Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Specialist

(Science Program)
Completion Requirements: 

The genomic and post-genomic era brings opportunities for new insight into all aspects of biology and medicine, based on the computational analysis of very large datasets in a biological context. The Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Program is an interdepartmental, interdisciplinary Program of Study that balances computer-science and life-science courses towards that goal. As a Specialist Program it is designed to prepare students for graduate studies in the field.

The Program is formally administered by the Department of Biochemistry and co-sponsored by the Departments of Cell and Systems Biology, Computer Science, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Molecular Genetics; all sponsoring Departments have clear trajectories to extend the Program into graduate studies in the respective Department.

This program has unlimited enrolment and no specific admission requirements. All students who have completed at least 4.0 courses are eligible to enrol.

However students are advised that the very rigorous courses that are part of the Program, the very limited overlap in course material between the theory-centric and the biology-centric courses, and the different academic cultures in the life- and computer sciences, make this Program suitable only for the academically strongest and most highly motivated students on campus. As a rule of thumb, students who expect to do well should be able to regularly perform at the top 20% level in their classes.

You should seek advice from both the Program Director and the Department of Computer Science on how to distribute your courses.

For additional information, please refer to

Specialist program:
(12.5 full courses or their equivalent)

First or second year

The following courses are common prerequisites for required courses in the Program.
(5 credits total):

(MAT135H1, MAT136H1)/MAT137Y1/​MAT157Y1; (CSC108H1, CSC148H1); (CSC165H1, CSC236H1)/CSC240H1 (1); CSC263H1/​CSC265H1; (CHM135H1, CHM136H1)/(CHM138H1, CHM139H1)/CHM151Y1; BIO130H1/​BIO150Y1.

Upper years:

The following courses are Program requirements (7.5 credits total):

STA247H1/​STA255H1/​STA257H1; CSC207H1; CSC209H1; CSC373H1; BIO230H1/​BIO250Y1/​(BIO240H1, BIO241H1)/BIO255H1/​BIO255Y1; BIO260H1/​HMB265H1; (BCH210H1, (BCH311H1/​MGY311Y1))/BCH242Y1; BCH441H1/​CSB472H1; BCB330Y1; BCB410H1; BCB420H1; BCB430Y1.

Course substitutions are possible with written permission of the Program Director. Note that the requirements for a co-sponsoring Department's major can normally be fulfilled with 0.5 to 3.5 additional credits. All Major programs in the co-sponsoring life science departments require BIO120H1, however it is not formally a part of this Specialist Program's requirements.

(1)The "missing" half-credit of the substitution does not have to be replaced. For details, please refer to the Computer Science Program instructions in this Calendar.