The PhD in Computational Precision Health leverages and bridges the complementary expertise and incredible resources of UC Berkeley and UCSF to create an unparalleled and truly unique learning environment.
Students in the PhD in Computational Precision Health will develop skills and expertise in both the computational sciences (machine learning and AI, natural language processing, statistical inference and modeling, data standards, parallel computing and data at scale, etc.) and health sciences (clinical decision sciences and cognitive informatics, clinical delivery, clinical research, implementation science, health information policy, etc.)
Students will develop the ability to work in interdisciplinary teams from ideation to development, testing, and validation in the real world. Coursework is complemented by extensive and early interaction with world-class faculty–through research rotations, seminar series, and practicums–at the intersection of computation and health, and students will develop proficiency in cross-disciplinary research and communication. A focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, human-centered design accommodating diverse users, and the ethical implications and societal impacts of the work is embedded throughout the program.
Students interested in applying to the PhD program may contact Bianca Victorica firstname.lastname@example.org for information. Students are also encouraged to reach out to AGG faculty to discuss their interests. See details on Admissions page
Normative Time to Degree: 5 years
Students will enter the PhD program in Computational Precision Health from a wide range of backgrounds, so each program of study will be personalized to and tailored to student background, and goals.
All students will complete:
- CPH Cornerstone course series (3 semester units, 2 semesters)
- CPH Practicum series (2 semester units, 2 semesters)
- CPH Doctoral Seminar series (2 semester units, 6 semesters)
- Foundational courses: Minimum of four classes, selected in close consultation with their Academic Advisor (year 1) or Research Advisor(s) (year 2).
- Advanced Electives: Minimum of two advanced electives, based on intended dissertation work.
- Race and Racism in Science, and Ethics; The Responsible Conduct of Research (1.3 semester units; 1 semester unit)
- Rotations: Students will take two 10-week research group rotations in their first year. One rotation in a predominately computational lab (with health emphasis) and one in a predominantly health science lab (with computational focus).
Qualifying Exams (QEs)
The oral qualifying exam is an important milestone, intended to certify that a PhD candidate is on track to progress to the research phase of their graduate studies. Each student should pass the QE by the end of the fourth semester.
The exam will evaluate the depth of student knowledge in their research area, breadth of knowledge in fundamentals of computational precision ehealth, ability to formulate a research plan, and critical thinking. Specifically, the QE in CH will cover fundamentals of computational science, fundamentals of health science, and the student’s area of specialization.
The QE Committee will consist of four members of the Berkeley or UCSF Academic Senates: three CPH AGG core faculty members, and an outside member, who may be a CPH AGG affiliate, but must be a Senate member from the same home campus as the student. At least one faculty member from each campus must be included. The QE Committee Chair must be a core member of the CPH AGG and from the same home campus as the student.
All dissertation projects must be scholarly, independent and original research that implements knowledge, techniques, and methods from the computational and health sciences to contribute new knowledge to the field. Students will commence work on their dissertation by the fourth semester, after advancing to candidacy.
The Dissertation Committee will consist of at least three members of the Berkeley or UCSF Academic Senates, with at least one member from each. The student’s Research Advisor (or co-Advisors) will serve as the Chair (or co-Chairs). The Chair and Academic Senate Representative must both be members of the Academic Senate and from the same home campus as the student.
A dissertation defense will not be required; however, students will be required to present their research orally on a number of occasions, including during the Doctoral seminar, and during program retreats.