The bioinformatics curriculum blends foundational courses in biology, math, chemistry and computer science with a core of hands-on, problem-solving bioinformatics courses. It allows undergraduates an unusual opportunity to learn computational biology and data science by actually doing it--reading scientific papers, doing experiments, creating bioinformatics programs, and designing individual and team research investigations. The program includes general training in biology, computer science, and statistics to create a solid bioinformatics core, as well as focused training in a chosen concentration.
In the biological/genomic sciences concentration, students are primarily motivated by biology and have chosen this concentration to focus on upper-level biology topics such as advanced molecular biology and biochemistry.
In the computational sciences concentration, students are primarily motivated by computer science and have chosen this concentration to focus on upper-level computer science courses designed to improve students’ programming skills and understanding of algorithms.
In the quantitative/Statistical Sciences Concentration, students are primarily motivated by problem-solving using math and statistics and have chosen this concentration to focus on mathematical and statistical theory and methods for quantitative modeling and analysis.
Our students learn how to use bioinformatics tools to solve scientific problems through project-based, experiential courses. These experiences mimic what doing molecular/computational science is actually like and provide excellent training for technician-level jobs (universities, institutes, biotech, or IT industry), for training in graduate school or in the health professions. Students interested in a health profession usually specialize in the Biological/Genomic Concentration.
Some students are interested in working close to the health system, while others are more interested in the programming/data analyst route. The technical, analytical and communications skills practiced in the program can transfer to other occupations as well.
Students with the Master of Science degree typically have greater opportunities than those with the Bachelor's degree as the Master's allows the student to gain more relevant skills, content knowledge, and project experience. In this case, greater opportunities refers to both roles with higher pay and although Master of Science graduates typically begin their careers in entry-level positions, they are working at a higher technical level and they will have the qualifications for leadership positions in the future.
Completion of associate degree
Minimum GPA of 2.5
All courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or better
|MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING||GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY||BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE||GET REAL EXPERIENCE||PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE|
|SDV 100||College Success Skills||UNIV 101||1||Elective|
|ENG 111||College Composition I Note: students with credit for AP English Language and Composition will only receive credit for UNIV 111 at VCU and should take ENG 112 to fulfill the VCU composition requirement.||UNIV 111-112||3||General education|
|LAB Science (I)||CHM 111 General Chemistry I||CHEM/Z 101||4||Major (Ancillary)|
|Lab Science (II)||BIO 101 General Biology I Note: students who complete BIO 101 will not be required to take BNFO 251 Phage Discovery I at VCU.||BIOL/Z 151||4||Major (Ancillary)|
|HIS||History elective (select 1): HIS 101, 102, 111, 112, 121, 122||HIST||3||General education|
|ENG 112||College Composition II||UNIV 200||3||General education|
|MTH 167||Precalculus with Trigonometry (or MTH 161-162)||MATH 151||5||General education|
|Lab Science (III)||CHM 112 General Chemistry II||CHEM/Z 102||4||Major|
|Lab Science (IV)||BIO 102 General Biology II Note: students who complete BIO 102 will not be required to take BNFO 252 Phage Discovery II at VCU.||BIOL/Z 152||4||Major|
|Humanities (PHI)||Select any PHI (Philosophy) course||VCU equivalent||3||General education|
|Social Science||Social Science (select 1): PSY 200, SOC 200, 211, PLS 211, PLS 241||VCU equivalent||3||General education|
|MTH 263||Calculus I||MATH 200||4||Major (Ancillary)|
|Science elective||BIO 206 Cell Biology||BIOL 300 + BIOZ 391||4||Major|
|Science elective||PHY 201 General College Physics I or PHY 241 University Physics I (preferred)||PHYS 201 or PHYS 207||4||Major (Ancillary)|
|Science Capstone||Science Capstone Presentation||VCU equivalent||1||Elective|
|Social Science||Social Science (select 1): ECO 201, ECO 202, PSY 200, SOC 200, SOC 211, PLS 211, PLS 241||VCU equivalent||3||General education|
|MTH 245||Statistics I||STAT 210||3||Major|
|Humanities||Humanities/Fine Arts (select 1): ART 101, 102, 106, HUM 100, or REL||VCU equivalent||3||General education|
|Transfer elective||Transfer elective||VCU equivalent||1 to 3||Elective|
|Germanna credits transferred to VCU||60 to 62|
|Bachelor of Science: Bioinformatics with a concentration in biological/genomic sciences|
|BNFO 101||Introduction to Scientific Computing||1||Major|
|BNFO 201||Computing Skills and Concepts for Bioinformatics||3||Major|
|BNFO 301||Introduction to Bioinformatics||3||Major|
|BNFO 411||Ethical Issues in Life Sciences||2||Major|
|BNFO 420||Applications in Bioinformatics||3||Major|
|CMSC 255||Introduction to Programming||4||Major|
|STAT 321||Introduction to Statistical Computing||3||Major|
|BNFO/BIOL 540||Fundamentals of Molecular Genetics||3||Major|
|BNFO/BIOL 541 or BIOZ 476||Laboratory in Molecular Genetics or Molecular Capstone Laboratory||2||Major|
|CHEM 301||Organic Chemistry||3||Major|
|CHEM 302||Organic Chemistry II||3||Major|
|CHEM 403||Biochemistry I||3||Major|
|Select 10 credits of upper-level concentration electives (see VCU advisor for course options)||10||Major|
|Upper-level electives (300- or 400-level courses) Note: Students must complete a minimum of 45 upper-level credits to graduate from VCU.||4||Elective|
|Open electives||8 to 10||Elective|
|Credits completed at VCU||58 to 60|
|Bachelor's degree total||120|