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Course content

Program overview

The master of science degree in bioinformatics provides students with a strong foundation in biotechnology, computer programming, computational mathematics, statistics, and database management. Graduates of the program are well-prepared for 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 industry-sponsored 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 in two ways. First, a comprehensive bridge program exists for students who need to supplement their education before entering the program. Second, the program itself consists of 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 for completion of 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.


Bioinformatics, MS degree, typical course sequence:
First Year
-Bioinformatics Seminar
-Graduate Bioinformatics Algorithms
-Graduate Ethics in Bioinformatics
Choose one of the following
-Database Management for the Sciences
-Cell and Molecular Genetics
-Graduate Elective*
-Graduate Statistical Analysis for Bioinformatics
-Graduate Molecular Modeling and Proteomics
-Graduate Elective*
Second Year

* Any graduate level course deemed related to the field of bioinformatics by the program director. See website for details.

Other admission requirements

-Have an undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher (on a 4.0 scale).
-Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
-Submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and complete a graduate application.
-International applicants whose primary language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 79 (Internet-based) is required. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores are accepted in place of the TOEFL exam. Minimum scores will vary; however, the absolute minimum score required for unconditional acceptance is 6.0. For additional information about the IELTS, please visit http://www.ielts.org.

Visit the Bioinformatics MS page on the Rochester Institute of Technology USA website for more details!





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