Loyola University Chicago


MS in Bioinformatics

Loyola University Chicago currently offers a Master of Science (MS) in Bioinformatics.

About the MS Program

Building on the success of our BS Bioinformatics program, the MS program includes related coursework in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, and Statistics.

The MS program includes two tracks:

  1. Non-thesis option: Students gain real-world experience in an internship environment. In addition, this track includes a breadth of course-work selected to better prepare students for positions in industry. With the MS Non-thesis degree, graduates of this program can pursue employment, e.g. the biotech industry, research institutions, and government agencies, or further advanced degrees, e.g. PhD or MD programs.
  2. Thesis-option: Students are trained in conducting hypothesis-driven independent research including experimental design, analysis and interpretation of results, as well as scientific writing and presentation. With the MS Thesis degree, graduates of this program are primed for research positions in the private and public sector or competitive PhD programs.

Regardless of the track selected, graduates of this program will gain:

  • a solid foundation in biological, computational, chemical, and statistical concepts and theory;
  • the facility to interpret primary scientific literature;
  • the capacity to employ statistical and computational methods to investigate and solve problems within the life sciences;
  • the ability to conduct bioinformatics study in industry and/or the research environment; and
  • science-related oral and written communication skills.

Application Information

Applications are accepted each Spring semester for admission for the following Fall (see Deadlines below). Candidates for admission must have completed (or are expected to complete prior to the fall term of admission) a bachelors degree with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA.

Prerequisite Coursework:

Applicants should have completed all or many of the following courses (or their equivalencies): Genetics, Biostatistics, a Tier 2 Computer Science course (introducing data structures and algorithms), and Biochemistry. These courses are essential for advanced courses in bioinformatics as well as research/internship experiences. The Bioinformatics MS curriculum is designed in such a way that students can enroll in these prerequisite courses here at Loyola during the fall semester and still complete the program in 2 years. Prior coursework for all accepted students is evaluated after admission. The student will be contacted by the Bioinformatics Program to discuss any lacking prerequisites. Please note, prerequisite coursework can be fullfilled through coursework at an accredited online college or community college. Students lacking sufficient prerequisite coursework (>2 of the above listed courses) may be accepted conditionally, pending completion of the deficient coursework.

Interested candidates are required to complete an application through Loyola's online system. Only applications submitted through this system will be considered by the admissions committee. Applicants must specify which of the two tracks—thesis or non-thesis—they wish to pursue. Required materials differ between the two tracks as follows:

Thesis Track Application Materials:

  • official GRE scores,
  • official college transcripts,
  • two letters of recommendation,
  • a current resume/ curriculum vitae, and
  • a brief (500 word maximum) statement of purpose including faculty labs of interest.
    (Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact faculty of interest prior to applying.)

Non-thesis Track Application Materials:

  • official college transcripts,
  • two letters of recommendation,
  • a current resume/ curriculum vitae, and
  • a brief (500 word maximum) statement of purpose.

GRE scores are optional for applicants of the non-thesis track. For those students for which English is their second language, the TOEFL or IELTS examination may be requested. Student for which prior coursework was conducted at a university outside of the US must include an evaluation from ECE and are encouraged to review the policies of Loyola's Graduate school online.


Applications are accepted each spring for fall enrollment.

FEBRUARY 1: Students who wish to be considered for a university stipend and tuition scholarship.

MARCH 15: Review of all other applicants. Students are encouraged to apply prior to this date.

Degree Requirements

Students pursuing the MS in bioinformatics must complete 30 credit hours. There are two tracks within the MS program: (1) a thesis option which includes independent research and (2) a non-thesis option which includes a professional internship. Both options include a set of core didactic courses that will provide students with a broad foundation of fundamental concepts in addition to an introduction to current trends in the field.


Core Courses (17 credit hours) Required of Both Tracks:

  • BIOL 488 Bioinformatics (3 credits)
  • CHEM 465 Proteomics (3 credits)
  • COMP 483 Computational Biology (4 credits)
  • STAT 437 Quantitative Bioinformatics (4 credits)
  • BIOI 500 Advanced Bioinformatics (2 credits)
  • BIOI 501 Bioinformatics Seminar (1 credit)

Thesis Track (13 credit hours):

  • UNIV 370 Responsible Conduct in Research and Scholarship 2 day workshop (0 credits)
  • 1 Bioinformatics Elective (3 credits)
  • BIOI 494 Bioinformatics Research Design (1 credit)
  • BIOI 499 Bioinformatics Research (8 credits)
  • BIOI 595 Thesis (1 credit)

Non-thesis Track (13 credit hours):

  • 4 Bioinformatics Electives (12 credits)
  • BIOI 498 Bioinformatics Internship (1 credit)


For further details regarding the academic requirements of both tracks including details regarding elective courses, please see the academic requirements documents for the Thesis track academic requirements (PDF) and Non-thesis track academic requirements (PDF).

Sample Course Schedules

These course schedules display how students may complete the Bioinformatics MS in two years of study. Please note, that completing coursework/research/internship during the summer semester can potentially expedite completion of the program requirements.

To learn more about the MS in Bioinformatics contact the Graduate Program Coordinator, Sandy Orozco.