We prepare students to develop or innovatively apply novel, effective, and efficient computational methods capable of answering complex problems through a rigorous curriculum grounded in a focus on statistics, algorithms, and biology.

Why Choose Our P.h.D. Program?



A Ph.D. in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics from the Dornsife College of Letter, Arts and Sciences at USC offers its students a truly unique graduate experience:

  • A long history in Computational Biology training

  • A distinguished body of Alumni

  • A strong focus in methodological development

  • Close ties with experimental biology

  • A distinguished list of faculty

  • A strong research program

  • Our QCB Department is an academic unit, and not a virtual program

Our Philosophy: A Strong Focus in Method Development and Applications

  • We prepare students to be able to develop and innovatively apply novel, effective, and efficient computational methods to address the challenges arisen from emerging data.

  • We train our students to have a solid foundation of statistics, algorithms, and biology with a rigorous curriculum, and build their ability to analyze data and formulate problems by research projects.

  • This training prepares our students for a variety of careers

Join A Collaborative Working Environment

  • We are the PhD Program of USC's Department of Quantitative and Computational Biology, located in two modern research buildings shared with wet-lab experimental biologists, as well as chemists, physicists, and engineers.

  • We have close collaborations with faculty at the Keck School of Medicine and the Viterbi School of Engineering.

An Independent Academic Department, Not A Virtual Program

  • Most Computational Biology training programs in the world collect faculties from different departments, and build a virtual program. In contrast all faculty in our program belong to the same academic unit, physically located in the same two buildings (we also have several, affiliated faculty from other departments).

With an exceptionally strong research program, our graduate students over the past decade have published multiple significant research papers, including articles in Science, Cell, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Methods, PNAS, and Genome Research.

A World Class Faculty

  • Our Department of Quantitative and Computational Biology currently has 14 tenured and tenure track, 2 teaching and 2 Emeritus core faculty members. We also have 11 joint faculty members from the Dornsife College of Arts and Sciences, Viterbi School of Engineering and USC Keck School of Medicine.

  • Our faculty members have won many prestigious awards: The QCB faculty include a Nobel Laureate, four members of the US National Academy of Sciences, one member of the US National Academy of Engineering, two fellows of the Royal Society, one member of the French Academy of Sciences, one member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and five AAAS Fellows. 

A Distinguished Body of Alumni

  • Our program in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics is the world’s oldest training program in Computational Biology. In 2022 we will celebrate 40 years of Computational Biology at USC.

  • Over the past 40 years, many prominent and leading computational biologists have been trained at USC, including (in alphabetic order) Gary Churchill (Professor, Jackson Lab), Pavel Pevzner (Ronald R. Taylor Professor of Computer Science, UCSD), Sophie Schbath (Director of Research, Unit of Mathematics, informatics and Genome, INRA), and Martin Vingron (Director at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Head of Computational Molecular Biology Department), etc. A list of recent graduates of our program is available HERE. Become part of our QCB family!