Training Programs

Collaboration with special and often interdisciplinary training programs is a hallmark of the Ph.D. program. These programs assist students with developing a broad set of research and professional skills, while fostering vibrant intellectual communities.

From related seminar courses, to annual symposia and special career workshops created by the training programs, these cooperative efforts enrich and enhance the training mission of the Division.

The doctoral program in Biological Sciences offers unique specializations for students interested in focusing their studies in a number of other areas not listed below. View a complete list of these and their requirements on our Curricular Tracks page.

Pathways in Biological Sciences (PiBS) Training Program

Directors: Drs. Randy Hampton, Amy Pasquinelli, and Deborah Yelon

An innovative successor to the long running CMG Training Program, PiBS promises to continue the Division's tradition of excellence in preparing the next generation of biologists.

Genetics Training Program

UC San Diego's complement to our outstanding research environment with specialized coursework and seminars in the area of quantitative analytical methods of both classical and modern genetics as well as emerging genomic approaches.

Bioinformatics and Systems Biology

This program trains interdisciplinary researchers in the area of Bioinformatics and Systems Biology. The program provides our graduate students with opportunities to learn algorithmic and statistical techniques and new high-throughput technologies for understanding the function of genes on a genome-wide scale.

Specialization in Anthropogeny

A transdisciplinary graduate specialization in Anthropogeny is available for Ph.D. students in the Biological Sciences and other disciplines. Information on requirements for this specialization is available through the Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA). The specialization provides students an opportunity to specialize in research and education on the origins of humans. Top areas include:

  • Human and Primate Genetics and Evolution
  • Paleoanthropology and Hominid Origins
  • Mammalian and Primate Neurosciences
  • Primate Biology and Medicine
  • Language and Cognition
  • Nature-Nurture Interactions in Explaining Language and Cognition
  • Human and Primate Society and Culture
  • Comparative Developmental Biology or Primates
  • General Theories for Explaining Humans

Quantitative Biology (qBio)

This newest UC San Diego initiative aims to catalyze the transformation of all disciplines of the natural sciences to develop biology as a predictive, physics- and math-based science.

Program in Immunology a joint program of UC San Diego and the La Jolla Institute

Directors: Drs. Stephen Hedrick and Mitchell Kronenberg

This program integrates the many investigators interested in immunology from two affiliated institutions to promote research excellence, project seed money, joint invited lectures, and an independent graduate training program in immunology.

Previous Programs

Cellular and Molecular Genetics (CMG) Training Program

Directors: Drs. Randy Hampton, Amy Pasquinelli, and Deborah Yelon

This NIH-sponsored training grant program has been a cornerstone of the Ph.D. training efforts in Biological Sciences for nearly 40 years. This program provides rigorous training for students interested in the molecular mechanisms of a diverse array of biological phenomena.

GAANN Fellowship Program

The U.S. Department of Education’s Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Program was designed to assist in efforts to attract and retain the most talented graduate students, particularly those from underrepresented groups, and to prepare them to engage in innovative research and teaching careers in STEM.

Plant Systems Biology (PSB) Training Program

Director: Julian Schroeder

NSF-sponsored program that has created a unique interdisciplinary program training students at the interface of systems biology, proteomics, computational genomics, network dynamics, and plant sciences.