Bioinformatics

The Bachelor of Science in Bioinformatics at St. Edward’s engages you in the scientific quest to transform vast amounts of biological data into useable human knowledge. This degree prepares you for careers in a field that originated with the challenge of assembling the human genome. Bioinformatics continues to evolve with the growing sophistication and volume of data describing biological systems.

We emphasize experiential learning. You’ll enroll in at least three semesters of research courses and join a student-faculty research group with the goal of producing and presenting professional-level work.

Students benefit from spacious, open-lab environments in the John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center and access to state-of-the-art instrumentation for innovative and collaborative research. St. Edward’s is among the best-equipped small-college natural science programs in the country.

Bachelor of Science in Bioinformatics

Overview:

As a BS in Bioinformatics major, you’ll explore the application of computational techniques (computer science, mathematics and statistics) to model biological systems. Students with backgrounds in natural sciences, mathematics and computer science are best suited for this degree. You’ll learn how to apply and develop computationally intensive techniques — such as pattern matching, machine learning algorithms, statistical analysis of microarray and next-generation sequence data — to build a systems view of biological processes.

With a BS in Bioinformatics, graduates are well-prepared to work directly or indirectly in the health discoveries being made through offshoots of the Human Genome Project and related fields. Students trained in bioinformatics are in high demand in academia and private industry. Students are also encouraged to pursue graduate study beyond the BS and apply their computational and biological backgrounds to an area of expertise that prepares them for a research career or entry into the health professions.

Close interaction with faculty at St. Edward’s — and time spent in classes, labs, advising sessions and program events — allows you to learn more about options for careers and graduate work.

Degree Plan:

For detailed descriptions and timing of courses, please see the Undergraduate Bulletin (course catalog).

I. FOUNDATION COURSES (21 CREDIT HOURS):
• Rhetoric and Composition I and II*
• College Mathematics

• Computational Skills
• Oral Communication
• Modern Language

II. CULTURAL FOUNDATIONS (18 CREDIT HOURS):
• Literature and Human Experience
• Understanding and Appreciating Arts
• American Experience
• American Dilemmas*
• History and Evolution of Global Processes
• Contemporary World Issues

III. MISSION COURSES (15 CREDIT HOURS):
• The Human Experience
• Ethics*
• Religious Studies/Philosophy
• Science in Perspective

• Science in Depth

IV. CORE COURSES (80-81 CREDIT HOURS):
Bioinformatics Required Courses
• Biological Programming
• Genomics
• Bioinformatics
• Bionformatics Research (4 times)
Biology Required Courses
• General Biology: Cells, Genetics and Organ Systems, Lab
• General Biology: Organisms and Populations, Lab
• Molecular Biology
Chemistry Required Courses
• General Chemistry, Lab
• Analytical Chemistry, Lab
• Organic Chemistry I, Lab
Computer Science Required Courses
• Computing Sciences Concepts I, Lab
• Computing Sciences Concepts II, Lab
• Algorithms and Data Structures
Mathematics Required Courses
• Calculus I, Lab
• Calculus II
• Discrete Mathematics
• Calculus III
• Applied Statistics
Science Required Course
• History and Philosophy of Science

V. SUPPORTING COURSES:
You must choose one of the following three tracks in order to fulfill the supporting-courses requirement for the Bachelor of Science in Bioinformatics.
Biomathematics Track (12–13 hours)
• Linear Algebra
• Differential Equations
• Probability and Theory of Statistics
Select one of the following courses with approval of advisor:
• Bioinformatics Upper-level course
• Biology Upper-level course
• Computer Science Upper-level course
• Chemistry Upper-level course

Genomics Track (11–13 hours)
• Evolution
• Biochemistry I
• Biochemistry II
Select one of the following courses:
• Bioinformatics Upper-level course
• Cell Biology
• Microbiology, Lab
• Neuroscience
• Biochemistry Laboratory

Simulation and Modeling Track (12–13 hours)
• Bioinformatics upper-level course
• Linear Algebra
• Differential Equations
Select one of the following courses:
• Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy
• Thermodynamics and Kinetics
• Cell Biology
• Neuroscience
• Population Biology and Ecology, Lab
• Mechanics and Waves, Lab
• University Physics I, Lab

VI. CAPSTONE COURSE (3 CREDIT HOURS)

VII. GRADUATION CERTIFICATION:
You must register for this course in your graduating term to be certified for graduation.

* These courses are prerequisites for Capstone.