MS in Bioinformatics

The emphasis of the MS in Bioinformatics program is preparation for careers that involve using bioinformatics in research or in the biotechnology or pharmaceutical industries. In order to be admitted, students need at least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to bioinformatics. Typically, students enrolling in the MS program have strength in either the computational area or in biochemistry/molecular biology, but not both.

Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with an MS in Bioinformatics are expected to:

  • Demonstrate mastery of the core concepts of Bioinformatics, including computational biology, database design and implementation, and probability and statistics.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply skills in a professional environment via an industrial or academic internship in Bioinformatics.
  • Be able to effectively communicate scientific information in written and oral form.

Course Requirements

The master’s degree requires 32 credits of coursework. In order to receive a master’s degree, students must demonstrate mastery of the required subject matter (no lower than a B in all required courses). Course requirements are as follows:

  • ENG BF 751 Molecular Biology & Biochemistry for Bioinformatics (4 cr)
  • ENG BF 527 Applications in Bioinformatics (4 cr)
  • ENG BF 528 Translational Bioinformatics Applications (4 cr)
  • ENG BF 550 Foundations of Programming, Data Analytics, and Machine Learning in Python (4 cr)
  • ENG BF 768 Biological Database Systems (4 cr)
  • ENG BF 831 Bioinformatics Master’s Seminar (2 cr)
  • ENG BF 541 Bioinformatics Internship or ENG BF 501 Master’s Project (2 cr)

Fulfillment of required course equivalents will be determined based on documented previous academic and/or work experience. The student and their advisor will petition the curriculum committee for such equivalencies. When either past work or an alternate course has been accepted as a core equivalent, the student’s advisor will recommend other courses to fulfill the 20 core credit hours. Advanced elective courses should be taken in place of any waived course requirements.

The remaining credits needed to complete the requirements for the MS degree will consist of electives and/or additional research projects.

Language Requirement

There is no foreign language requirement for this degree.


Students must demonstrate a working knowledge of computational methods available to the modern bioinformatician by completing an internship as part of their degree requirements. For information on internship requirements and guidelines, please see the Bioinformatics website.