Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Bachelor of science degree

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Overview

Dual Degree

In this dynamic bioinformatics degree, biology and computing combine to analyze big data collected by the health industry to discover, diagnose, and treat a wide range of medical conditions.


Bioinformatics is the intersection of biology and computer science. In this major, you’ll analyze big data collected by the healthcare industry to discover, diagnose, and treat a wide range of medical conditions. A rapidly growing field that requires professionals to possess problem-solving skills, you’ll gain hands-on learning through distinct undergraduate research opportunities. Graduates pursue graduate degrees and go on to successful careers in bioinformatics software development, biomedical research, biotechnology, comparative genomics, genomics, molecular imaging, pharmaceutical research and development, proteomics, and vaccine development.

Bioinformaticists use computers to analyze, organize, and visualize biological data in ways that increase the understanding of this data and lead to new discoveries. In laboratory exercises and assignments, you’ll learn to sequence DNA and use computer programs to analyze DNA sequences and predict molecular models.

The bioinformatics degree was developed by faculty in the departments of biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, mathematics and statistics, and information technology, with the guidance from leaders in the bioinformatics and biotechnology industries. The major meets the needs of prospective employers in this challenging and rapidly changing and growing field.

Bioinformatics is a field that has been developing over the last thirty years. It is a discipline that represents a marriage between biotechnology and computer technologies and has evolved through the convergence of advances in each of these fields. Today bioinformatics is a field that encompasses all aspects of the application of computer technologies to biological data. Computers are used to organize, link, analyze and visualize complex sets of biological data.

With the advent of high-throughput technologies such as Next Generation Sequencing and proteomics, bioinformatics has become essential to the biological sciences in general. In the past, laboratories were able to manage and analyze their experimental data in spreadsheets. Many research labs now require the expertise of dedicated bioinformatics core centers or their own in-house bioinformaticists.

Graduates of our programs have entered such laboratories, both in industry and academia, as bioinformaticists. Some have also gone on to leverage their biotechnology experiences as wet lab experimentalists themselves. The diversity of skills our students cultivate has given them access to a wide range of career choices.

Nature of work

Bioinformatics jobs come with several different areas of focus, which are less strictly hierarchical than bioscience discovery research jobs. The analyst/programmer job provides more focused computational analysis support. Analyst/programmers design and develop software, databases, and interfaces used to analyze and manipulate genomic databases. They collaborate with production to develop high-throughput data processing and analysis capability and to design and implement data queries, novel algorithms, and/or visualization techniques. Analyst/programmers also maintain large-scale DNA databases, prepare data for other scientists, monitor new data from integrating sequence-based/ functional knowledge about genes to help scientists analyze and interpret gene-expression data. They also analyze DNA information and identify opportunities for innovative solutions to analyze and manage biological data. In addition, they often assist in developing software and custom scripts to automate data retrieval, manipulation, and analysis; application of statistics; and visualization tools. (Source: Vault Career Guide to Biotech; The Jobs in Lab Research)

Training/Qualifications

Within the bioinformatics field employers tend to look for the following skills/strengths: fundamental training/knowledge in molecular biology, biochemistry and biotechnology, particularly, genomics, relational database administration, and programming skills/e.g. using SQL, PERL, C, C++, etc. on a UNIX operating system, strong analytical abilities using relevant mathematical/statistical tools, a strong interest in utilizing computational skills to leverage the data outcomes of those working in the laboratory, meticulous, independent, patient to do the same task repetitively and multitask.

Industries


  • Biotech and Life Sciences

  • Medical Devices

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Health Care

Typical Job Titles

Senior Analyst/Programmer Associate Systems Analyst
Bioinformaticist Bioinformatics Analyst
Bioinformatics Engineer Developer
Computational Biologist Research Technician
Software Engineer

Cooperative Education

Cooperative education, or co-op for short, is full-time, paid work experience in your field of study. And it sets RIT graduates apart from their competitors. It’s exposure–early and often–to a variety of professional work environments, career paths, and industries. RIT co-op is designed for your success

Students in the bioinformatics and computational biology degree are required to complete one cooperative education experience.  

Explore salary and career information for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology BS 

Curriculum for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology BS

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
BIOL-121
General Education – Elective: Introductory Biology I
This course serves as an introduction to molecular biology, cellular biology, genetics, developmental biology, and evolutionary biology. Topics will include: a study of the basic principles of modern cellular biology, including cell structure and function; the chemical basis and functions of life, including enzyme systems and gene expression; and both the processes and patterns of the organismal development (ontogeny) and the evolution of life on Earth (phylogeny). Laboratory experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of basic cellular, molecular, developmental, and evolutionary biology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for microscopy and biotechnology, and improve ability to make, record and interpret observations. Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
4
BIOL-122
General Education – Elective: Introductory Biology II
This course serves as an introduction to the diversification of life, plant anatomy and physiology, animal anatomy and physiology, and ecology. Topics include a survey of the taxonomic diversity of the major groups of living organisms, the anatomical and physiological adaptations of both plants and animals, and the principles of the ecological relationships among organisms and environments. Laboratory exercises are designed to illustrate concepts of taxonomy, anatomical & physiological adaptation, and ecological relationships. Labs are also designed to help the development of laboratory skills and techniques for experiments with live organisms, and improve the ability to make, record and interpret observations. Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
4
BIOL-130
Introduction to Bioinformatics
This course will explore topics in the field of bioinformatics including tools and resources used by the discipline, including direct experience with the common user environment. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
CHMG-141
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective: General & Analytical Chemistry I
This is a general chemistry course for students in the life and physical sciences. College chemistry is presented as a science based on empirical evidence that is placed into the context of conceptual, visual, and mathematical models. Students will learn the concepts, symbolism, and fundamental tools of chemistry necessary to carry on a discourse in the language of chemistry. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship between atomic structure, chemical bonds, and the transformation of these bonds through chemical reactions. The fundamentals of organic chemistry are introduced throughout the course to emphasize the connection between chemistry and the other sciences. Lecture 3, Recitation 1 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
CHMG-142
General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective: General & Analytical Chemistry II
The course covers the thermodynamics and kinetics of chemical reactions. The relationship between energy and entropy change as the driving force of chemical processes is emphasized through the study of aqueous solutions. Specifically, the course takes a quantitative look at: 1) solubility equilibrium, 2) acid-base equilibrium, 3) oxidation-reduction reactions and 4) chemical kinetics. (Prerequisites: CHMG-141 or CHMG-131 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
CHMG-145
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective: General & Analytical Chemistry I Lab
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-141 lecture material. The course emphasizes laboratory techniques and data analysis skills. Topics include: gravimetric, volumetric, thermal, titration and spectrophotometric analyses, and the use of these techniques to analyze chemical reactions. (Corequisite: CHMG-141 or CHMG-131 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
1
CHMG-146
General & Analytical Chemistry II Lab
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-142 lecture material. The course emphasizes the use of experiments as a tool for chemical analysis and the reporting of results in formal lab reports. Topics include the quantitative analysis of a multicomponent mixture using complexation and double endpoint titration, pH measurement, buffers and pH indicators, the kinetic study of a redox reaction, and the electrochemical analysis of oxidation reduction reactions. (Prerequisites: CHMG-131 or CHMG-141 or equivalent course. Corequisites: CHMG-142 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
1
MATH-181
General Education – Mathematical Perspective A: Project-Based Calculus I
This is the first in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers functions, limits, continuity, the derivative, rules of differentiation, applications of the derivative, Riemann sums, definite integrals, and indefinite integrals. (Prerequisite: A- or better in MATH-111 or A- or better in ((NMTH-260 or NMTH-272 or NMTH-275) and NMTH-220) or a math placement exam score greater than or equal to 70 or department permission to enroll in this class.) Lecture 6 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
4
MATH-182
General Education – Mathematical Perspective B: Project-Based Calculus II
This is the second in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers techniques of integration including integration by parts, partial fractions, improper integrals, applications of integration, representing functions by infinite series, convergence and divergence of series, parametric curves, and polar coordinates. (Prerequisites: C- or better in (MATH-181 or MATH-173 or 1016-282) or (MATH-171 and MATH-180) or equivalent course(s).) Lecture 6 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
4
YOPS-010
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
0
 
