M.S. in Bioinformatics

M.S. in Bioinformatics Info page

What is Bioinformatics?

Bioinformatics deals with discovering knowledge in biology or medicine present in large data sets. As such, it is an interdisciplinary science that is always in rapid flux as the methods and the nature of the data sets change. Bioinformatics clearly involves the application of computers for storage, organizing, and analyzing the data. But it also involves statistics, probability, mathematics, and related disciplines to create the analysis algorithms and to make sense of the results. Effectively interacting and collaborating with the content-area scientists also requires developing deep knowledge and understanding in those areas to be able to interpret the results and communicate them effectively to the scientific community.

What courses do students take?

Students are able to complete their Master's degree with either a thesis + 30 credits (Plan A) or a shorter essay + 36 credits (Plan B).

Required Courses

For both options (Plans A and B), the following courses are required:


BIIN 6000 Introduction to Bioinformatics 3
MSCS 6050 Elements of Software Development 3
BIIN 6980 Practicum in Bioinformatics 3
3 credits of approved computer science courses at the 6000-level 3
3 credits of approved biological science courses at the 6000-level 3
3 credits of approved computer science or biological science courses at the 6000-level 3
3 credits of approved biological science or computer science courses at the 5000-level 3
Total Credit Hours 21


In addition to the specified courses, the following are typical approved courses:

BIOL 5101 Biochemistry and the Molecular Basis of Biology

BIOL 5201 Genomics and Bioinformatics

BIOL 8101 Protein Structure and Function

BIOL 8202 Principles of Eukaryotic Genetics

EECE 6820 Artificial Intelligence

EECE 6822 Machine Learning

EECE 6830 Pattern Recognition

EECE 6840 Neural Networks and Neural Computing

MSCS 5610 Data Mining

MSCS 5720 Statistical Methods

MSCS 5800 Principles of Database Systems

MSCS 6010 Probability

MSCS 6020 Simulation 

MSCS 6040 Applied Linear Algebra

MSCS 6060 Parallel and Distributed Computing

at MCW

Phys 08223 Bioinformatics

Phys 08229 Essential Physiological Genomics

Phys 08230 Physiological Genomics

Mimg 25251 Advanced Molecular Genetics.


What jobs do students get?

Students who have graduated from this program work in laboratories in the pharmaceutical industry and academic settings (primarily medical schools). Several have continued on for Ph.D.'s in the area, including two who are currently in the Marquette Computational Sciences Program.


Program Description (from the Graduate Bulletin)

For more information, please contact the MSCS Co-Director, Anne Clough.



Summer Research Experience

The Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science hosts a Summer Research Experience (REU) for Undergraduates. This program provides undergraduates with an intensive, faculty-mentored, summer research experience in the areas of applied mathematics, high-performance computing, statistics, ubiquitous systems and mathematics education. Learn more