Upon matriculating, students will meet with the Advising Committee to determine a particular course of study that encompasses their academic interests and fulfills the broader curriculum requirements of the GCB program. When the thesis committee is formed, it will consist of at least one other faculty member from another discipline (for example, students in biology would have a thesis member from computer science, students in computer science would have a thesis committee member from biology or the School of Medicine). This will ensure that the student gets input from experts across the disciplines that most influence today’s research in Genomics and Computational Biology. When possible, students are encouraged to have multiple thesis advisors from within GCB with expertise in complementary disciplines.
Students in GCB take courses as described below, do lab rotations with GCB faculty, and participate in the research seminar series sponsored by PGFI, PCBI, and corresponding departmental seminar series, as well as bi-weekly student-faculty "chalk talks”. The GCB curriculum combines several required courses specifically designed for the GCB program and other appropriate courses already available in other programs. In general, the core courses are taken during the first year, although one can be switched to the second year if necessary. In the first year, students generally take three courses each semester and participate in one lab rotation. During the second year, the lab rotation is replaced by pre-dissertation research in the student’s thesis lab under the direction of their mentor.
In view of the highly varied academic backgrounds of students in GCB, members of the Advisory Committee meet with each student individually twice per semester (years 1 and 2) and plan courses and rotations. The committee helps design a course schedule for each student that matches his/her needs and interests.