Program Requirements

Degree Requirements

The M.S. in Bioinformatics degree requires a minimum of 35 graduate credit hours. A minimum of 24 credit hours presented toward an Bioinformatics must be from courses numbered 6000 or higher.

Total Hours Required

The Master’s program requires 35 post-baccalaureate credit hours. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of this program, which is designed to provide students with a common graduate experience during their professional preparation for the M.S. in Bioinformatics degree, all students will be required to take a general curriculum that includes a two-year sequence of courses as described below:

Core Requirements

Core Bioinformatics Courses

All students must take the 16 credits of core courses (BINF 6200, BINF 6101, BINF 6112, BINF 6211, BINF 6201, and a core elective). Students who have previously taken a course with a syllabus that closely follows one of the Core Courses may then substitute an advanced elective for the required Core Course. This is up to the discretion of the Graduate Program Director and the specific course instructor.

Fall Courses Spring Courses
BINF 6200 Statistics for Bioinformatics (3) *Offered Fall & Spring
BINF 6201 Molecular Sequence Analysis (3) *Offered in Fall & Spring
BINF 6112 Bioinformatics Programming II (3) *Offered in Fall & Spring
BINF 6101 Energy and Interaction in Biological Modeling (3)
BINF 6112 Bioinformatics Programming II (3)
BINF 6211 Design and Implementation of Bioinformatics Databases (3)
BINF 6201 Molecular Sequence Analysis (3) *Offered in Fall & Spring
BINF 6200 Statistics for Bioinformatics (3) *Offered Fall & Spring

Plus one of the following Core Electives:

Fall Courses Spring Courses
BINF 6202 Computational Structural Biology (3)
BINF 6205 Computational Molecular Evolution (3)
BINF 6203 Genomics (3)

Gateway Courses

The department offers two intensive graduate-level courses designed to provide accelerated training in a second discipline that complements the student’s undergraduate training. Students entering the program without preparatory coursework in computing or biology may need to take the Gateway course(s) that is appropriate for their background. These courses are not required core courses for all students, but are designed to satisfy core course prerequisites for students who have not encountered the material presented in a previous course. For students entering from computing backgrounds, BINF 6100 should be chosen, while students entering from biological science backgrounds should choose BINF 6111. Gateway courses count towards elective credit.

BINF 6100 Biological Basis of Bioinformatics (3) Fall only


BINF 6111 Bioinformatics Programming I (3) Fall and Spring

Professional Preparation Requirement

Students are required to take 3 credit hours of elective courses designed to prepare them to function effectively and ethically in a professional environment:

BINF 5171 Business of Biotechnology (3) Fall only


BINF 5191 Biotechnology and the Law (3) Spring only

Elective Courses

Nine credit hours of required coursework can be satisfied by elective courses. The Program Graduate Coordinator reviews the student’s plan of study each semester.

Bioinformatics Electives

Any courses with BINF numbers are open to M.S. students seeking to complete their coursework requirements. When taken, the Gateway Courses BINF 6111 and BINF 6100 go towards elective credits.

Fall CoursesSpring Courses
BINF 6205 Computational Molecular Evolution (3)
BINF 6350 Biotechnology and Genomics Lab (3)
BINF 6202 Computational Structural Biology (3)
BINF 6210 Machine Learning for Bioinformatics (3)
BINF 6380 Advanced Bioinformatics Programming (3)
BINF 6310 Advanced Statistics for Genomics (3)
BINF 6203 Genomics (3)
*Note that additional elective courses may be offered. Contact the Graduate Program Coordinator for an up to date list of course offerings.

Other Requirements

Bioinformatics Seminar and Research Experience

In addition to 30 hours of formal coursework, students are required to enroll in the Bioinformatics Program seminar (BINF 6600) for at least one semester (1 credit hour) and to enroll in either Principles of Team Science (BINF 5900) or an internal or external internship (BINF 6400).

BINF 6600 Bioinformatics Seminar (1) *Fall and Spring

Plus one of the following:

BINF 5900 Principles of Team Science (3) Spring only
BINF 6400 Internship Project (3) Fall only *The internship is completed in the summer prior to the fall internship course.

Grade Requirements

An minimum 3.0 GPA is required to graduate. An accumulation of three C grades will result in suspension of the student’s enrollment in the graduate program. If a student makes a grade of U in any course, enrollment in the program will be suspended.

Amount of Transfer Credit Accepted

No more than thirty percent (30%) of the total credit hours required will be accepted for transfer into a master’s degree program. That equates to a maximum of 10 credit hours of coursework from other institutions will count toward the M.S. in Bioinformatics degree requirements. Only courses with grades of A or B from accredited institutions are eligible for transfer credit.

Additional information on Graduate School policies is available on Academic and Policies.