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Online Bioinformatics Masters
Introduction
Online Bioinformatics Masters
Best Programs
Online Bioinformatics Masters
Affordable Programs
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Online Bioinformatics Masters
1-Year Online Bioinformatics
How To Pay Online Bioinformatics Masters
How to Pay?
FAQ of Online Bioinformatics Masters
FAQ
Career in Online Bioinformatics Masters
Careers & Salaries
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Licensing
Online Bioinformatics Masters
Additional Resources

Online Bioinformatics Masters

Online Bioinformatics Masters

The health sciences industry is booming and seeing unprecedented growth, with the advent of Computers, Information Technology, Biotechnology, and advancements in science and medicine. In today’s world of medicine and pharmaceutical industries, analysis of complex data, artificial intelligence, and the overall blending of modern computer technology with biological sciences has given rise to a relatively new field titled ‘Bioinformatics’. The result is new insights in studying genes and other systems and a need for experts with both biological knowledge and programming and quantitative skills. In general, an online Bioinformatics Master’s combines studies in data and computer sciences with biological science, including biochemistry, molecular biology, personalized medicine, and genomic sequencing. The program uses computer science and biotechnology to explore current issues and gain practical skills to learn how to analyze DNA material, break down the structure of proteins, and understand statistical patterns. Graduates of an online Master’s in Bioinformatics program will typically work in genotyping, functional genomics, sequence assembly, pharmacogenomics, database management, and others.

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Best Online Bioinformatics Masters Programs

Bioinformatics Best Seal

Some of the best Bioinformatics programs in the United States are judged by the program’s structure, the experience of faculty members and the quality of their teaching, lab and research infrastructure, easy access to additional study material and resources, accreditation, and of course, affordability. With all these factors serving as yardsticks, here are some of the best online Bioinformatics Master’s programs:

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College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
#1
Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
$49,448 97%
#2
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Ave, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
$25,264 89%
#3
Stanford University
Stanford, California 94305
$54,315 95%
#4
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N Charles St, Baltimore, Maryland 21218
$57,010 93%
#5
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
601 E John Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820
$15,016 85%
#6
Brandeis University
415 South St, Waltham, Massachusetts 02454
$51,940 87%
#7
New York University
70 Washington Sq South, New York, New York 10012
$34,704 85%
#8
George Washington University
1918 F Street, NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20052
$31,770 82%
#9
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
7000 Fannin, Houston, Texas 77030
$7,984 NA
#10
George Mason University
4400 University Dr, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
$12,594 71%
#11
Lewis University
One University Parkway, Romeoville, Illinois 60446
$14,580 67%
#12
North Dakota State University
1301 12th Avenue North, Fargo, North Dakota 58108
$7,013 60%
#13
University of Maine
168 College Avenue, Orono, Maine 04469
$8,298 57%
#14
University of Maryland
3501 University Blvd East, Adelphi, Maryland 20783
$8,640 15%

Source Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Most Affordable Online Bioinformatics Masters Programs

Most Affordable Seal

Depending on the college, program, and type of tuition (in-state or out-of-state), a Master’s in Bioinformatics may cost anywhere from as low as $7,000 to as high as $52,000 or more! This is, by no stretch of the imagination, an economical pursuit. Then there are several other factors to consider and balance out with cost and value. Bearing this in mind, experts at OnlineMastersColleges (OMC) have drawn up a list of some affordable online Bioinformatics Master’s:

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College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
#1
North Dakota State University
1301 12th Avenue North, Fargo, North Dakota 58108
$7,013 60%
#2
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
7000 Fannin, Houston, Texas 77030
$7,984 N/A
#3
University of Maine
168 College Avenue, Orono, Maine 04469
$8,298 57%
#4
University of Maryland
3501 University Blvd East, Adelphi, Maryland 20783
$8,640 15%
#5
George Mason University
4400 University Dr, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
$12,594 71%
#6
Lewis University
One University Parkway, Romeoville, Illinois 60446
$14,580 67%
#7
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
601 E John Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820
$15,016 85%
#8
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Ave, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
$25,264 89%
#9
George Washington University
1918 F Street, NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20052
$31,770 82%
#10
New York University
70 Washington Sq South, New York, New York 10012
$34,704 85%
#11
Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
$49,448 97%
#12
Brandeis University
415 South St, Waltham, Massachusetts 02454
$51,940 87%
#13
Stanford University
Stanford, California 94305
$54,315 95%
#14
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N Charles St, Baltimore, Maryland 21218
$57,010 93%

Source Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Understanding Bioinformatics Masters Programs

A Bioinformatics Master’s usually combines biology, computer science, chemistry, statistics, and mathematics, coupled with real-world experience. The program helps students integrate the knowledge, skills, experience, and confidence they need to develop, evaluate, and deploy bioinformatics and computational biology applications.

