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||SDV 100 or SDV 101||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|
|General Education (ITE 115/119)||BIO 101 General Biology I (substitute for ITE 115 or ITE 119) 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)|
|MTH 167||MTH 167 Pre-Calculus with Trigonometry (Students taking the two semester sequence of precalculus must take both MTH 161 and 162 for a total of 6 credits)||MATH 151||5||General education|
|ENG 112||College Composition II||UNIV 200||3||General education|
|MTH 263||MTH 263 Calculus I||MATH 200||4||Major (Ancillary)|
|Science #1||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|
|Social/Behavioral Science #1||Select 1: PLS 135 American National Politics OR PLS 211 United States Government I OR PSY 200 Principles of Psychology OR SOC 200 Principles of Sociology OR SOC 211 Principles of Anthropology I||VCU equivalent||3||General education|
|History||Select 1: HIS 101 History of Western Civilization I OR HIS 102 History of Western Civilization II OR HIS 111 History of World Civilization I OR HIS 112 History of World Civilization II OR HIS 121 United States History I OR HIS 122 United States History II||HIST||3||General education|
|Humanities/Fine Arts||Select 1: ART 101, ART 102, MUS 121, PHI 101, REL 231||VCU equivalent||3||General education|
|MTH 245||Statistics I||STAT 212||3||Major (Ancillary)|
|Math or Science #1||CHM 111 General Chemistry I||CHEM/Z 101||4||Major (Ancillary)|
|Social/Behavioral Science #2||Select 1: PLS 135 American National Politics OR PLS 211 United States Government I OR PSY 200 Principles of Psychology OR SOC 200 Principles of Sociology OR SOC 211 Principles of Anthropology I or PLS 241 International Relations I||VCU equivalent||3||General education|
|CST||CST 100 Principles of Public Speaking OR CST 110 Introduction to Communication OR CST 126 Interpersonal Communication||SPCH 121||3||Elective|
|Math or Science #2||CHM 112 General Chemistry II||CHEM/Z 102||4||Major|
|Math or Science #3||BIO 206 Cell Biology||BIOL 300 + BIOZ 391||4||Major|
|Humanities/Fine Arts||(Select 1): CST 151 Film Appreciation I OR ENG 241 Survey of American Literature I OR ENG 242 Survey of American Literature II OR ENG 243 Survey of English Literature I OR ENG 244 Survey of English Literature II OR ENG 251 Survey of World Literature I OR ENG 252 Survey of World Literature II||VCU equivalent||3||General education|
|Science #2||PHY 231 University Physics I||PHYS 207||5||Major (Ancillary)|
|Northern Virginia Credits transferred to VCU||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|
|BIOL/BNFO 540||Fundamentals of Molecular Genetics||3||Major|
|BIOL/BNFO 541 or BIOZ 476||Laboratory in Molecular Genetics or Molecular Capstone Laboratory||2||Major|
|CHEM 301||Organic Chemistry I||3||Major|
|CHEM 302||Organic Chemistry II||3||Major|
|CHEM 403||Biochemistry I||3||Major|
|Select 10 credits of concentration electives (see VCU advisor for course options)||10||Major|
|Credits completed at VCU||58|
|Bachelor's degree total||120|