Interdisciplinary Majors

FAQs on Biomathematics Interdisciplinary Major

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  • How many D's is one allowed to receive in the Biomath major?

    Degree Navigator (Spring 2016 version) should be consulted for such questions. Pasting here:
    Condition N13 : Minimum Grade - Types: Major
    You must achieve a minimum grade of C for {all courses} in requirements {V1 - Biology Core Courses, V2 - Chemistry Courses, V3 - Math Core Courses, V4 - Math Core Courses, V5 - Required Lab, V6 - Electives}.

  • General course-related questions:
    • I have questions about courses or graduation requirements.
    • I am majoring in Biomathematics. Which courses actually count towards the major GPA and which courses do not?

    As Biomath is not a department, but an "interdisciplinary program", you should go to the math adviser (3rd floor, Hill Center) for course-related questions, including grades, requirements, etc.

  • I have taken all the required courses for completing the biomath major except 640:336. I am familiar with most of the concepts. Since the course is not offered next semester, I was wondering whether I could take an exam equivalent to the final exam for that course to show that I have mastery of the material, and possibly be exempt from the course.

    No. 336 (and 338) are courses specifically designed for the major, and as such cannot be substituted. Class participation and discussion are integral parts of the courses. You should plan your courses carefully so that you take both 336 and 338. No exceptions will be made to the policy. These are mandatory courses. Please do not e-mail asking for an exception.

  • Am I allowed to substitute 244 for 252?

    Contact the math adviser (3rd floor, Hill Center) to discuss a special permission. However, you should know that 252 is a pre-requisite for 336, and it is a very different course than 244. If you substitute 244, you will be missing important material. Even if you are allowed to get credit for 244 instead of 252, you should know that it is your responsibility to learn all 252 material. If you do poorly in 336, you cannot use as an excuse the fact that you did not take 252!

  • I am a sophomore here at Rutgers University and have taken Calculus II for Biological Sciences (01:640:136). In order to complete a Biomathematics major, one of the requirement is Calculus II (01:640:152), so will the course that I have already taken fulfill this requirement? Will I still have to complete Calculus II (01:640:152)?

    You need to take 152.

  • Am I allowed to use 01:146:295 Essentials of Cell Biology & Neuroscience instead of 01:146:245 Fundamentals of Neurobiology?

    Yes, 01:146:295 Essentials of Cell Biology & Neuroscience is now allowed as an elective. Eventually, the published formal requirements will be changed, to reflect the fact that 146:245 is reserved for CBN majors, and allowing 146:295 as an elective. In the meantime, you can ask the math advisor to enter this into you records (you can show this website, if there are any questions).

  • I know it is recommended that non-CBN majors take 295 but there are other CBN classes, for CBN majors, that count for biomath electives, so can I sign up for CBN classes that aren't 295? Can 295 and another CBN class both count as electives?

    You can use 295 as a replacement of 245 or 270, but you cannot get credit for both 295 and one of 245 or 270 (since 295 overlaps both).

  • In the past I took Statistics 01:960:211. Is that sufficient to satisfy the statistics requirement?


  • For electives, the biomath website states that: 'At most one course from 14:125 (Biomedical Engineering) can count as an elective.' Does this mean I can use any of my BME classes as an elective to fulfill this requirement?

    No. Has to be from list. However, you can request a substitution of one of the biomath BME listed electives, if that course is not offered anymore. Please send email to the biomath email address with the following information: (1) name, number, and catalog description of the course that is not offered anymore; (2) same information for suggested replacement. You will receive a reply by email.

  • Does Math 421 function as an elective for the Biomath major (i.e. will it count as partial differential equations)?

    No. 421 is not a real "math" course - it is a service course for engineering.

  • I took Numerical Modeling in Biomedical Systems in the Biomedical Engineering epartment (similar to Numerical Analysis in the math department). Is there any way I could use this to count as my math elective?


  • I am a Biomathematics major. I recently received an opportunity to conduct research for credit. I am unsure of the process to get credit for it. As a biomathematics major, should I try to register this credit as a biology course or something else?

    There is no current provision for research credits for the biomath major. (The university did not assign a course number.) You can certainly get research credits under biology, math, etc. Note, however, that such credits do not count toward the list of required courses for the biomathematics major.

  • I was wondering what types of career opportunities are out there for the biomath major after graduation?