This Master’s Degree will prepare individuals for various positions in the growing and challenging field of Bioinformatics, whether they already work in the field, want to advance their career, or want to change careers. With a variety of quantitative and computational skills, blended with biotechnology, this advanced degree will allow graduates to work in various sectors, including Medical Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Pharmaceuticals, Software Development, Biotechnology, Government, Education, and Consulting, among others.

Bioinformatics Masters Degree Types

There are two ways of studying Bioinformatics Master’s– one is an MBA program, and the other is an MS program. Both programs are fundamentally similar but cater to different personal and professional goals.

MS Bioinformatics

The Master of Science or MS Bioinformatics approaches Bioinformatics from a technical and scientific viewpoint, emphasizing research methodology, genome sequencing, programming and computation, and pharmacogenomics. This type of degree can also serve as a foundation for medical school, law school, or advanced study in public health.

MBA in Bioinformatics

The Master’s in Business Administration or MBA in Bioinformatics brings managerial, administrative, and commercial aspects to the study of Bioinformatics and caters to those who may already have knowledge and experience in the field but look to acquiring some business skills as well.


Specializations in Bioinformatics Masters Programs

Specializations and concentrations in online Bioinformatics Master’s are required for students to dive deeper into one particular aspect of bioinformatics or specialized knowledge and skills to prepare for a certain career path. A few from the many available options include:

  1. Bioinformatics and Chemoinformatics: addresses the need for informatics for both large and small molecule biological products.
  2. Bioinformatics Enterprise: integrates business and management skills along with innovation, marketing, and leadership, with the science of bioinformatics.
  3. Biotechnology: creates a strong foundation in basic biotechnology concepts and skills (best suited for those who do not already have a biotechnology background).
  4. Data Analytics: provides foundational knowledge in data science, including data management, data mining, statistics, machine learning, and visualizing and communicating data.
  5. Health Informatics: addresses the combined clinical, technical, and business needs of health-related professionals.
  6. Medical Health Informatics: addresses the combined medical needs from a patient’s health perspective, technical, and business needs.
  7. Omics: analyzes large data sets related to proteomics, genomics, transcriptomics, and new-omics fields, as they evolve.

Other examples of specializations and concentrations include but are not limited to:

  • Bioinformatics Specialization
  • Master of Science in Genomics and Bioinformatics
  • Computational Biology Degree Online
  • MS in Individualized Genomics and Health
  • Molecular Cell Biology for Biotechnology
  • Cheminformatics
  • Computational Genomics
  • Proteomics in Bioinformatics
  • Managing and Leading a Biotechnology Company
  • Biotechnology Entrepreneurship
  • Semantic Web
  • Advanced Genomics and Genetics Analyses
  • Genomic and Personalized Medicine
  • Practical Introduction to Metagenomics
  • Principles of Bioinformatics
  • Cell Culture Processes for Biopharmaceutical Production
  • Analysis of Gene Expression and High-Content Biological Data
  • Protein Bioinformatics
  • Computational Drug Discovery and Development
  • Computational Aspects of Molecular Structure
  • Bioinformatics: Tools for Genome Analysis
  • Bio-Perl
  • Next Generation DNA Sequencing and Analysis
  • Statistics for Bioinformatics
  • Modeling and Simulation of Complex Systems
  • Computational Aspects of Molecular Structure
  • Systems Biology
  • Molecular Phylogenetic Techniques
  • Gene Expression Data Analysis and Visualization
  • Advanced Practical Computer Concepts for Bioinformatics

Curriculum and Skills Gained in Online Bioinformatics Masters Programs

An online Bioinformatics Master’s curriculum is largely based on biology, chemistry, mathematics, statistics, and computer science-related subjects. Computational genomics, bioinformatics programming, and database management are usually common to the program. A specific Bioinformatics course can also be unique to a program, and it is wise to read the program guide or prospectus carefully before choosing a program. Examples of the courses that make up a Master’s in Bioinformatics are:

  • Bioinformatics Computational Methods
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biological Databases and Database Tools
  • Ethics in Biological Research
  • Introduction to Bioinformatics
  • Bioinformatics Programming
  • Epigenetics, Gene Organization & Expression
  • Statistics for Bioinformatics
  • Practical Computer Concepts for Bioinformatics
  • Principles of Database Systems
  • social and ethical issues in biomedical informatics
  • Societal Issues in Biotechnology
  • Bioprocessing and the Business of Biotechnology
  • Techniques of Biotechnology
  • Molecular Cell Biology for Bioinformatics
  • Systems Biology
  • Bioinformatics Programming
  • Biostatistics/Computational Biology and Genetics
  • Information Systems Programming
  • Computational Methods in Biomedical Science
  • Database System Applications
  • Genetics, Genomics, and Evolution
  • Introduction to Epidemiology
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Bioinformatics Computational Methods
  • Ethics in Biomedical Research
  • Foundations of Biomedical Information Sciences
  • Research Design and Evaluation in Biomedical Information
  • Scientific Writing in Healthcare
  • Algorithms and Data Structures for Bioinformatics
  • Proteomics for Bioinformatics
  • Bioinformatics: Functional Prediction

Along with the core courses required to take in a Bioinformatics Master’s, at least 1 or 2 elective courses are mandatory. Some of these elective courses to choose from are:

  • Representations and Algorithms for Computational Molecular Biology
  • Data-Driven Medicine
  • Computational Methods for Biomedical Image Analysis and Interpretation
  • Statistical Processes for Biotechnology
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Systems-Level Approaches in Bioinformatics
  • Database Design
  • Biological Sequence Analysis
  • Numerical Method for Bioinformatics
  • Stem Cells and Regeneration
  • Microbial Biotechnology
  • Cellular Engineering
  • Legal and Ethical Aspects of Health Informatics
  • Quality and Outcome Improvement in Healthcare
  • Standards in Health Informatics
  • Introduction to Systems Biology
  • Statistics and Mathematics for Bioinformatics
  • Economic Dynamics of Change in Biotechnology
  • Next Generation Sequence Analysis for Bioinformatics
  • Large Scale Database Systems
  • Evolutionary Computation
  • Foundations of Software Engineering
  • Rich Internet Applications with Ajax
  • Principles of Enterprise Web Development
  • XML Design Paradigms
  • Data Visualization
  • Introduction to cGMP Compliance
  • Marketing Aspects of Biotechnology
  • Bioscience Communication
  • Independent Research Project in Bioinformatics
  • Big Data Processing Using Hadoop
  • Agile Development with Ruby on Rails
  • Mobile Application Development for the Android Platform
  • Software Systems Engineering
  • Machine Learning
  • Web Application Development with Java
  • Bioethics
  • Ethical, Legal & Regulatory Aspects of the Biotechnology Enterprise
  • Independent Studies in Biotechnology Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
  • Social Entrepreneurship in Bioscience
  • Advanced Cell Biology
  • Life Science Entrepreneurial Ventures

Graduates of a Master’s in Bioinformatics will acquire a host of skills by the end of their program, such as the ability to:

  • filter and transform general data;
  • process and check domain-specific data;
  • apply statistics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence where applicable and/or possible;
  • better integrate domain-specific data via the use of APIs, databases, and/or flat files;
  • effectively use domain-specific statistical tools, reporting tools, and data visualization;
  • write Python/R packages and/or use Perl;
  • write reusable, efficient, and documented code with version-control for data analysis tasks; and
  • communicate data-driven insights/stories via publications, journals, and presentations.

Accreditation for Online Bioinformatics Masters Programs

Accreditation has a huge role to play in Master’s programs. Not only does accreditation endorse the expected high standards and quality of a program, but it also ensures that set standards are currently and constantly met, adding tremendous credibility to the program and/or college. One example of accreditation for an online Bioinformatics Master’s is the Institute for Credentialing Service (ICE) that bestows the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) Accreditation and the Assessment-based Certificate Accreditation Program (ACAP). In some cases, colleges or programs may be endorsed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  Regional accreditation is granted by organizations like the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), or the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).


Timeline for graduation from Online Bioinformatics Masters Programs

In most cases, full-time students require anywhere from 16 to 36 months to complete an online Bioinformatics Master’s, with an average of about 24 months. Part-timers will take longer to complete the program; some universities allow an upper limit of up to 5 years.


Online Bioinformatics Masters Programs Admission Requirements

MS Bioinformatics prerequisites are almost identical to those of other science-related degrees, whereby students are required to have a Bachelor’s Degree preferably with courses in subjects such as Calculus, Biostatistics, Bio-Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Introduction to Programming using Java. However, Bioinformatics prerequisites vary by college and program, and students must check the program guide for specific requirements. Apart from this eligibility criterion, Bioinformatics Master’s requirements are generally:

  • An Application to the Program, with its Prescribed Application Fee;
  • Official Academic Transcripts for all Institutions Attended;
  • A Personal Statement; and
  • At least 2 Letters of Recommendation.