General Education – First-Year Writing (WI)
3
Second Year
BIOL-135
Introduction to Bioinformatics Programming
Computer programming in the life sciences is used for modeling and data analysis across all fields. In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of computer programming and apply it to solve real problems in the life sciences. Breaking down problems, common syntax, and thoughtful decisions on proper use of data structures will be emphasized. (UGRD-COS) Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Fall).
3
BIOL-202
Molecular Biology
This course will address the fundamental concepts of molecular biology. Class discussions, assignments, and laboratory projects will explore the structure and function of molecules and macromolecules, and processes important to storage and maintenance of genetic information and genetic information flow. Students in this course will explore molecular interactions that drive biological processes related to genetic information flow. Students in this course will gain an understanding of various molecular mechanisms, structure/function relationships, and processes as they relate to molecular biology. Students in this course will practice and carry out common laboratory techniques used by Molecular Biologists including, recombinant DNA technology and the detection and tracking of important macromolecules such as DNA, RNA and proteins. (Prerequisites: C- or better in (BIOL-101/102 and BIOL-103/104) or (BIOL-121/122) or equivalent. Students who have taken BIOL-201 cannot receive credit for BIOL-202. Co-requisites: (CHMG-141/145) or (CHEM-151/155) or CHMG-131 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
4
BIOL-230
Bioinformatics Languages
This is an introductory course in scripting languages focusing on the Perl programming language, the R statistical analysis program, and their application to biological data. We will investigate the use of Perl and R for processing sequence and "-omics" data, managing a variety of biological data types, and providing effective Web and graphical interfaces to existing tools for analysis of these data. (Prerequisites: BIOL-135 or equivalent course.) Lecture 2, Studio 3 (Spring).
3
BIOL-321
Genetics
Introduction to the principles of inheritance; the study of genes and chromosomes at molecular, cellular, organismal, and population levels. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3, Recitation 1 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
CHMO-231
General Education – Elective: Organic Chemistry I
This course is a study of the structure, nomenclature, reactions and synthesis of the following functional groups: alkanes, alkenes, alkynes. This course also introduces chemical bonding, IR and NMR spectroscopy, acid and base reactions, stereochemistry, nucleophilic substitution reactions, and alkene and alkyne reactions. In addition, the course provides an introduction to the use of mechanisms in describing and predicting organic reactions. (Prerequisites: CHMG-142 or CHMG-131 or equivalent course. Corequisites: CHMO-235 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
CHMO-235
General Education – Elective: Organic Chemistry Lab I
This course trains students to perform techniques important in an organic chemistry lab. The course also covers reactions from the accompanying lecture CHMO-231. (Corequisite: CHMO-231 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
1
MATH-190
General Education – Elective: Discrete Mathematics for Computing
This course introduces students to ideas and techniques from discrete mathematics that are widely used in Computer Science. Students will learn about the fundamentals of propositional and predicate calculus, set theory, relations, recursive structures and counting. This course will help increase students’ mathematical sophistication and their ability to handle abstract problems. (Co-requisites: MATH-182 or MATH-182A or MATH-172 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
STAT-145
General Education – Elective: Introduction to Statistics I
This course introduces statistical methods of extracting meaning from data, and basic inferential statistics. Topics covered include data and data integrity, exploratory data analysis, data visualization, numeric summary measures, the normal distribution, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. The emphasis of the course is on statistical thinking rather than computation. Statistical software is used. (Prerequisite: MATH-101 or MATH-111 or NMTH-260 or NMTH-272 or NMTH-275 or a math placement exam score of at least 35.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
 
General Education – Ethical Perspective
3
 
General Education – Artistic Perspective
3
 
General Education – Global Perspective
3
Third Year
BIOL-235
Fundamentals of Bioinformatics Programming
Computer programming in the life sciences is used for modeling and data analysis across all fields. In this course, students will learn more advanced techniques to solve life sciences modeling problems efficiently using parallelization and distributed computing. Common methods and thoughtful decisions on proper use of tools will be emphasized. (Prerequisites: BIOL-230 or equivalent course and students in COS Majors.) Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Fall).
3
BIOL-296
General Education – Elective: Ethical Issues in Biology and Medicine
This course explores major ethical issues in medicine and biology via lecture, readings, films, and presentation and discussion of cases. Students report on current events in ethics as researched on the internet or other news media. The first portion of the course is in a lecture format. Students learn about various theories of ethical analysis that are in current use. Subsequent classes are devoted to particular ethical areas. Relevant cases are given to the students for presentation in both written and oral formats. Any additional background material that may be required to discuss the cases is presented by the instructor and the remainder of the period is discussion based on the philosophical foundation provided at the beginning of the course. (Prerequisites: BIOL-102 or BIOL-122 or (1001-201, 1001-202 and 1001-203) or (1001-251, 1001-252 and 1001-253) or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
BIOL-327
Fundamental Bioinformatics Analysis
This course addresses the fundamental concepts of bioinformatics, focusing on computational analysis of nucleic acids and proteins. Utilization of computational programs for analysis of individual and multiple sequences for functional and evolutionary information will be discussed. The computational laboratory will highlight the applications available for analysis of molecular sequences. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 2, Studio 2 (Fall).
3
BIOL-499
Biology Co-op (summer)
Cooperative education experience for undergraduate biological sciences students. CO OP (Fall, Spring, Summer).
0
BIOL-550
High Throughput Sequencing Analysis (WI-PR)
Students will utilize commonly used bioinformatics tools to analyze a real High Throughput Sequencing data set starting with raw data, proceeding with quality control, either aligning to a reference genome or performing de novo assembly, assessing differential gene expression determination, and finally annotating their results. Weekly lab reports will be required, and a group manuscript is expected at the end of the semester. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or equivalent courses.) Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Spring).
3
CHMB-402
Biochemistry I
This course introduces the structure and function of biological macromolecules and their metabolic pathways. The relationship between the three-dimensional structure of proteins and their function in enzymatic catalysis will be examined. Membrane structure and the physical laws that apply to metabolic processes will also be discussed. (Prerequisite: CHMO-231 or CHMO-331 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
ISTE-230
Introduction to Database and Data Modeling
A presentation of the fundamental concepts and theories used in organizing and structuring data. Coverage includes the data modeling process, basic relational model, normalization theory, relational algebra, and mapping a data model into a database schema. Structured Query Language is used to illustrate the translation of a data model to physical data organization. Modeling and programming assignments will be required. Note: students should have one course in object-oriented programming. (Prerequisites: ISTE-120 or ISTE-200 or IGME-101 or IGME-105 or CSCI-140 or CSCI-142 or NACA-161 or NMAD-180 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
 
