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Master of Science in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Curriculum

The Master of Science in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology is an interdisciplinary program offered jointly by the Departments of Mathematical Sciences and Biological Sciences, with the former serving as the administrative unit. By combining coursework from the disciplines of Biology, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Statistics, it caters to the growing demand for a new breed of scientists who have expertise in all these disciplines. In addition to coursework, the program also provides opportunities to gain practical experience by getting involved in research with faculty members.

The program offers a choice between two tracks. One is designed for students with a general background in science/engineering, whereas the other is designed for students with a background in biological sciences. To build further expertise, both tracks offer a choice of three elective groups, namely, computer science-oriented, statistics-oriented, and biology-oriented elective groups. Both also offer opportunities for research. Students are expected to choose a track and an elective group based on their backgrounds and interests in consultation with the graduate advisor for the program.

Scholarships are available for qualified applicants on a competitive basis.

Program Information

School: School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Program: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Catalog page: MS

MS in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Fact Sheet

MS in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Fact Sheet

Application Requirements

Test score required: Yes

GRE scores of at least 143 verbal, 155 quantitative and 310 combined are preferred. Higher standards prevail for applicants seeking teaching assistantships. 

Letters of recommendation: Required

Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation from individuals who can judge the candidate’s probability of success in graduate school. Use the electronic request form in the graduate application to submit the letters. Contact the graduate academic program department if you have any questions.

Deadlines: University deadlines apply.

Contact

Pankaj Choudhary
972-883-4436
Associate Professor
Office: FO 2.402D

Possible Careers

As mentioned in a recent article in Science (http://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2012/04/computational-biologists-next-pharma-scientists),

“Today, job prospects within computational biology — also known as bioinformatics — seem strong and appear to be growing, buoyed by pharmaceutical and biotech industries looking to take advantage of reams of genomics data and usher in a new era of drug discovery.”

Moreover, NIH’s current director, Francis Collins, said

“If I were a senior or first-year graduate student interested in biology, I would migrate as fast as I could into the field of computational biology...There are vast quantities of high-quality data accessible to anybody who has the skills to find the nuggets of truth that are hiding in that information.”

The Graduates of the program are expected to either pursue a doctoral program in a related field or seek employment in biopharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, research labs, hospitals, and software companies.

For more information about careers in bioinformatics and computational biology, view the career page of International Society for Computational Biology at https://www.iscb.org/bioinformatics-resources-for-high-schools/careers-in-bioinformatics.

Salary Information

See Bureau of Labor Statistics for detailed salary information on these careers. Another great resource is the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

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