MS in Bioinformatics

The emphasis of the MS in Bioinformatics program is preparation for mid-level industrial positions in bioinformatics, and the MS degree constitutes a “Pre-professional MS.” 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.

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:

  • CAS BI 552 Molecular Biology I (Students may take CAS BI 553, Molecular Biology II, if approved by their advisor)
  • ENG BE 562 Computational Biology: Genomes, Networks, Evolution (Students with no prior experience or exposure to bioinformatics application should take ENG BF 527, Bioinformatics Applications, before taking ENG BE 562)
  • ENG BF 768 Biological Database Systems
  • ENG BF 778 Physical Chemistry for Systems Biology
  • ENG BF 821 Bioinformatics Graduate Seminar (2 cr each; 4 cr total)
  • ENG BF 541 Bioinformatics Internship

Fulfillment of required course equivalents will be determined based on documented previous academic and/or work experience. The student and his or her 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.