Advanced Electives

A requirement of four advanced electives is designed to develop both breadth and depth for students in the CSB PhD Program. These should be 12-unit G-level graduate subjects. The electives add to the base of the core curriculum and contribute strength in areas related to student interest and research direction. Two of the four restricted electives must be in the same area (department). At least one of the electives must be from an engineering discipline and at least one from a biology-related field.

As is typical for students in other doctoral programs at MIT, CSB PhD students may take classes beyond the required restricted electives. These additional subjects might be useful to explore advanced topics important for thesis research in later years.

Each student will design a program of advanced electives that satisfies the distribution and area requirements in close consultation with members of the CSB PhD Graduate Committee and with their thesis advisor. Examples of combinations of courses that might be particularly appropriate for students with certain interests are described below. These examples are intended as illustrations only – individual programs will vary.

Students with an interest in model building and theory might include Network Optimization (Computer Science/Operations Research) and/or Foundations of Algorithms for Computational Biology (Computer Science/Biological Engineering).

Students with a focus on developing novel tools might select subjects such as Integrated Microelectronic Devices (Electrical Engineering/Materials Science) and/or Fundamental Limits of Biological Measurement (Biological Engineering).

Students who intend to pursue computational biology or bioinformatics can take courses in Computational Functional Genomics (Biology, Computer Science), Bioinformatics: Principles, Applications, and Methods (Chemical Engineering), or Biomedical Information Technology (Mechanical Engineering).

The following is a list of subjects that students may consider for advanced electives or additional subjects, organized by department. See the MIT online subject descriptions for more information.

 

2023-2024 Approved Advanced Electives (subject to change)

(Not a complete list. Please petition the committee if there is an unlisted 12-unit, G-Level course you wish to have considered as an advanced elective.) All courses must be taken for a letter grade.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

1.685/2.034/18.377J Nonlinear Dynamics and Waves (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, T, Akylas)

1.89 Earth's Microbiomes (Not offered 2023-2024, G, 12 units, O. Cordero)

1.881/HST.538J (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, T. Lieberman)

 

Mechanical Engineering

2.18 Biomolecular Feedback Systems (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, D. Del Vecchio)

2.717 Optical Engineering (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, Staff)

 

Chemistry

5.64/HST.539J Advances in Interdisciplinary Science in Human Health and Disease  (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, X. Wang, Instructor)

5.70/10.546J Statistical Thermodynamics (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, B. Zhang, J. Cao) 

 

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

6.C51 Modeling with Machine Learning: from Algorithms to Applications (Spring 2024, G, 6 units, R.Barzilay, T. Jaakkola) MUST BE TAKEN WITH:

20.C51/3.C51/10.C51J Machine Learning for Molecular Engineering (Spring 2024, G, 6 units, R. Gomez-Bombarelli, C. Coley, E. Fraenkel)

6.3702 Introduction to Probability  (Fall 2023/ Spring 2024, G, 12 units, Fall: L. Zheng, Spring: G. Bresler)

6.3722 Introduction to Statistical Data Analysis (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, Y. Polyanskiy, D. Shah, J. N. Tsitsiklis)

6.5060 Algorithm Engineering ( Spring 2024, G, 12 units, J.Shun)

6.5150 Large-scale Symbolic Systems (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, G. J. Sussman)

6.5210/18.415J Advanced Algorithms (Not offered 2023-2024, G, 12 units, Staff)

6.5420 Randomness and Computation (Not offered 2022-2023, G, 12 units, R. Rubinfeld)

6.6220 Power Electronics (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, Staff)

6.6500/3.43J Integrated Microelectronic Devices (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, J. Del Alamo)

6.7100/6.338J Dynamic Systems and Control (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, Staff)

6.7300/2.096/16.910J Introduction to Modeling and Simulation (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, L. Daniel)

6.7310/18.335J Introduction to Numerical Methods (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, J. Urschel

6.7330/2.097/16.920J Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, J. Peraire)

6.7700/15.085J Fundamentals of Probability (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, D. Gamarnik)

6.7710 Discrete Stochastic Processes (No Offered 2023-2024, G, 12 units, Staff)

6.7720/15.070J Discrete Probability and Stochastic Process (Spring 2024, G,12, D. Gamarnik)

6.7800 Inference and Information (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, Staff)

6.7810 Algorithms for Inference (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, G.Wornell)

6.7830 Bayesian Modeling and Inference (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, Staff)

6.7900 Machine Learning (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, P. Agrawal)

6.7920/1.127/IDS.140J Reinforcement Learning: Foundations and Methods (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, C.Wu)

6.7930/HST.956 [J] Machine Learning for Healthcare (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, D. Sontag, P.Szolovits)

6.8610 Quantitative Methods for Natural Language Processing ( Fall 2023, G, 12 units, Y. Kim)

6.8700/HST.507J Advanced Computational Biology: Genomes, Networks, Evolution (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, M. Kellis) [Could also be used to satisfy Comp Bio requirement]

6.8710/HST.506 [J] Computational Systems Biology: Deep Learning in the Life Sciences (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, Staff) [Could also be used to satisfy Comp Bio requirement]

 

Biology

7.493/ 1.87/ 12.493/ 20.446J Microbial Genetics and Evolution (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, A. D. Grossman, Staff)

7.60 Cell Biology: Structure and Functions of the Nucleus (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, L. Boyer, R. Young, Staff)

7.61/20.561J Eukaryotic Cell Biology: Principles and Practice (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, M. Krieger, M.Yaffe) [Could also be used to satisfy Bio requirement]

7.63/ 20.630J Immunology (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, S. Spranger, M. Birnbaum) [Could also be used to satisfy Bio requirement]

