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Certificate in Computational Biology

Overview of Certificate

Any student in the Mathematical or Biological Sciences my elect to supplement his/her graduate degree with a Certificate in Computational Biology. This Certificate is administered by the Computer Science Department with assistance from the Genetics and Microbiology Departments.

In the new millennium biology will be characterized by an examination of the global effects of many genes at once on fundamental biological processes like recombination, transvection, biological timing, cell cycle, development, pathogenicity and chromosomal evolution. The starting point of most biological research will be the entire DNA sequence or complete genetic blueprint of an organism. Computational Biology will provide the analyses to assemble, distribute and understand these genetic blueprints. Because of the complexity of these analyses and the need for their precise orchestration, new computational algorithms, for example, are required to integrate the large amounts of genomic information into a coherent picture of a genome, and sophisticated new database systems are needed to provide for rapid and widespread dissemination of genomics information. The goals of this Certificate are to establish the best interdisciplinary training of diverse graduate students in Computational Biology and to prepare them for diverse career paths in science in two areas of national need, Computational Biology and Genomics. Graduate students will have the opportunity to engage in computer science research as part of an interdisciplinary team addressing fundamental problems in biology. These students will also have the opportunity to engage in computer science research through industrial internships with leading biotechnology firms to understand the diversity of career opportunities available to them. The educational opportunities provided will educate students in the pervasive applications of Computational Biology in science, industry, agriculture and medicine.

The Certificate consists of 19 semester hours of graduate course work. It is only offered in conjunction with a graduate degree program in Mathematical or Biological Sciences. The courses counted in the Certificate may also be counted on the degree Programs of Study. The Certificate in no way effects the requirements for these degree programs.

Core Curriculum All students are required to gain some experience in Computer Science, Biology and Statistics. The core requirements consist of a total of 19 semester hours as shown below.
Course Number Course Title Hours
CSCI Computer Science  
CSCI 6470 Algorithms 4
CSCI 6--- Any other 4-hour 6000-level CSCI class 4
CSCI 8--- One of 8060, 8140, 8350, 8370, 8380, 8470, 8710, 8820, 8940 4
    Genetics / Microbiology
MIBO 8100 Computational Methods in Biology 3
GENE 8650 Responsible Science (Bioethics) 1
STAT 6/8--- One of 6210, 6220, 6510, 6520, 8090 3

Research Requirement In addition to course work, the student's research must have an element of Computational Biology in it. This requirement can be met by writing a one page summary of the student's thesis or dissertation and submitting it for approval to the graduate coordinator. This summary must indicate the relevance of the work to Computational Biology.

Sample MAMS Program The certificate may be obtained in conjunction with any of the Computer Science graduate degree programs. Due to the flexibility of the MAMS program, a certificate may be obtained while completing a MAMS degree program without taking any extra courses. One of several possible programs of study is shown below.
Course Number Course Title Hours
MAMS Core   10 hours
CSCI 6370 Database Management 4
MATH 6670 Combinatorics 3
STAT 6510 Mathematical Statistics I 3
MAMS Post-Core   8 hours
CSCI 6470 Algorithms 4
CSCI 8470 Advanced Algorithms 4
Additional Coursework   8 hours
CSCI 6490 Algorithms for Computational Biology 4
CSCI 8350 Enterprise Integration 4
Breadth Option   4 hours
MIBO 8100 Computational Methods in Biology 3
GENE 8650 Responsible Science (Bioethics) 1
Technical Report   3 hours
CSCI 7100 Technical Report 3
Total   33 hours


Franklin College of Arts and Sciences