Loyola University Chicago

Bioinformatics

BS/MS in Bioinformatics

In 5 years, students can earn both a Bachelor of Science (BS) and Master of Science (MS) in Bioinformatics.


About the BS/MS Program

This accelerated program facilitates the completion of both the BS and MS in Bioinformatics in just 5 years (in comparison to the 6 years required to pursue the BS and MS separately). The accelerated program includes the same rigorous coursework in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, and Statistics as the BS and MS programs at Loyola. The compressed timeline, however, saves students time and money in their preparation to go on to further schooling or entry into the workforce.

Students enrolled within the BS Bioinformatics program can apply to the accelerated program no earlier than their Junior year (see more details in "Application Information"). The MS component of this program includes two tracks:

  1. Non-thesis option: Students gain real-world experience in an internship environment. In addition, this track includes a breadth of course-work selected to better prepare students for positions in industry. With the MS Non-thesis degree, graduates of this program can pursue employment, e.g. the biotech industry, research institutions, and government agencies, or further advanced degrees, e.g. PhD or MD programs.
  2. Thesis-option: Students are trained in conducting hypothesis-driven independent research including experimental design, analysis and interpretation of results, as well as scientific writing and presentation. With the MS Thesis degree, graduates of this program are primed for research positions in the private and public sector or competitive PhD programs.

Graduates of this program will gain:

  • a solid foundation in biological, computational, chemical, and statistical concepts and theory;
  • the facility to interpret primary scientific literature;
  • the capacity to employ statistical and computational methods to investigate and solve problems within the life sciences;
  • the ability to conduct bioinformatics study in industry and/or the research environment; and
  • science-related oral and written communication skills.

Application Information

Applicants must be a declared BS Bioinformatics major and be in junior standing (based upon credit hours earned) at the time of applying. Applications are accepted each spring semester through Loyola's online system. Only applications submitted through this system by the deadline will be considered by the admissions committee. Applications are due March 15.

In addition to the credit hour requirement, candidates for admission must meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 for all coursework at Loyola
  • Minimum 3.5 GPA in at least five courses in the Bioinformatics major, three of which must be at the 300 level

Students are strongly encouraged to have completed Bioinformatics (BIOL 388) prior to applying. Applicants must specify which of the two tracks - thesis or non-thesis - they wish to pursue. Applicants to the Thesis track are strongly encouraged to contact faculty of interest prior to applying.

Application Materials:

  • official college transcripts,
  • two letters of recommendation,
  • a current resume/ curriculum vitae, and
  • a brief (500 word maximum) statement of purpose. Students wishing to pursue the thesis track need to include in this statement the faculty lab(s) of interest.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete the following courses to fulfill the requirements of the BS and MS in Bioinformatics:

Biology

  • BIOL 101 General Biology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 282 Genetics (3 credits)
  • BIOL 283 Genetics Laboratory (1 credit)
  • BIOL 387 Genomics (3 credits) or BIOL 392 Metagenomics (3 credits)
  • BIOL 388 Bioinformatics (3 credits)

Chemistry

  • CHEM 101 General Chemistry I (3 credits) or CHEM 105 (4 credits)
  • CHEM 102 General Chemistry II (3 credits) or CHEM 106 (4 credits)
  • CHEM 223 Organic Chemistry I (3 credits) or CHEM 221 (4 credits)
  • CHEM 224 Organic Chemistry II (3 credits) or CHEM 222 (4 credits)
  • CHEM 361 Survey in Biochemistry (3 credits)
  • CHEM 365 Proteomics (3 credits)

Computer Science

  • COMP 163 Discrete Structures (3 credits)
  • COMP 170 Introduction to Programming (3 credits)
  • COMP 271 Data Structures (3 credits)
  • COMP 363 Design and Analysis of Algorithms (3 credits)
  • COMP 383/483 Computational Biology (4 credits)*

Mathematics and Statistics

  • MATH 131 Applied Calculus I (3 credits) or MATH 161 (4 credits)
  • MATH 132 Applied Calculus II (3 credits) or MATH 161 (4 credits)
  • STAT 335 Introduction to Biostatistics (3 credits)
  • STAT 337/437 Quantitative Methods in Bioinformatics (4 credits)*

Bioinformatics

  • Bioinformatics Research at the Undergraduate-level (BIOI 397/398/399)
  • BIOI 500 Advanced Bioinformatics (2 credits)
  • BIOI 501 Bioinformatics Seminar (1 credit)

Additional Requirements by Track:

Thesis Track (19 credit hours):

    • UNIV 370 Responsible Conduct in Research and Scholarship 2 day workshop (0 credits)
    • 3 Bioinformatics Electives (9 credits total)
    • BIOI 494 Bioinformatics Research Design (1 credit)
    • BIOI 499 Bioinformatics Research (8 credits total)
    • BIOI 595 Thesis (1 credit)

Non-thesis Track (19 credit hours):

    • 6 Bioinformatics Electives (18 credits total)
    • BIOI 498 Bioinformatics Internship (1 credit)

 

Courses indicated by the asterisk apply to the credit hour requirements of both the BS and MS degree. Details regarding BS/MS Bioinformatics Electives can be found at this link.


Sample Course Schedules

These course schedules display how students may complete the BS Biology/ MS Bioinformatics in 5 years of study.