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Overview of the Interdisciplinary Bioinformatics Specialization

The Interdisciplinary Bioinformatics Specialization is designed to provide training for students in the general area of bioinformatics. The objectives are to provide students with instruction and experience in the computational, mathematical, and statistical analysis and interpretation of biological data. Students will be trained to acquire, format, and analyze data sets as well as to develop advanced information and computational technologies and mathematical/statistical methods for analysis.

We anticipate future development of an independent Bioinformatics Graduate Program. We envision that this interdisciplinary specialization serves as a template for that graduate program, encourages participating faculty and departments to develop more bioinformatics core courses and interdisciplinary research/education system, and prepares for the independent program.

How the interdisciplinary specialization works

This is the interdisciplinary specialization with a dozen departments across three colleges participating to create a collaborative research/education environment. We consider this broader specialization as a necessity due to the interdisciplinary reality of bioinformatics education. For example, students with strong backgrounds in computer science will be attracted to the Bioinformatics Specialization in Computer Science and Engineering and acquire higher levels of computer science education as well as basic training in molecular genetics and biochemistry. On the other hand, students with strong backgrounds in life science will most likely enter the Bioinformatics Specialization in various participating life science departments (listed in Participating Departments page) and acquire basic training in computer science, mathematics, and statistics in addition to higher levels of molecular genetics and other life science education.

Current status

As of April 21, 2004, the Interdisciplinary Bioinformatics Specialization has been officially approved by the University. Each of the participating departments should receive the notice letter shortly. Now students can start choosing the new specialization on their Program of Study.

Specialization Advisory Committee


If you have any questions about this specialization program, please contact:
Etsuko Moriyama at

Advisory Committee
Recommended undergrad courses