The Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BCB) program is an interdisciplinary program that involves the application of mathematics and computing to the study of genes and proteins; computational biology addresses more general questions involving computing applied to cellular and sub-cellular structures. As such, students in bioinformatics and computational biology integrate topics of applied mathematics, computer science, and biology into specialties as diverse as genetics, computational science, and microbiology. The program prepares students for graduate studies either in a bioinformatics-related field or in a traditional discipline, as well as for immediate entry into the job market. The BCB is a single degree program. Students in the BCB program have the option to select a major from among three concentrations, offered in the Departments of Biological Sciences, Computer Science and Engineering, and Mathematics. Students complete a full major in their area of concentration and also take additional courses important to bioinformatics in disciplines that complement their concentration. All students take courses in calculus, statistics, molecular biology, organic chemistry, and databases, as well as a core course in bioinformatics. In addition, students complete a senior project during their senior year.
The curriculum is designed to meet several educational objectives. These program education objectives (PEOs) are broad statements that describe the expected accomplishments of graduates within a few years after graduation. Specific PEOs are that graduates will:
- work productively as Computer Scientists, including in leadership and supportive roles on diverse teams,
- communicate effectively,
- adapt to and shape a rapidly evolving computing landscape,
- recognize and address societal needs in their professional endeavors, and
- practice their profession with high regard to legal and ethical responsibilities.