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 778: Physical Chemistry for Systems Biology

This course introduces students to quantitative modeling in bioinformatics and systems biology. We begin with basic principles of statistical thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, with selected applications in biomolecular systems. Next we describe molecular driving forces in biology, and computation with biomolecular structures. Finally we discuss quantitative models of biomolecular networks, and design principles of biological circuits. 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.

Industrial Internships

Students will have options for an industrial experience ranging from a required minimum consisting of grand rounds, in which they will be exposed to cutting edge industrial problems, through intense experience at an industrial site. The science and engineering faculty interface with industry in a number of ways, all of which provide experience in establishing close industrial relations that will contribute to the richness of options for graduate training. These include ongoing collaborative research programs between faculty and industrial scientists; a College of Engineering wide industrial advisory board; a biomedical engineering senior project day, which typically has 35–45 companies participating; a graduate industrial coop program in which students spend 3–9 months in industrial research; and special tutorial/workshops held for industrial researchers. Students have the final responsibility for finding an internship.

Companies Seeking Bioinformatics Interns

We have some master’s students with a wide range of backgrounds looking for internship positions. Their information is available on the MS student intern page. If you don’t have the access to the site, please email us with your name, company name, contact information, and job description of the internship to obtain the access code to view the information.