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Master of Science in

Bioinformatics

Fill out the form below to learn more about M.S. in Bioninformatics at Brandeis GPS

Advance Your Career. Registration opens August 12

Computational biology: a booming field. Bioinformatics Transforms the Limits of Biomedical Knowledge.

Biotechnology and pharmaceutical organizations are increasingly making bioinformatics an integral part of their research processes. Science and other trade publications have identified computational biology as a job-growth field as these industries seek to make use of vast amounts of genomic data and to produce more complex and accurate models of biological processes. The mathematical, statistical, and computational methods of bioinformatics promise to produce more comprehensive explanatory models and to improve global health technologies.

Professionals able to adapt information technology and complex computational approaches to the particular problems of contemporary biotechnology and pharmaceutical organizations promise to lead innovation in these industries.

The Master's Program

Bringing cutting-edge computing and biomedical research together

Bioinformatics’ multidisciplinary nature attracts students with backgrounds in biomedical research, life science, information technology, engineering, and statistical modeling. Pharmaceutical companies need experts able to both understand the research problems that define the search for new drugs and exploit cutting-edge information technology to analyze complex data sets. Individuals able to productively unite these fields offer biomedical organizations invaluable resources.

The Bioinformatics program in the Division of Graduate Professional Studies offers students comprehensive, multidisciplinary education in bioinformatics and computational biology, including topics such as systems biology, genomics, proteomics, and statistical genetics. Graduates are equipped to engage in productive bioinformatic research and to effectively communicate research projects and findings to multidisciplinary project teams.

Graduates with a Master of Science in Bioinformatics are prepared to:

  • Apply a variety of skills to the processing, storage, analysis and modeling of many types of biological data.
  • Provide valuable insights into the understanding of complex biological systems and their quantitative data.
  • Positively impact research projects in the corporate and academic sectors.
  • Effectively communicate and present bioinformatic analysis to multidisciplinary project teams.

Program Pre-Requirements

Some, all, or none may be required per decision of the Admissions Committee. At most, two classes in this section can count towards category B Electives. If a class is waived it does not count towards elective credit.

RBIF 100
Introduction to Bioinformatics Scripting and Programming
RBIF 103
Probability and Statistics
RBIO 102
Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology

Core Courses

All six courses must be completed.

RBIF 101
Structural Bioinformatics
RBIF 109
Biological Sequence Analysis
RBIF 110
Molecular Modeling and Cheminformatics
RBIF 111
R for Biomedical Informatics
RBIF 112
Biological Data Mining and Modeling
RBIF 115
Statistical Genetics

Electives (choose six)

In selecting six electives, at least three should be from Category A.


Electives - Category A

At least three electives must be completed from this category.

RBIF 102
Genomics and Genetics
RBIF 106
Drug Discovery and Development
RBIF 108
Computational Systems Biology
RBIF 113
Biological Database Systems
RBIF 114
Whole-genome Gene Expression Analysis
RBIF 120
Research Topics in Computational Biology
RBIO 101
Molecular Biology Lab: from DNA to Protein

Electives - Category B

Up to three electives may be completed from this category. Only two program pre-requirements may be applied.

RCOM 102
Professional Communications
RHIN 110
Perspectives on Health/Medical Information Systems
RMGT 110
Organizational Leadership and Decision Making
RSEG 102
Advanced Programming in Java
RSEG 103
Advanced Programming in C++
RSEG 105
Java Enterprise Programming
RSEG 109
Object-Oriented Design
RSEG 110
Unix Tools
RSEG 113
Advanced Programming in C++ (Level 2)
RSEG 120
Software Development Methodologies
RSEG 161
Web Development Technologies
RSEG 170
Database Management
RSEG 180
Advanced Programming in C#

Information Sheets

BIF One Sheet


Special Event Webinars

 

Emerging Big and Fast Data Practices

'Emerging Big and Fast Data Practices' with George Radford 

Most companies today have access to reams of data: marketing, supply chain, finance, as well as critical data about their workforce.  Yet, research shows that companies are challenged in their ability to use this data to make strategic decisions about the workforce.  In this session, we will discuss how companies can more effectively apply analytics to this human capital data to improve organizational outcomes (1/21/2014)


Calculating Success

 'Calculating Success: How the New Workplace Analytics Will Revitalize Your Organization' with Eric Lesser

The Big+Fast Data Disruption is accelerating changes in technology, business, and IT culture. The emerging skill sets are focused on adding value to data in partnership with the business, a dramatic change from technical specialization. This webinar will detail the Big+Fast Data Disruption, its transformational effects on the workforce, and the skills needed by the emerging generation of Data Scientists and knowledge workers.(2/4/2014)


Johanna Rothman Webinar

"Overcoming 7 Common Pitfalls of Transitioning to Agile in Software Engineering"with Johanna Rothman

If you've been considering agile or moving to agile, you may have encountered some pitfalls in your projects. You are not alone.

