Learn the tools to unlock the next big discovery while gaining real-world industry experience with a master's degree in bioinformatics.

A specialization in bioinformatics within the award-winning Master of Science in biotechnology program at University of Maryland University College helps prepare you to become a qualified bioinformatics professional for public- or private-sector organizations. You'll gain cutting-edge knowledge, and you'll also develop experience in the field, which can give you an advantage in the job market.

Bioinformatics is a blend of biology, computer science, and mathematics. Modern biology generates massive quantities of big data. Hidden in this data might be the next blockbuster cancer therapy, the definitive proof that a certain gene is responsible for a disease, or the information needed to replicate a crucial biological process—and you could be on the team that discovers it.

About the Biotechnology Master's Degree with Bioinformatics Specialization

The bioinformatics curriculum covers a broad range of subjects at the interface of molecular biology and computational science. You'll gain real-world experience through interactions with biotechnology and learn from case studies that tackle real challenges.

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Code in Perl and Java
  • Analyze big data, next-generation sequencing data, and scientific data
  • Perform sequence alignments and phylogenetic analyses
  • Use biostatistics, databases and data structures, algorithms, and mathematical modeling

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Align and analyze DNA, RNA, and protein sequences, then perform phylogenetic analyses on them
  • Write computer scripts in Perl to automate complex tasks and analyze biological data
  • Work on a team for a sponsoring organization to tackle a real project

Biotechnology Master's Degree with Bioinformatics Specialization Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Master's - specialization Courses

Introductory Course

  • UCSP 615
    (to be taken within the first 6 credits of study)

We also recommend UCSP 605 if you'd like to improve your graduate writing skills.

Core Courses

  • BIOT 640
  • BIOT 630
  • BIOT 645
  • BIOT 643

Core Rules & Recommendations

  • BIOT 640 must be taken as the first course.
  • All BIOT courses must be completed in the order listed before taking specialization courses.
  • If you don't have a molecular biology background, you must take a college-level molecular biology course or BIOT 601 prior to the required program core. BIOT 601 can be taken in your first semester along with BIOT 640.

Specialization Courses

  • BIFS 613
  • BIFS 614
  • BIFS 617
  • DBST 651
  • BIFS 618
  • DBST 652
  • BIFS 619

Specialization Rules & Recommendations

  • STAT 200 or an equivalent statistics course (with a grade of C or higher for an undergraduate course; B or higher for a graduate course) must be taken before BIFS 613.
  • UCSP 635 and UCSP 636 or an equivalent programming course (with a grade of C or higher for an undergraduate course; B or higher for a graduate course) must be taken before BIFS 617.
  • BIFS 617 must be taken before BIFS 618 and BIFS 619.

Capstone Course

  • BTMN 670

Capstone Rules & Recommendations

  • This course must be taken after you have completed 30 credits.
  • This course is not offered during the summer term.

Other Requirements

  • You must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher at all times.
  • All degree requirements must be fulfilled within five consecutive years.
  • Any transfer credits must have been earned within the five-year time frame to be applied toward a graduate degree.
 

Program Admission Requirements

If you don't have a molecular biology background, you must either take a college-level molecular biology course or BIOT 601 prior to the required program core. BIOT 601 can be taken in your first semester along with BIOT 640.

 

Awards & Recognition

  • Outstanding Continuing Education Student Award | Michael Dayton, Master of Science in Biotechnology student | University Professional and Continuing Education Association, Mid-Atlantic Region | 2012

Quality Assurance Recognition

PSM LogoThis program has received a special designation as a Professional Science Master's Degree by the Council of Graduate Schools.