Mathematical Biology Degree and Training Program Overviews

Oct 11, 2019

Mathematical biology is often called biomathematics. Colleges offer bachelor's and master's degrees for these studies, and may have specific training programs for those in doctoral or post-doctoral research projects.

Essential Information

A four-year bachelor's degree program in biomathematics combines math and science studies to prepare graduates for doctoral studies or entry-level positions in research. A high school diploma or GED is all that is needed to apply. Students are encouraged to choose a minor in a field that will help them gain employment, such as computer science or economics, and specializations are available. Programs can often be found online.

Doctoral programs in biomathematics may focus jointly on teaching and research. Similar to bachelor's programs, students often choose an area of specialization in addition to biomathematics. Students must have completed a bachelor's or master's degree before enrolling.

Many graduate students and post-graduates participate in training programs for medical bioinformatics, sometimes run by medical schools. These programs train students to perform medical research in specialized fields.

Bachelor's Degree in Biomathematics

Biomathematics is an interdisciplinary major. Coursework is naturally very math and science intensive, focusing particularly on biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, and advanced math. Biomathematics has several applications, from genetics to pharmaceuticals. Some programs have tracks, such as epidemiology, physiology, or molecular biology. Bachelor's degree programs in this area can prepare students for graduate programs as well as for medical school.

By taking a foundation of math and lab science courses, students learn to develop and apply their core knowledge as scientific analysis tools. Classes cover subjects such as:

  • Database comparison modeling
  • Comparisons of protein families
  • Genomics
  • Biomathematical analysis of measurement
  • Molecular genetics

Ph.D. in Biomathematics

Ph.D. programs are geared toward careers in theoretical research and postsecondary teaching positions. Some schools require doctoral students to teach as well as increase their capacity for creative and independent research. Students in these programs have conducted research in brain mapping, brain anatomy analysis, and invasive species eradication through sex-reversal tactics. In addition to establishing mastery in core areas of biomathematics, many programs encourage or require students to choose a particular focus or concentration in an additional aspect of the field.

Courses in the doctoral program emphasize clinical research skills. Some of the courses may include:

  • Stochastic modeling in biomathematics
  • Biophysical science
  • Distribution and probability theory
  • Organizational cell biology
  • Neuroscience

Training in Biomathematics

Training programs for graduate and post-graduate students in medical bioinformatics are prevalent. Medical bioinformatics is an important part of medical research. Some of these programs are dedicated to specific fields of research, such as cancer. Some training programs award certificates and degrees or allow students to pursue concentrations in bioinformatics. Other programs provide training required for new Ph.D.s or postdoctoral studies.

Medical biomathematics can describe how tumors grow and how nerves transmit impulses. Some focus areas in bioinformatics training are:

  • Biological and clinical Web model building
  • Translational bioinformatics technology advancements
  • Clinical trial architectural model building
  • Nutrition factors in biological cancer mechanisms
  • Collaborative research methods

Popular Careers

Those with bachelor's degrees are prepared to enter entry-level research positions. Biomathematics majors who complete a minor in a field such as computer science, economics, or chemistry have a broader selection of career options. Some of the opportunities available to graduates include:

  • Data analyst
  • Technical writer
  • Research assistant
  • Actuary
  • Statistician
  • Information scientist

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) those entering the field of medical science were projected to see an increase of 8% for the decade of 2018-2028. Medical scientists earned a median income of $84,810 annually as of May 2018.

Biomathematics training is found through bachelor's and doctoral degrees, as well as post-degree training programs awarding certificates. These programs cover a wide variety of math and science topics, qualifying students for work in a number of related fields.

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