Bioinformatics (GC)

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Length of program

6 months

Mode of delivery

In person

Program consists of:

Coursework

Campus

Lethbridge

Intake

Spring

Program description

The Graduate Certificate in Bioinformatics is a part-time program consisting of four courses (12.0 credit hours). Students will be able to complete this program in six months (January-June). 

Bioinformatics combines computer programming, data analysis, and biology. This program gives students the opportunity to understand both basic and advanced concepts of bioinformatics and the wide range of possible applications in the health services sector and the agriculture industry.

Students should have an academic background in either life sciences (Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Neuroscience, Genetics, Microbiology, Biotechnology, or a related field), or mathematics, computer sciences, or engineering (or a related field).

For life scientists without prior computational experience, through use of Unix systems, algorithms, data structures, string manipulation, basic concepts of software development and programming languages you will expand your knowledge and skills in computer science and programming. For those with a background in computer science, you will learn basic concepts of biological and genetic information and master further data analysis skills in a focused topic area, such as bioinformatic algorithms, genomics and medical informatics, as well as demonstrate competency with programming languages.

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Career pathways

The application of genomics technologies, of which bioinformatics constitutes the core, helps to solve real-world problems in multiple sectors, including health services, agriculture, environment, forestry, and mining, providing new insights into management and sustainable resource strategies in these industries. Additionally, national labour market data shows many of the learning outcomes and objectives as highly desired skills (see detailed learning outcomes below).

Graduates of this certificate program will also develop general in-demand skills in research, communication, collaboration, problem solving, and organization.


In case of discrepancies between this page and the Graduate Studies Calendar and Course Catalogue, the Graduate Studies Calendar and Course Catalogue shall prevail.

Additional information

Applicants must normally meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (i.e. undergraduate degree) from a recognized degree-granting institution
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 3.00 (based on the uLethbridge 4.00 scale) on the last 20 graded university-level term courses (60.0 credit hours)
  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency (ELP) for graduate students

Applicants should have an academic background in Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Neuroscience, Genetics, Microbiology, Biotechnology, Mathematics, or Computer Science, or related fields.

Students are required to complete:

  • Biochemistry 5400/Neuroscience 5400 - Essentials of Bioinformatics
  • Biochemistry 5410/Neuroscience 5410 - Practical Bioinformatics
  • Biochemistry 5420/Neuroscience 5420 - Advanced Bioinformatics

Plus one of:

  • Biochemistry 5990 - Independent Study
  • Computer Science 5850 - Algorithms in Bioinformatics
  • Neuroscience 5850 - Workshop in Computational Neuroscience
  • An approved elective related to Bioinformatics

Course descriptions are available in the Course Catalogue

On successful completion of this program, students should be able to:

  • Understand both basic and advanced concepts of bioinformatics.
  • Understand the wide range of possible bioinformatics applications in the health services sector and the agriculture industry and use bioinformatics tools in a Unix computer environment for analysis of high throughput sequencing and other omics data.
  • Perform problem solving in academic and industrial environments on projects related with generation and analysis of omics data.
  • Work effectively as a member of a bioinformatics team.
  • Organize and pursue a scientific or industrial research project in fields such as biological databases; algorithms in bioinformatics; biocomputing; basic probability and statistics in bioinformatics; genome architecture and functional genomics; and omics applications in precision health and agriculture.
  • Write scientific and industrial R&D reports to a professional standard, equivalent to that of a level one scientist.
  • Derive and apply solutions from knowledge of sciences, technology, and mathematics.

Depending on prior training, students will also be able to:

  • Life sciences background: Apply skills in computer science and programming for life scientists without prior computational experience through use of Unix systems, algorithms, data structures, string manipulation, basic concepts of software development and programming languages.
  • Computer sciences/engineering background: Demonstrate knowledge in basic concepts of biological and genetic information and master further data analysis skills in a focused topic area, such as bioinformatic algorithms, genomics and medical informatics. Demonstrate competency with programming languages such as Perl and R.