Graduate Catalog

Ramin Homayouni, PhD
Program Director
Room 402, Smith Chemistry Bldg.
(901) 678-3132


Master of Science in Bioinformatics

 All graduate students must comply with the general requirements of the Graduate School (see Admissions Regulations, Academic Regulations, and Minimum Degree Requirements) as well as the program requirements of the degree being pursued.

Bioinformatics is an emerging multidisciplinary field which combines mathematical and computer science approaches to solve biological problems. The Master’s in Bioinformatics is designed to train highly skilled individuals with fundamental understanding of computer programming and data structures, statistical analysis of data, as well as genomics and systems biology.

A. Admission Requirements

  1. GRE scores are required and are an important factor for admission;
  2. Two letters of recommendation;
  3. A minimum score of 550 on the paper-based TOEFL, or 80 on the internet-based TOEFL (for students whose native language is not English);
  4. Undergraduate degree in biology, computer science, or related field with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

B. Prerequisites

Satisfactory completion of at least two undergraduate level courses in each of the following disciplines: biology, mathematics and computer science. Students should have some background in computer programming, data structures, statistics, and molecular biology. Students deficient in prerequisite courses will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

C. Program Requirements:

Candidates must satisfactorily complete 36 credit hours of graduate course work, 26 hours of which must be 7000 level or higher)  as approved by the Program Advisor and distributed as follows:

  1. Major Field Core (14 credit hours):
    BINF 7970 Curr Lit Bioinformatics (1 semesters required)
    BINF 7980 Research Seminar in Bioinformatics (1 semesters required)
    COMP 6030 Introduction to Algorithms or COMP 7712 Algorithms Implementation and Problem Solving
    COMP 7295 Introduction to Bioinformatics
    MATH 6635 Introduction to Probability Theory
    MATH 7643 Least/Sq/Regr Analysis
  2. Biology: 6 credit hours chosen from:
    BIOL 7131 Cell and Molecular Biology
    BIOL 7701 Introduction to Genomics & Bioinformatics
    BIOL 7440 Molecular Biology of Cancer
    BIOM 7004 Life Sciences for Biomedical Engineering I
  3. Electives: 6-12 credit hours chosen from:
    BIOL 6470 Molecular Genetics
    BIOL 6480 Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology
    BIOL 7704 Problems Genome Science
    BIOM 7110 Biostatistics
    COMP 6014 Intro to Java Programming
    COMP 6081 Software Engineering
    COMP 6262 Programming in UNIX
    COMP 6601 Models of Computation
    COMP 7012 Foundations of Software Engineering
    COMP 7115 Database Systems
    COMP 7116 Advanced Database Systems
    COMP 7118 Data Mining
    COMP 7212 Operating and Distributed Systems
    COMP 7282 Evolutionary Computations
    COMP 7612 Foundations of Computing
    COMP 7740 Neural Networks
    COMP 7780 Natural Language Processing
    MATH 6607 Introduction to SAS Programming
    MATH 6636 Intro Statistical Theory
    MATH 7221 Stat Gene Expression
    MATH 7607 Advanced Programming in SAS
    MATH 7608 Statistical Programming with R
    MATH 7641 Analysis of Variance
    MATH 7642 Design of Experiments
    MATH 7643 Regression Analysis
    MATH 7647 Nonparametric Methods
    MATH 7657 Multivariate Methods
    MATH 7660 Applied Time Series Analysis
    MATH 7680 Bayesian Inference
    MATH 7685 Statistical Computing and Simulation
    MATH 7695 Bootstrap and Other Resampling Methods
    MIS 7605 Business Database Systems
    PUBH 7150 Biostatistical Methods I
    PUBH 7152 Biostatistical Methods II
  4. Thesis: 3 credit hours
    BINF 7996 Thesis or BINF 7992 Bioinformatics Project.


BINF 7092 - Research (1-3)
Non-traditional setting in which master's students develop research in consultation with the instructor and the program director that will lead to development of Master's Thesis or Project. Two written reports are required per semester. May be repeated for a total of 12 semester hours. Up to four credit hours may be applied toward the degree requirement. Grades of S/U, or IP will be given.

BINF 7701 - Intro Genomics/Bioinformatics (3)
Accelerated introduction to molecular and genomic sciences, covering basic concepts of gene and protein structure/ function, genome sequencing and annotation, single nucleotide polymorphism, genetic variation, gene expression, and functional genomics and systems biology. PREREQUISITE: Permission of Instructor.

BINF 7970 - Curr Lit Bioinformatics (1)
Lectures, readings, discussions, and oral presentation from current bioinformatics research articles. One class is required to meet degree requirements. PREREQUISITE: permission of instructor.

BINF 7980 - Rsch Sem/Bioinformatics (1)
Current research topics in Bioinformatics. One class is required to meet degree requirements. PREREQUISITE: Permission of Instructor.

BINF 7991 - Bioinformatics Internship (1-3)
Supervised practical experience conducted in industrial, academic research or clinical research organizations. The project must be approved by the program director and may be supervised by any faculty in the program. A written report is required. Up to three credit hours may be applied toward the degree requirement. Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

BINF 7992 - Bioinformatics Project (3)
Research project conducted in lieu of a Master's thesis under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The project must be approved by the program director and may be supervised by any faculty in the program. A written report and an oral presentation are required for satisfactory completion of the course. Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

BINF 7996 - Bioinformatics Thesis (1-6)
Supervised research in preparation for advanced degree thesis. May be repeated for up to 6 hours. Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

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