SSPB is a highly interdisciplinary field, which necessitates the development of foundational knowledge in diverse areas, such as:
1. Molecular Biology (Introductory Biology and either 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, and
Prior to matriculating in the SSPB program, only a small number of our students have formal training in all of these subject areas because students have pursued diverse undergraduate studies. When students are missing formal training in one or more of these topics, they are required to take equivalent background courses during their first year at Rice, which are listed in the Graduate Handbook.
Elective courses should be taken for a “pass/fail” grade. These courses do not count toward the required semester hours for the degree program.