Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Specialist (Science Program) - ASSPE1868

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 Cell and Systems Biology and co-sponsored by the Departments of Biochemistry, 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.

Note: this program has deregulated fees, which are incurred after enrolment in the program. Please refer to Arts & Science Registration Instructions for more information.

This is a limited enrolment program. Students must have completed 4.0 credits and meet the requirements listed below to enrol.

Variable Minimum Grade Average
A minimum grade average is needed for entry, and this minimum changes each year depending on available spaces and the number of applicants. The following courses must be completed:

To ensure that students admitted to the program will be successful, applicants with a grade average lower than 75% in these required courses will not be considered for admission. Please note that obtaining this minimum grade average does not guarantee admission to the program. While it is difficult to predict what will constitute a "competitive" grade average in a given year, based on previous years the estimate is =mid 80s.

Applications from students lacking a numerical grade in one of the specified prerequisites may be considered on the basis of their entire academic record and the availability of space in the program.

Students in this program have the option to request enrolment in the Arts & Science Internship Program (ASIP) stream. Students can apply for the ASIP stream after Year 1 (Year 2 entry) or after Year 2 (Year 3 entry, starting Fall 2024). Full details about ASIP, including student eligibility, selection and enrolment, are available in the ASIP section of the Arts & Science Academic Calendar. Please note that the majority of students enter ASIP in Fall term of Year 2. Space is more limited for Year 3 entry. Students applying for Year 3 entry must have been admitted to the Bioinformatics & Computational Biology Specialist in the Summer after Year 2.

Specialist program:
(12.5 credits)

First or second year:
Foundational courses (5.0 credits total)
( MAT135H1, MAT136H1)/ MAT137Y1/​ MAT157Y1
( CSC108H1, CSC148H1)/ CSC110Y1
( CSC111H1/​ CSC165H1, CSC236H1)/ CSC240H1 (1)
CSC263H1/​ CSC265H1
( CHM135H1, CHM136H1)/ CHM151Y1

Upper years:
Program requirements (7.5 credits total)
STA237H1/​ STA247H1/​ STA255H1/​ STA257H1
BIO230H1/​ BIO255H1
BIO260H1/​ HMB265H1
( BCH210H1, ( BCH311H1/​ CSB349H1/​ MGY311Y1))/ BCH242Y1
BCH441H1/​ MGY441H1/​ CSB472H1

Students in this program have the option to complete the Arts & Science Internship Program (ASIP) stream


BCB students are allowed to enrol in up to 2.5 CSC credits at the 300/400-level

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" 0.5 credit of the substitution does not have to be replaced. For details, please refer to the Computer Science Program instructions in this Calendar.

Former BCB students benefitted from taking CSB352H1, Bioinformatic Methods. They also found it to be helpful to take BCH441H1/​ MGY441H1 prior to BCB410H1 due to BCB410H1's R programming requirement.