With the advent of “big data,” bioinformatics has become one of the major growth opportunities in the life sciences. The M.S. in Bioinformatics offered by the Graduate School of Hood College, located in Frederick, Md., addresses the cross-cutting core subject areas and skill sets identified by the International Society for Computational Biology as essential for bioinformaticians. The program meets the growing demand for desk- and bench-based science professionals to demonstrate expertise in the experimental design, data handling and data analysis of biology studies that examine genes—genomics, proteins—proteomics, and metabolites—metabolomics.
A dual-gateway approach allows individuals from both biology and computer backgrounds to enter the program successfully by beginning with different foundation courses. It also ensures that students receive the cross-disciplinary training necessary in today’s bioinformatics job market.
Students are strongly encouraged to pursue experiential learning with local research labs and biotechnology companies. Coursework emphasizes the leadership and project management training needed in the team-based environment of bioinformatics research today. In addition, students have access to a laboratory information management system with features that support modern laboratory operations.
Expert faculty, individual attention
Students benefit from small classes taught by faculty who are highly qualified in computer science, biology and bioinformatics and have experience with top R&D and biotechnology firms and federal and private laboratories. Their professional connections are instrumental in establishing and maintaining relevant partnerships that provide practical learning opportunities.
The 33-credit M.S. program can be completed in as little as two years or longer on a less accelerated schedule. Evening classes accommodate working professionals and are held on the Hood College campus.