Bioinformatics, M.S.

Program Director: Miranda Darby, Ph.D., darby@hood.edu, 301-696-3650

The educational objective of the M.S. in Bioinformatics is to ensure that students develop expertise in both the biological and computational concepts needed in today’s research and corporate biotech labs. Bioinformatics is a complex field that drives biological research through the development of computational tools. Students will acquire a full complement of skills that are highly sought regionally, nationally, and abroad. Employers are seeking bioinformaticians with a strong understanding of the underlying biology and the ability to analyze and interpret complex data.  Students will learn to perform robust and reproducible analyses using existing computational resources and will gain the skills necessary to build new computational tools adapted to evolving data types.  In addition, students will develop the leadership and communication skills necessary to function effectively in a complex matrix environment.  Students are encouraged to showcase their skills through internships or collaborative projects with nearby federal and corporate biotech labs.

The MS in Bioinformatics has the following learning outcomes:

a) Demonstrate proficiency in R, Python, Unix/Linux and an understanding of programming best practices. 

b) Obtain, utilize, archive, and share data using the best practices for reproducible research.

c) Understand, interpret and present results from “–omics” data, including Next Generation Sequencing results.

d) Utilize leadership skills to plan and execute a project in a matrix environment.

Application Requirements:

Students wishing to enter the program must have 1) a completed undergraduate degree (BA or BSc) in a life science or computer science field with a GPA of 2.75 or higher; or 2) an in-progress or completed Hood College Certificate in Bioinformatics with a 3.0 or higher; or 3) a completed Master's degree (MA or MSc) in a biology-related field or computer science related field with a 3.0 or better.

Program Requirements

The 33-credit M.S. in Bioinformatics includes 18 credits of required foundational coursework, 3 credits of a final capstone project, and 12 credits of elective coursework. All of the classes are taught in the evening by experts in the field who interact personally with their students.  The degree includes a required “gateway” foundational course that differs according to the student’s background in either biology or computer science. The coursework includes the following:

Capstone Requirement

BIFX 579Capstone Project

3.0

Elective Courses - 12 credits required

BIFX 546Knowledge Reasoning and Machine Learning

3.0

BIFX 547Web-based Bioinformatics and Applications in Life Sciences

3.0

BIFX 548Data Visualization for Bioinformatics

3.0

BIFX 552Bioinformatics Applications I

3.0

BIFX 553Bioinformatics Applications II

3.0

Foundation Courses

BIFX 501/BMS 501Foundation in Life Sciences (for non-Life Scientists)

3.0

or

BIFX 502Foundations in Computer Sciences (for non-Computer Scientists)

3.0

 

BIFX 503Statisticss for Bioinformatics

3.0

BIFX 530Introduction to Database Systems and SQL

3.0

BIFX 545Leadership Skills and Project Management in Life Sciences

3.0

BIFX 550Nucleic Acid Sequence Analysis and Protein Modeling

3.0

BIFX 551Programming for Bioinformatics

3.0