M.S. in Bioinformatics

Join our interdisciplinary science master's program

Bioinformatics deals with discovering knowledge in biology or medicine present in large data sets. As such, it is an interdisciplinary science that is always in rapid flux as the methods and the nature of the data sets change. 

As a student in this master's program, you'll learn the application of computers for storage, organizing, and analyzing the data. You'll also get a deeper understanding of statistics, probability, mathematics, and related disciplines to create the analysis algorithms and to make sense of the results. 

Program Description

The Department of Computer Science and the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences offer a M.S. in Bioinformatics through a joint Marquette University/Medical College of Wisconsin program. Bioinformatics refers to the field that deals with developing and improving methods and software tools for storing, retrieving, organizing and analyzing biological data. The goal is the extraction and recognition of new biological knowledge. Bioinformatics is a highly interdisciplinary field involving biology, computer science, engineering, applied mathematics, and probability and statistics.

Our program is designed to equip graduates with a distinctive blend of theoretical and computational skills and practical experience for employment in industry, research laboratories and institutions of higher education. This M.S. also can serve as a starting point for doctoral work through our Computational Sciences and Computer Science programs.

apply to the Bioinformatics program

Program Resources

Graduate Bulletin

For a thorough program description, which includes program requirements and courses, please visit the Graduate Bulletin.

What courses do students take in this program?

Students are able to complete their Master's degree with either a thesis + 30 credits (Plan A) or a shorter essay + 36 credits (Plan B).

Required Courses
For both options (Plans A and B), the following courses are required:

BIIN 6000 Introduction to Bioinformatics 3
COSC 6050 Elements of Software Development 3
BIIN 6980 Practicum in Bioinformatics 3
3 credits of approved computer science courses at the 6000-level 3
3 credits of approved biological science courses at the 6000-level 3
3 credits of approved computer science or biological science courses at the 6000-level 3
3 credits of approved biological science or computer science courses at the 5000-level 3
Total Credit Hours 21

In addition to the specified courses, the following are typical approved courses:

BIOL 5101 Biochemistry and the Molecular Basis of Biology

BIOL 5201 Genomics and Bioinformatics

BIOL 8101 Protein Structure and Function

BIOL 8202 Principles of Eukaryotic Genetics

EECE 6820 Artificial Intelligence

EECE 6822 Machine Learning

EECE 6830 Pattern Recognition

EECE 6840 Neural Networks and Neural Computing

COSC 5500 Advanced Data Science

COSC 5610 Data Mining

COSC 5800 Principles of Database Systems

COSC 6330 Advanced Machine Learning

COSC 6060 Parallel and Distributed Computing

MSSC 5720 Statistical Methods

MSSC 6010 Computational Probability

MSSC 6020 Simulation 

MSSC 6040 Applied Linear Algebra

MSSC 6250. Statistical Machine Learning


  • Medical College of Wisconsin:

Phys 08223 Bioinformatics

Phys 08229 Essential Physiological Genomics

Phys 08230 Physiological Genomics

Mimg 25251 Advanced Molecular Genetics.

Faculty for the Bioinformatics Program

See individual faculty pages for more complete descriptions of their laboratories:

Primary Faculty

  • Mehdi Maadooliat (Co-Director) - MSSC at MU
  • Mary Shimoyama (Co-Director) - Biomedical Engineering (MCW-MU)
  • Daniel Rowe - MSSC at MU
  • Anne Clough - MSSC at MU

Associated Faculty (MU):

  • Allison Abbott - Biological Sciences
  • Lisa Petrella - Biological Sciences
  • Naveen Bansal - MSSC
  • Elaine Spiller - MSSC

Associated Faculty (MCW)

  • Allen Cowley - Chair of Physiology
  • Andrew Greene - Physiology
  • Aoy Mitchell - Surgery

What jobs do students get after graduation?

Students who have graduated from this program work in laboratories in the pharmaceutical industry, biotech companies and academic settings. Several have continued on for Ph.D.'s in the area such as Ph.D. in Computer Science and Ph.D. in Computational Sciences.

Student Success Stories

Do you have a success to share with us? We'd love to hear from you. Please fill out this form and tell us about your new job, presentation, publication, or any other award or honor you've recently received. We will post your story here, on the Graduate School website and on the Marquette University Facebook and Twitter pages.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the CS Co-Director, Mehdi Maadooliat 

Ready to learn more about Marquette's bioinformatics graduate program? Request more information now or schedule an on-campus visit. 

Graduate Program Recruiter

Tim Carter

(414) 288-7139


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