General Education – Social Perspective
3
 
General Education – Immersion 1, 2
6
 
Open Elective
3
Fourth Year
BIOL-340
Genomics
This course introduces students to the analysis of complex genomes. Emphasis is placed on genetic information derived from the human genome project but advances with genomes of other model systems will be discussed. Lectures cover scientific techniques used to map and sequence the human genome, as well as strategies for identification of disease susceptibility genes. The laboratory utilizes an automated DNA sequencer to demonstrate the acquisition of genetic sequences. Laboratory sessions emphasize cycle sequencing of cloned DNA fragments using an automated fluorescent DNA sequencer. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
4
BIOL-470
Statistical Analysis for Bioinformatics
This course is an introduction to the probabilistic models and statistical techniques used in computational molecular biology. Examples include Markov models, such as the Jukes-Cantor and Kimura evolutionary models and hidden Markov models, and multivariate models use for discrimination and classification. (Prerequisites: (MATH-161 or MATH-173 or MATH-182) and (STAT-145 or MATH-251) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
BIOL-530
Bioinformatics Algorithms
Bioinformatics Algorithms will focus on the types of analyses, tools, and databases that are available and commonly used in Bioinformatics. The labs will apply the lecture material in the analysis of real data through computer programming. (Prerequisites: BIOL-330 and CSCI-243 or equivalent course.) Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Fall).
3
BIOL-594
Molecular Modeling and Proteomics
This course will explore two facets of protein molecules: separation and structure. The separation component will address common protein separation techniques such as 2D gel electrophoresis and chromatography. The structure component will follow the levels of protein structures, focusing on both experimental and computational methods to determine protein structures. Methods for determining primary structures such as Edman degradation method, Sanger method and mass spectrometry will be taught in lectures. Algorithms of predicting secondary structures will be introduced and implemented. Tertiary structure determination techniques such as NMR will be covered, with an emphasis on proton NMR, 13C NMR and multi-dimensional NMR. Homology modeling will be used to predict protein tertiary structures. (Prerequisites: BIOL-330 or equivalent course.) Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Spring).
3
 
General Education – Immersion 3
3
 
General Education – Elective
3
 
Open Electives
9
Total Semester Credit Hours
120

Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (molecular genetics option), BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
BIOL-121
General Education – Elective: Introductory Biology I
This course serves as an introduction to molecular biology, cellular biology, genetics, developmental biology, and evolutionary biology. Topics will include: a study of the basic principles of modern cellular biology, including cell structure and function; the chemical basis and functions of life, including enzyme systems and gene expression; and both the processes and patterns of the organismal development (ontogeny) and the evolution of life on Earth (phylogeny). Laboratory experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of basic cellular, molecular, developmental, and evolutionary biology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for microscopy and biotechnology, and improve ability to make, record and interpret observations. Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
4
BIOL-122
General Education – Elective: Introductory Biology II
This course serves as an introduction to the diversification of life, plant anatomy and physiology, animal anatomy and physiology, and ecology. Topics include a survey of the taxonomic diversity of the major groups of living organisms, the anatomical and physiological adaptations of both plants and animals, and the principles of the ecological relationships among organisms and environments. Laboratory exercises are designed to illustrate concepts of taxonomy, anatomical & physiological adaptation, and ecological relationships. Labs are also designed to help the development of laboratory skills and techniques for experiments with live organisms, and improve the ability to make, record and interpret observations. Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
4
BIOL-130
Introduction to Bioinformatics
This course will explore topics in the field of bioinformatics including tools and resources used by the discipline, including direct experience with the common user environment. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
CHMG-141
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective: General & Analytical Chemistry I
This is a general chemistry course for students in the life and physical sciences. College chemistry is presented as a science based on empirical evidence that is placed into the context of conceptual, visual, and mathematical models. Students will learn the concepts, symbolism, and fundamental tools of chemistry necessary to carry on a discourse in the language of chemistry. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship between atomic structure, chemical bonds, and the transformation of these bonds through chemical reactions. The fundamentals of organic chemistry are introduced throughout the course to emphasize the connection between chemistry and the other sciences. Lecture 3, Recitation 1 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
CHMG-142
General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective: General & Analytical Chemistry II
The course covers the thermodynamics and kinetics of chemical reactions. The relationship between energy and entropy change as the driving force of chemical processes is emphasized through the study of aqueous solutions. Specifically, the course takes a quantitative look at: 1) solubility equilibrium, 2) acid-base equilibrium, 3) oxidation-reduction reactions and 4) chemical kinetics. (Prerequisites: CHMG-141 or CHMG-131 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
CHMG-145
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective: General & Analytical Chemistry Lab I
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-141 lecture material. The course emphasizes laboratory techniques and data analysis skills. Topics include: gravimetric, volumetric, thermal, titration and spectrophotometric analyses, and the use of these techniques to analyze chemical reactions. (Corequisite: CHMG-141 or CHMG-131 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
1
CHMG-146
General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective: General & Analytical Chemistry Lab II
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-142 lecture material. The course emphasizes the use of experiments as a tool for chemical analysis and the reporting of results in formal lab reports. Topics include the quantitative analysis of a multicomponent mixture using complexation and double endpoint titration, pH measurement, buffers and pH indicators, the kinetic study of a redox reaction, and the electrochemical analysis of oxidation reduction reactions. (Prerequisites: CHMG-131 or CHMG-141 or equivalent course. Corequisites: CHMG-142 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
1
MATH-181
General Education – Mathematical Perspective A: Project-Based Calculus I
This is the first in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers functions, limits, continuity, the derivative, rules of differentiation, applications of the derivative, Riemann sums, definite integrals, and indefinite integrals. (Prerequisite: A- or better in MATH-111 or A- or better in ((NMTH-260 or NMTH-272 or NMTH-275) and NMTH-220) or a math placement exam score greater than or equal to 70 or department permission to enroll in this class.) Lecture 6 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
4
MATH-182
General Education – Mathematical Perspective B: Project-Based Calculus II
This is the second in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers techniques of integration including integration by parts, partial fractions, improper integrals, applications of integration, representing functions by infinite series, convergence and divergence of series, parametric curves, and polar coordinates. (Prerequisites: C- or better in (MATH-181 or MATH-173 or 1016-282) or (MATH-171 and MATH-180) or equivalent course(s).) Lecture 6 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
4
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
0
 
