Information for Prospective Students

The CMB program is not a degree-granting program. Instead, all students in the CMB program must be enrolled in the Ph.D. program of one of the participating departments and must satisfy the Ph.D. admissions and graduation requirements of that department. Prospective students must apply directly to their chosen participating department(s).

Prospective students who would like guidance on which UW Ph.D. program would be the best fit for their research interests are welcome to contact Dr. William Noble.

The CMB application procedure has recently been simplified. All students enrolled in the Ph.D. program of a participating department are eligible to enroll in the CMB certificate program, once all prerequisites have been met (please see the section below). To enroll, please send an email to program assistant Brian Giebel (bgiebel [ a t ] indicating your interest in the program and which courses you have taken to fulfill the prerequisites. You may do this immediately after accepting an offer of admission, or you may wait until your arrival at the UW.


The following minimal preparatory coursework requirements, which are essential for a thorough understanding of the material covered in the CMB core courses, should have been satisfied by every CMB student either prior to admission, or during the first year of graduate study:

  • 1 quarter of probability & statistics (the equivalent of STAT 390, STAT 391 or STAT 394)
  • 1 quarter of computer programming, preferably including the writing of programs for data analysis (the equivalent of CSE 142 / CSE 143)
  • 1 quarter of algorithms and data structures (the equivalent of CSE 373)
  • 2 quarters of molecular biology, biochemistry, and/or genetics (the equivalent of GENOME 371/372, and/or BIOC 440/441)

These should be at the advanced undergraduate level or higher, and at least two of them should have been satisfied prior to admission. The host department in general will have additional prerequisites.