Agile is not a slam-dunk change. There are several common engineering patterns when you transition to agile. If you recognize them, maybe you can fix them. Johanna Rothman will discuss "The Iteration is too short/the stories are too big"; "We need an expert"; "Implementation in Layers", "Experts estimating", "We must have overtime"; "We don't have technical debt!" and "Featur-itis", and what to do about these problems. If we have time, we will discuss any issues you see on your projects. (3/10/2014)

"Security and Governance Analytics" with George Radford

Security and Governance analytics have changed rapidly. The average intrusion has a dwell time of 400 days, over a year. So it's a Big Data problem. And when the actual theft attempt occurs, you'll have about 30 seconds to detect and stop it -- a Fast Data problem. Governance has become increasingly difficult with larger and larger numbers of users, devices, files, policies, controls, and compliance requirements. This webinar will review challenges and discuss emerging architectures and best practices that meet these challenges.(4/29/2014)


Rob May Webinar

"How To Become an Entrepreneurial Product Manager" with Rob May

Product management is a rapidly changing discipline. This webinar will focus on some of the new strategies and tactics of the most forward thinking product managers in the technology industry. Learn why customer development is more important than product development when building products for new markets, and how product management today is much more about testing and experimentation than planning and research.(May 21, 2014)

"Leveraging Online Learning for Professional Development" with Brian Salerno

The Internet has evolved into a treasure trove of valuable information and learning resources, accessible with just the click of a button. This webinar will focus on strategies and tactics for leveraging the power of the web to enhance your own professional development .From how-to videos & online certification, to distance education degree programs, and MOOCs, the power of professional education is at your fingertips. Learn how to develop your own personal learning network, and take advantage of the professional development potential of online learning. (June 25, 2014)


"Long Term Care: The Last EMR Frontier" with Susan Carman

"Long Term Care: The Last EMR Frontier" addresses the some of the unique challenges facing the Long Term Care industry when trying to implement and adopt an Electronic Medical Record. It will also outline the benefits of moving forward regardless of the many difficulties this healthcare sector is currently facing. (July 17, 2014)

 

There are many options to fund your education.  Please note that tuition is subject to change annully.  With 36 credits required to graduate the program tuition is currently anticipated to be $37,800 (if all required pre-requirements have been fulfilled).

Tuition and Fees 2014-2015 Academic Year  

Graduate course (three credits)     

$3,150

Graduate course (four credits)

$4,200

Late Registration Fee

$70

Application fee  

$50
Application to graduate fee $100

Featured Faculty

Experts In Bioinformatics dedicated to your success

Cliona Molony
Cliona Molony
PhD
Cliona Malony is Principal Scientist, Diabetes Genetics Lead at global pharmaceutical leader, Merck and draws on a decade of experience in statistical genetics, genetic epidemiology and bioinformatics in academia and industry. Her work leading a research group in major pharma includes broad skills in organizational leadership, informatics and analysis.
Melissa Landon
Melissa Landon
PhD
Melissa Landon is a researcher in the Structural Genomics Consortium at the University of Toronto and the founder of LogPhase LLC, a scientific consulting service assisting venture capital firms and startup biotech companies with early-stage drug discovery programs. With fifteen years of experience in biomedical research, including extensive work designing and applying computational processes to drug discovery projects and a background in project management in biomedical research, Melissa brings an organizationally savvy perspective to teaching technical topics like structural bioinformatics.
Andrey Sivachenko.
Andrey Sivachenko.
PhD
Andrey Sivachenko is Senior Scientist II at RaNA Therapeutics, a research organization working toward new discoveries in the field of epigenetic drugs. His more than a dozen years of experience working within computational biology have included work for organizations like Broad Institute at MIT, a collaborative biomedical research organization engaging problems in human biology and disease.

How We Teach

A student-centered approach

Graduate Professional Studies has been applying online course development and delivery best practices for more than a decade.  

