Master's Program

Acquiring a Master’s Degree in the Bioinformatics Graduate Program requires 31 credit hours. 

Master’s Program Description

The core course work requirements are listed below. In addition, Master’s Program students are required to participate in a project in a research laboratory as their practical experience requirement and are also encouraged to prepare a master’s thesis.


Courses are chosen with the help of Master’s Program academic advisors and will depend on the student's previous training and specific career goals.

Course Work

As part of the Bioinformatics Masters Program curriculum, students must reach a level of expertise in four core areas by either adequate background experience or by taking appropriate courses with a passing (B or better) grade.

The four core areas are defined as:

In addition, students need to take:

  • At least two major (3-4 credit) courses in advanced bioinformatics and/or computational biology, defined as applying the skills or computing and statistical analysis to a biological or medical problem. 
  • Masters students are required to take at least one semester of Bioinformatics 602 (Journal Club). 

A list of sample courses that can be taken to fulfill these requirements can be found on the courses page. Please note that some required courses occur in pairs (e.g., STATS 425 & 426). If a student takes only 1 of the 2 courses, that does not satisfy the program requirement; the student must take both.

The program encourages students to find other courses that may meet the core area criteria. All requests to place additional courses that may meet that particular core area's requirements should go directly to the Program Directors. A student must get a grade of “B” or better in required courses. Note: “B” is the lowest passing grade acceptable by Rackham. If a student receives a “B-“ or lower in a course that is not required (or not intended to satisfy competency in one of the required subject areas), the student is not obliged to re-take the course or a substitute course, if his/her overall GPA remains in good standing (3.0 or above).

Practical Experience

Master’s Degree students are required to do at least one research project or internship at least one full spring summer (10 weeks) or two terms part time. Please speak with Dr. Kayvan Najarian or Dr. de Wet about details. Guidelines can be found here

Financial Support

The Program does not provide financial support to Master’s students. Some students have obtained funded positions, but these are not guaranteed and frequently not available to students in their first term of study.