Biomolecular Engineering and Bioinformatics M.S.


The unifying theme of our research training program is using quantitative approaches to addressing fundamental questions in biology and biomedical science. The master of science ( M.S.) program is designed to prepare students for careers in contemporary biomedical research settings in the biotechnology industry.

Program coursework is designed to provide the technical skills in programming and other technical skills required for independent and advanced scientific discovery. Incoming students undertake rigorous core coursework and are exposed to a rich environment of regular seminars and group meetings. Students interact closely with biomolecular engineering and bioinformatics faculty members while undertaking capstone projects (M.S.), and have firsthand access to state-of-the-art computation tools and laboratory facilities throughout their training, including cluster computing and high-throughput sequencing facilities.


Course Requirements

M.S. students must complete a total of at least 41 credits as described below.

Core courses (5-credit) six are required

The following course:

BME205Bioinformatics Models and Algorithms


Plus one of the following courses:

BME230AIntroduction to Computational Genomics and Systems Biology


BME229Protein and Cell Engineering


Graduate-Level Quantitative Science Course

Suitable courses for quantitative science and biomolecular engineering graduate electives are to be selected in consultation with the Biomolecular Engineering Graduate Advising Committee, the student, and the student’s faculty mentor.

Ethics Course:

Choose one of the following courses:

Bioethics in the 21st Century: Science, Business, and Society


/BME 268A/FMST 268A/ANTH 267A
Science and Justice: Experiments in Collaboration


BME 80G can be taken to meet the ethics requirement, however, the credits will not be counted toward the overall credit requirement for the M.S. or Ph.D. since it is a lower-division course.

Two Electives

Two Biomolecular Engineering graduate-level, 5-credit courses to be selected in consultation with faculty adviser

Transfer Limitations

Up to two courses may be transferred from other graduate institutions with the approval of the faculty adviser and the graduate director.


A minimum of three seminar courses, including at least one quarter of the 2-credit Biomolecular Engineering seminar:

BME280BSeminar on Bioinformatics and Bioengineering


Research Experience

One quarter of independent study from the following courses:

BME297AIndependent Study or Research


BME297BIndependent Study or Research


BME297CIndependent Study or Research


BME297FIndependent Study or Research


Other Requirements

Bootcamp activity

Entering graduate cohorts are strongly encouraged to participate in the hands-on “bootcamp” just before the start of the fall quarter. Bootcamp activities include program orientation, laboratory safety training, teaching assistant (TA) training, fellowship advice, cohort building activities, practical advice for navigating graduate school, and a hands-on research project.

Master's Capstone Requirement

M.S. students must complete a one-quarter research project with written report to fulfill the capstone requirement. In consultation with the faculty adviser, the student forms a Master’s capstone reading committee of at least two faculty members (including the adviser), each of whom is provided a copy of the project report. The final project report must be signed by the reading committee before the award of the Master of Science Degree.

Further Study Outside the Department

No further courses are required. However, with faculty guidance students often choose to take upper-division undergraduate courses or graduate courses outside the department to make up for deficiencies in background areas of particular importance.

With consent of the graduate director, variations in the composition of the required courses may be approved.

Adequate Progress

Graduate students receiving two or more U (unsatisfactory) grades or grades below B- in courses relevant to the program are not making adequate progress and will be placed on academic probation for the next three quarters of registered enrollment.

Graduate students who fail (unsatisfactory or lower than B-) a relevant course while on probation may be dismissed from the program. Students may appeal their dismissal. Graduate students who fail a relevant course after being removed from probation are immediately returned to academic probation.

Graduate students experiencing circumstances that may adversely affect their academic performance should consult with their adviser and the graduate director.