Certificate Requirements

Upon completion of the IQ Biology certificate, students receive a certificate in Interdisciplinary Quantitative Biology from the CU Boulder Graduate School, in addition to a PhD from their degree-granting home department. Completion of the IQ Biology certificate requires students to fulfill specific requirements. These requirements are designed to ensure that students, in addition to their disciplinary ability, demonstrate fundamental competencies in mathematics, computation, and biology. The certificate requirements are distinct from those stipulated by doctoral degree-granting programs of study/departments, however formal agreements with several departments minimize time to degree.

The certificate is listed on the student's CU Boulder transcript and demonstrates that the faculty have determined that the student has completed the following steps and has demonstrated that they completed the following course, research, dissertation, and activity requirements.

Course Requirements

  • Quantitative Optical Imaging and Recitation 4 credits including recitation
  • IQ Biology Research Rotation Fall and Spring, 3 credits per semester
  • Bioinformatics and Genomics 4 credits or Mathematical and Computational Biology 3 credits
  • Biologically Inspried Multi-Agent Systems 3 credits
  • Responsible Conduct of Research 1 credit
  • Gap Filling Course Roughly 3 credits, will be suggested by the student and approved by the mentoring committee to fill-in knowledge "gaps"
See the course descriptions page for more information about IQ Biology coursework

Research Requirements

  • Three 8-week Research Rotations Rotate in at least two disciplines/departments
  • Collaborative Team Research Project Learn the team science aspects of interdisciplinarity
  • Thesis Committee Meetings Held each year including at least one out-of-discipline IQ Biology faculty member
  • Choose a Faculty Advisor Program of study and advisor must be chosen by May 15th of the 1st year in IQ Biology
  • Dissertation Complete a Ph.D. in accordance to the specified degree program rules

Activity Requirements

  • Mentoring Committee Meetings
  • Idea Exchance Participate in bi-weekly activities throughout the program
  • Seminar Series Attend weekly seminars
  • IQ Biology Symposium Held bi-yearly

Before GraduationTwo graduates at their ceremony

  • Outreach Participate in at least one pre-approved activity

Additional Requirements

  • All domestic graduate students must file for residency with the university after their first year. 

Requests for exceptions to these requirements must be made in writing to the academic advising committee and approved by the academic advising committee. For example, a student may want to request to take a gap-filing course or ethics course after her/his first year if the course is only offered every other year.

Clarification of “New” versus “Current” Students:  “New” students are those joining IQ Biology in their first year as a graduate student; most of our incoming students are new students. “Current” students are already pursuing a Ph.D. in one of our participating departments and have joined IQ Biology sometime after their first ear.

 Current students are required to complete all of the above items EXCEPT:

  • They are only required to take up to one gap-filling course (as determined by the IQ Biology Academic Advising Committee).
  • They are not required to do research rotations.
  • They are not required to take an ethics course or workshop, unless their degree program of study or funding source requires one.
  • They have already chosen their degree program.
  • They must complete their degree according to the rules set out in their degree program guidelines (the MOUs with IQ Biology do not apply).
  • Their participation in the Core Courses and Idea Exchange will take place in their 1st year in the IQ Biology certificate, rather than their 1st year as a graduate student.
  • Occasionally, current students may have successfully petitioned (on their application) that previous related coursework would count in place of one of the Core Courses.