General Education – First-Year Writing (WI)
3
Second Year
BIOL-135
Introduction to Bioinformatics Programming
Computer programming in the life sciences is used for modeling and data analysis across all fields. In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of computer programming and apply it to solve real problems in the life sciences. Breaking down problems, common syntax, and thoughtful decisions on proper use of data structures will be emphasized. (UGRD-COS) Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Fall).
3
BIOL-202
Molecular Biology
This course will address the fundamental concepts of molecular biology. Class discussions, assignments, and laboratory projects will explore the structure and function of molecules and macromolecules, and processes important to storage and maintenance of genetic information and genetic information flow. Students in this course will explore molecular interactions that drive biological processes related to genetic information flow. Students in this course will gain an understanding of various molecular mechanisms, structure/function relationships, and processes as they relate to molecular biology. Students in this course will practice and carry out common laboratory techniques used by Molecular Biologists including, recombinant DNA technology and the detection and tracking of important macromolecules such as DNA, RNA and proteins. (Prerequisites: C- or better in (BIOL-101/102 and BIOL-103/104) or (BIOL-121/122) or equivalent. Students who have taken BIOL-201 cannot receive credit for BIOL-202. Co-requisites: (CHMG-141/145) or (CHEM-151/155) or CHMG-131 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
4
BIOL-230
Bioinformatics Languages
This is an introductory course in scripting languages focusing on the Perl programming language, the R statistical analysis program, and their application to biological data. We will investigate the use of Perl and R for processing sequence and "-omics" data, managing a variety of biological data types, and providing effective Web and graphical interfaces to existing tools for analysis of these data. (Prerequisites: BIOL-135 or equivalent course.) Lecture 2, Studio 3 (Spring).
3
BIOL-321
Genetics
Introduction to the principles of inheritance; the study of genes and chromosomes at molecular, cellular, organismal, and population levels. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3, Recitation 1 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
CHMO-231
General Education – Elective: Organic Chemistry I
This course is a study of the structure, nomenclature, reactions and synthesis of the following functional groups: alkanes, alkenes, alkynes. This course also introduces chemical bonding, IR and NMR spectroscopy, acid and base reactions, stereochemistry, nucleophilic substitution reactions, and alkene and alkyne reactions. In addition, the course provides an introduction to the use of mechanisms in describing and predicting organic reactions. (Prerequisites: CHMG-142 or CHMG-131 or equivalent course. Corequisites: CHMO-235 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
CHMO-232
General Education – Elective: Organic Chemistry II
This course is a continuation of the study of the structure, nomenclature, reactions and synthesis of the following functional groups: aromatic systems, alcohols, ethers, epoxides, and carbonyls. This course will introduce the use of mechanisms in describing and predicting organic reactions. (Prerequisites: CHMO-231 or CHMO-331 or equivalent course. Corequisites: CHMO-236 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
CHMO-235
General Education – Elective: Organic Chemistry Lab I
This course trains students to perform techniques important in an organic chemistry lab. The course also covers reactions from the accompanying lecture CHMO-231. (Corequisite: CHMO-231 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
1
CHMO-236
General Education – Elective: Organic Chemistry Lab II
This course teaches students to apply basic lab techniques to organic synthetic experiments reactions covered in the accompanying lecture COS-CHMO-232. This course will also help students to solidify the concepts taught in lecture. The course will continue to instruct students in maintaining a professional lab notebook. (Prerequisites: CHMO-235 or equivalent course. Corequisites: CHMO-232 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
1
STAT-145
General Education – Elective: Introduction to Statistics I
This course introduces statistical methods of extracting meaning from data, and basic inferential statistics. Topics covered include data and data integrity, exploratory data analysis, data visualization, numeric summary measures, the normal distribution, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. The emphasis of the course is on statistical thinking rather than computation. Statistical software is used. (Prerequisite: MATH-101 or MATH-111 or NMTH-260 or NMTH-272 or NMTH-275 or a math placement exam score of at least 35.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
 
General Education – Artistic Perspective
3
 
General Education – Ethical Perspective
3
Third Year
BIOL-235
Fundamentals of Bioinformatics Programming
Computer programming in the life sciences is used for modeling and data analysis across all fields. In this course, students will learn more advanced techniques to solve life sciences modeling problems efficiently using parallelization and distributed computing. Common methods and thoughtful decisions on proper use of tools will be emphasized. (Prerequisites: BIOL-230 or equivalent course and students in COS Majors.) Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Fall).
3
BIOL-327
Fundamental Bioinformatics Analysis
This course addresses the fundamental concepts of bioinformatics, focusing on computational analysis of nucleic acids and proteins. Utilization of computational programs for analysis of individual and multiple sequences for functional and evolutionary information will be discussed. The computational laboratory will highlight the applications available for analysis of molecular sequences. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 2, Studio 2 (Fall).
3
BIOL-470
Statistical Analysis for Bioinformatics
This course is an introduction to the probabilistic models and statistical techniques used in computational molecular biology. Examples include Markov models, such as the Jukes-Cantor and Kimura evolutionary models and hidden Markov models, and multivariate models use for discrimination and classification. (Prerequisites: (MATH-161 or MATH-173 or MATH-182) and (STAT-145 or MATH-251) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
BIOL-499
Biology Co-op (summer)
Cooperative education experience for undergraduate biological sciences students. CO OP (Fall, Spring, Summer).
0
BIOL-550
Throughput Sequencing Analysis (WI-PR)
Students will utilize commonly used bioinformatics tools to analyze a real High Throughput Sequencing data set starting with raw data, proceeding with quality control, either aligning to a reference genome or performing de novo assembly, assessing differential gene expression determination, and finally annotating their results. Weekly lab reports will be required, and a group manuscript is expected at the end of the semester. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or equivalent courses.) Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Spring).
3
CHMB-402
General Education – Elective: Biochemistry I
This course introduces the structure and function of biological macromolecules and their metabolic pathways. The relationship between the three-dimensional structure of proteins and their function in enzymatic catalysis will be examined. Membrane structure and the physical laws that apply to metabolic processes will also be discussed. (Prerequisite: CHMO-231 or CHMO-331 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
ISTE-230
Introduction to Database and Data Modeling
A presentation of the fundamental concepts and theories used in organizing and structuring data. Coverage includes the data modeling process, basic relational model, normalization theory, relational algebra, and mapping a data model into a database schema. Structured Query Language is used to illustrate the translation of a data model to physical data organization. Modeling and programming assignments will be required. Note: students should have one course in object-oriented programming. (Prerequisites: ISTE-120 or ISTE-200 or IGME-101 or IGME-105 or CSCI-140 or CSCI-142 or NACA-161 or NMAD-180 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
 
General Education – Global Perspective
3
 
General Education – Social Perspective
3
 
General Education – Immersion 1
3
Fourth Year
BIOL-340
Genomics
This course introduces students to the analysis of complex genomes. Emphasis is placed on genetic information derived from the human genome project but advances with genomes of other model systems will be discussed. Lectures cover scientific techniques used to map and sequence the human genome, as well as strategies for identification of disease susceptibility genes. The laboratory utilizes an automated DNA sequencer to demonstrate the acquisition of genetic sequences. Laboratory sessions emphasize cycle sequencing of cloned DNA fragments using an automated fluorescent DNA sequencer. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
4
 