    Generally speaking, the major is probably best suited for grad school in applied math, computational biology, biomedical engineering, or pre-med (see suggestions regarding pre-med courses on the website). It is less clear what jobs are available with a Bachelor's degree in biomath. If you are not heading to a graduate or professional school, perhaps it is best to double major in another discipline.

  • I am interested in pursuing a research related career, but intend to work in industry for a few years, so I was just wondering what types of jobs are out there, and what types of places are hiring biomath majors.

    You should look at the general hiring for biology majors (genetics, etc) and apply to those jobs. Many, or at least some, of these recruiters should be very interested in someone who has the additional math background.

  • What are the different types of programs and activities I could get involved in during the school year to be more exposed to the major and gain a bit more hands on experience with it.

    For one thing, it is a great idea to attend the BioMaPS seminar.

  • Is there a direct correlation between the Biomathematics major and the BioMaps grad program at Rutgers?

    There is no formal link between biomath and BioMaPS, but students with a biomath degree have the perfect background for applying to BioMaPS.

  • I went on the BioMathematics website and saw that there were many research activities for the summer, but mostly out of state. Is there anything that I could get involved in at the local level?

    Regarding research at Rutgers, during the year as well as summers, the best is to, once again, look up opportunities available to life sciences majors. See for instance the genetics undergraduate research website. Contacting professors associated to the BioMaPS program whose research you find of interest is also a good idea. Eventually, however, an REU experience (probably out of state) would be optimal.

  • I'm interested in discrete modeling in biology and I was wondering if it was best to do a CS minor.

    If allowed by SAS, there is no problem. CS is indeed a very appropriate area, for someone interested in discrete modeling.

  • I was wondering if taking pure math classes would help with conducting research in the biomathematics area.

    Good question. If you will go to graduate school in mathematics, and/or if you plan to work on theoretical mathematical biology problems, then a solid background in "pure" mathematics would be a definite plus. For industry, graduate school in bioengineering, computational biology, and so forth, it is more likely that a background in computation and statistics will be far more useful.

  • I am currently a Neuroscience major, and am considering double majoring in Biomathematics. I would like to know what electives may help strengthen my degree.

    The key question is always: what exactly do you want to do with your degree? For a PhD program, you should consult the websites for some of the programs that you are considering, to see what they expect, and, ideally, talk to someone in their graduate admissions committee. If you find out something interesting, please let us know, so we may add to the FAQ's!

  • I want to take Organic Chemistry this summer at XXX University. Will this be allowed as part of the requirement to take 4 science classes?

    A letter from the undergraduate advisor in the Rutgers Chemistry Dept, indicating that the particular Organic Chemistry course taken at that particular university is equivalent to the organic chemistry course at Rutgers (01:160:307) would certify that the two courses are equivalent and therefore could be accepted as one of the four required science electives for the Biomath major. Please bring such a letter to the Mathematics Advising office.

  • Can I take Biology 1 & 2 over the summer at my community college if I get a letter from the undergraduate advisor in the Rutgers Biology Dept. saying that the course is equivalent to the biology courses at Rutgers?

    To get credit for Biology 1 & 2 at a community college, you need to do as follows:
    1. Go on to the Rutgers website "NJ Transfer" ( and determine if the college is on the approved list for transfer credits to Rutgers,if so then proceed to #2 and #3.
    2. Obtain approval from your college Dean, on "Transfer form".
    3. Obtain the signature of the Director of Advising (currently, Dr. Ann Carr-Schmid) in Nelson Biolabs Bldg. Rm B112.

  • Can I graduate with honors in Biomathematics?

    We are considering the possibility of setting up an option for "Graduation with Honors in Biomathematics". This option will likely require a high GPA in courses required for the major and a high overall GPA, as well as a research course. The process for approving such changes to a major takes some time, and there is no way to know when it will be done -- we are hoping to have it available for 2016 graduations. If interested, please check again this FAQs page periodically.

  • Can I take research credits in Biomathematics?

    We are considering the possibility of setting up a course number for Research in Biomathematics. The process for approving such changes to a major takes some time, and there is no way to know when it will be done -- we are hoping to have it available for 2016 graduations. If interested, please check again this FAQs page periodically. For now, it is best for now to do research under the mathematics department or one of the life sciences departments. Please note that what matters to employers and/or graduate schools is the fact that you did research - the actual label (math, life sciences, etc) is not important!