Bioinformatics MS

Program Overview

The MS degree in bioinformatics provides students with a strong foundation in biotechnology, computer programming, computational mathematics, statistics, and database management. Graduates are well-prepared for academia and 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 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 program accommodates this diversity by providing a comprehensive bridge program for students who need to supplement their education before entering the program. The program offers 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.

Plan of study

A minimum of 30 semester credit hours is required to complete 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.

This is a STEM eligible program

Graduate Admissions Counselor

Keith Davis

Department Contact

Dr. Feng Cui, Ph.D.

Admission Deadlines & Requirements

Program Available Online? No
Application Deadline Rolling
Admit Term Fall/Spring
Entrance Exam GRE
English Language Exams:
TOEFL (Internet) 79
PTE Academic 58


Priority deadline - COMPLETE applications that are received by this date are given priority consideration for admission and financial aid (if applicable). Applications received after the priority deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.

Rolling - There is no specific deadline for applications; applications will be accepted and reviewed throughout the year until the program reaches capacity.


Bioinformatics, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
BIOL-635 Bioinformatics Seminar 3
BIOL-630 Graduate Bioinformatics Algorithms 3
BIOL-625 Graduate Ethics in Bioinformatics 3
BIOL-671 Database Management for the Sciences 3
MATH-655 Biostatistics 3
BIOL-694 Graduate Molecular Modeling and Proteomics 3
  Graduate Elective* 6
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:

  • Complete a graduate application.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college in biology, biotechnology, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, information technology, statistics, or a related discipline.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 (or equivalent)
  • Submit two letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. A minimum TOEFL score of 79 (internet-based) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is required. The English language test score requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting transcripts from degrees earned at American institutions.

Career Outcomes

The RIT Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education website provides information pertaining to student skills and capabilities, salary data, career information, job outcomes, and contact information for the Career Services Coordinator by program.

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