Molecular Bioscience and Biotechnology Electives
11
 
General Education – Immersion 2, 3
6
 
Open Electives
12
Total Semester Credit Hours
120

Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

Molecular Bioscience and Biotechnology Electives

Course
BIOL-204
Introduction to Microbiology
This course is an introduction to microorganisms and their importance. Principles of structure and function, metabolic diversity, taxonomy, environmental microbiology, bioremediation, and infectious diseases of bacteria are discussed. Basic laboratory techniques covered include: microscopy; staining, culturing, isolation, and identification of bacteria; isolation and identification of normal flora; identification of unknown bacteria; antibiotic resistance; metabolic tests; clinical and commercial testing protocols; and detection and counting of bacteria in environmental samples (foods, water, soils). (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
BIOL-302
Cell Biology
This course will address the fundamental concepts of cell biology. Class discussions, assignments, and laboratory projects will 1) Explore the structure-function relationships that drive cellular processes at the molecular, cellular and tissue level. 2) Investigate the mechanisms of cellular signaling and the transmission of genetic information. 3) Examine energy transformation strategies and the biochemical pathways used for synthesis and breakdown of ATP and other important biomolecules. 4) Investigate the organizational strategies used by cells to form functional tissue and organ systems. (Prerequisites: BIOL-202 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
BIOL-305
Plants, Medicine & Technology
Plants have played a significant role in the shaping of our world. This course will explore the utilization of plants for foods, fuels, materials, medicine, novel genetic information, and social aspects of different cultures. All cultures depend on about fifteen plant species, most of which have been changed by plant improvement methods to enhance human benefits. This course will explore these changes in important crops, plant constituents used in medicine, and the technology used to produce important plant-produced medicines. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lecture 4 (Spring).
BIOL-306
Food Microbiology
This course presents the microbiology of foods. Topics include microbial food spoilage, foodborne pathogens, food preservation techniques, and environmental parameters found in foods important in the survival of food spoilage microbes and foodborne pathogens. The lab will include exercises on isolating heterotrophs from all kinds of food, isolation of fungi from various foods, and the survival of various pathogens in food and beverages. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
BIOL-307
Microbiology of Wastewater
This is an advanced course in the microbiology of wastewater treatment, solids treatment, and the generation and maintenance of drinking water. Topics include activated sludge processes, clarification processes, disinfection processes, trickling filters, rotating biological contactors, waste stabilization ponds, sludge microbiology, anaerobic digestion of biosolids, microbial aspects of drinking water and drinking water distribution systems, and public health aspects of wastewater and biosolids disposal on land and in marine systems. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
BIOL-310
Bioenergy: Microbial Production
This course presents how microbial processes are used to produce various biofuels from renewable feedstocks. The topics presented include bioethanol production, biobutanol production, methane (biogas) production, biodiesel production, and the economics involved with the production of alternative fuels. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
BIOL-322
Developmental Biology
This course is a study of the processes of growth, differentiation and development that lead to the mature form of an organism. The course will also address how developmental biology is integrated with other aspects of biology including disease, ecology, and evolution. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
BIOL-335
Phage Biology
Viruses that infect bacteria (phages) are ubiquitous wherever their hosts reside– whether in soil, a hot spring or our own digestive tract. Phages are also the most abundant and diverse biological entities, consequently phage research is relevant to health, industry, agriculture, ecology and evolution. Phage Biology is a research-intensive course designed to explore the fundamental properties of phages, how they interact with their bacterial hosts, the major techniques used to characterize them and their applications. Since phage particles are comprised of DNA and protein the techniques employed in this course have relevance to many other biological disciplines. This course will develop both laboratory and analytical skills as students will isolate and characterize mutant phages in a novel model system, becoming mutation sleuths to determine mutation locations and their effect. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
BIOL-345
Molecular Ecology (WI-PR)
This course explores the biology of populations and communities of organisms using molecular data. As DNA, RNA and proteins are nearly universal between organisms, the principles taught in this course will have wide applications, both within ecology and throughout many sub-disciplines of biology. Furthermore, this course will prepare students to apply the techniques in numerous research fields. The primary literature and worldwide applications of the field of molecular ecology will be incorporated into the course. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
BIOL-365
Introduction to Population Genetics
This course consists of a study of DNA, genes, inheritance, genetic variation, genetic architecture, and change within and among populations. Fundamental genetics topics include DNA, gene, and chromosomal structure and function along with, transmission genetics, Mendelian inheritance patterns, sex-linked inheritance, genetic linkage, and the Hardy-Weinberg Principle. Population based topics will include genetic variation, its importance, how it originates and is maintained as well as inbreeding, random mating, mutation, migration, selection, genetic drift, the effects of small population size, fitness, population subdivision, the shifting balance theory, inter-deme selection, kin selection, neutral theory, molecular evolution, molecular clocks, multi-gene families, gene conversion, artificial selection, the genetic basis of quantitative traits and the fundamental theorem of natural selection. (Prerequisites: BIOL-265 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
BIOL-370
Environmental Microbiology
This course presents the microbiology of soils, freshwater, marine environments, and extreme environments. Topics include nutrient cycling in soils by microorganisms, the diversity of microorganisms in soils, the role of microorganisms in freshwater environments such as lakes, rivers, and wetlands and marine environments such as the open ocean, coastline environments, and salt marshes, and the diversity of microorganisms in extreme environments including highly acidic, highly alkaline, and highly saline environments. Laboratory experiments will explore the types of bacteria in different types of soils in Western New York, types of bacteria in different freshwater environments in Western NY, determining total and fecal coliform counts in freshwaters, determining the presence of antibiotic resistant coliforms in sediment samples, and examining the survival of various human pathogens in surface waters. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
BIOL-380
Bioremediation
This course is an introduction to bioremediation focusing on the interactions between engineers, chemists, hydrologists, and microbiologists to develop, design, and implement strategies to remediate contaminated soils or water. Topics include microorganisms involved in bioremediation, types of chemical pollutants, economics of remediation, environmental factors important in bioremediation, in situ processes, and ex situ processes. The laboratory project involves the isolation of hydrocarbon degrading bacteria from soils and sediments and further characterization of the hydrocarbon degrading isolates with respect to types of hydrocarbons degraded and rate of degradation. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
BIOL-404
Microbiology of Fermentation
Microbial fermentation is a hands-on course that will explore the use of fermented foods by early humans and the eventual control of the fermentative process by human culture. An understanding of the metabolism of fermenting microorganisms will be developed including an appreciation for metabolic engineering, starter cultures, and the genetic engineering of fermenting organisms. The course will also examine various fermentation processes including dairy products, cheese, meat, vegetables, bread, beer, wine, distilled spirits, vinegar, cocoa, and coffee. The course includes a laboratory component. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
BIOL-412
Human Genetics (WI-PR)
The course provides an overview of concepts and applications in human genetics. Topics include classical and complex mechanisms of inheritance, the human genome, human origins & evolution, forensic applications, personalized medicine, and ethical issues. (Prerequisites: BIOL-321 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
BIOL-416
Plant Biotechnology
In this course aspects of plant biotechnology will be investigated. Areas of concentration will include: tissue culture, genetic transformation of plant cells, regeneration of transgenic plants, and the construction and characterization of transgenic plants for food production, experimental biology investigations, and novel product(development. The laboratory will provide experiences to complement(the lecture information in plant cell culture and experiences in the use of Agrobacterium as the gene shuttle to introduce novel genetic information into plants. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 and BIOL-321 and BIOL-325 or equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
BIOL-418
Plant Molecular Biology
The course will introduce molecular biology concepts and encourage the application of these concepts to the particular plant gene being studied. This upper-level elective course has a strong laboratory element. Small groups will study different plant genes during the semester. The laboratory element will be a self-paced group project to amplify, clone, sequence, and examine the expression profiles of plant genes. Gene databases such as TAIR and NCBI, as well as sequence analysis software, will be used throughout the course. The groups will be guided to make week-by-week project plans, to troubleshoot problems, and record results in laboratory notebooks. In addition, weekly results and progress will be shared via an interactive wiki. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
BIOL-420
Bacterial-Host Interactions: Microbiomes of the World
This course focuses on the bacterial and host (human, insect, plant, animals and fungi) mechanisms used in interactions with hosts during both pathogenesis and symbiosis. We will explore molecular, microbiome and genomic levels, drawing on the disciplines of genomics, biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology. Several of the agonistic and antagonistic interactions will illustrate broader principles and contribute to our fundamental understanding of biological processes. The results of these interactions have a strong impact on biological productivity, and so are also ever increasing important in human health. An emphasis will be on the roles of molecules and cell structures in determining the outcome of an interaction. Course is intended to allow students to develop knowledge of host-bacterial interactions at the molecular to organismal level, with an emphasis on several model symbiotic- and patho-systems. Knowledge about bacterial mechanisms use to associate with host organisms and the different strategies bacteria employ to gain entry, damage host tissue and obtain nutrients for growth will be explored. We will also illustrate several mutualistic relationships between eukaryotic hosts with partner symbiotic bacteria. Genomic approaches to describe microbiomes (microbial communities) on host organisms and in environments will also be explored. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring, Summer).
BIOL-427
Microbial and Viral Genetics
The goal of this course is to gain an understanding of the genetic systems of prokaryotes and their viruses. There are two major foci: (1) the mechanisms bacteria and their viruses employ to preserve the integrity of their genomes and regulate gene expression, and (2) the mechanisms by which these entities acquire new genetic material. The relevance of these processes to evolution and the development of new traits that facilitate survival under new environmental conditions (e.g., antibiotic resistance) is highlighted, especially with regard to clinically, industrially and agriculturally important microbes. Molecular processes whose discovery led to the formation of important research and/or biotechnological tools will also be discussed. Students will participate in laboratory projects which highlight important mechanisms, such as transformation, transduction, lysogeny, conjugation and CRIPSR-Cas acquired adaptive immunity. (BIOL-201 orBIOL-202 orBIOG-240) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
BIOL-441
Genetic Engineering and Synthetic Biology (WI-PR)
This is a laboratory-based course on the introduction to the theoretical basis, laboratory techniques, and applications of genetic manipulations. In the lecture sessions, students will explore the molecular methods, applications of recombinant DNA technology and the issues regarding their use on the effect of genetic engineering in medicine, agriculture, biology, forensics and other areas of technology. The laboratory session has major components: 1) techniques used in the generation of recombinant molecules, 2) use of DNA sequence information and bioinformatics in recombinant DNA applications, 3) use of inducible expression systems for production of biotechnological products, and 4) discussions of potential ethic concerns of genome modifications or enhancements. (BIOL-201 orBIOL-202 orBIOG-240) Lec/Lab 6 (Spring).
BIOL-495
Advanced Biology Research
This course is a faculty-directed student project or research involving laboratory or field work, computer modeling, or theoretical calculations that could be considered of an original nature. The level of study is appropriate for students in their final two years of study. (This course requires permission of the Instructor to enroll.) Research (Fall, Spring, Summer).
BIOL-498
Advanced Independent Study
This course is a faculty-directed tutorial of appropriate topics that are not part of the formal curriculum. The level of study is appropriate for student in their final two years of study. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) Ind Study (Fall, Spring, Summer).
BIOL-599
Research Based Writing (WI-PR)
This course is intended for students with significant research experience to work closely with their faculty mentors to prepare a manuscript for publication or write a proposal for external funding. Students will devote significant time to writing, revision and peer review. A submission-quality manuscript or proposal is expected at the end of the semester. (Prerequisites: BIOL-495 or BIOL-570 or equivalent course and permission of instructor.) Research 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
BIOL-601
Genetic Disease and Disorders
The identification of genetic causes of disease has been one of the major modern scientific breakthroughs. This course examines a range of inherited diseases, how causative genetic variations were or are being identified, and what this means for the treatment of the diseases. Scientific literature will be utilized, both current and historical. (Prerequisites: BIOL-321 or equivalent course or graduate student standing.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
CHMA-222
Chemical Separations
CHMB-450
Infectious Diseases: Impact Society & Culture

