Bioinformatics Degrees

If you have the aptitude and interest in becoming a pioneer in mining and interpreting biological data, this expanding field might be a good career choice for you.

In this field, you’ll research, develop, and apply computational tools and approaches for analyzing the use of biological, medical, behavioral, and health data. Your studies will build on the basic sciences, so you’ll develop a strong foundation of chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics, biology, genetics, and molecular biology.

Bioinformatics is a joint program taught by UALR and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Admission to the Joint Graduate Program in Bioinformatics requires an undergraduate degree and/or strengths in Information or Computer Science, Statistics or Mathematics, and/or Life or Basic Sciences.

Current median salary* $77,000 to $93,447

Median salary reflects mid-career earnings based on national data.

UALR offers two different degrees in bioinformatics:

Interested in one or more of these programs? Send us a request for more information or give us a call to speak to someone about your future at UALR!

M.S. in Bioinformatics

The master’s degree program is focused on preparing students to take on research in one of four key areas: drug design, integrated bioinformatics and genomics, computational biology, and biomedical informatics.

Applicants need a minimum of a four-year undergraduate degree in the life sciences, statistics, or information/computer sciences. Students with an undergraduate degree in another field may be considered for admission if they have either relevant work experience or complete sufficient remedial coursework.

Total credit requirements* 35 hours

*Must include a combination of 20 hours of 2000-level courses (or higher) and 30 hours in residence.
Unrestricted electives are used to fulfill credit requirements beyond General Education and Major requirements.

Master’s degree requirements (35 credit hours)

Core Courses (15 hours)

The program is built around four cores.

Subject Course Title
BINF 5445 Bioinformatics Theory and Applications
BIOL 5415 Biometry (or BIOM 5013 Biometrical Analysis I)
BIOL 5417 Molecular Biology

Students also select one of the following electives:

Subject Course Title
CPSC 7375 Machine Learning
CPSC 7373 Artificial Intelligence
CPSC 7385 Analysis of Algorithms

Elective (12 hour minimum)

Students will choose their courses in consultation with their faculty advisor. Electives are meant to further enhance a student’s ability to engage in research in one of four key areas:

  • Drug Design
  • Integrated Bioinformatics & Genomics
  • Computational Biology
  • Biomedical Informatics

Other Requirements (8 hours)

Subject Course Title
BINF 7193 Seminar (two credits over two semesters)
BINF 7X55/7X56 Thesis or Capstone Project (choose one)
BINF 7245 Research Experience Lab Rotations (two credits over two semesters)*

During the Lab Rotation, students are assigned to one or more faculty to gain experience in that faculty’s research area. Once students have found their mentor, they can complete their remaining lab research requirements with their mentor.

Ph.D. in Bioinformatics

A Ph.D. in bioinformatics prepares you for managing, analyzing, and interpreting complex biological data. This program is the first and only doctorate in the state in this fast-growing field of genomic scale research.

The Ph.D. in Bioinformatics requires completion of the M.S. in Bioinformatics. Students must concentrate almost exclusively upon their research and must enroll in a minimum of two credits of BINF 7193 Bioinformatics Seminar, plus an additional 32 credit hours. Most of those hours will be earned doing research.

Total credit requirements* 34 hours

*Must include a combination of 45 hours of upper-level courses (3000-4000 level) and 30 hours in residence.
Unrestricted electives are used to fulfill credit requirements beyond General Education and Major requirements.