Systems Biology and Bioinformatics

A computer rendering of data
Doctor of Philosophy

About the Program

Master the analytical process—from data origination through developing computational models—when you pursue your PhD in Systems Biology and Bioinformatics at Case Western Reserve University. Here, you can customize your curriculum and carve out a niche for yourself in the field. When you graduate, you'll be positioned for a data science career in academic, clinical, and government research settings, as well as for biotechnology and pharmaceutical research companies. 

What to Expect

As a student, you’ll either learn how to incorporate bioinformatics tools and technologies into clinical settings in the translational bioinformatics track or delve into big data through our molecular and computational biology track. Our program is a part of the Biomedical Sciences Training Program, which houses 11 different PhD options under the biomedical sciences umbrella. You’ll have access to electives within all of these other disciplines, allowing you to specialize in systems biology and bioinformatics while also learning about related topics.

You might also decide to enroll in the Medical Scientist Training Program if that aligns with your career goals. While your focus will be on systems biology and bioinformatics, you’ll graduate with an MD as well as your PhD. This research-intensive program goes beyond your PhD curriculum, including 1.5 years of clinical training at the School of Medicine prior to taking the United States Medical Licensing Examination.

Your training and research here will develop your computational skills, help you understand the global impact of bioinformatics and systems biology, and lead you to become a more effective team player.

My favorite aspect of the CWRU community was the friendliness and openness of everyone on campus, from fellow students to administrators. Coming from a large school for my undergrad, I really appreciated that I recognized so many friendly faces every day, and that so many services, organizations, and events were available to everyone.

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Beyond the Classroom

In addition to having the support of your classmates, our faculty are here for you, too. You’ll have a mentorship committee cheering you on throughout your five years (or fewer) here, guiding you as you complete your training and research. These mentors not only come from Case Western Reserve University but also Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals—two of the best medical institutions. In addition to having your committee help keep you on track, you’ll also join the Biomedical Informatics and Systems Biology Journal Club, where you’ll talk shop with your classmates and figure out new research projects.

By the Numbers


tuition coverage, including health insurance


medical research school in the country, U.S. News & World Report


most innovative university, Reuters


in the country for translating research into commercial success, Brookings Institution


faculty-to-student ratio

Admission Requirements

Our program thrives when we have students with diverse perspectives and a range of educational, professional and life experiences. We look forward to learning more about you!

The application process requires:

  • Online application, including a personal statement
  • $50 application fee
  • Bachelor’s and/or master’s degree from an accredited institution (either already complete, or will be complete before you enroll)
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Current resume/CV
  • List of research experience (optional)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • International applicants: Results of TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE

Contact Us

Portrait of Cheryl Cameron
Cheryl Cameron
Graduate Program Director, Systems Biology and Bioinformatics Program
School of Medicine

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