Accelerated dual degree option

Accelerated dual degree options are for undergraduate students with outstanding academic records. Upon acceptance, well-qualified undergraduate students can begin graduate study before completing their BS degree, shortening the time it takes to earn both degrees. Students should consult an academic adviser for more information.

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, BS/Bioinformatics, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
BIOL-121
Introductory Biology I
This course serves as an introduction to molecular biology, cellular biology, genetics, developmental biology, and evolutionary biology. Topics will include: a study of the basic principles of modern cellular biology, including cell structure and function; the chemical basis and functions of life, including enzyme systems and gene expression; and both the processes and patterns of the organismal development (ontogeny) and the evolution of life on Earth (phylogeny). Laboratory experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of basic cellular, molecular, developmental, and evolutionary biology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for microscopy and biotechnology, and improve ability to make, record and interpret observations. Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
4
BIOL-122
Introductory Biology II
This course serves as an introduction to the diversification of life, plant anatomy and physiology, animal anatomy and physiology, and ecology. Topics include a survey of the taxonomic diversity of the major groups of living organisms, the anatomical and physiological adaptations of both plants and animals, and the principles of the ecological relationships among organisms and environments. Laboratory exercises are designed to illustrate concepts of taxonomy, anatomical & physiological adaptation, and ecological relationships. Labs are also designed to help the development of laboratory skills and techniques for experiments with live organisms, and improve the ability to make, record and interpret observations. Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
4
BIOL-130
Introduction to Bioinformatics
This course will explore topics in the field of bioinformatics including tools and resources used by the discipline, including direct experience with the common user environment. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
CHMG-141
General Education - Natural Science Inquiry Perspective: General & Analytical Chemistry I
This is a general chemistry course for students in the life and physical sciences. College chemistry is presented as a science based on empirical evidence that is placed into the context of conceptual, visual, and mathematical models. Students will learn the concepts, symbolism, and fundamental tools of chemistry necessary to carry on a discourse in the language of chemistry. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship between atomic structure, chemical bonds, and the transformation of these bonds through chemical reactions. The fundamentals of organic chemistry are introduced throughout the course to emphasize the connection between chemistry and the other sciences. Lecture 3, Recitation 1 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
CHMG-142
General Education - Scientific Principles Perspective: General & Analytical Chemistry II
The course covers the thermodynamics and kinetics of chemical reactions. The relationship between energy and entropy change as the driving force of chemical processes is emphasized through the study of aqueous solutions. Specifically, the course takes a quantitative look at: 1) solubility equilibrium, 2) acid-base equilibrium, 3) oxidation-reduction reactions and 4) chemical kinetics. (Prerequisites: CHMG-141 or CHMG-131 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
CHMG-145
General Education - Natural Science Inquiry Perspective: General & Analytical Chemistry I Lab
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-141 lecture material. The course emphasizes laboratory techniques and data analysis skills. Topics include: gravimetric, volumetric, thermal, titration and spectrophotometric analyses, and the use of these techniques to analyze chemical reactions. (Corequisite: CHMG-141 or CHMG-131 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
1
CHMG-146
General Education - Scientific Principles Perspective: General & Analytical Chemistry II Lab
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-142 lecture material. The course emphasizes the use of experiments as a tool for chemical analysis and the reporting of results in formal lab reports. Topics include the quantitative analysis of a multicomponent mixture using complexation and double endpoint titration, pH measurement, buffers and pH indicators, the kinetic study of a redox reaction, and the electrochemical analysis of oxidation reduction reactions. (Prerequisites: CHMG-131 or CHMG-141 or equivalent course. Corequisites: CHMG-142 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
1
MATH-181
General Education - Mathematical Perspective A: Project-Based Calculus I
This is the first in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers functions, limits, continuity, the derivative, rules of differentiation, applications of the derivative, Riemann sums, definite integrals, and indefinite integrals. (Prerequisite: A- or better in MATH-111 or A- or better in ((NMTH-260 or NMTH-272 or NMTH-275) and NMTH-220) or a math placement exam score greater than or equal to 70 or department permission to enroll in this class.) Lecture 6 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
4
MATH-182
General Education - Mathematical Perspective B: Project-Based Calculus II
This is the second in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers techniques of integration including integration by parts, partial fractions, improper integrals, applications of integration, representing functions by infinite series, convergence and divergence of series, parametric curves, and polar coordinates. (Prerequisites: C- or better in (MATH-181 or MATH-173 or 1016-282) or (MATH-171 and MATH-180) or equivalent course(s).) Lecture 6 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
4
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
0
 
