Johns Hopkins University Advanced Academic Programs' (AAP) Online MS in Bioinformatics | Graduate Certificate in Sequence Analysis & Genomics

The Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) offers an online master of science (MS) in bioinformatics and a graduate certificate in sequence analysis and genomics. Both programs are 100 percent online. JHU also offers an MS in individualized genomics and health; this new program is not 100 percent online as all lab classes are onsite.

JHU, located in Baltimore, Maryland, is an innovative university offering a wealth of exceptional online master’s degrees. The MS in bioinformatics is a collaboration between the School of Engineering and the School of Arts and Sciences. Students take a combination of courses from both schools. It draws together bioinformatics, biosciences, and computer science to create a degree that covers an integrated variety of topics. Those covered include molecular biology, structural biology, genomic sequencing, genomic analysis, computational modeling, microarray analysis, and more. The curriculum prepares graduates to analyze complex sequences of data and program software, as well as to interpret biological data for application. Prospective students must hold a BS in engineering or biological sciences.

The graduate certificate in sequence analysis and genomics seeks to train those with an MS or doctoral degree in engineering or biological sciences in sequence data analysis and genomics analysis using new sequencing technologies. The program is designed for professionals who have extensive background in molecular biology, cell biology, or biochemistry but who need advanced bioinformatics skills to analyze data and conduct experiments. The majority of careers in the area of bioinformatics require professionals to have advanced degrees.

What to Expect from the JHU Online MS in Bioinformatics and the Graduate Certificate in Sequence Analysis and Genomics

Admission Requirements: Applicants to the online MS in bioinformatics must have a BS in biological sciences or engineering with a GPA of at least 3.0. Prerequisites to the program include two semesters of organic or bio-organic chemistry, biochemistry, introduction to programming, data structures, calculus, and probability and statistics. Prospective students who do not meet prerequisite requirements may be admitted provisionally and have one year to complete the prerequisite courses.

Applicants to the graduate certificate in sequence analysis and genomics must hold a master’s or doctoral degree in engineering or the biological sciences, and must have completed one semester of molecular biology and one semester of biochemistry (or the equivalent).

Both programs require the submission of an online application and fee, a 500-word statement of purpose, a resume or CV, unofficial copies of transcripts, and a mailed copy of official transcripts. International students must submit TOEFL test scores and a course-by-course evaluation from an approved agency. No work experience, recommendations, or GMAT/GRE are required for these programs. A GMAT/GRE may be requested by the program committee if additional information is needed.

Study Plan: Students may begin courses for the MS in bioinformatics or graduate certificate in the fall, spring, or summer. Students may graduate from the MS in bioinformatics in as little as one year; the average is two to three years. They may take up to five years to complete the MS degree. The graduate certificate can be completed in just 12 months.

Curriculum: The MS in bioinformatics consists of 44 credits. Core courses include molecular biology; epigenetics, gene organization and expression; either principles of database systems or practical computer concepts for bioinformatics; either foundations of algorithms or algorithms for bioinformatics; and either introduction to bioinformatics or biological databases and database tools.

Students then choose four concentration classes from an extensive list including genomic and personalized medicine; principles of bioinformatics; computational aspects of molecular structure; methods in proteomics; and several others.

Students also select one elective from the computer science courses and one from biotechnology. Examples from computer science include XML design paradigms, web application development with Java, software systems engineering, and more. Examples from biotechnology include advanced cell biology, recombinant DNA laboratory, genes and disease, and more. Students may choose an independent research project as one of their electives or a thesis option which includes an independent research project and one semester of a thesis course, making the program 12 courses instead of 11.

The graduate certificate in sequence analysis and genomics consists of 20 credits. Core courses include introduction to bioinformatics, next-generation sequencing and analysis, and practical computer concepts for bioinformatics. Two elective courses are chosen from options including protein bioinformatics, gene expression data analysis and visualization, advanced genomics and genetic analysis, and several others.

Online Experience: JHU online courses use a combination of Blackboard and Adobe Connect. Classes for these degrees are all asynchronous. There are some optional synchronous activities such as guest speakers, exam reviews, and office hours with faculty. All synchronous activities are recorded for those who are unable to attend. Not all courses are available online; however, a complete program is still offered. Content is delivered using PowerPoint, streaming video, text notes, narrated PowerPoint, discussion boards, web-conferencing, downloadable course assignments, and web-based exams and quizzes. All online courses are taught twice on campus before being recorded for online programs to guarantee the same material is taught online as on campus. Online students have access to 24/7 technical support, admissions counseling, career counseling, and academic counseling.

On-Site Requirements: There are no onsite requirements for either program as they are 100 percent online. Students are welcome to visit campus anytime and participate in graduation.

Paying for the JHU Online MS in Bioinformatics and the Graduate Certificate in Sequence Analysis and Genomics

JHU charges $1,203.75 per credit plus fees for both the MS and the graduate certificate. Total estimated tuition for the MS in bioinformatics is $52,965 plus fees and $24,075 for the graduate certificate. With tuition increases likely from year to year, prospective students should contact the admissions department of the JHU Krieger School of Arts and Sciences for updated costs.

JHU offers financial aid in the form of tuition support and monthly stipends from their academic departments. Graduate students can also fill out the FAFSA for federal grants and loans, as well as securing private loans, stipends, and scholarships. Graduate students must be enrolled at least half-time (i.e., 4.5 credits per term) to qualify for federal loans. Students can find out more by calling the JHU Financial Aid Office. Bioinformatics and graduate certificate students are also encouraged to speak with their employer about tuition reimbursement programs if available.

Johns Hopkins University - Advanced Academic Programs MS Bioinformatics

  • Learn to interpret complex biological information and analyze sequencing data using bioinformatics software
  • Study topics such as molecular biology, proteomics, and genomic sequencing
  • Combines bioinformatics and engineering to create a rigorous program
Program Essentials
Degree Level Master's Degree
Program Start Dates Fall, Spring, Summer
Credits Needed to Graduate 44
Time to Complete? Graduate in as little as 1 year, but average is 2-3 years, and students have up to 5 years to complete.
100% Online? Yes
Program Accreditation None
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Bachelor's degree or higher
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? No
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 44
Cost Per Credit Hour $1,203.75
Estimated Program Tuition * $52,965.00