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Bioinformatics MS

Michael V. Osier, Director
(585) 475-4392, mvoscl@rit.edu

http://bioinformatics.rit.edu/

Program overview

The master of science degree in bioinformatics provides students with a strong foundation in biotechnology, computer programming, computational mathematics, statistics, and database management. Graduates of the program are well-prepared for careers in the biotechnology, bioinformatics, pharmaceutical, and vaccine industries.

Based on consultation with individuals within the industry nationwide, the job market is rich with opportunities for those who obtain a graduate degree in bioinformatics, particularly when coupled with industry-sponsored research as thesis work. This research provides exposure to real-world problems—and their solutions—not otherwise attainable in an academic setting.

The program provides students with the capability to enter the bioinformatics workforce and become leaders in the field. The curriculum is designed to fulfill the needs of students with diverse educational and professional backgrounds. Individuals entering the program typically have degrees in biology, biotechnology, chemistry, statistics, computer science, information technology, or a related field. The MS program accommodates this diversity in two ways. First, a comprehensive bridge program exists for students who need to supplement their education before entering the program. Second, the program itself consists of two tracks, one for students with backgrounds in the life sciences and one for those with backgrounds in the computational sciences. Regardless of the track pursued, students are prepared to become professional bioinformaticists upon graduation.

The program is offered on a full- or part-time basis to fulfill the needs of traditional students and those currently employed in the field.

Curriculum

A minimum of 30 semester credit hours is required for completion of the program. A number of graduate electives are offered for students to pursue areas of personal or professional interest. In addition, every student is required to complete a research project that addresses a relevant and timely topic in bioinformatics, culminating in a thesis. Graduate electives may be chosen from relevant RIT graduate courses.

Bioinformatics, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
BIOL-635 Bioinformatics Seminar 3
BIOL-630 Graduate Bioinformatics Resources 3
BIOL-625 Graduate Ethics in Bioinformatics 3
Choose one of the following: 3
   CSCI-620    Data Exploration and Management  
   BIOL-700    Cell and Molecular Genetics  
  Graduate Elective* 3
MATH-695  Statistical Models for Bioinformatics 3
BIOL-694 Graduate Molecular Modeling and Proteomics 3
  Graduate Elective* 3
Second Year
BIOL-790 Thesis 6
Total Semester Credit Hours 30

* Any graduate level course deemed related to the field of bioinformatics by the program director.

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in bioinformatics, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree in biology, biotechnology, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, information technology, statistics, or related disciplines from an accredited institution,
  • Have an undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher (on a 4.0 scale),
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work,
  • Submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and
  • Complete a graduate application.
  • International applicants whose primary language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 79 (Internet-based) is required. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores are accepted in place of the TOEFL exam. Minimum scores will vary; however, the absolute minimum score required for unconditional acceptance is 6.0. For additional information about the IELTS, please visit www.ielts.org.

[arrow] Click to view program requirements in the Quarter Calendar

Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.

Program overview

The master of science degree in bioinformatics is offered on a full- or part-time basis to fulfill the needs of traditional students and those currently employed in the field. Students develop a strong foundation in biotechnology, computer programming, computational mathematics, statistics, and database management, and are well-prepared for careers in the biotechnology, bioinformatics, pharmaceutical, and vaccine industries.

Based on consultation with individuals within the industry nationwide, the job market is rich with opportunities for those who obtain a master of science degree in bioinformatics, particularly when coupled with industry-sponsored research as thesis work. This research will provide exposure to real-world problems—and their solutions—not otherwise attainable in an academic setting.

The program provides students with the capability to enter the bioinformatics workforce and become leaders in the field. The curriculum is designed to fulfill the needs of students with diverse educational and professional backgrounds. Individuals entering an MS program in bioinformatics typically have degrees in biology, biotechnology, chemistry, statistics, computer science, information technology, or a related field. The MS program accommodates this diversity in two ways. First, a comprehensive bridge program exists for students who need to supplement their education before entering the MS program. Second, the program itself consists of two tracks, one for students with backgrounds in the life sciences and one for those with backgrounds in the computational sciences. Regardless of the track pursued, students are prepared to become professional bioinformaticists upon graduation.

Curriculum

A minimum of 45 quarter credit hours, including seven or eight core courses, is required for completion of the program. Two tracks—computational science and life science—are available. A number of professional graduate electives are offered for students to pursue areas of personal or professional interest. In addition, every student is required to complete a research project that addresses a relevant and timely topic in bioinformatics, culminating in a thesis. Graduate electives may be chosen from any relevant RIT graduate courses.

Semester conversion
Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. Each program and its associated courses have been sent to the New York State Department of Education for approval of the semester plan. For reference, the following charts illustrate the typical course sequence for this program in both quarters and semesters. Students should consult their graduate program adviser with questions regarding planning and course selection.

Bioinformatics (computational science track), MS degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

CourseQtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
1001-700 Cell and Molecular Genetics I 3
1001-701 Cell and Molecular Genetics II 3
4002-762 Introduction to Bioinformatics Computing 4
4002-763 Advanced Bioinformatics Computing 4
1001-705 Bioinformatics Resources 3
1001-722 Bioinformatics Seminar 2
1001-725 Ethics in Bioinformatics 3
1001-794 Molecular Modeling and Proteomics 4
1016-715 Statistical Models for Bioinformatics 4
  Graduate electives/Thesis 15
Total Quarter Credit Hours
45

Bioinformatics (life science track), MS degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

CourseQtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
4002-720 Data Object Development 4
  Computer Science course to be determined with Director  
4002-762 Introduction to Bioinformatics Computing 4
4002-763 Advanced Bioinformatics Computing 4
1001-705 Bioinformatics Resources 3
1001-722 Bioinformatics Seminar 2
1001-725 Ethics in Bioinformatics 3
1001-794 Molecular Modeling and Proteomics 4
1016-715 Statistical Models for Bioinformatics 4
  Graduate electives/Thesis 13
Total Quarter Credit Hours 45

Bioinformatics, MS degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
BIOL-635 Bioinformatics Seminar 3
BIOL-630 Graduate Bioinformatics Resources 3
BIOL-625 Graduate Ethics in Bioinformatics 3
Choose one of the following: 3
   CSCI-620    Data Exploration and Management  
   BIOL-700    Cell and Molecular Genetics  
     
  Graduate Elective* 3
MATH-695  Statistical Models for Bioinformatics 3
BIOL-694 Graduate Molecular Modeling and Proteomics 3
  Graduate Elective* 3
Second Year
BIOL-790 Thesis 3
BIOL-790 Thesis 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 30

* Any graduate level course deemed related to the field of bioinformatics by the program director.

Admission requirements

To be considered for the MS program in bioinformatics, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree in biology, biotechnology, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, information technology, statistics, or related disciplines,
  • Have an undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher (on a 4.0 scale),
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work,
  • Submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and
  • Complete a graduate application.
  • International applicants whose primary language is not English are required to submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Minimum scores of 213 (computer-based), 570 (paper-based), or 79-80 (Internet-based) are required. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores are accepted in place of the TOEFL exam. Minimum scores will vary; however, the absolute minimum score required for unconditional acceptance is 6.0-6.5. For additional information about the IELTS, please visit www.ielts.org.