General Education - First-Year Writing (WI)
3
Second Year
BIOL-135
Intro to Bioinformatics Programming
Computer programming in the life sciences is used for modeling and data analysis across all fields. In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of computer programming and apply it to solve real problems in the life sciences. Breaking down problems, common syntax, and thoughtful decisions on proper use of data structures will be emphasized. (UGRD-COS) Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Fall).
3
BIOL-202
Molecular Biology
This course will address the fundamental concepts of molecular biology. Class discussions, assignments, and laboratory projects will explore the structure and function of molecules and macromolecules, and processes important to storage and maintenance of genetic information and genetic information flow. Students in this course will explore molecular interactions that drive biological processes related to genetic information flow. Students in this course will gain an understanding of various molecular mechanisms, structure/function relationships, and processes as they relate to molecular biology. Students in this course will practice and carry out common laboratory techniques used by Molecular Biologists including, recombinant DNA technology and the detection and tracking of important macromolecules such as DNA, RNA and proteins. (Prerequisites: C- or better in (BIOL-101/102 and BIOL-103/104) or (BIOL-121/122) or equivalent. Students who have taken BIOL-201 cannot receive credit for BIOL-202. Co-requisites: (CHMG-141/145) or (CHEM-151/155) or CHMG-131 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
4
BIOL-230
Bioinformatics Languages
This is an introductory course in scripting languages focusing on the Perl programming language, the R statistical analysis program, and their application to biological data. We will investigate the use of Perl and R for processing sequence and "-omics" data, managing a variety of biological data types, and providing effective Web and graphical interfaces to existing tools for analysis of these data. (Prerequisites: BIOL-135 or equivalent course.) Lecture 2, Studio 3 (Spring).
3
BIOL-321
Genetics
Introduction to the principles of inheritance; the study of genes and chromosomes at molecular, cellular, organismal, and population levels. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3, Recitation 1 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
CHMO-231
Organic Chemistry I
This course is a study of the structure, nomenclature, reactions and synthesis of the following functional groups: alkanes, alkenes, alkynes. This course also introduces chemical bonding, IR and NMR spectroscopy, acid and base reactions, stereochemistry, nucleophilic substitution reactions, and alkene and alkyne reactions. In addition, the course provides an introduction to the use of mechanisms in describing and predicting organic reactions. (Prerequisites: CHMG-142 or CHMG-131 or equivalent course. Corequisites: CHMO-235 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
CHMO-235
Organic Chemistry Lab I
This course trains students to perform techniques important in an organic chemistry lab. The course also covers reactions from the accompanying lecture CHMO-231. (Corequisite: CHMO-231 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
1
MATH-190
Discrete Mathematics for Computing
This course introduces students to ideas and techniques from discrete mathematics that are widely used in Computer Science. Students will learn about the fundamentals of propositional and predicate calculus, set theory, relations, recursive structures and counting. This course will help increase students’ mathematical sophistication and their ability to handle abstract problems. (Co-requisites: MATH-182 or MATH-182A or MATH-172 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
STAT-145
Introduction to Statistics I
This course introduces statistical methods of extracting meaning from data, and basic inferential statistics. Topics covered include data and data integrity, exploratory data analysis, data visualization, numeric summary measures, the normal distribution, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. The emphasis of the course is on statistical thinking rather than computation. Statistical software is used. (Prerequisite: MATH-101 or MATH-111 or NMTH-260 or NMTH-272 or NMTH-275 or a math placement exam score of at least 35.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
 
General Education - Artistic Perspective
3
 
General Education - Ethical Perspective
3
 
General Education - Global Perspective
3
Third Year
BIOL-235
Fundamentals of Bioinformatics Programming
Computer programming in the life sciences is used for modeling and data analysis across all fields. In this course, students will learn more advanced techniques to solve life sciences modeling problems efficiently using parallelization and distributed computing. Common methods and thoughtful decisions on proper use of tools will be emphasized. (Prerequisites: BIOL-230 or equivalent course and students in COS Majors.) Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Fall).
3
BIOL-296
Ethical Issues in Biology and Medicine
This course explores major ethical issues in medicine and biology via lecture, readings, films, and presentation and discussion of cases. Students report on current events in ethics as researched on the internet or other news media. The first portion of the course is in a lecture format. Students learn about various theories of ethical analysis that are in current use. Subsequent classes are devoted to particular ethical areas. Relevant cases are given to the students for presentation in both written and oral formats. Any additional background material that may be required to discuss the cases is presented by the instructor and the remainder of the period is discussion based on the philosophical foundation provided at the beginning of the course. (Prerequisites: BIOL-102 or BIOL-122 or (1001-201, 1001-202 and 1001-203) or (1001-251, 1001-252 and 1001-253) or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
BIOL-327
Fundamental Bioinformatics Analysis
This course addresses the fundamental concepts of bioinformatics, focusing on computational analysis of nucleic acids and proteins. Utilization of computational programs for analysis of individual and multiple sequences for functional and evolutionary information will be discussed. The computational laboratory will highlight the applications available for analysis of molecular sequences. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 2, Studio 2 (Fall).
3
BIOL-499
Biology Co-op (summer)
Cooperative education experience for undergraduate biological sciences students. CO OP (Fall, Spring, Summer).
0
BIOL-550
High Throughput Sequencing Analysis
Students will utilize commonly used bioinformatics tools to analyze a real High Throughput Sequencing data set starting with raw data, proceeding with quality control, either aligning to a reference genome or performing de novo assembly, assessing differential gene expression determination, and finally annotating their results. Weekly lab reports will be required, and a group manuscript is expected at the end of the semester. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or equivalent courses.) Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Spring).
3
CHMB-402
Biochemistry I
This course introduces the structure and function of biological macromolecules and their metabolic pathways. The relationship between the three-dimensional structure of proteins and their function in enzymatic catalysis will be examined. Membrane structure and the physical laws that apply to metabolic processes will also be discussed. (Prerequisite: CHMO-231 or CHMO-331 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
ISTE-230
Introduction to Database and Data Modeling
A presentation of the fundamental concepts and theories used in organizing and structuring data. Coverage includes the data modeling process, basic relational model, normalization theory, relational algebra, and mapping a data model into a database schema. Structured Query Language is used to illustrate the translation of a data model to physical data organization. Modeling and programming assignments will be required. Note: students should have one course in object-oriented programming. (Prerequisites: ISTE-120 or ISTE-200 or IGME-101 or IGME-105 or CSCI-140 or CSCI-142 or NACA-161 or NMAD-180 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
 
