Synthetic biology is more than a technical discipline. Here at Stanford, we understand the need to be fluent in the policy, ethics, and art surrounding the engineering of living systems. Because engineering living systems has the potential to impact all aspects of our lives, we must educate ourselves to embrace every facet of synthetic biology.

Undergraduate training

Students can explore synthetic biology through a variety of academic courses, as well as extracurricular activities including Stanford's International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) team and summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program.

Undergraduate research

We are always looking for highly motivated students with an interest in research at the interface of engineering, biology, mathematics, and chemistry to participate in research. Apply for one of our undergraduate research programs:

iGEM is a global synthetic biology competition where student-led synthetic biology teams work to design, build, and test novel biological innovations. 

Each year, the Stanford Bioengineering department offers Stanford undergraduates an opportunity to conduct research during a 10-week long summer program. 

The Department of Biology offers paid research internships to current Stanford undergraduates who want to spend the spring or  summer quarter participating in research.

Introducing undergraduates to the excitement of interdisciplinary research at the frontiers of knowledge is essential for training a new generation to participate in discovery. 

Can't find a program that fits? Reach out directly to a lab! We are always looking for enthusiastic undergraduate researchers. Current students can often earn course credits by engaging in research.

Undergraduate courses

Stanford undergraduates have the opportunity to gain essential knowledge and specialized synthetic biology training through a collection of courses at Stanford.

Technical foundations

Synthetic biology concepts & lab classes

ENGR 80 - Introduction to Bioengineering (BIOE 80)

BIOE 44 - Fundamentals for Engineering Biology Lab

Graduate training

Graduate training in synthetic biology can be obtained through Masters or PhD programs across the University. Those interested in pursuing graduate training in synthetic biology are encouraged to apply!

Stanford Bioengineering offers master’s and doctoral programs, which provide courses and research training in synthetic biology.         

Stanford Chemical Engineering offers PhD training on the forefront of chemical engineering research and innovation.                   

Stanford has a network of 14 Bioscience PhD programs, which provide students with the flexibility to tailor their education to their skills and interests. 

Graduate courses

Graduate level courses

Synthetic biology core concepts and techniques

Synthetic biology core concepts and techniques

BIOE244 - Advanced Frameworks and Approaches for Engineering Integrated Genetic Systems

BIOE260 - Tissue Engineering

BIOE261 - Principles and Practice of Stem Cell Engineering

BIOE331 - Protein Engineering

BIOE454 - Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering

Technology translation

Technology translation

BIOE374A - Biodesign Innovation: Needs Finding and Concept Creation

BIOE376 - Startup Garage: Design

BIOE377 - Startup Garage: Testing and Launch

Science Policy

Science Policy

Humanities & Art

Postdoctoral training

Individuals interested in postdoctoral training are encouraged to reach out directly to PIs. We are always looking for talented and inspired individuals looking to push the boundaries of synthetic biology forward!