Students are required to accumulate at least 25 semester hours of graduate approved courses while maintaining GPA 3.3 or higher. Students must be enrolled for at least 12 credits each semester. Required courses must include 3 hands-on "Boot camp" courses to be taken in August of the first year, a Responsible conduct of Research (UNIV 594 or equivalent), and a series of three core courses: SSPB 501 Physical Biology, SSPB 502 Introduction to Systems Biology Modeling: Design Principles of Biochemical Networks, and SSPB 503 Synthetic Biology, to be taken during the first or second year of studies. Students will also be required to take at least 2 classes on advanced topics in the SSPB field with at least one of the courses applying quantitative concepts from computer science, physics, and mathematics or statistics to biological problems, and at least one of the courses focusing on biology within the sub-area where they will pursue their dissertation research.
Students are required to have training in the following 5 foundation areas:
(1) Molecular Biology (Introductory Biology class and at least one upper-level biology class such as Cell Biology, Genetics or Biophysics)
(2) Biochemical Reaction Kinetics (Biochemistry, Bioreaction Engineering, or equivalent)
(3) Physical Chemistry or Thermodynamics or Statistical Mechanics
(4) Ordinary Differential Equations
If students are missing formal training in these subjects, they are required to take the equivalent background courses during their first year at Rice (no more than one of these classes can be taken for Pass/Fail). The corresponding courses at Rice include the following:
1. Cell Biology (BIOC 341)
2. Biochemistry (BIOC 301) or Bioreaction Kinetics (BIOE 330)
3. Physical Chemistry or Thermodynamics (BIOC 352, BIOE 332, PHYS 425, PHYS 526, CHEM 310 or CHEM 420)
4. Ordinary Differential Equations (MATH 211 or 213)
5. Applied Probability and Statistics (STAT 331, BIOE 439, BIOE 514, STAT 431)
More information on the requirements for students can be found in the SSPB Handbook, or by viewing the SSPB General Announcements web site.