Learning online with GPS means that you will:

  • Engage in Small Classes with professionals in your field, discussing and applying practical techniques you can bring back to your job. 
  • Collaborate with Experienced Instructors who also work in your fields, bringing their experiences directly into the online classroom
  • Participate when Convenient for you. You will not be required to participate or "attend class" on a particular day or time.  There is a weekly pace, and discussion posts and other assignments are due through the course week. 
  • Learn Online with Confidence. Before your first online course begins, you will complete an orientation course through which you will become comfortable with our approach, our standard course structure, and the learning management system (Moodle).
  • Experience Brandeis Standards of Excellence.  Your courses and program go through layers of reviews as part of our quality infrastructure, including course & instructor reviews, internal reviews by faculty, and external reviews by Professional Advisory Boards.
  • Receive Personal Support  from your assigned Student Advisor who will help you navigate your graduate experience, serving as your main point of contact from admission through graduation.

Our Graduates

Their success stories

As an online learner at Brandeis GPS, I found the coursework and support resources convenient and accommodating. In fact, I rarely felt as though my studies were an interruption. What I learned was immediately applicable, and I continue every day to benefit from the understanding the courses gave me. I was offered a new job during coursework, and I later discovered that one of the primary reasons I received the offer was because I was enrolled in the program. I've found that, when making new connections, having a degree from Brandeis earns you a great amount of initial trust. Scott Paddock
The curriculum was challenging and real-world related. The principles of project management I learned can really be applied to almost any field and aspect of life, but my new knowledge gave me the confidence to start my own business and apply Project Management tools and techniques to non-traditional fields. I loved the flexibility of the classes. I was able to complete my degree from across the country while working and starting a family, and the distance learning requirements created a highly structured and engaging format, requiring students to be involved in the subject matter almost daily.   Michelle Welsh
When I started to look for graduate programs, I had been out of school for 11 years. I have a very demanding job, so I needed a program that fit into my already busy lifestyle. The curriculum was complete! They covered everything I could ask for as an aspiring Project/Program Manager, and I was able to use materials taken directly from the courses at my current position. During my time in the program, I was impressed with the level of dedication of the staff and instructors. I have never experience the level of commitment instructors showed helping me learn and improve from my mistakes. My experience at Brandeis GPS laid out a professional path I didn’t even know was there.   Lydia Vanessa Cotto Cora
Apply Online Today

How to Apply

Admission Requirements

  1. Completed online master's degree application
    New applicants should use the "Create an Account" option to begin your application process. If you can’t complete your application in one sitting, use the “Save and Complete Later” function. When you have more time, log in (returning users) to finish your application. You will receive a confirmation number when the application is submitted. 

    If you have applied for admissions to a master's degree program, you may login to view the progress of your application file.  You may also contact your Enrollment Advisor or the GPS admissions office. 
  2. Nonrefundable application fee of $50: The application fee may be paid online during the online application process via the university's secured server. The university accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express credit cards. You may also mail a check to the GPS office.

  3. A four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or equivalent.

  4. Official transcript(s) from every college or university attended: Transcript(s) must be submitted in sealed, signed envelopes and mailed directly from your institution to the Division of Graduation Professional Studies admissions office.

  5. Resumé or curriculum vitae

  6. Statement of Goals

  7. Letter of recommendation

  8. TOEFL, IELTS or PTE (for non-native English speakers)

    Applicants whose first language is not English or who have not graduated with a bachelor’s degree from an English-speaking institution in Australia, Belize, the British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), Great Britain, Guyana, Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, or South Africa must take and submit scores for the TOEFL or IELTS, with guidelines and exceptions noted below. Test scores should be no more than five years old.

    Strong communication skills including the abilities to read and write effectively in English are essential for student success in our programs, particularly our distance learning programs. The purpose of these requirements is to ensure that students are equipped to participate in and perform the work required by their courses.

    TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): Applicants must achieve a minimum score of 100 on the Internet-based (iBT) TOEFL, with a minimum of 24 on each of the four sub-scores; (or 600 on the paper-based (PBT) TOEFL with a minimum of 58 on the reading and writing sub-scores, and a 4.5 or higher on the essay writing score (TWE).

    IELTS (International English language Testing System): Applicants must achieve a minimum score of 7.0 on the individual band scores for academic reading and academic writing.

    PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic): Applicants must achieve a minimum score of 68 on the PTE Academic English Language Proficiency test. 

    All submitted score records must include the segmented point distribution among the parts of the test, along with the total. Scores should be sent directly to the Division of Graduate Professional Studies, using the institutional code 0253.

    Exceptions are made for applicants whose bachelor’s degree was earned in many “American Universities”, such as American University in Cairo or AU in Paris, among others.

  9. Education Credential Evaluation (if bachelor's degree was earned outside the United States)
    Applicants who earned their bachelor's degree outside the United States must submit their records for a course-by-course evaluation (official transcripts/mark sheets) by Education Credential Evaluators (ECE) of Madison, Wisc. Information regarding the evaluation process is detailed at the ECE Web site. Applicants are responsible for the evaluation fee.

Please join us for a Virtual Open House, where you'll have a chance to meet program chairs, current students and administrative staff.  Get your questions answered and see if Brandeis GPS is the right fit for you.

Upcoming Registration and Application Deadlines 
  • July 15, 2014
Fall Start Application Deadline (Suggested)
  • August 5, 2014
Matriculated Student Registration
  • August 12, 2014
Fall Open Registration Begins

 

 

Upcoming Program Specific Virtual Open Houses (VOH) 
  • August 12, 2014, 7pm EDT

Bioinformatics, Virtual Open House

  • October 6, 2014, 7pm EDT

Strategic Analytics, Virtual Open House

  • October 7, 2014, 7pm EDT
Health and Medical Informatics, Virtual Open House
  • October 8, 2014, 7pm EDT

Software Engineering, Virtual Open House

  • October 14, 2014, 7pm EDT

Bioinformatics, Virtual Open House

  • December 1, 2014, 7pm EDT
Strategic Analytics, Virtual Open House
  • December 2, 2014, 7pm EDT
Health and Medical Informatics, Virtual Open House
  • December 3, 2014, 7pm EDT
Software Engineering, Virtual Open House
  • December 92014, 7pm EDT
Bioinformatics, Virtual Open House

 

 

Tuition & Payment Options

Fall 2014 -Summer 2015

Tuition and Fees
Graduate course (three credits) $3,150
Graduate course (four credits) $4,200
Late Registration Fee $70
Application fee   $50
Application to graduate fee $100

Payment Options

Acceptable forms of payment include:

  • Personal check
  • Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express credit cards
  • Electronic bank draft

Students must be prepared to pay tuition in full. Student registration will not be considered complete unless full payment of tuition and fees is received.

Course Withdrawal and Refund Policy

Students who wish to cancel their registration and receive a tuition refund must state their intention to withdraw by withdrawing from their course online using SAGE or by completing a course Drop Form and submitting it to the Division of Graduate Professional Studies. Tuition will be refunded according to the following schedule:

  • Withdrawal before the first Wednesday of the term, 100 percent refund
  • Withdrawal between the first Wednesday and following Tuesday of the term, 75 percent refund
  • Withdrawal on or after the second Wednesday of the term, no refund
  • Late Registration Fees are nonrefundable in all cases

Students who wish to receive a refund must submit a request using the Credit Release form. Otherwise, the amount will remain on the student's account and be applied toward a future tuition payment. Refunds will be in the form of a check and processed within 10 business days. When applicable, refund policies of the state where online learning students reside will be used to calculate any applicable refunds. Click here for state policies.

Tax Deductions

Some students may be eligible for an income-tax deduction or a tax credit. Consult the appropriate state or federal agency or your own tax adviser for further information.

Financial Aid

Federal Loans:

GPS students may be eligible for federal loans as long as they are enrolled in a master's program, registered for at least two courses each term and actively working toward completing their degree requirements. We do not offer financial assistance in the form of Federal Work-Study, teaching assistantships or other grants. A variety of federal loan programs, including the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, may be available to GPS students who meet the above enrollment criteria. The Unsubsidized Stafford loan is not need or credit based, however, the Graduate PLUS loan is credit based.

All students who wish to apply for financial aid must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov, and notify GPS in writing of the date on which the FAFSA form is submitted. When completing the FAFSA form, students should list Brandeis University (federal code 002133) as a recipient of the data.

Students requesting financial aid also must complete a Federal Direct Stafford Loan Application for Graduate Professional Studies. This form must be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Services before the start of the term so that loan funds may be applied.

