Offered by the Biology department.

Combining the strengths of the liberal arts within the context of interdisciplinary studies in biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, and statistics, the bioinformatics major prepares students for a world that relies on collaboration.

Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary area of study involving the collection, storage, retrieval, management and analysis of biological information resulting from a myriad of projects ranging from the sequencing of genomes to drug discovery. Understanding the relationship between linear sequences of DNA, the structure and function of proteins, and the associated scientific, health and ethical implications of this information is considered one of the greatest challenges in 21st-century science.

Major requirements

Bioinformatics major worksheet

The major consists of a minimum of 12 courses with at least three at the 300 level and a capstone experience.

Required courses

BIO 112 Cells and Genes
BIO 211 Genetics
BIO 305 Biochemistry
or BIO 316 Molecular Biology and Genomics

CHEM 153 Chemical Principles
CHEM 253 Organic Chemistry I

COMP 115 Robots, Games and Problem Solving
or COMP 242 DNA
COMP 116 Data Structures
One 300-level Computer Science (talk to your advisor for the most appropriate choice)

MATH 151 Accelerated Statistics
MATH 241 Theory of Probability
or MATH 251 Methods of Data Analysis (recommended)


To be determined by faculty in your area of interest.


Two (2) electives. COMP 215, Algorithms, is strongly recommended. At least one elective must be at the 300 level or above from the following list of recommended courses from biology, computer science, chemistry, mathematics, or philosophy.


BIO 219 Cell Biology
BIO 221 Microbiology
BIO 254 Developmental Biology
BIO 303 Evolution
BIO 317 Molecular Ecology and Evolution


CHEM 254 Organic Chemistry II
CHEM 355 Chemical Thermodynamics

Computer Science

COMP 215 Algorithms
COMP 255 Artificial Intelligence


MATH 101 Calculus I
MATH 104 Calculus II
MATH 211 Discrete Mathematics
MATH 236 Multivariable Calculus
MATH 241 Theory of Probability
MATH 342 Mathematical Statistics


PHIL 241 Bio-Ethics

For more information, contact Mark D. LeBlanc and S. Shawn McCafferty, coordinators.

For more information, contact Mark D. LeBlanc and S. Shawn McCafferty, coordinators.

Betsey Dexter Dyer

Professor of Biology

Michael Kahn

Professor of Mathematics

Mark D. LeBlanc

Professor of Computer Science

Rochelle (Shelly) Leibowitz

Professor of Mathematics

S. Shawn McCafferty

Associate Professor of Biology

Robert L. Morris

Professor of Biology; William & Elsie Prentice Professorship (2015-2020)

Elita Pastra-Landis

Professor of Chemistry