Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Saint Louis University's Master of Science in bioinformatics and computational biology program pulls together expertise from the of departments of biology, chemistry, mathematics and computer science. This interdisciplinary master's program teaches you the fundamentals of computation and analysis of big data sets, and trains you in the use of computational methods to model and solve problems involving complex biological systems.


About the Program

The use of computational techniques and information systems has revolutionized research in the biological sciences — from the analysis of DNA sequences and the understanding of gene expression and regulation, to the structural modeling of proteins and RNAs and the evolutionary relationship between species. The fields of bioinformatics and computational biology have become an important academic discipline for such breakthroughs and a critical part of success for firms in the biotechnology sector.

Program Highlights

As a student in the bioinformatics and computational biology program, you will be required to complete either a research experience with SLU faculty or an internship with a biotech firm in the St. Louis area, which is home to one of the largest concentrations of biotech companies in the country.

This requirement gives you the opportunity for hands-on experience working with academic researchers or private industry. Our industry partners are:

Curriculum and Program Details

The 30-credit-hour bioinformatics and computational biology program is designed for students with academic backgrounds in the life sciences, mathematics, computer science, health sciences, and statistics. The curriculum consists of a mix of required courses that build a strong foundation in bioinformatics and computational biology and elective classes that allow students to specialize their expertise. You’ll be expected to complete the program in one-and-a-half to two years.

Faculty
  •  Maureen Donlin, Ph.D. (Program Director)
  • Tae-Hyuk (Ted) Ahn, Ph.D
  • Gerado Camilo, Ph.D.
  • Erin Chambers, Ph.D.
  • Brian Downes, Ph.D.
  • Michael Goldwasser, Ph.D.
  • Haijung Gong, Ph.D.
  • Jack Kennell, Ph.D.
  • David Letscher, Ph.D.
  • Zhenguo Lin, Ph.D.
  • Dapeng Zhang, Ph.D.
  • Brent Znosko, Ph.D.
Careers

There are many employment opportunities for this program’s graduates in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, health care and software industries, as well as in academic, private and governmental research labs.  St. Louis is home to many large and small biotech firms and is a national leader in biotech startups. St. Louis has medical schools at Saint Louis University and Washington University and is home to the Donald Danforth Plant Sciences center, a world leader in plant and life sciences.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Research and teaching assistantships through the program are available to well-qualified candidates. These assistantships provide tuition, a $22,000 stipend and health insurance.

A five-year NSF grant that is specifically to fund scholarships for this master's program can award up to $10,000 each year, based on need and merit.  Further support is available through external research grants (NSF, NIH and more). 

Applicant Criteria

A bachelor's degree in biology, biochemistry, computer science, mathematics, statistics or a closely related field is required. Ideally prepared students will have completed coursework in biology, chemistry, molecular biology, computer science and statistics. Students can complete these prerequisites as part of the program but not for graduate credit.

Application Requirements

Application form and fee
Three letters of recommendation
Résumé
Goal statement
GRE scores
TOEFL/IELTS scores (international students only)

The final application deadline is March 1.

Requirements for International Students

TOEFL/IELTS scores are required. 

INTO SLU offers the Pathway Program for international students who are interested this course but do not meet the direct entry requirements. Visit intostudy.com/slu/programs for more information.

Assistantship Application Deadline

Students who want to be considered for an assistantship must submit their application by Feb. 1.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed once they are complete. A panel of three faculty will review each application and decide on acceptance and potential assistantships. Applicants who are U.S. citizens will need to fill out a FAFSA to be eligible for support from the National Science Foundation.