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Five College Programs & Certificates

Five College Programs & Certificates

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FIVE COLLEGE CERTIFICATE IN BIOMATHEMATICS

The Five College Certificate in Biomathematical Sciences is currently available to students enrolled at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges.  Interested students at these colleges may apply for the program certificate by filling out the application form.

A minimum of six courses and a research experience are required.  In addition to an introductory and capstone biomathematical sciences courses, students are expected to take courses complementing their major.  Students with majors in the quantitative sciences (mathematics, statistics, computer science, engineering, and physics) are expected to take courses in the life sciences (biology, neuroscience, biochemistry, chemistry, etc.) and students with majors in the life sciences are expected to take courses in the quantitative sciences for the certificate.  A biomathematical science research experience is also an essential component of the certificate, to provide an experience outside the classroom.

In summary, to qualify for the Five College Certificate in Biomathematical Sciences, students must complete the following:

  • One gateway course: an entry level biomath course to introduce current research questions and foundational skills;
  • 4 courses in the life sciences if you are majoring in a quantitative science, or 4 courses in the quantitative sciences if you are majoring in a life science;
  • A capstone course in biomathematical or biostatistical methods or an honors thesis in a biomathematical sciences topic;
  • A research experience of one summer (or equivalent) with a team of life and mathematical science mentors.

The gateway course should contain some basic programming skills and examples in biology.  Courses that students have used include Frontiers in Biomathematics (Smith, IDP 170), Modeling in the Sciences (Smith, MTH 205), and Mathematical Modeling (Amherst, Math 140).  At least 2 of the 4 courses that complement the major should be upper level courses. Hybrid courses, e.g., computational biology, bioinformatics, biostatistics, can count toward either life sciences or quantitative sciences. To explore the certificate program, please contact your campus certificate advisor or the current program director

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