Plan Your Program

Students complete 36 graduate credit hours to earn an MS in Bioinformatics. The MS degree is offered in both thesis and non-thesis options. To satisfy the campus core requirements, one course must be taken from each of the 3 core areas: biology, computer science, and fundamental bioinformatics. The courses approved for these core requirements are listed on the campus-wide MS in Bioinformatics site. In addition, students completing the Library and Information Science Concentration must choose 3 courses in 3 of the following 4 areas:

Information Organization and Knowledge Representation

IS 555 Usability Engineering
IS 561 Information Modeling
IS 590OD Ontology Development

Information Resources, Uses and Users

IS 503 Use and Users of Information
IS 530I Biological Informatics Problems and Resources
IS 590TR Information Transfer and Collaboration in Science

Information Systems and Access

IS 456 Information Storage and Retrieval
IS 543 Sociotechnical Information Systems
IS 560 Digital Libraries

Disciplinary Focus

IS 590GH Global Health Informatics

The student must then choose 3 courses (12 hours) of electives to complete the program, which can include 8 hours of thesis credit.

Customize your program

Our expectation is that each student will arrange a custom program of study, suitable for the information management of their particular bioinformatics application.

A student who has already completed coursework comparable to one or more of the required courses for the MS in bioinformatics prior to enrolling in the degree program may petition to waive enrollment in that required course and replace it with a comparable number of hours of elective credit toward the MS in bioinformatics.  Such a petition needs to be approved by the advisor, the iSchool associate dean, and the Graduate College. Additionally, students may request transfer of credit for graduate level coursework from any accredited institution (maximum 8 hours) that has not already been applied toward a degree.

Opportunities for individual research include Independent Study (IS 592) and Thesis (IS 599).

Independent Study (IS 592)

Independent Study enables the intermediate or advanced student opportunity to:

  • undertake the study of a topic not otherwise offered in the curriculum.
  • pursue a topic beyond or in greater depth than is possible within the context of a regular course.

Independent Study should be a rigorous investigation of a highly specific topic, calling for student initiative, and requiring the formal structure of:

  • a written proposal including scope and purpose;
  • a reasonable specific statement outlining the method to be used; and
  • a description of the form in which the final product will be presented (e.g., written report, mediated presentation).

Independent Study is not available as an alternative version of a course otherwise offered on a regular basis by the School.

To Register for Independent Study:
  1. Complete all sections of the Independent Study form except for signatures.
  2. Attach the completed proposal to this form.
  3. Have the supervisory iSchool instructor member sign the form. 
  4. Have your iSchool advisor sign the form and submit the form to the Admissions and Records staff. 
  5. Once the form is processed, Admissions and Records staff will email the student registration information to allow enrollment in the course.

If a student prefers to complete the form electronically, the student will need to submit all documentation by e-mail to their iSchool advisor. Once the iSchool advisor signs and approves the form, the iSchool advisor will submit the form for processing. 
Forms take up to 10 business days to process.

Thesis (IS 599)

The student will, with the approval of their academic advisor, identify a problem in library or information science suitable for a master’s thesis. The student will conduct original research which

  • describes the problem 
  • reviews the related literature
  • collects and analyzes data
  • uses appropriate methods

This proposal should describe the research problem and the proposed methodology. Once the thesis is complete, the dean, on recommendation from the academic advisor, who serves as first reader, appoints a second reader. The second reader may be a faculty person outside the iSchool. The first reader (academic advisor) and second reader will confer and must agree upon the acceptability of the thesis or whether any revisions must be made before final acceptance. Should the two readers be unable to reach agreement about the evaluation of the thesis, a third reader may be appointed. Ordinarily there is no oral defense of the master’s thesis. After the readers have approved the thesis, the departmental format check will be conducted. Go to the Thesis Office website for information on completing a Thesis, including the formatting instructions, deadlines for deposit, etc.

To Register for Thesis
  1. Complete page one of the MS Thesis form, securing needed signatures.
  2. Attach the completed proposal to this form. 
  3. Give page one of the form to the iSchool Admissions and Records staff.
  4. Once this form has all required information and signatures, Admission and Records staff will email the student registration information to allow enrollment in the course.
  5. Once the examination of the thesis is complete, page three of the form will be submitted to the Admissions and Records staff.

Forms take up to 10 business days to process.

For more information, contact the program coordinator:

Vetle Torvik
Vetle Torvik, Associate Professor