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|
|ENGL 101||Rhetoric and Research I Note: students with credit for AP English Language and Composition will only receive credit for UNIV 111 at VCU and should take ENGL 102 to fulfill the VCU composition requirement.||UNIV 111-112||3||General education|
|ENGL 102||Rhetoric and Research II||UNIV 200||3||General education|
|Core course in The Art and Language of Ideas (select 1): ENGL - 203, ENGL - 204, ENGL - 205, ENGL - 206, ENGL - 210, ENGL - 211, ENGL - 214, ENGL - 215, ENGL - 216, PHIL - 101, PHIL - 121, PHIL - 201, PHIL - 202, PHIL - 203, PHIL - 270, REL - 201, COMM - 101, COMM - 102, COMM - 201||VCU equivalent||3||General education|
|Fine Arts||Core course in The Language and History of the Fine Arts (select 1): ART 201, 202, 231, MUS 103, THEA 201.||VCU equivalent||3||General education|
|Human Experience||Select one from the following: PHIL - 101, PHIL - 203, PSY - 201, PSY - 202, PSY - 218, PSY - 250, PSY - 292, PSY - 295, REL - 201, REL - 209, REL - 210, SOC - 201, SOC - 204, SOC - 208, SOC - 250, SOC - 253||VCU equivalent||3||General education|
|U.S. & World Cultures||Select 1: ECO 201, ECO 202, GEO 101, GEO 103, GOVT 201, GOVT 202, GOVT 203, HIST 101, HIST 102, HIST 192, HIST 201, HIST 202, HIST 240, REL 209, REL 210, REL 219, REL 220, REL 254||VCU equivalent||3||General education|
|MATH 251||Calculus I||MATH 200||4||Major (Ancillary)|
|MATH 217||Statistics||STAT 210||3||Major (Ancillary)|
|BIO 151 + Lab||Biological Science I + Lab Note: students who complete the BIO 151 lab will not be required to take BNFO 251 Phage Discovery I at VCU.||BIOL/Z 151||4||Major (Ancillary)|
|BIO 152 + Lab||Biological Science II + Lab Note: students who complete BIO 152 lab will not be required to take BNFO 252 Phage Discovery II at VCU.||BIOL/Z 152||4||Major|
|CHEM 101 + Lab||General Chemistry I + Lab||CHEM/Z 101||4||Major (Ancillary)|
|CHEM 102 + Lab||General Chemistry II + Lab||CHEM/Z 102||4||Major|
|CHEM 230||Organic Chemistry I||CHEM/Z 301||4||Major|
|CHEM 231||Organic Chemistry II||CHEM/Z 302||4||Major|
|CSCI 121 or 202||Computer proficiency test or CSCI 121 or 202||VCU equivalent||0 to 3||Elective|
|CSCI 221||Programming for Computer Science & Engineering Majors||CMSC 255||4||Major|
|Electives||No more than 2 credits of PE may be chosen||4 to 7||Elective|
|Richard Bland credits transferred to VCU||60|
|Bachelor of Science: Bioinformatics with a concentration in biological/genomic sciences|
|BIOL 300||Cellular and Molecular Biology||3||Major|
|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|
|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 403||Biochemistry I||3||Major|
|Select 10 credits of concentration electives (see VCU advisor for course options)||10||Major|
|PHYS 207||University Physics I (or PHYS 201)||5||Major (Ancillary)|
|Credits completed at VCU||60|
|Bachelor's degree total||120|