Interdisciplinary Studies: Specialization in Bioinformatics (PhD)

Admission Requirements

Applicants for interdisciplinary doctoral programs must present complete admission credentials and have an approved program of study in order to be formally admitted by the Graduate School.

  • Complete graduate application.
  • A 3.25 grade point average.
  • Competitive scores on the Quantitative, Verbal, Critical Thinking and Analytical portions of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
  • Proof of a Baccalaureate Degree and official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • International students for whom English is not their primary language must show English language proficiency by one of the following:
    • TOEFL examination score 213 (computer-based test) or 79 (internet-based test)
    • IELTS test score of 6.5 or higher
    • Duolingo score of 105.
    • Demonstration of a degree awarded from an acceptable English language institution.
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who are able to comment on the student’s academic abilities and a potential for success in graduate studies.
  •  

Programs of Study

Course requirements for the Interdisciplinary PhD Degree Program in Bioinformatics consist of 16 core credit hours (that will be conditional based upon focus area) and 21 credit hours derived from a combination of required courses from a chosen focus area and electives from each of the three focus areas. Students with an appropriate background in the biomedical and natural sciences may petition to substitute a course in either the Computational Sciences or Mathematics and Statistics focus for the core course BIOC 545 and a corresponding course in either the Computational Sciences or Mathematics and Statistics, thus maintaining 16 core credit hours. Following acceptance into a focus area, students will be required to complete three courses totaling at least nine hours from the declared focus area. At least four additional elective courses (12 credit hours) will be selected from available elective courses, with the provision that two elective courses must be selected in each of the other two focus areas. The Program of Study will be determined by the student and approved by both an advisor residing in a declared focus area department and the Executive Committee. The following tables list the required courses for the core as well as the required and elective courses in each of the focus areas. Students must accumulate at least nine (9) credit hours of dissertation.  

Good standing requires that the student maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average. Upon successful completion of the written and oral portions of the qualifying examination, the examination committee will recommend acceptance into PhD candidacy. Successful completion of the dissertation and its presentation and defense is established by the approval of the student’s dissertation committee and the approval of the chair of the sponsoring department and the program chair.

Core Course Work16
Biochemistry I 1,2,3
Cell Biology
Cell Biology 1,2,3
Responsible Conduct of Research: Survival Skills and Research Ethics 1
Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms
Data Mining
Introduction to Bioinformatics 1
Statistics for Bioinformatics
Focus Area & Electives (see lists below)21
Focus Area (minimum three courses) 4
Electives (minimum four courses) 4
Dissertation9
Minimum Total Hours46
1

 All courses are required.

2

CHEM 645 may be substituted. Students may take either the BIOC 545/BIOC 547 or CHEM 645/CHEM 647 sequence but are not allowed to take the sequence BIOC 545/CHEM 647 or CHEM 645/BIOC 547.

3

Students with an appropriate background in the biomedical and natural sciences may petition to substitute a course in either the Computational Sciences or Mathematics and Statistics focus.

4

Courses selected with approval of advisor and the Executive Committee

5

At least one elective course must be selected from each of the other two focus areas other than the student's primary focus area.


Focus Area Electives

Elective Courses in Mathematics and Statistics
MATH 505Introduction to Partial Differential Equations3
MATH 561Probability 13
PHYS 565Advanced Computational and Numerical Methods in Physics3
PHYS 625Statistical Mechanics3
MATH 636Mathematical Modeling II3
PHST 661Probability 13
PHST 662Mathematical Statistics 13
MATH 562Mathematical Statistics 13
MATH 681Combinatorics and Graph Theory I3
MATH 682Combinatorics and Graph Theory II3
PHST 682Multivariate Statistical Analysis3
PHST 691Bayesian Inference and Decision3
PHST 710Advanced Statistical Computing I3
PHST 724Advanced Clinical Trials3
PHST 762Advanced Statistical Inference3
PHST 751High-throughout Data Analysis3
PHST 752Statistical Genetics3
PHST 780Advanced Nonparametrics3
PHST 781Advanced Linear Models3
PHST 782Generalized Linear Models3
1

 Credit only for one: MATH 561/PHST 661; MATH 562/PHST 662    

Elective Courses in Biomedical and Natural Sciences
BIOL 542Gene Structure and Function 3
BIOL 569Evolution3
BIOC 680Biomolecular Interactions2
BIOC 611Techniques in Biomolecular Interactions4
ASNB 614Molecular Neuroscience4
BIOC 647Advanced Biochemistry II 14
CHEM 647Advanced Biochemistry II4
BIOC 661Molecular Mechanisms of Toxicology3
BIOC 668Molecular Biology4
1

Credit only for one: CHEM 645/BIOC 645, CHEM 647/BIOC 647. Students may take either the BIOC 545/BIOC 547 or CHEM 645/CHEM 647 sequence but are not allowed to take the sequence BIOC 545/CHEM 647 or CHEM 645/BIOC 547.     

Elective Courses in Computational Sciences
CSE 625Parallel Programming3
CSE 619Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms3
CSE 622Simulation and Modeling of Discrete Systems3
CSE 627Digital Image Processing3
CSE 628Computer Graphics3
CSE 629Distributed System Design3
CSE 630Advanced Databases3
CSE 632Data Mining3
CSE 641Medical Imaging Systems3