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.

Enrolment Requirements

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:

Completion Requirements

Specialist program:
(12.5 full courses or their equivalent)

First or second year:
Foundational courses (5 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/​ CSB472H1


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" half-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 prior to BCB410H1 due to BCB410H1's R programming requirement.