The Undergraduate Program in Computational Biology
The future of biology is computational
All of biology is computational
Biology and medicine are undergoing a data revolution, and at Carnegie Mellon University we’re training the next generation of computer scientists to tackle their big unsolved problems. Our undergraduate program in computational biology — unique to CMU — guides you to explore frontier problems in modern biomedical data science while providing the unparalleled computational education of the world-leading School of Computer Science.
At CMU, you apply to your "college" of interest. Computational biology is in the School of Computer Science (SCS), and so if you are interested in joining us as a computational biology major, then you should apply to SCS as your first-choice college. In your essay, make sure to make it clear why you are excited to study computational biology with us.
Hear from our students!
"Computational biology allows me to gain an interdisciplinary education among numerous fields that I find interesting."
Class of 2026
Start learning computational biology in your first year
Carnegie Mellon is the only university in the world where undergraduates can jump into computational biology coursework in their first year.
Prof. Compeau teaches Great Ideas in Computational Biology, an award-winning course showing first-year students the beautiful computational approaches that have revolutionized the study of biomedical data.
In Quantitative Cell and Molecular Laboratory, you will learn fundamental laboratory techniques that generate large biological datasets and then write code to analyze these datasets; plus, you will program robotic instruments in our brand new automated biology lab!
A pathway to computational biology for everyone
You can study computational biology at CMU in several ways.
If computational biology is your primary undergraduate interest, we recommend our Bachelor of Science degree. It's available to all students admitted to the School of Computer Science.
If you are planning on a different area of primary study, then you can study computational biology in other ways. We offer an additional major program that is open to all CMU students and allows you to complete all of the coursework while studying something else full time.
To take several courses in computational biology without the overhead of completing an entire major, consider our minor or concentration in computational biology. The minor is open to students whose primary major is outside the School of Computer Science, and the concentration is open to students whose primary major is in the School of Computer Science.
What else makes our program great?
We guarantee a research experience to all our primary majors. Our students have presented their work at international conferences, won thesis awards and research fellowships, and even published a paper in Science!
Our students started their own student society for computational biology and build community through research and academic events.
We host fun social events for our students, from cookouts and ice cream socials to snow tubing and visiting Pittsburgh’s Kennywood amusement park.
We bring industry experts to campus to speak about the exciting (and high-paid) scientific work they do.