Master of Science in Biotechnology: Bioinformatics

Professional Science Master'sThis program has been designated a Professional Science Master's Degree through the Council of Graduate Schools.

Bioinformatics Specialization

This specialization covers a broad range of subjects (for example, biostatistics, databases and data structures, algorithms, gene expression analysis, and PERL) at the interface of molecular biology and computational science.

Career Path

The Master of Science program in biotechnology serves a number of careers at the entry-, mid-, or high-level positions, depending on the prior level of experience of the candidate.

Graduates of the bioinformatics specialization, depending on their background, can find positions such as:

  • Bioinformatics Analyst
  • Bioinformatics Specialist
  • Computational Biologist
  • Biological Database Specialist
  • Instructor

Master of Science in Biotechnology Course Requirements


Students who wish to improve their graduate writing skills may take UCSP 605, Effective Graduate Writing (0).

Students who have not taken a programming course previously are strongly encouraged to take UCSP 635 and 636 prior to beginning any BIFS courses.

Program Rules

Students without coursework in molecular biology must take BIOT 601 Introduction to  Molecular Biology. BIOT 601 can be taken along with BIOT 640.

Core Required Courses

UCSP 615* Orientation to Graduate Studies at UMUC (0), to be taken within the first 6 credits of study.

  • BIOT 640 Societal Issues in Biotechnology(3)
  • BIOT 630 Introduction to Bioinformatics (3)
  • BIOT 645 Bioprocessing and the Business of Biotechnology (3)
  • BIOT 643 Techniques of Biotechnology (3)

* BTMN 670 must be taken after completion of 30 credits of study.
Note: BTMN 670 is not offered during the summer term.

Core Rules

  1. BIOT 640 must be taken as the first program course.
  2. All core courses with the BIOT designator must be completed before starting any specialization.

Specialization - Bioinformatics (BIFS) Required Courses

  • BIFS 613 Statistical Processes for Biotechnology (3)
  • BIFS 614 Data Structures and Algorithms (3)
  • BIFS 617 Advanced Bioinformatics (3)
  • DBST 651 Relational Database Systems (3)
  • BIFS 618 Java for Biotechnology Applications (3)
  • DBST 652 Advanced Relational/Object-Relational Database Systems (3)
  • BIFS 619 Systems Level Approaches in Bioinformatics (3)
Capstone Course

BTMN 670 Capstone in Biotechnology (3)
Note: BTMN 670 is not offered during the summer term.

Specialization Rules

  • BIFS 617 is a prerequisite to BIFS 618 and BIFS 619.
  • STAT 200 (with a grade of C or higher; B or higher if a graduate course) or an equivalent statistics course is prerequisite to BIFS 613.


Note: Some course titles and numbers were revised beginning with the fall 2007 semester. If you began your program prior to fall 2007 and have chosen to follow the pre-fall 2007 curriculum, please refer to the pre-fall 2007 Study Plan to determine your degree requirements.

* The UCSP 615 requirement may be waived if you previously earned a graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution. For more information, contact your academic advisor.

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Professional Science Master's Recognized in Washington Post

UMUC's Professional Science Master's degrees were recognized by the Washington Post for helping students pair scientific know-how with business savvy. Read the article to learn about how UMUC's capstone projects help our students stand out in the job market.

Bioinformatics Program Featured in The New York Times

"A Degree Where Techie Meets Business Smarts" profiles UMUC's biotechnology programs, describing how graduates learn data analysis skills that are sought after in science fields, giving graduates an edge in their careers.

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Master of Science in Biotechnology

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