General Education - Social Perspective
3
 
General Education - Immersion 1, 2
6
 
Open Elective
3
Fourth Year
BIOL-340
Genomics
This course introduces students to the analysis of complex genomes. Emphasis is placed on genetic information derived from the human genome project but advances with genomes of other model systems will be discussed. Lectures cover scientific techniques used to map and sequence the human genome, as well as strategies for identification of disease susceptibility genes. The laboratory utilizes an automated DNA sequencer to demonstrate the acquisition of genetic sequences. Laboratory sessions emphasize cycle sequencing of cloned DNA fragments using an automated fluorescent DNA sequencer. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
4
BIOL-470
Statistical Analysis for Bioinformatics
This course is an introduction to the probabilistic models and statistical techniques used in computational molecular biology. Examples include Markov models, such as the Jukes-Cantor and Kimura evolutionary models and hidden Markov models, and multivariate models use for discrimination and classification. (Prerequisites: (MATH-161 or MATH-173 or MATH-182) and (STAT-145 or MATH-251) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
BIOL-630
Bioinformatics Algorithms
Bioinformatics Algorithms will focus on the types of analyses, tools, and databases that are available and commonly used in Bioinformatics. The labs will apply the lecture material in the analysis of real data through computer programming. (This course is restricted to students in the BIOINFO-MS, BIOINFO-BS/MS program.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
3
BIOL-694
Molecular Modeling and Proteomics
This course will explore two facets of protein molecules: their separation and their structure. The structure component will build upon information from earlier bioinformatics courses. Protein separation techniques will be addressed in lectures with descriptions of 2D gel electrophoresis and chromatography. Algorithms of protein secondary structure prediction will be implemented. Experimental techniques for tertiary structure determination such as NMR will be covered. The course will also include the analysis of inter-molecular interactions, such as ligand/receptor pairing, by employing software that permits modeling of molecular docking experiments. (Prerequisites: BIOL-330 or equivalent course or graduate student standing.) Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Spring).
3
BIOL-790
Research and Thesis
Masters-level research by the candidate on an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor. (This course requires permission of the Instructor to enroll.) Thesis (Fall, Spring, Summer).
2
 
Open Electives
9
 
General Education - Immersion 3
3
 
General Education - Elective
3
Fifth Year
BIOL-625
Ethics in Bioinformatics
This course will be focused on individual and organizational responsibilities in bioinformatics research, product development, product commercialization and clinical and consumer genetic testing. (This course is restricted to students in the BIOINFO-MS, BIOINFO-BS/MS program.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
BIOL-635
Bioinformatics Seminar
The course provides opportunities for students and faculty to develop and share professional interests while discussing current trends and developments in bioinformatics. Material for this course will be drawn from the current scientific literature. (This course is restricted to students in the BIOINFO-MS, BIOINFO-BS/MS program.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
BIOL-671
Database Management for the Sciences
Students will learn to create and maintain efficient relational databases for use in modeling and analysis in the sciences. Topics will include an introduction to relational algebra, SQL, and advanced relational designs. (Graduate Science) Lecture 2, Studio 2 (Spring).
3
BIOL-672
Computational Statistics and Data Science Methods
This course will introduce traditional multivariate statistical methods and multi-model inference, as well as iterative computational algorithms (i.e. Bayesian methods and machine learning) appropriate for graduate students conducting or planning to conduct a graduate research project. The course will focus on the proper application of methods to a sample data sets using statistical programming software and graphics and will forego the more in-depth analytical mathematical exposition that you might see in a math course, so that we can cover a larger variety of methods and spend more time implementing them in code. Practical examples will often derive from the fields of biology, environmental science, or medicine, however the statistical methods we cover will also have much broader application within modern data science. The ultimate goal will be to learn when and where to correctly apply a given method to real questions about real data. Class time will be devoted to introductory lecture, programming language demonstrations with a common dataset, and open discussions of potential applications, including in-class studio hours to help with homework. Students should be prepared to learn to write code scripts that will manipulate statistical tests and graphical output. However, no background experience with programming is assumed. All software used in the course is open-source and students will be required to set up and run weekly assignments on their own laptop computer or on a computer borrowed from the library or RIT’s computer lab. (Prerequisites: STAT-145 or equivalent course or graduate student standing.) Lecture 2, Studio 2 (Fall, Spring).
3
BIOL-790
Research and Thesis
Masters-level research by the candidate on an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor. (This course requires permission of the Instructor to enroll.) Thesis (Fall, Spring, Summer).
4
 
Graduate Program Electives‡
6
Total Semester Credit Hours
144

Please see General Education Curriculum-Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) in the Graduation Requirements section of this bulletin for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

‡ Graduate electives may be any graduate-level course related to the field of bioinformatics. Consult academic advisers for assistance in course selection.

Admission Requirements

Freshman Admission

For all bachelor’s degree programs, a strong performance in a college preparatory program is expected. Generally, this includes 4 years of English, 3-4 years of mathematics, 2-3 years of science, and 3 years of social studies and/or history.

Specific math and science requirements and other recommendations

  • 3 years of math required; pre-calculus recommended
  • Biology and chemistry required

Transfer Admission

Transfer course recommendations without associate degree

Courses in liberal arts, sciences, math, and computing

Appropriate associate degree programs for transfer

AS degree in biotechnology or liberal arts with biology

Learn about admissions, cost, and financial aid 

Latest News

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  • October 3, 2019

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    Student Spotlight: Pursuing research opportunities in Germany

    Alexandria Shumway was selected to do research abroad over the summer through the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) RISE program, or German Academic Exchange Service. Through this program, the fifth-year bioinformatics and computational biology (BS) and bioinformatics (MS) student traveled to Kiel, Germany, to complete her research at the Christian-Albrecht University of Kiel.