University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
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Bioinformatics Masters

The BIOINFORMATICS MS program at the University of Illinois is designed to satisfy the demands of a highly interdisciplinary and rapidly evolving field. An explosion of biological information is being generated from academic, industry, and government labs giving rise to a critical demand for professionals who can turn this information into useful knowledge.
The MS is coordinated by INFORMATICS in partnership with four academic units that are consistently ranked among the top in the world. Because each offers its own flavor of bioinformatics, students can gain exposure to all aspects of the field and have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of cutting-edge research projects.
Prospective students should apply directly to the unit of their choice as each unit has its own application, admission and curricular requirements.


At Illinois, students work side-by-side with distinguished faculty members and researchers. They also benefit from their peers — a talented and diverse group of promising graduate students who come from all over the world.
Research in bioinformatics takes place not only in academic departments, but in several leading interdisciplinary centers on campus, equipped with the latest tools and techniques, as well as experimental bioinformatics facilities.
Bioinformatics graduate students are encouraged to participate in a course on responsible conduct of research (RCR).

Interdisciplinary Centers

Which serves physical and computer science students who are interested in applying their knowledge to biology, as well as students with biological backgrounds interested in instrumentation, computation, and physical aspects of biology.
This laboratory is housed by An NIH Resource for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics, and is devoted to theoretical and computational biophysics research that centers on the structure and function of supramolecular systems in the living cell, and on the development of new algorithms and efficient computing tools for structural biology.

The Center for Health Informatics is a WHO/PAHO Collaborating Center. As a WHO/PAHO Collaborating Center, the center is designated by the organization’s director-general to carry out activities in support of the organization’s programs. 

Experimental Bioinformatics Facilities

Where researchers study the comparative genetic organization, evolution and function of plant, animal and microbial genomes.
Where researchers work in the areas of systems biology, cellular and metabolic engineering, and genome technology. IGB is also at the forefront of farm bioenergy production research.
The home of Blue Waters: the first petascale computing system for open scientific research. NCSA allows researchers to access, develop and experiment with powerful computational tools for bioinformatics.

Responsible Conduct of Research Courses

Research Ethics and Responsibilities

Ethics and Engineering

Research Ethics and Responsibilities

Ethics and Engineering

Requirements for the Masters

The MS degree is offered in both thesis and non-thesis options. The aim is to prepare students for successful careers in the biotechnology or bioinformatics sectors, in industry or academia. All students must take courses in each of three core areas:

  • Fundamental bioinformatics – Courses in genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, and computational biology
  • Biology – Courses in general biochemistry and cell biology
  • Computer Science and Informatics – Courses in database systems and combinatorial algorithms

Current core course list can be found under the degree requirements for each participating unit in the Academic Catalog