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Bioinformatics, MS - Curriculum & Duration

The requirements for the master's degree are designed with a balanced emphasis on both basic science (biology and biochemistry) and computing, with special focus on the programming skills most needed in today's pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

A unique aspect of the curriculum is to “embed” computer science and programming instruction within various bioinformatics courses. Students will learn multiple programming languages including Python, Perl, R and web design (HTML/CSS/Javascript) without taking an additional slate of dedicated computer science courses.

Independent Project

A key requirement of the master's degree is the completion of an independent project over a period of two semesters. Here, you will take primary responsibility for a practical programming problem in bioinformatics, typically the creation of software needed to fulfill a specific, real-life need.

This independent work will be conducted at the site of an industrial or academic partner of the Bioinformatics Program, providing you with invaluable experience far beyond the level of a typical course or term project.

Ideally, you would work closely with one or more industry or university scientists in defining the problem to be addressed and then work independently in devising and implementing a solution, preferably using a modern Web-based approach.

Tracks

The Master of Science, Non-Thesis degree program can be completed through a Biotechnology or Computational track.

For detailed course descriptions and other information about the curriculum, see the University Catalog.

Biotechnology Track

Course Number Course Name Credits
BI 765 Microarray Technology 3 credits
BI 775 Proteomics 3 credits
BI 780 Advanced Systems Analysis and Design for Bioinformatics 3 credits
BI 785 Advanced Algorithms for Bioinformatics 3 credits
BI 790 Project in Bioinformatics (two semesters) 8 credits
BI 898 Graduate Seminar (two semesters) 2 credits
BS 764 Biotechnology 3 credits
BS 765 Biotechnology Laboratory 2 credits
BI 880 Direct Study in Bioinformatics 1 credit
  Elective Course 3 credits
  Total Biotechnology Track Requirement 31 credits

Computational Track

Course Number Course Name Credits
BI 765 Microarray Technology 3 credits
BI 775 Proteomics 3 credits
BI 780 Advanced Systems Analysis and Design for Bioinformatics 3 credits
BI 785 Advanced Algorithms for Bioinformatics 3 credits
BI 790 Project in Bioinformatics (two semesters) 8 credits
BI 898 Graduate Seminar (two semesters) 2 credits
BI 745 Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics 3 credits
BI755/ST760* Advanced Probability for Bioinformatics 3 credits
BI 880 Direct Study in Bioinformatics 1 credit
  Elective Course 3 credits
  Total Computational Track Requirement 32 credits

*ST 760 Special Topics in Statistics may be substituted for BI755 with approval of the program director in advance.

Suggested Electives

  • BI 425 - Bioinformatic Computing Credits: 3
  • BI 450 - Bioinformatics I: Genomics Credits: 3
  • BI 451 - Bioinformatics II Credits: 3
  • BI 860 - Special Topics in Bioinformatics Credits: 2 to 3
  • BS 752 - Advanced Immunology Credits: 3
  • BS 761 - Advanced Cell Biology Credits: 3
  • BS 860 - Special Topics in Cell Biology and Biotechnology Credits: 2 to 3
  • CH 728 - Advanced Biochemistry Credits: 3
  • CH 748 - Computer-Aided Drug Design (CADD) Credits: 3
  • ST 704 - Statistics for Research Credits: 3
  • ST 720 - Regression Analysis Credits: 3

Many other courses are appropriate to support the bioinformatics graduate degree and may be selected in consultation with the program director.  

Contact:

Zhijun Li, PhD
Program Director

Office Location:

McNeil Science and Technology Center, Room 219

Address:

University of the Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495

Phone:

215-596-7539

Email:

z.li@usciences.edu