Master’s Program

Prospective students who have completed a bachelor’s degree may apply for direct admission to the Master of Science (MS) program. The master’s degree requires a total of 32 credits. Credits earned in the MS program may be applicable to the PhD program, but the MS program is not intended to be a stepping-stone towards a PhD degree. (MS candidates wishing to enter the PhD program must apply for admission to that program via the normal application process).

In order to receive a master’s degree (by the end of the second year) students must demonstrate mastery of the core subject matter (no lower than a “B” in each core course is acceptable). A minimum requirement is the satisfaction of the core. Students must also demonstrate a working knowledge of computational methods available to the modern bioinformatician by having an internship as part of their degree requirements. Upon completion of the internship, the student is required to submit a written and oral report on the internship experience. This report serves in lieu of an MS thesis.

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Master’s Program with a Concentration in Translational Medicine

The goal of this program is to train physician-scientists who will be leaders in applying and stimulating the development of post-genomic technologies to clinical research and the practice of medicine. The master’s degree requires a total of 32 credits. MS candidates must demonstrate mastery of the core subject matter (no lower than a “B” in core courses) and complete a master’s research project with a written and oral report which will serve as a master’s thesis. Candidates will be expected to develop their ideas to the point of publication. Click here for more information, including curriculum information.

Core Courses

MS students are expected to fulfill all of the core course requirements listed below. Fulfillment of core course equivalents will be determined based on documented previous academic and/or work experience. 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 requirements.

ENG BE 562: Computational Biology: Genomes, Networks, Evolution

The algorithmic and machine learning foundations of computational biology, combining theory with practice are covered. Principles of algorithm design and core methods in computational biology, and an introduction of important problems in computational biology. Hands-on experience analyzing large-scale biological data sets. 4 cr.

ENG BE 768: Biological Database Systems

Describes relational data models and database management systems; teaches the theories and techniques of constructing relational databases to store various biological data, including sequences, structures, genetic linkages and maps, and signal pathways. Introduces relational database query language SQL and the ORACLE database management system, with an emphasis on answering biologically important questions. Summarizes currently existing biological databases. Describes web-based programming tools to make databases accessible. Addresses questions in data integration and security. The future directions for biological database development are also discussed. 4 cr.

ENG BF 571: Dynamics and Evolution of Biological Networks

This course focuses on mathematical models for exploring the organization, dynamics, and evolution of biochemical and genetic networks. Topics include: introductions to metabolic and genetic networks, deterministic and stochastic kinetics of biochemical pathways; genome-scale models of metabolic reaction fluxes; models of regulatory networks; modular architecture of biological networks. 4 cr.

ENG BF 821: Bioinformatics Graduate Seminar

This two-semester sequence is required for all students. The journal club affords students opportunity to present advanced papers in computational biology and bioinformatics. The papers are chosen to cover recent breakthroughs in genomics, computational biology, high-throughput biology, analysis methods, computational modeling, databases, theory and bioinformatics. Faculty involvement leads discussion on current issues and research topics in bioinformatics. (2 cr. each; 4 cr. total)

CAS BI 552: Molecular Biology I

Synthesis, structure, and function of biologically important macromolecules (DNA, RNA, and proteins). Regulation and control of the synthesis of RNA and proteins. Introduction to molecular biology of eukaryotes. Discussion of molecular biological techniques, including genetics and recombinant DNA techniques. 4 cr.