Bachelor of Science in Bioinformatics

Science is becoming increasingly dependent on computers and the field of biology is no exception. Advances in the field are often impeded by the glut of ever expanding data sets and by the lack of dedicated software and algorithms, requiring skilled biologists capable of handling massive amounts of information, performing in-depth statistical analyses, and programming.

Bioinformatics is an essential discipline at the interface between biology, computation sciences, and mathematics. Bioinformaticians, also referred as computational biologists, are experts at problem solving. The best bioinformaticians are adaptable jack-of-all-trades, for the problems to solve are many, broad in scope, and often cross canonical field delimitations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 62% of the future expected growth in science jobs until 2020 is in computational fields. Fields that rely heavily on bioinformaticians are research, the health and pharmaceutical industries, and software design and engineering.

At the core of the bioinformatics program is a significant science component, with a large emphasis on computation sciences, mathematics, and physics, in addition to biology. Throughout this program, students will learn scientific rigor, creativity, and a breadth of highly-demanded adaptable skills giving them both versatility and efficiency. Students will learn to communicate effectively across disciplines and to lead large scale projects.

The applied bioinformatics track will provide students with a thorough computational background enabling them to pursue programming-driven endeavors whereas the computational biology track will emphasize computer-driven problem solving towards answering key biological questions.

Required Courses

Biology Requirements (29)
BIOL 100Introduction to the Profession2
BIOL 104Linux and Perl Programming3
BIOL 107General Biology Lectures3
BIOL 115Human Biology3
BIOL 210Microbiology3
BIOL 214Genetics3
BIOL 225Microbiology Laboratory2
BIOL 403Biochemistry4
BIOL 413Genomics and Transcriptomics3
BIOL 451Biological Literature2
BIOL 495Biology Colloquium1
Chemistry Requirements (12)
CHEM 124Principles of Chemistry I with Laboratory4
CHEM 125Principles of Chemistry II with Laboratory4
CHEM 237Organic Chemistry I4
Physics Requirements (11)
PHYS 123General Physics I: Mechanics4
PHYS 221General Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism4
PHYS 224General Physics III for Engineers3
Track Electives (9-10)
Select a track in Applied Bioinformatics or Computational Biology9-10
Option 1: Applied Bioinformatics
Elementary Linear Algebra3
Data Mining3
Database Organization3
Option 2: Computational Biology
Introduction to Differential Equations4
Cell Biology3
Cell Biology Laboratory3
Bioinformatics Technical Electives (9)
Select a minimum of nine credit hours of technical electives, with at least two electives in the chosen Bioinformatics track (Applied Bioinformatics or Computational Biology)9
Applied Bioinformatics Technical Electives
Information Retrieval3
Introduction to Algorithms3
Object Oriented Design and Programming3
Operating Systems3
Introduction to Parallel and Distributed Computing3
Undergraduate Research 11-6
Topics in Computer Science 13-12
Computational Biology Technical Electives
Human Anatomy3
Biochemistry Laboratory3
Medical Microbiology3
Concepts of Cancer Biology3
Human Physiology3
Biology Research Project 11-3
Suggested Additional Electives
Organic Chemistry II3
Physical Chemistry I3
Introduction to Computational Mathematics 13
Computational Science3
Molecular Biophysics3
Mathematics Requirements (20)
MATH 151Calculus I5
MATH 152Calculus II5
MATH 251Multivariate and Vector Calculus4
MATH 475Probability3
MATH 476Statistics3
Computer Science Requirements (10)
Select one of the following options:4
Option 1:
Object-Oriented Programming I
and Object-Oriented Programming II
Option 2:
Accelerated Introduction to Computer Science4
CS 330Discrete Structures3
CS 331Data Structures and Algorithms3
Interprofessional Projects (IPRO) (6)
See Illinois Tech Core Curriculum, section E6
Humanities and Social Science Requirements (21)
See Illinois Tech Core Curriculum, sections B and C21
Total Credit Hours127-128

Bachelor of Science in Bioinformatics Curriculum

Year 1
Semester 1Credit HoursSemester 2Credit Hours
BIOL 1002BIOL 1043
BIOL 1073BIOL 1153
CHEM 1244CHEM 1254
CS 1152CS 1162
MATH 1515MATH 1525
 16 17
Year 2
Semester 1Credit HoursSemester 2Credit Hours
BIOL 2143BIOL 2103
PHYS 1234BIOL 2252
CS 3303PHYS 2214
MATH 2514Track Elective13-4
Social Sciences Elective3Humanities 200-level Course3
 17 15-16
Year 3
Semester 1Credit HoursSemester 2Credit Hours
CHEM 2374BIOL 4034
MATH 4753BIOL 4133
Bioinformatics Technical Elective3CS 3313
Humanities or Social Sciences Elective3PHYS 2243
Humanities Elective (300+)3Bioinformatics Technical Elective3
 16 16
Year 4
Semester 1Credit HoursSemester 2Credit Hours
MATH 4763BIOL 4512
Track Elective23BIOL 4951
Track Elective23Bioinformatics Technical Elective3
IPRO Elective I3Humanities Elective (300+)3
Social Sciences Elective (300+)3Social Sciences Elective (300+)3
 IPRO Elective II3
 15 15
Total Credit Hours: 127-128