Dec 08, 2023  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [OFFICIAL CATALOG]

Bioinformatics, M.S.

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The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) jointly offer master’s and doctorate degrees in bioinformatics. Combining the academic, clinical, and research resources of UAMS with the computational, scientific, academic, and research capabilities of UALR, this program prepares students to function in an interdisciplinary research environment. For more information, visit the Bioinformatics graduate program’s website.

Admission Requirements for both M.S. and Ph.D.

Applicants are expected to have a minimum of a four-year undergraduate degree (BS or BA) in the life sciences, statistics, or information/computer sciences. Students with an undergraduate degree in another field may be considered for admission if they have either relevant work experience in one of these three areas or complete sufficient remedial course work as defined below. Students who have not satisfactorily completed the following courses or their equivalent as part of their academic studies will be required to complete them on a remedial basis:

  • Biology/Chemistry/Genetics

A junior-level, life science course equivalent to UALR’s BIOL 3300 Genetics.

  • Statistics

A junior-level, calculus-based course equivalent to UALR’s STAT 3352 Applied Statistics I.

  • Programming

Some programming experience; a sophomore-level introduction to Java programming equivalent to UALR’s IFSC 2300 Object-Oriented Technology course is preferred.

  • Databases

A junior-level course equivalent to UALR’s IFSC 3320 Database Concepts is recommended.

Students will have to meet the minimum admission requirement of a GPA of 3.0 or a GPA of 3.3 or greater on their last 60 credit hours as an undergraduate. GRE scores, a letter of intent, a résumé, and letters of reference are considered in the admission process; TOEFL scores are required of international students who have not matriculated from a university in a country where the primary language is English. (Please see the UALR Graduate School’s requirement for English proficiency exams.)

Program Requirements

The MS program is built around four cores. Students must complete 35 credit hours consisting of the following:

Core Courses (four classes, 15 credits)

One of the following:

Elective (three to four classes, minimum of 12 credits)

Students will choose their courses in consultation with their faculty advisor. Electives are meant to further enhance a student’s ability to engage in research in one of four key areas: Drug Design, Integrated Bioinformatics & Genomics, Computational Biology, or Biomedical Informatics.

Other Requirements (six credits)

Four credits of either

  • BINF 7X56 Capstone Project
  • BINF 7X55 Thesis

Two credits of BINF 7193 Bioinformatics Seminar  (two semesters)

Lab Rotations of Research Experience (two credits)

Two credits of BINF Lab Rotation (two semesters) to locate a research mentor. During the Lab Rotation, students are assigned to one or more faculty to gain experience in that faculty’s research area.

  • Students will take a minimum of two semesters of Lab Rotations to identify their research mentor. Once students have found their mentor, they can complete their remaining lab research requirements with their mentor.
  • Lab rotations are graded. Students must produce a lab report (minimum four pages) by the end of the semester as part of their grade.

Master’s Advising

Master’s students are advised by the Bioinformatics Program Director.

M.S. Graduation Requirements

  • Successful completion of an approved program of study with a minimum GPA of 3.0 with no more than one grade below a B and successful completion of the writing requirement.
  • Successful defense of a Bioinformatics capstone project or thesis. The Review Committee will consist of a lead faculty research mentor and at least two other faculty members with Bioinformatics graduate faculty status.

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