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
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.
In addition to the general education courses required of all majors, and elective courses, BS in Bioinformatics majors take courses from these groups:
Students who major in bioinformatics complete core courses, which include Molecular Biology, Organic Chemistry, Computing Sciences Concepts, Calculus and Applied Statistics.
BS in Bioinformatics majors choose one of the following three tracks, which determine their supporting courses:
- Biomathematics Track – develops the skills needed to apply mathematics to the life sciences, such as developing mathematical models of ecosystems and physiological processes. Courses could include Linear Algebra, Neuroscience and Bioinformatics.
- Genomics Track – provides the experimental background to continue graduate-level research in related fields, such as proteomics and genomics. Courses could include Evolution, Microbiology, Lab and Cell Biology.
- Simulation and Modeling Track – builds advanced computer science skills for working in such areas as protein folding prediction and artificial intelligence. Courses could include Linear Algebra, Cell Biology, Neuroscience, and Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy.
All Bioinformatics majors participate in a faculty-guided research project that they present at the annual Senior Seminar Symposium on campus.
View the Degree Plan (PDF) for sample course information for the Bachelor of Science in Bioinformatics.
All Bioinformatics majors at St. Edward’s have the opportunity to complete internships each year with top businesses and organizations — locally, across the country and abroad. Internships allow you to learn new skills, explore your passions, and collaborate and network with professionals. An internship experience is an outstanding addition to your résumé and can give you a distinct advantage in the business world and for graduate school.
Our students have engaged in internships with organizations like these:
- Agilent Technologies
- California Institute of Technology
- J. Craig Venter Institute
- National Science Foundation – Alaska Plant Survey
- Southern California Bioinformatics Summer Institute
At St. Edward’s, you’ll participate in professional-level research typically reserved for graduate students at larger universities. Students work alongside professors on a variety of subjects within Bioinformatics. Engaging in professional-level research will strengthen your résumé, build your confidence and skills, and prepare you for graduate studies and your career.
Our students publish and present their work — and win awards — at local, regional and national conferences, including these:
- Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS)
- Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges
- McNair Research Symposium
- RECOMB Satellite Conference on Bioinformatics Education
- Texas Academy of Science
Students also present their research at St. Edward’s University events:
- Honors Thesis Symposium
- McNair Scholars Conference
- Senior Seminar Symposium in the School of Natural Sciences
- Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE)