Major: Bioinformatics
Degree Awarded:
Master of Science
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 45.0
Co-op Option: None
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 26.1103
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code:

About the Program

The Bioinformatics program aims to train professional graduates for bioinformatics specialist roles in healthcare, biomedical research, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries by providing them with interdisciplinary knowledge and experience to develop and apply sophisticated computational methods for the analysis of biomedical data. The program consists of classes and electives included in certificates offered by the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems (Bioinformatics, Neurotechnologies and Neurosystems), the College of Computing and Informatics (Computational Data Science), and the Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Professional Studies (Drug Discovery and Development).  

Additional Information

For questions about how to apply to the program, please contact:

Natalia Broz
Associate Director for Graduate Programs
School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems

Andres Kriete, PhD
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems

For more information, visit the The School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems website.

Admission Requirements

Acceptance into the MS in Bioinformatics program requires a four-year bachelor's degree in sciences or engineering from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or an equivalent international institution. Regular acceptance typically requires a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. The average for any graduate work must be at least 3.0.

Applicants must also fulfill the following requirements for consideration:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • References from at least two instructors or professionals;\
  • Essay
  • Resume

International applicants (non-United States citizens) must meet the same requirements for admission as students from the United States. Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate the ability to speak, write, and understand the English language by submitting an acceptable score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). An evaluation by World Education Services (WES) is required for transcripts from institutions outside the United States.

Online applications are accepted all year-round, but all admitted students initiate their studies in the following fall term. Students are encouraged to apply no later than July 1 for consideration for admission the following fall term. Students may defer admission by one year.

Degree Requirements

Core Required Courses
BMES 546Biocomputational Languages4.0
or BMES 550 Advanced Biocomputational Languages
BMES 544Genome Information Engineering4.0
Core Elective Courses (Choose 7-9 credits)7.0-9.0
Quantitative Systems Biology
Structural Bioinformatics and Drug Design
Machine Learning in Biomedical Applications
Biosystems Modeling
Genomic and Sequencing Technologies
Biomedical Signal Processing
[Option 1] Computational Data Sciences (Choose 2 out of 3 options)
Required Courses for Option 10.0-6.0
Data Acquisition and Pre-Processing
Data Analysis and Interpretation
Elective Courses for Option 1 (Choose 9 credits)0.0-9.0
Fundamentals of Databases
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
Introduction to Computer Vision
Machine Learning
Deep Learning
Data Analysis at Scale
Responsible Data Analysis
[Option 2] Drug Discovery and Development (Choose 2 out of 3 options)
Required courses for Option 20.0-6.0
Drug Discovery and Development I
Drug Discovery and Development II
Elective courses for Option 2 (Choose 9 credits)0.0-9.0
Cancer Biology
Ethical Issues in Research
Business Processes and Contemporary Concerns in Pharmaceutical R & D
World Wide Regulatory Submissions
Intro to Clinical Trials
Applications of Clinical Research Biostatistics
Scientific Writing and Medical Literature
Current Federal Regulatory Issues in Biomedical Research
Pharmaceutical Law
Leadership Skills
Compliance & Monitoring Issues
Principles and Practice of Pharmacovigilance
Designing the Clinical Trial
Innovative Product Development
Fundamentals of Compliance
Introduction to Clinical Pharmacology
Informatics in Pharm Res & Development
Regulatory, Scientific and Social Issues Affecting Biotech Research
Health Policy and Economics
Strategic Planning
Special Topics in Clinical Research
Responsible Conduct of Research
Immunology I
Biotechniques I: Molecular and Genomic Methods
Vaccines and Vaccine Development
Fundamentals of Molecular Medicine I
Fundamentals of Molecular Medicine II
Animal Models for Biomedical Research
Statistics for Neuro/Pharm Research
Graduate Neuroscience I
Graduate Physiology
Current Topics in Pharmacology & Physiology
Pharm & Phys 1st Lab Rotation
Prin of Neuropharmacology
Graduate Pharmacology
Advanced Topics in Physiology
Advanced Topics in Pharmacology
New Frontiers in Therapy
Methods in Biomedical Research
Internship in Drug Discovery and Development
Intensive Internship in Drug Discovery and Development
Current Topics in Drug Discovery and Development
Research in Drug Discovery and Development
[Option 3] Neurotechnologies and Neurosystems (Choose 2 out of 3 options)
Required courses for Option 30.0-6.0
Neural Signals
Principles in Neuroengineering
Elective courses for Option 3 (Choose 9 credits)0.0-9.0
Experimental Methods in Neuroengineering
Systems Neuroscience and Applications I
Brain Computer Interfaces
Neural Networks