Most schools do not require a standardized test score such as the GRE score, although it is recommended to submit one. A Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.0 is expected.

1-Year Online Bioinformatics Masters Programs

There seems to be no University offering a 1-year Bioinformatics Master’s online program until publishing this article. However, if time is of the essence and one is open to studying overseas, a few universities worldwide do offer full-time 1 year programs in Bioinformatics. One such University is Cardiff University that has a 1 year, full-time MSc. Bioinformatics. An intensive search on the internet may perhaps bring forth similar offerings.

Note: Although a 1-year Bioinformatics Master’s may seem a tempting proposition, we advise exercising some caution, as these programs generally lack accreditation and/or tend not to be recognized by the job market in the United States.

How to Pay for Online Bioinformatics Masters Programs

As mentioned earlier in this article, the cost of an online Bioinformatics Master’s is high in the United States and can run-up to and beyond $52,000, making it one of the most expensive Master’s degrees to pursue. Unfortunately, and common to almost all programs, the cost of a Master’s degree continues to rise with every passing year, necessitating a look at credible funding mechanisms that can ease the financial burden associated with advanced education. Some such funding mechanisms that can pay for the Bioinformatics course fees include:

Online Bioinformatics Masters

Scholarships

Several universities give qualifying students merit-based scholarships, alumnae-funded grants, and fellowships. Scholarships are often awarded by private entities based on academic achievement, community service, cultural heritage, religious affiliation, and other criteria. Scholarships for Women, African American Scholarships, and Disability Scholarships are some of the specific types of scholarships to look at. A word of caution – be careful not to get entangled in one of the many Scholarship Scams.

Online Bioinformatics Masters

Grants

Grants are a good choice to consider for covering student and education-related expenses such as books, study materials, travel, student accommodation, and so on, in addition to tuition fees. Grants are typically awarded based on financial need rather than on academic achievement.

Online Bioinformatics Masters

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Teaching Assistantships or Graduate Research Assistantships may be available at some universities to pursue a Master’s degree. While Graduate Teaching Assistants support classroom function and assist senior teachers with carrying out their duties, Graduate Research Assistants do the same, but in a lab or research environment. Graduate Assistants are paid a stipend that can contribute towards funding the cost of their Master’s program.

Online Bioinformatics Masters

Working on Campus

Universities often encourage students to study and work on the same campus. Part-time work can be found with a paycheck, which can help defray some of the expenses associated with completing a Master’s Degree.

Online Bioinformatics Masters

Student Loans

Federal loans, bank loans, and private loans can be reasonably easy funding methods for those willing to pay interest on a loan. However, to avoid accruing interest and increase student debt, students should better manage their finances and pay back such loans on time.

Online Bioinformatics Masters

FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is used to determine a student’s eligibility for financial aid and is a common way to fund tuition. More information on FAFSA can be found here.


Scholarships for Online Bioinformatics Masters Students

With the high cost of an online Bioinformatics Master’s, students often have to seek funds from external sources, and a scholarship is one of the best options to offset the program’s cost. Scholarships can be offered by Universities from their reserves or can be from outside sources such as independent donors, private organizations, corporate houses, etc. Here are a few examples of scholarships that are available for a Master’s in Bioinformatics:

Scholarship

American Indian Graduate Center Science Post Graduate Scholarship FundThe Science Post Graduate Scholarship Fund administered by the American Indian Graduate Center and funded by the Bureau of Indian Education provides scholarships to eligible American Indian and Alaska natives pursuing graduate degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. The award amount is between $20,000 and $30,000. Application Deadline: June 1st, 2021.

scholarship

Bay Atlanta University (BAU)The Bay Atlanta University (BAU) offers a variety of scholarships to qualifying and eligible students. A specified number of scholarships with varied award amounts are available every year. Students can explore and opt for a suitable scholarship such as the James Wormley Full-Tuition Scholarship, STEM Degree Scholarship, Huseyin Yucel Scholarship, or Merit-based Scholarship. Application Deadlines: Vary.

scholarship

Edward B. Titmus ScholarshipThe Edward B. Titmus Scholarship administered by the Titmus Foundation offers scholarships of varying amounts to resident students of NC State University, who demonstrate academic merit. Application Deadline: August 31st, 2021.

scholarship

NavachatTonguichit Bioinformatics Endowed Memorial FellowshipThe Navachat Tonguichit Bioinformatics Endowed Memorial Fellowship is administered by the George Mason University College of Science and offers annual awards of up to $1,000 each to full-time graduate students pursuing a degree in Bioinformatics Ph.D. candidates attending George Mason University. Application Deadline: Varies.

