The admission process for students wishing to enter the Fall Class of 2014 will begin on September 15, 2013.
A hallmark of the MCB Program has been the strength of its student financial support. The MCB Program is supported by funding from UCI’s Graduate Division, by a National Institute of General Medical Sciences grant to UCI's Center for Complex Biological Systems, and two NIH Training Grants. Training grant funds are provided by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, through the HHMI-NIBIB Interfaces Initiative, as well as the Eunice Kennedy Shriver, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The MCB Gateway Program provides complete financial support to admitted students, which includes an annual stipend, as well as full tuition and fee remission, including health benefits. Since the fall of 2007 when the program admitted its first class of students, every student successfully completing the Gateway year has also been fully supported by the UCI Departments and faculty where they have chosen to continue their Ph.D. research.
The goal of UCI's program in Mathematical, Computational and Systems Biology (MCSB) is to provide students from a variety of educational backgrounds with Ph.D. training suitable for research careers in the nascent field of Systems Biology. The program emphasizes in-depth classroom study, interdisciplinary research rotations, and individualized advising.
Currently, the program begins with an initial "gateway" year, known as the Mathematical and Computational Biology (MCB) program, during which students receive basic training in principles of biology, as well as in mathematics, engineering and computer science. Students also participate in research rotations, workshops, and directed reading of the Systems Biology literature. Upon successful completion of the MCB year, students select a thesis advisor from among the participating faculty, who represent departments throughout the biological, physical and information sciences and engineering. Students fulfill the remainder of their degree requirements according to the guidelines of the departmental programs to which their thesis advisors belong, at the same time continuing to participate in workshops, retreats, journal clubs and other activities of the MCSB program. At some point in the future, it is expected that MCSB students will also have the option of receiving an interdisciplinary degree independent from departmental program requirements.