Total Credits: 45.0

Sample Plan of Study

Sample Curriculum Schedule without Co-Op

First Year
BMES 546 or 5504.0BMES 5473.0BMES 5434.0VACATION
BMES 7183.0BMES 5513.0BMES 7113.0 
 BMES 7103.0BMES 7253.0 
 7 9 10 0
Second Year
CS 5003.0BMES 5444.0CS 5103.0 
DSCI 5113.0DSCI 5213.0CS 6153.0 
 6 7 6 
Total Credits 45

Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems Faculty

Fred D. Allen, PhD (University of Pennsylvania) Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education. . Teaching Professor. Tissue engineering, cell engineering, orthopedics, bone remodeling, wound healing, mechanotransduction, signal transduction, adhesion, migration.
Hasan Ayaz, PhD (Drexel University) School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems. Associate Professor. Optical brain imaging, cognitive neuroengineering, brain computer interface (BCI), functional ner infrared (fNIR), and near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS).
Sriram Balasubramanian, PhD (Wayne State University). Assistant Professor. Structural characteristics of the pediatric thoracic cage using CT scans and developing an age-equivalent animal model for pediatric long bones.
Kenneth A. Barbee, PhD (University of Pennsylvania) Senior Associate Dean, Associate Dean for Research. Professor. Cellular biomechanics of neural and vascular injury, mechanotransduction in the cardiovascular system, mechanical control of growth and development for wound healing and tissue engineering.
Paul Brandt-Rauf, MD, DrPH (Columbia University) Dean. Distinguished University Professor. Environmental health, particularly the molecular biology and molecular epidemiology of environmental carcinogenesis, and protein engineering for the development of novel peptide therapies for the treatment and prevention of cancer.
Donald Buerk, PhD (Northwestern University). Research Professor. Biotechnology, physiology, systems biology, blood flow, microcirculation, nitric oxide, oxygen transport
Jamie Dougherty, PhD (Drexel University). Associate Teaching Professor. Brain-computer interface, neural encoding, electrophysiological signal acquisition and processing.
Lin Han, PhD (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Associate Professor. Nanoscale structure-property relationships of biological materials, genetic and molecular origins soft joint tissue diseases, biomaterials under extreme conditions, coupling between stimulus-responsiveness and geometry.
Kurtulus Izzetoglu, PhD (Drexel University). Associate Research Professor. Cognitive neuroengineering, functional brain imaging, near infrared spectroscopy, medical sensor development, biomedical signal processing, human performance assessment, and cognitive aging
Andres Kriete, PhD (University in Bremen Germany) Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. Teaching Professor. Systems biology, bioimaging, control theory, biology of aging, skin cancer.
Steven Kurtz, PhD (Cornell University). Part-time Research Professor. Computational biomechanics of bone-implant systems and impact-related injuries, orthopaedic biomechanics, contact mechanics, orthopaedic biomaterials, large-deformation mechanical behavior and wear of polymers, and degradation and crosslinking of polyolefins in implant applications.
Peter Lewin, PhD (University of Denmark, Copenhagen-Lyngby) Richard B. Beard Professor, School Of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems. Professor. Biomedical ultrasonics, piezoelectric and polymer transducers and hydrophones; shock wave sensors.
Hualou Liang, PhD (Chinese Academy of Sciences). Professor. Neuroengineering, neuroinformatics, cognitive and computational neuroscience, neural data analysis and computational modeling, biomedical signal processing.
Donald L. McEachron, PhD (University of California at San Diego) Coordinator, Academic Assessment and Improvement. Teaching Professor. Animal behavior, autoradiography, biological rhythms, cerebral metabolism, evolutionary theory, image processing, neuroendocrinology.
Michael Neidrauer, PhD (Drexel University). Assistant Research Professor. Wound healing, near infrared, spectroscopy, cell culture, data analysis, optical coherence tomography (OCT), matlab, life sciences assay development, confocal microscopy, biomaterials, in-vivo, medical devices
Banu Onaral, PhD (University of Pennsylvania) H.H. Sun Professor; Senior Advisor to the President, Global Partnerships. Professor. Biomedical signal processing; complexity and scaling in biomedical signals and systems.
Kambiz Pourrezaei, PhD (Rensselaer Polytechnic University). Professor. Thin film technology; nanotechnology; near infrared imaging; power electronics.
Christopher Rodell, PhD (University of Pennsylvania). Assistant Professor. Biomaterials, supramolecular chemistry, and drug delivery. Therapeutic applications including the etiology of disease, organ injury, cardiovascular engineering, immune engineering, and biomedical imaging.
