Program Requirements

Degree Requirements

The M.S. in Bioinformatics degree requires a minimum of 34 graduate credit hours, and a minimum of 30 credit hours of formal coursework.  A minimum of 24 credit hours presented toward an Bioinformatics must be from courses numbered 6000 or higher.  A maximum of 6 hours of graduate credit may be transferred from other institutions.

Total Hours Required

The Master's program requires 34 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 following Core Courses.  Students who have previously taken a course with a syllabus that closely follows one of the Core Courses may test out of the core requirement by passing a written exam, and may then substitute an advanced elective for the required Core Course.

Fall Courses

Spring Courses

  • BINF 6200  Statistics for Bioinformatics (3)
  • 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)


Plus one of the following courses and its corresponding lab:


Fall Courses

Spring Courses

  • BINF 6202  Computational Structural Biology (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 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 and BINF 6111L. Gateway courses may count towards elective credit. 


BINF 6100  Biological Basis of Bioinformatics (3)


BINF 6111  Bioinformatics Programming I (3) 


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

The remaining 9 credit hours of required coursework can be satisfied by elective courses.  The Program Graduate Coordinator, in conjunction with the Executive Committee, reviews the student’s plan of study each semester.

Bioinformatics Electives

Any courses with BINF numbers, with the exception of Gateway courses are open to M.S. students seeking to complete their coursework requirements.

Recommended Elective Courses Offered By Other Departments

A wide range of graduate courses in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Health Informatics, Software and Information Systems, and other programs may be appropriate electives for M.S. in Bioinformatics students.  As course offerings change frequently, the Bioinformatics Program maintains a list of current recommended electives. Please contact Lauren Slane, Graduate Coordinator, for further information.

Elective Clusters

Students are encouraged to choose their electives with a topical focus that reflects their scientific and career interests.  Courses from one of the following recommended clusters of advanced electives can be selected, or the student can design his or her own elective focus with the approval of the Program's Executive Committee.

Genomic Biology Cluster


Fall Courses

Spring Courses

  • BINF 6205  Computational Molecular Evolution (3)
  • BINF 6310  Advanced Statistics for Genomics (3)


  • BINF 6350  Biotechnology and Genomics Lab (3)
  • BINF 6318  Computational Proteomics and Metabolomics (3)



Modeling and Simulation Cluster


Fall Courses

Spring Courses

  • BINF 6202  Computational Structural Biology (3)


  • BINF 6204  Mathematical Systems Biology (3)


  • BINF 6210  Machine Learning for Bioinformatics (3)




Computing and Technology Cluster


Fall Courses

Spring Courses

  • BINF 6210  Machine Learning for Bioinformatics (3)


  • BINF 6310  Advanced Statistics for Genomics (3)
  • BINF 6380  Advanced Bioinformatics Programming (3)




Other Requirements

Bioinformatics Seminar and Internship

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 6399), internal or external internship (BINF 6400), or a faculty-supervised original research project leading to a thesis (BINF 6900). 

BINF 6600  Bioinformatics Seminar (1) *Fall and Spring*


Plus one of the following (all are offered both Fall and Spring):

BINF 6399  Principles of Team Science (3)

BINF 6400  Internship Project (1-3)

BINF 6900  Master’s Thesis (1-3)

Grade Requirements

An minimum 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

A maximum of 6 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.

alumni scholarship fund

The Alumni Gives Scholarship allows students to pursue their dreams and contribute to the technology community.  This needs-based scholarship empowers students to overcome financial hurdles while pursuing their education goals and gives preference to underrepresented populations within the CCI student body. 

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