Interdisciplinary Chemistry and Computer Science Program

36 credits

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Chem-bioinformatics, also known as computational biology, is an interdisciplinary field of study that leverages chemistry, biochemistry, biology, mathematics and computer science to develop novel algorithms, databases and other in silico methods to facilitate the efficient and quantitative modeling and analysis of "big" data sets generated from in vitro and in vivo chemical and biological studies and experiments. Put more succinctly, chem-bioinformatics is the science of developing and applying computational methods to collect, store, organize, retrieve, analyze and draw inferences from massive chemical, biochemical, biophysical and biological data sets.  The methods, tools, results and conclusions of the chem-bioinformatics research community have important implications for fields ranging from medicine, to drug discovery, to genomics, to evolutionary biology and beyond.

In this program students will:

  • Strengthen their theoretical knowledge of organic, inorganic, physical, analytical and biochemistry
  • Strengthen their theoretical knowledge of computer science, mathematics and statistics
  • Develop theoretical expertise in chem-bioinformatics
  • Develop practical, hands on skills in chem-bioinformatics
  • Learn to develop and apply novel computational methods for collecting, storing, organizing, retrieving, analyzing and modeling "big" chemical and biological data sets
  • Learn how to create databases, algorithms and other computational and statistical techniques to solve formal and practical problems and analyze relationships arising from massive chemical and biological data sets.  For example, students will have opportunities to explore the use of advanced computational and mathematical methods, such as graph theory, neural networks and machine learning, to study genes and gene networks, protein structure, function and evolution, metabolomics, and cellular systems biology
  • Learn how chem-bioinformatics can be leverage to develop novel, safe and effective drugs to treat cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, infectious maladies and other diseases
  • Learn to effectively communicate scientific information, in both written and oral forms


Admission to the MS Chem-Bioinformatics program is offered on a rolling admissions basis. A full-time student can expect to complete the degree requirements in four semesters. A part-time student may require up to three-four years.  Applicants should have a strong undergraduate record from an accredited college or university with a BS degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Computer science or a related science. Students without a science background are also invited to apply; however, they may need to complete prerequisite coursework before being considered for admission.

Required Courses | 22 credits

The track of Chem-Bioinformatics requires a total of 36 credits distributed as follows.

A. Pre-requisites for taking CS616 Machine Learning

1) CS504 Introduction to Programming Using Scripting or equivalent (3 Cr)
2) MA331 Probability and Statistics I or equivalent (3 cr)

B. Required Courses – 22 Credits

  • CH522  Organic Synthesis or CH521  Advanced Organic Chemistry, 3 CR
  • CH533 Biophysical Chemistry or CH531 Advanced Physical Chemistry, 3 CR
  • CH553 Inorganic Chemistry, 3CR
  • CH590/CH590L Cheminformatics and Lab, 3CR
  • CH545/CH545L Bioinformatics and Lab, 3CR
  • CS603 Database Design, 3CR
  • CS616 Machine Learning, 3CR
  • CH 598 Comprehensive Exam, 1CR

Elective Courses | 14 credits 

  • CS550 Dynamic Web Page Development, 3CR
  • CS551 Intro to Object-Oriented Programming with Java, 3CR
  • CS615/348 Programing in Unix, 3CR
  • CS650 Introduction to Big Data, 3CR
  • CH526 Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology, 3CR
  • CH547 Computational Chemistry & Molecular Modeling, 3CR
  • CH597 Computational Bioanalytical Chemistry, 3CR
  • CH 525 Supramolecular, 3CR
  • CH529 NMR and Lab, 3CR
  • CH561 Adv. Environmental Chemistry, 3CR