May 18, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, B.S.

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Offered by Biological Sciences .

This program offers comprehensive training in the fields of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology by combining courses in the areas of biology, chemistry, physics, computer science and mathematics. Graduates will acquire the necessary skills for automated querying and data analysis using complex databases, extraction of essential information from genomic and proteomic data, modeling of biological systems, as well as the design and development of software and algorithms to support these activities. Students also have the opportunity to engage in independent research in the lab, the field or off-campus, working one-on-one with a faculty mentor. The curriculum consists of 88-92 credits in biology, computer science and related disciplines (chemistry, information systems, mathematics and physics), complemented by two specific courses on Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. This program is appropriate for any student desiring a rich and multidisciplinary grounding in all the essential elements of bioinformatics and computational biology.

The existing lecture courses in the Biology Core are considered an academic sequence in the following manner:

                            BIOL 141/BIOL 142  →   BIOL 302/BIOL 303

Specifically, this means that once a student has received a passing grade in either BIOL 302 or BIOL 303, that student may not re-register for BIOL 141 or BIOL 142.

The B.S. curriculum consists of 88-92 credits distributed as follows:

Electives (9-12 credits)

  • 1 List A Elective
  • 1 List B Elective
  • 1 List A/B Elective


1. A majority of the required biology courses must be completed in residence at UMBC.

2. In fulfilling major requirements in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, a student must obtain a grade of “C” or higher in all required courses used to fulfill major requirements for the B.S. Under certain circumstances and after petitioning, students may be able to graduate with a grade of “D” in a single (not retaken) course, provided that they have an overall “C” average in all required courses, upon approval by the Undergraduate Committee of the Department of Biological Sciences.

3. Prerequisites and co-requisites for all courses will be enforced. Prerequisites must be satisfied with a grade of “C” or better.

4. Students will be allowed only two attempts to earn a grade of “C” or better in all required biology (BIOL XXX) courses. Students who have not earned a grade of “C” or better (including a grade of “W”) after two attempts will no longer be eligible for the B.S. in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, and must change their major. The department will adhere to university policies that limit to two the number of times a student may register for the same course.

Gateway requirements

Students must complete the courses below with a Grade Point Average (GPA) no lower than 3.0 and with no grade lower than “C” in any of the courses. At least three of these courses must be completed at UMBC. A course may be repeated once to meet gateway requirements, but both grades will be used to compute the gateway GPA. (e.g. a student receiving a grade of “B” in all six gateway courses with one enrollment in each course will have a gateway GPA of 3.0. A student receiving an initial grade of “C” and a repeated grade of “B” in CHEM 101 , with a “B” in all other gateway courses, will have a gateway GPA of 2.86).


Students who do not meet the above criteria (e.g. transfer students who transfer in more than three of the above courses) may petition the BINF steering committee for admission to the program.

Total: 88-92 Credits

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