Thank you for considering the University of Michigan Bioinformatics Program!
The Accelerated Master’s Degree Program is an excellent way for UM undergraduates to acquire applicable knowledge and skills in bioinformatics as they complete their studies, plus explore overlapping interests. Students start taking Bioinformatics graduate-level courses while in their senior year of UM undergraduate study. Students complete both their undergraduate degree and a Bioinformatics Master’s degree within five years. Undergraduates who are pursuing a dual degree are ineligible for the Bioinformatics AMDP. A one-page AMDP information sheet can be found here.
The Bioinformatics Master’s Program is comprised of both courses (a minimum of 30 credit hours), required research experience, and a research presentation. More details on each are below.
Students must submit an online application in their junior year of undergraduate study (or approximately 18 months before finishing requirements). Include the Rackham AMDP Election Form with your application as this will indicate your anticipated course of study. The application deadline is April 1.
Dr. Stephen Guest and Dr. Cristina Mitrea are the primary advisors for AMDP students; interested UM students should make advising appointments with one of them prior to applying to determine a course of study (included with the application). Further details and application requirements can be found on our Graduate Admissions page.
Accepted students enroll in the Bioinformatics AMDP during the last year of undergraduate study. For the 5th year, AMDP students enroll in Rackham as an MS student.
- Undergraduate majors in Biology, MCDB (formerly CMB), LSI, Math, or CSE are encouraged. Other majors are allowed, if their home department permits and all other criteria can be met.
- A minimum 3.2 GPA is required for admission and the duration of undergraduate studies.
- No GRE is required
- Up to 15 credits can be transferred from your undergraduate major
- Of these 15, up to 9 credits can be double counted for major electives and the MS
- You will do original research under supervision, either in a U of M lab for credit, or during paid summer internships
- Appropriate courses are listed here
A total of 30 credit hours, plus relevant research experience are required for the Master’s degree which includes the following courses and electives:
- Introductory Bioinformatics (BIOINF 527 or BIOINF 529)
- Computing & Informatics – 3 or 4 credits, several choices
- Probability & Statistics –3 or 4 credits, 1 or 2 courses
- Molecular Biology – any graduate level or an undergraduate course approved for graduate credit
- Two Advanced Bioinformatics and/or Computational Biology courses
- Two semesters of Bioinformatics Journal Club; 1 term of BIOINF 602 and 1 term of BIOINF 603
Electives for the MS degree can be any of the listed courses, or any graduate course in the relevant topics (biology, computing, statistics). Applied math or applied computing courses will be considered only if in relation to biology topics.
Up to 6 credits for the undergraduate degree may be taken during graduate enrollment.
Up to 15 credits can be transferred from the undergraduate years; up to 9 credits can be double counted.
A transfer credit is one that is not needed for ANY graduation requirements – not for 120 credits, not for LSA distribution, nor your major or minor – your undergraduate degree would be the same without this.
Double counted credit: Only credit for free or technical electives in your major.
Please note: As an exception AMDP students whose undergraduate degree is Statistics, LSI, or CSE are allowed to double count BIOINF 527. CMB undergraduates are allowed to double count MCDB 427 even though it is required.
Research and Internship Opportunities
A minimum of 300 hours of research experience is also required for the Master’s degree. This can be either a paid part-time research experience, spring or summer full-time internship, or research for credit (BIOINF 599). A maximum of 6 credit hours of BIOINF 599 will count towards your degree. Please speak with your MS Guidance Advisor for details; internship guidelines can be found here.
Accelerated Master’s students are required to give at least one research presentation in the course of their study. Presentations may occur Fall or Winter term. Students should expect to give a poster presentation and 3-minute lightening talk reflective of your research experience. These may occur at department organized events such as the Fall retreat or special presentation events scheduled throughout the year. Students will be notified in advance of opportunities to meet this program requirement.
Bioinformatics PhD Program
If interested in applying to the Bioinformatics PhD Program, students must submit complete applications by December 1 for admission the following Fall term. Early applications are not allowed and will not be considered. Instructions and required materials can be found under “PhD admissions” on the admissions information page.