VCU Bulletins

Bioinformatics, Master of (M.Bin.)


Curriculum Credits
BNFO 501 Introduction to Physical Implementation of Databases 1
BNFO/BIOL 540 Fundamentals of Molecular Genetics 3
BNFO 600 Basic Scripting Languages 2
BNFO/BIOL 601 Integrated Bioinformatics 3
BNFO 620 Bioinformatics Practicum 3
BNFO 621 Business and Entrepreneurship for Life Scientists 3
BNFO 690 Seminars in Bioinformatics 1
BNFO 700 Externship in Bioinformatics 2
CMSC 508 Database Theory 3
OVPR 601 Scientific Integrity 1
Total core credits 22
Recommended electives (see below) 12

Program total

Recommended electives  
BIOS 567 Statistical Methods for Microarray Data 3
BNFO/BIOL 541 Laboratory in Molecular Genetics 2
BNFO 591 Special Topics in Bioinformatics variable
BNFO 592 Independent Study variable
BNFO 620 Bioinformatics Practicum 3
BNFO 621 Business and Entrepreneurship for Life Scientists 3
BNFO 637 Networks Biology 3
BNFO/MICR 653 Advanced Molecular Genetics: Bioinformatics 3
BNFO 691 Special Topics in Bioinformatics variable
BNFO 691 Special Topics in Bioinformatics (Genomics and Phylogenetics ) 3
BNFO 692 Independent Study variable
CLSE 562 Advanced Systems Biology Engineering 3
CMSC 501 Advanced Algorithms 3
MATH 580-581 Methods of Applied Mathematics for the Life Sciences I-II 3
PHYS 591 Topics in Physics (Modeling, Computing and Biocomplexity) 3

Students enrolled in the M.Bin. Program usually complete a 10- to 12-week full-time externship at an industrial, government or academic site, usually during the summer between their first and second years in the bioinformatics program. In preparation for this externship, students will enroll in BNFO 620 Bioinformatics Practicum, in the semester preceding their externship. Under the supervision of their major adviser and Graduate Advisory Committee, the external supervisor, and the coordinator of the Bioinformatics Practicum course, each student must develop and write a short proposal outlining the plans for the externship. The project must be approved by the student’s GAC, based on a short (10-page) paper submitted by the student. This paper will include background on the project including a review of the literature, the purpose, specific aims and rationale of the project, a statement about the specific hypothesis to be investigated, and proposed methods and statistical analyses.

Research projects will be based on ongoing research in the laboratories of the participating external adviser. Students in the program may perform research on the broad range of subjects, from molecules to ecosystems, encompassing the field of bioinformatics.

In the semester following the externship experience, M.Bin. students shall prepare a written paper describing the completed research performed during their externship following the format of the Graduate School for M.S. theses. An oral defense, consisting of a public presentation of the paper and a committee meeting to discuss the results, under the direction of the GAC but open to all faculty members and the adviser of the externship, shall be scheduled to examine the student’s underlying fundamental knowledge of the disciplines encompassed by the student’s research. Announcement of the oral defense, including the candidate’s name, project title, and the day, place and time of the defense, shall be made at least 10 working days in advance of the defense.


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Last update: 8/30/2013

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