Bioinformatics and Computational Biology M.S.
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, 300 University Square, 111 South Broadway, Rochester, MN 55904 (507-258-8006; fax: 507-258-8066)
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The graduate program in bioinformatics and computational biology (BICB) offers course work in five core areas: 1) biochemistry, molecular and cell biology; 2) database, data mining, and computing; 3) informatics, analysis, and machine learning; 4) mathematics, biostatistics, and statistics; and 5) computational and systems biology. In addition, students select courses from a diverse set of fields, including chemistry, chemical engineering, physics, biophysics, structural biology, imaging, signal processing, and clinical and translational sciences. The curriculum is individualized to fit the student's interest and research direction. Prior coursework may be used to fill the requirements if appropriate. Students may pursue a minor in a different program. All students receive training in ethics, leadership, and management, including legal and intellectual property issues and entrepreneurship. Those interested in academic careers have the opportunity to participate in development programs that focus on aspects of teaching and learning. The MS is offered under two plans: Plan A (with thesis), and Plan B (with project). Plan A is considered suitable for students planning to pursue careers that require a limited research experience or those planning to continue their education in a PhD program. It is also suitable for students with full-time employment whose thesis can be related to their work assignments. Plan B is suitable for students planning to work in settings where technical knowledge is more germane than research experience.
Prerequisites for Admission
The program expects incoming graduate students to have a strong background in the quantitative sciences and varied backgrounds in the life/health sciences.
The expected competencies of incoming students may be demonstrated by coursework completed at the undergraduate level or by informal competency examinations.
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
In addition to completing the online application form, applicants must submit a personal statement, which describes past experiences and career aspirations, and reasons for pursuing graduate studies in bioinformatics and computational biology. Applicants should also indicate names of the BICB graduate faculty whose interests overlap their own. Although there is no page limit for the personal statement, 2-3 pages are recommended.
Special Application Requirements:
Applications for the M.S. program are accepted throughout the year for either fall or spring. GRE scores may be waived for students with significant work or academic experience.
Applicants must submit their test score(s) from the following:
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
Key to test abbreviations (GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Plan A: Plan A requires 14 major credits, 0 credits outside the major, and 10 thesis credits. The final exam is oral.
Plan B: Plan B requires 24 major credits and 0 credits outside the major. The final exam is oral. A capstone project is required.
Capstone Project:Plan B students complete a project under the direction of a faculty member and present the work to their faculty committee in an oral exam.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
A minimum GPA of 2.80 is required for students to remain in good standing.
At least 1 semesters must be completed before filing a Degree Program Form.
The MS is offered under two plans: Plan A (with thesis), and Plan B (with project). Plan A is considered suitable for students planning to pursue careers that require a limited research experience or those planning to continue their education in a PhD program. Plan A students give a public presentation about their thesis work, followed by a closed oral examination open only to the final oral examination committee and the student. This plan is suitable for students with full-time employment whose thesis can be related to their work assignments. Plan B is suitable for students planning to work in settings where technical knowledge is more germane than research experience. The requirements include 20 course credits for Plan A and 30 course credits for Plan B. Up to 6 credits outside the major may be taken but are not required.
A sub-plan is not required for this program.
Students may not complete the program with more than one sub-plan.