P3) specialization can be found here.

Additional International Requirements:

English Proficiency Minimum:

TOEFL Paper (PBT) 610
TOEFL Internet (iBT) 79
PTE 53
Duolingo (approved through spring 2023) 105

Program Will Review Without TOEFL or IELTS: No

Financial Statement: Application