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Bioinformatics and Molecular Biochemistry

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Science (M.S.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

The curriculum is designed to provide students with advanced skills in either Molecular Biochemistry or Bioinformatics. Since the complete sequencing of the human genome, the health science discipline of genomics/proteomics has unfolded and evolved, increasingly improving the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases. Emerging in tandem with genomics is the field of bioinformatics, associated with massive databases of gene and protein sequences and other biological information. Modern science utilizes bioinformatics not only to process and mine the data, but also to generate new testable hypotheses.

Master’s Degree

Students in this program can choose to follow either a Molecular Biochemistry track or a Bioinformatics path. Students following the Biochemistry option take advanced biochemistry and molecular medicine courses as well as several hands-on laboratory techniques classes and gain exposure to a myriad of laboratories and research initiatives. Students selecting the Bioinformatics track, one of the first in the United States devoted exclusively to teaching important genome-wide approaches to medicine and biology, will focus on the use of current bioinformatics technologies for analyzing high-throughput data from genomics and proteomics experiments. Course topics include leveraging Big Data for biomarker discovery in the era of personalized medicine, role of statistics in bioinformatics, gene function prediction, algorithm and software development.

Each track offers the option of preparing a thesis by completing research at GW Medical Center, NIH, FDA or the Children’s National Medical Center. Alternatively, the non-thesis program requires a hands-on practicum at participating institutions.

Upon graduation, students are aptly prepared for careers in any field from advanced biomedical research, genomics, bioinformatics, medicine, public health to law and policy.

Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – April 1
Spring – October 1

Standardized test scores:

GRE general test (institutional code 5246) recommended but not required.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction. 

Minimum scores for the M.S. program are:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 6.0 with no individual score below 5.0; or
  • TOEFL: 550 on paper-based or 80 on Internet-based;  or
  • PTE Academic: 53

Applicants to the Master’s program who do not meet minimum English language requirements may be eligible for our full-time Applied English Language program.

Recommendations required:

One (1) recommendation

Prerequisite requirements:

A bachelor's degree including the following courses, or equivalent: BISC 1111, 1112; CHEM 2122, 2151-52, 2153-54; PHYS 1011, 1012.

Prior academic records:

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission. If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.

Statement of purpose: 

In an essay of 250 – 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application. If you are applying for an assistantship or fellowship, you should also describe any teaching experience you have had.

International applicants only:

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.

For more information on the admission process, please visit the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences – Graduate Admissions Office
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
Washington DC 20052

Contact for questions:
askccas@gwu.edu ~ 202.994.6210 (phone) ~ 202.994.6213 (fax)
8:30 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday