All academic affairs for graduate students in the program are directed by the program’s faculty graduate adviser, who is assisted by staff in the Graduate Student Affairs Office. Upon matriculation, students are assigned a three-faculty guidance committee by the faculty graduate adviser.

The chair of the guidance committee acts as the provisional adviser until a permanent adviser is selected. Provisional advisers are not committed to supervise examination or thesis work and students are not committed to the provisional adviser. Students select a permanent adviser before establishing a comprehensive examination or thesis committee.

Course Requirements

Students must be enrolled full time and complete 46 units (12 courses) of graduate (200 or 500 series) course work for the master’s degree.

They must complete all of the following: (1) nine core courses (34 units): Bioengineering 220, 223A, 223B, 223C; 224A, 224B; M226; M227; and M228; (2) eight units of Bioinformatics 596; and (3) four units of 200-level seminar or journal club courses approved by the program.

Teaching Experience

Not required.

Capstone Plan

The master’s capstone is an individual project in the format of a written report resulting from a research project. The report should describe the results of the student’s investigation of a problem in the area of bioinformatics under the supervision of a faculty member in the program, who approves the subject and plan of the project, as well as reading and approving the completed report. While the problem may be one of only limited scope, the report must exhibit a satisfactory style, organization, and depth of understanding of the subject. A student should normally start to plan the project at least one quarter before the award of the M.S. degree is expected. The advisory committee evaluates and grades the written report as not pass or M.S. pass and forwards the results to the faculty graduate adviser.

Thesis Plan

Students must choose a permanent faculty adviser and submit a thesis proposal by the end of the third quarter of study. The proposal must be approved by the permanent adviser who served as the thesis adviser. The thesis is evaluated by a three-person committee that is nominated by the program and appointed by the Graduate Division. Students must present the thesis in a public seminar.


The typical time-to-degree is five quarters.