FAQs about Bioinformations Programs

Q: What is a Masters in Bioinformatics?
A: Bioinformatics is the study and development of databases, algorithms, analytical and mathematical methods, and theory required to solve formal, systematic, and practical problems related to the management and analysis of biological data. In short – the application of information technology to the field of molecular biology is known as Bioinformatics.
Q: What Masters can I do with a Bioinformatics degree?
A: With a degree in Bioinformatics, one can further advance their studies in a variety of specializations, such as omics, data analytics, health informatics, data analytics, etc., or go on to seek careers as data scientists, computational biologists, bioinformaticians, genomics field applications scientists, etc.
Q: Which university offers Bioinformatics?
A: There are more than a handful of universities that offer a Master’s in Bioinformatics. A list of some of the best and most affordable colleges in the United States is provided in this article.
Q: How hard is Bioinformatics?
A: For those who come from a background of biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, and statistics, Bioinformatics is not a hard pursuit. Understandably, having a flare for and an interest in these subjects makes studying Bioinformatics substantially easier.

Careers and Salary Outlook for Bioinformatics Masters Graduates

An online Bioinformatics Master’s can lead to several career paths. By and large, the data science, pharmaceutical, medical, and biotechnology sectors offer various jobs, most of which promise ample growth and potential. Some such jobs include but are not limited to:

  • Bio Informaticist – Research and Development
  • Data Analyst
  • Bioinformatics Programmer
  • Associate Researcher
  • Bioinformatics Analyst
  • Bioinformatician
  • Bioinformatics Assistant – Molecular Immunology
  • Data Engineer
  • Bioinformatics Assistant – Host-Pathogen Interaction
  • Data Scientist
  • Computational Biologist
  • Associate Scientist
  • Bioinformatics Software Engineer
  • Data Science Associate
  • Bioinformatics Pipeline Engineer
  • Genomics Field Applications Scientist
  • Applications Scientist

The demand for Bioinformatics has been steadily on the rise for many years and appears to be promising in the coming years. O-Net Online reports that the projected growth for Bioinformatics Technicians, whose annual median wages are $98,230, is 8% between 2019 and 2029, much faster than average. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects growth of a huge 15% (much faster than average) between 2019 and 2029 for Computer and Information Research Scientists, who take home an annual median pay of $126,830.

Certifications and Licensing for Bioinformatics Graduates

Certifications add tremendous value to an online Bioinformatics Master’s degree by endorsing the scope and depth of a graduate’s knowledge in the field of Bioinformatics. In the United States, there are not many organizations that offer additional credentials to this Master’s degree. Two, from the very few certifications available for Bioinformatics graduates, are the AMIA Health Informatics Certification (AHIC) by the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) and the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) Certification, also from the AMIA.

There is no licensure necessary for Bioinformatics graduates to practice or work in the field.

Additional Resources for Bioinformatics Professionals

Bioinformatics is a very challenging area of study and continues to evolve with each passing day. To keep up with the latest and with best practices, students and working professionals should –

  • Join international communities
  • Connect with peers
  • Compare and share notes and insights
  • Tap into computational and programming resources

All of that can help solve real-world problems while exploring new possibilities in the world of Bioinformatics. Some of the various resources that online Bioinformatics Master’s graduates can explore are:

  1. International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB)
    The International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) is a leading professional society for computational biology and Bioinformatics, which connects, trains, and empowers its members from all over the world. The society hosts conferences, journals, publications, education and training resources, and more.
  2. Databio
    Databio has resources to help students interested in developing foundational skills useful for computational biology. There are basic resources, advanced resources, and complete references to explore in R, Bioconductor, Unix Command Line, Python, etc.
  3. Biostars
    Biostars is an online community that harbors Bioinformatics students and working professionals, and one in which questions are asked, answers are shared, theories are analyzed, and issues are resolved.
  4. Bioinformatics.org
    Bioinformatics.org offers a wealth of resources, including courses, career guides, online databases, online analysis tools, a forum, and news and commentary.
  5. Github
    Github is arguably the most popular resource for software programmers and developers. A section of this repository has a curated list of resources for learning Bioinformatics and covers Genomics, Proteomics, Transcriptomics, Metabolomics, and Epigenomics.

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