2013-2014 Federal Direct Stafford Loan Application for Graduate Professional Studies (PDF)

If a student would like to apply for a Graduate PLUS loan in addition to the Stafford loan, you can follow the instructions on the Office of Student Financial Services webpage: http://www.brandeis.edu/sfs/loans/GradPLUSAppIns.html

Private Loans:

Students who are enrolled in only one class a semester, or who take classes as a non-degree student, may still be eligible for private loans. Private loans are always credit based. To see which loan programs you could be eligible for, we recommend using the website https://borrowsmart.afford.com/brs/ to compare loan options.  We strongly suggest that students also do their own research on private loans as well.

Contact Information:

For more information about loan options and eligibility, please contact Francine Davis in the Office of Student Financial Services at (781)736-3713. We also highly suggest reviewing the Graduate and Professional Studies Financial Aid Instruction Sheet form for detailed loan application instructions.

Additional Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirement for Students Receiving Financial Aid

Federal regulations require that a student receiving federal assistance make satisfactory academic progress in accordance with standards set by the university. The Division of Graduate Professional Studies is responsible for monitoring academic progress within its graduate programs. To receive federal funding, students must successfully complete two courses (B- or higher) in each semester in which they receive federal loans. If they fail to successfully complete two courses in a semester in which they receive federal loans, they will be allowed to receive federal loans for the next semester but will be placed on probation. If they fail to successfully complete two courses during the probationary semester, they will lose eligibility for federal loans from this point forward. Students may submit an appeal if there are extenuating circumstances that prevented them from successfully completing coursework for two subsequent semesters.

Employer Reimbursement

Many employers offer some form of tuition reimbursement to their employees. Contact your company to determine tuition benefits. Please be advised that tuition reimbursement constitutes a private arrangement between employer and employee. Full payment of tuition and fees must be received upon registration, regardless of the terms of such an arrangement between the employee and employer. If you need a financial statement for reimbursement purposes, you may submit a request online using the Request Itemized Statement form.

Once you have submitted an application for admission, your application will be processed within 24 to 48 hours of receipt. However, your application file will not be reviewed for admission until the Graduate Professional Studies (GPS) office has received all required documents.

If you have applied for admissions to a master's degree program, you may login to GPS Application Management Center to view the progress of your application.  You may also contact your Enrollment Advisor or the GPS admissions office.

The admissions committee typically makes admissions decisions within four to six weeks of receiving a completed file. Decision letters are mailed to all applicants.

FAQ

How many letters of recommendation are required?

Only one letter of recommendation from an employer/supervisor or instructor is required. You may submit additional letters of recommendation if you wish.

Are the GREs or GMATs required for admission?

No.

When can I apply for admission?

GPS offers rolling admission, so apply anytime. However, we do have recommended deadlines for each semester: July 15th for Fall, Nov. 15th for Spring and March 15th for Summer.

If you decide to take courses without enrolling, you can wait until the end of the second course to apply for a degree program.

Do I have to enroll in a GPS course prior to applying to a program?

No, you may apply for admission without enrolling in a GPS course. Please refer to the Apply for a Master's Degree page for eligibility requirements.

I completed my undergraduate degree outside the United States. Must I have my marksheets/transcripts evaluated?

Yes, all students who studied outside of the United States must complete a course-by-course evaluation through Educational Credential Evaluators. If you completed a graduate degree at a U.S.-accredited institution, you will not be required to complete a course-by-course evaluation of your undergraduate degree.

I have my own copy of my transcripts. Is this acceptable to submit for admission?

No, only official copies of transcripts sent directly from your college/university in sealed, signed envelopes to the Graduate Professional Studies offices are acceptable. If you studied outside of the United States, notarized copies of your official transcript may be accepted.

Are the programs offered by GPS full-time or part-time?

GPS programs are only offered part time, with courses available in the evenings (on campus) or online.

How long does it take to receive an admissions decision?

Admissions decisions are typically reached by the Admissions Committee within four to six weeks of receiving a completed application.

Next Virtual Open House

Please join us for our next Virtual Open House (VOH). Check out our Admissions Events to see a listing of program-specific Virtual Open Houses. Connect with Brandeis GPS Program Chairs and Staff.

Admissions Events

Get Advice

Brandeis GPS is committed to giving our student the help they need to navigate their degree programs.  From the moment you begin the application process to the day you receive your degree, our advising staff is there to support you. Schedule a call with an enrollment advisor today.

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