7.64 Molecular Mechanisms, Pathology and Therapy of Human Neuromuscular Disorders (Not offered 2023-2024, G, 12 units, D. Housman)

7.66 Molecular Basis of Infectious Disease (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, R. Lamason, E. Chen)

7.69/ 9.181J Developmental Neurobiology (Spring 2024 G, 12 units, Staff)

7.70 Regulation of Gene Expression (Not offered 2022-2023, G, 12 units, Staff)

7.71 Biophysical Technique (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, T. Schwartz)

7.72 Stem Cells, Regeneration, and Development (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, R. Jaenisch, P. Reddien)

7.73 Principles of Chemical Biology (Not offered 2023-2024, G, 12 units, B. Imperiali, J.K. Weng)

7.75 Human Genetics and Genomics (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, D. Page) 

7.77 Nucleic Acids, Structure, Function, Evolution and Their Interactions with Proteins (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, D. Bartel, A. Jain)

7.85 The Hallmarks of Cancer (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, M. Hemann, T. Jacks)

7.86 Building with Cells (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, L. Boyer, P. Li)

7.95 Cancer Biology (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, R. Weinberg, O. Yilmaz)

 

Physics

8.333 Statistical Mechanics I (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, J. Tailleur)

8.334 Statistical Mechanics II (Not Offered 2023-2024, G, 12 units, M. Kardar)

8.431/6.6340J Nonlinear Optics (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, Staff)

8.591/7.81J Systems Biology (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, J. Gore) [Could also be used to satisfy Comp Bio requirement]

8.592/HST.452J Statistical Physics in Biology (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, Staff)

8.593/HST.450J Biological Physics (Spring 2024 G, 12 units, Staff)

 

Brain and Cognitive Sciences

9.013/7.68J Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience Core II (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, Staff) [Could also be used to satisfy Bio requirement]

9.015/7.65J Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience Core I (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, J. T. Littleton, M.Sheng)

9.520/6.7910J Statistical Learning Theory and Applications (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, T. Poggio)

 

Chemical Engineering

10.544 Metabolic and Cell Engineering (Fall 2023, Spring 2024, G, 12 units, Staff)

10.555/HST.940J Bioinformatics: Principles, Methods, and Applications  (Spring 2024. Not offered regularly; Consult ChemE, G, 12 units, Staff)

10.557 Mixed-integer and Nonconvex Optimization (Not Offered 2023-2024, G, 12 units, P. I. Barton)

10.637/5.698J Computational Chemistry (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, H.J. Kulik)

 

Aeronautics and Astronautics

16.940 Numerical Methods for Stochastic Modeling and Inference Fall 2023, G, 12 units, Y.M. Marzouk)

16.391/6.434JStatistics for Engineers and Scientists (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, M. Winn)

 

Mathematics

18.0651 Matrix Methods in Data Analysis, Signal Processing, and Machine Learning (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, Staff)

18.0751 Methods for Scientists and Engineers (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, H. Cheng)

18.0851 Computational Science and Engineering I (Fall 2023, Spring 2024, G, 12 units, D. Kouskoulas)

18.0861 Computational Science and Engineering II (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, Staff)

18.408 Topics in Theoretical Computer Science (Not Offered 2023-2024, G, 12 units, Staff)

18.417 Introduction to Computational Molecular Biology (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, B. Berger) 

18.418/HST.504J Topics in Computational Molecular Biology (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, B. Berger)

18.4531 Combinatorial Optimization (Not Offered 2023-2024, G, 12 units, Staff)

18.455 Advanced Combinatorial Optimization (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, M. X. Goemans)

18.6501 Fundamentals of Statistics (Fall 2023, Spring 2024, G, 12 units, P. Rigollet, A. Katsevich)

18.677 Topics in Stochastic Processes (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, S. Sheffield)

 

Biological Engineering

20.201 Fundamentals of Drug Development (Fall 2023, Spring 2024, G, 12 units, P. C. Dedon, R. Sasisekharan)

20.405/6.8720J Principals of Synthetic Biology (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, R. Weiss)

20.409 Biological Engineering II: Instrumentation and Measurement (Fall 2023, Spring 2024, G, 12 units, E. Boyden, A. Jasanoff, P. So, M. Jonas, J. Sutton, S. Wasserman)

20.410/2.798/3.971/6.842/10.537J Molecular, Cellular, and Tissue Biomechanics (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, M. Bathe, P. So)

20.415 Physical Biology (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, Staff)

20.420/10.538J Principles of Molecular Bioengineering (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, A. Jasonoff, E. Fraenkel)

20.430/ 2.795/6.4832/10.539J Fields, Forces, and Flows in Biological Systems   (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, M. Bathe, A. Hansen)

20.440 Analysis of Biological Networks (Spring 2024, G, 15 units, B. Bryson, P. Blainey)

20.463/3.963J Biomaterials Science and Engineering (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, D. Irvine, K. Ribbeck)

20.490 Computational Systems Biology: Deep Learning in the Life Sciences (Not Offered 2023-2024, G, 12 units, D. K. Gifford) [Could also be used to satisfy Comp Bio requirement]

20.535/10.535J Protein Engineering (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, B. Tidor) 

 

Institute for Data, Systems, and Society

IDS.136/6.7820J Graphical Models: A Geometric, Algebraic, and Combinatorial Perspective (Spring 2024 G, 12 units, C. Uhler)

IDS.147/15.077J Statistical Machine Learning and Data Science (Spring 2024, G, 12 units, R. Welsch)

 

Health Sciences and Technology

HST.176 Cellular and Molecular Immunology (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, S. Pillai, B. Cherayil)

HST.508 Evolutionary and Quantitative Genomics (Fall 2023, G, 12 units, L. Mirny, T. Lieberman)