Gain scientific knowledge and computational skills to leverage the large variety of biological data being generated, and meet the growing demand for individuals who understand core biological concepts and the computational approaches needed for 21st century biology.
About the Major
Our B.S. in Bioinformatics is among the first of such undergraduate degree programs offered in the U.S. This emerging area of interdisciplinary study aims to apply computational techniques to manage, analyze, and understand biological information. Rapid technological advances in recent years (e.g., in genome sequencing) have produced an explosion in the scale and variety of biological data, thus making traditional approaches to data manipulation impractical. What is required instead is a combination of highly sophisticated computational algorithms and tools, coupled with the deep biological knowledge necessary to apply those tools effectively. The purpose of this degree program is to provide students with the knowledge and expertise, spanning both computational and biological domains, necessary to function effectively in this rapidly growing field.
The B.S. in Bioinformatics includes an integrated curriculum designed to teach fundamental skills in both biology and computer science. All majors take a common core, including newly developed courses in bioinformatics. Majors then choose one of four areas of emphasis (or tracks) for more advanced training: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Systems Biology, or Computer Science. The Bioinformatics course of study includes introductory and advanced coursework in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and computer science. Electives are offered from many different fields of biology, math, computer science, and informatics.
Graduates of the program are able to function successfully at the interface of biology and computer science, with specialization in either the biological (e.g., the interpretation and analysis of biological data) or computational (e.g., the development of software tools and algorithms) arena.
Please note the curriculum with four sub-plans is only available for students enrolling prior to academic year 2020-2021. Beginning Fall 2020, the Bioinformatics major no longer has a sub-plan.
Students who pursue this degree option may seek careers in:
- Biomedical engineering
- Computational biology
- Data science
- Software engineering
- Machine learning