The Intercollegiate Biomathematics Alliance (IBA) offers a flexible graduate curriculum in mathematical biology. The IBA is a consortium of collaborating academic institutions organized under the Center for Collaborative Studies in Mathematical Biology, which is a recognized center of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.
With offerings through different options, both online and traditional coursework, students have a variety of options for obtaining a certificate in this program. For example, students interested in applying to an M.S. program in mathematical biology at an IBA institution may desire to complete traditional coursework for transferable credits. On the other hand, students interested in a career in industry or interested in strengthening their background for further studies in mathematical biology may instead wish to exclusively complete online coursework, which leads to a different certification in mathematical biology.
Who should apply?
This program will interest students who would like to strengthen their background before applying to a graduate program in mathematical biology. Students can use a certificate either as a stand-alone achievement or to enhance a graduate degree in a related field. This program is also designed with working professionals in mind, offering the flexibility and convenience of online and/or traditional coursework in a graduate program.
Who is eligible?
Students enrolled at an IBA member institution are automatically eligible to apply for this program. Any students not already enrolled at an IBA institution will need to obtain an individual student membership, which is integrated into the application process.
What are the requirements?
Students are required to successfully complete coursework from each of four emphasis areas. Depending on the chosen certificate type, the student may need to complete a capstone project. Such a project must be completed under the direction of an IBA graduate advisor. The list of courses can be found in the course catalog, but includes both online and traditional course options.
The emphasis areas are the following:
- Mathematical modeling,
- Data analysis,
- Computer science,
- Biological sciences.
Visit the IBA Graduate Course Catalog for more details.
What sequences are available?
There are various options for completing a graduate certificate at the IBA. Students can choose any track that fits their interests and long-term goals. Here is a good starting point.
IBA Online Certificate of Competency in Mathematical Biology
If you are interested in self-paced, online work that provides additional qualifications for a career in industry (e.g. a position in pharmaceutical R&D or biomedical analytics), then you may opt for the IBA Online Certificate of Competency. This certificate is also recommended if you would like to strengthen your background before applying to a graduate program in mathematical biology. If you are a working professional, then this sequence was also designed with you in mind, offering the flexibility and convenience of online coursework. The online courses in this option are not transferrably credit-bearing and are not transcripted. An IBA graduate advisor will work directly with each student to complete the program and the culminating project. Upon completion of the coursework and the project, the IBA will issue this certificate of competency.
IBA Graduate Certificate in Mathematical Biology
If you are interested in advancing your education at a graduate school that offers a master’s degree or Ph.D. in mathematical biology, then you may choose to take some of your coursework in a traditional setting. The IBA Graduate Certificate is designed with the goal of serving as a bridge between undergraduate and post-graduate studies. It allows you to take some coursework online, but requires that a portion of the coursework be completed under an IBA institution’s graduate program. Any traditional coursework completed in this option may then be transferable to your future post-graduate institution, subject to credit transfer rules of the graduate program to which you apply. The online courses in this option are not transferrably credit-bearing and are not transcripted. An IBA graduate advisor will work directly with each student to complete the program and the culminating project. Upon completion of the coursework and the project, the IBA will issue this certificate.
IBA Accelerated Graduate Certificate in Mathematical Biology
If you are expecting to continue your education at a graduate school in mathematical biology, then the traditional coursework completed within this sequence may be transferred towards a master’s degree program at an IBA-member or other institution, subject to credit transfer rules of the graduate program to which you apply. The IBA Accelerated Graduate Certificate can then help you earn your master’s degree with only an additional year of post-graduate study. Successful students on this track may be admitted to the Biomathematics graduate program at Illinois State University with higher priority.
What should I expect to pay for?
In addition to application and certificate processing fees, students are responsible for any course fees their program my require. The amounts vary depending on the nature of the course and the sequence in which they are enrolled. Students will also be responsible for any tuition and fees for courses offered by partnering institutions. Students not enrolled at an IBA institution will need to acquire an individual membership. Those who are enrolled at an IBA member institution are not charged an IBA membership fee, and they will receive reduced course fees for courses offered directly under the IBA.
For further details, please see the course catalog.
How do I apply?
Complete an online application. This application requires you to submit your current transcript and provide the contact information for an academic reference, who will be requested to send a letter of recommendation directly to the IBA.
- Fall semester: Apply by first Monday of August
- Spring semester: Apply by last Monday of December
- Summer session: Apply by second Monday of May
Note: Students who are not enrolled at an IBA member institution will need to obtain an individual student membership while applying.