Ahmet Sacan, PhD (Middle East Technical University). Associate Teaching Professor. Indexing and data mining in biological databases; protein sequence and structure; similarity search; protein structure modeling; protein-protein interaction; automated cell tracking.
Joseph J. Sarver, PhD (Drexel University). Teaching Professor. Neuromuscular adaptation to changes in the myo-mechanical environment.
Patricia A. Shewokis, PhD (University of Georgia). Professor. Roles of cognition and motor function during motor skill learning; role of information feedback frequency on the memory of motor skills, noninvasive neural imaging techniques of functional near infrared spectroscopy(fNIRS) and electroencephalograpy (EEG) and methodology and research design.
Adrian C. Shieh, PhD (Rice University). Associate Teaching Professor. Contribution of mechanical forces to tumor invasion and metastasis, with a particular emphasis on how biomechanical signals may drive the invasive switch, and how the biomechanical microenvironment interacts with cytokine signaling and the extracellular matrix to influence tumor and stromal cell behavior.
Wan Y. Shih, PhD (Ohio State University). Professor. Piezoelectric microcantilever biosensors development, piezoelectric finger development, quantum dots development, tissue elasticity imaging, piezoelectric microcantilever force probes.
Kara Spiller, PhD (Drexel University). Associate Professor. Macrophage-biometerial interactions, drug delivery systems, and chronic would healing. Cell-biomaterial interactions, biomaterial design, and international engineering education.
Marek Swoboda, PhD (Drexel University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Cardiovascular engineering, cardiovascular system, diagnostic devices in cardiology, piezoelectric biosensors, and pathogen detection.
Amy Throckmorton, PhD (University of Virginia). Associate Professor. Computational and experimental fluid dynamics; cardiovascular modeling, including transient, fluid-structure interaction, and patient-specific anatomical studies; bench-to-bedside development of medical devices; artificial organs research; prediction and quantification of blood trauma and thrombosis in medical devices; design of therapeutic alternatives for patients with dysfunctional single ventricle physiology; human factors engineering of mechanical circulatory assist devices
Bhandawat Vikas, PhD (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine). Associate Professor. Sensorimotor integration, whole-cell patch clamp and imaging in behaving animals, optogenetics, neuromechanics, locomotion.
Bhandawat Vikas Associate Professor. Sensorimotor integration, whole-cell patch clamp and imaging in behaving animals, optogenetics, neuromechanics, locomotion
Margaret Wheatley, PhD (University of Toronto) John M. Reid Professor. Ultrasound contrast agent development (tumor targeting and triggered drug delivery), controlled release technology (bioactive compounds), microencapsulated allografts (ex vivo gene therapy) for spinal cord repair.
Ming Xiao, PhD (Baylor University). Associate Professor. Nanotechnology, single molecule detection, single molecule fluorescent imaging, genomics, genetics, genome mapping, DNA sequencing, DNA biochemistry, and biophysics.
Yinghui Zhong, PhD (Georgia Institute of Technology). Assistant Professor. Spinal cord repair, and engineering neural prosthesis/brain interface using biomaterials, drug delivery, and stem cell therapy.
Leonid Zubkov, PhD, DSc (St. Petersburg State University, Russia). Research Professor. Physiology, wound healing, physiologic neovascularization, near-infrared spectroscopy, optical tomography, histological techniques, computer-assisted diagnosis, infrared spectrophotometry, physiologic monitoring, experimental diabetes mellitus, penetrating wounds, diabetes complications, skin, animal models, radiation scattering, failure analysis
Catherin von Reyn, PhD (University of Pennsylvania). Assistant Professor. Cell type-specific genetic engineering, whole-cell patch clamp in behaving animals, modeling, and detailed behavioral analysis to identify and characterize sensorimotor circuits.

Emeritus Faculty

Dov Jaron, PhD (University of Pennsylvania) Calhoun Distinguished Professor of Engineering in Medicine. Professor Emeritus. Mathematical, computer and electromechanical simulations of the cardiovascular system.
Rahamim Seliktar, PhD (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow). Professor Emeritus. Limb prostheses, biomechanics of human motion, orthopedic biomechanics.
Hun H. Sun, PhD (Cornell University). Professor Emeritus. Biological control systems, physiological modeling, systems analysis.
  • Schedule of Classes
  • All Course Descriptions
  • Co-op
  • Academic Advising
  • Admissions
  • Tuition & Fees