Master of Science in Bioinformatics

The Opportunity

Big Data is today’s buzzword. It is also the driving force behind the explosive demand for trained bioinformatics professionals in pharmaceutical research and development, medical and clinical diagnostics, and other life science industries.

Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field of science that combines computer science, statistics, mathematics, and engineering to study and process biological data. Computers are used to gather, store, analyze, and integrate biological and genetic information, which can then be applied to gene-based drug discovery and development. The need for bioinformatics capabilities was precipitated by the explosion of publicly available genomic information resulting from the Human Genome Project.

The life sciences are increasingly data-intensive, and the need for individuals with the broad, interdisciplinary knowledge and skills to plan, mine, analyze, and interpret large-scale data sets continues to expand. The MS in Bioinformatics ALIGN program is invaluable if your goal is to enter this exciting and growing field.

The Program

Combining challenging academics in biology, computer science, and information technology with practical, real-world experience, the MS in Bioinformatics ALIGN Program will help you integrate the knowledge, skills, experience, and confidence you need to play a pivotal role in an expanding range of life science fields.

As a student in this program, you have the opportunity to:

  • Build a core of critical knowledge in bioinformatics computational methods, bioinformatics programming, statistics for bioinformatics, and ethics for biological research
  • Integrate knowledge from biological, computational, and mathematical disciplines
  • Prepare to assume leadership roles in a range of life sciences, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical industries, including genomics, personalized medicine, drug discovery, and cancer therapy
Recent data indicates that 87% of industry-related job postings in bioinformatics require a graduate degree.

What Courses Will I Take?

The MS in Bioinformatics ALIGN program combines core coursework in bioinformatics computerized methods, programming, and statistics with graduate electives that offer you the flexibility to specialize and build broader knowledge in both the life sciences and computer sciences. A co-op, frequently completed with leading employers in academia and industry, rounds out the program and assures graduates a competitive edge in the dynamic field of bioinformatics.


  • Molecular Cellular Biology


  • Bioinformatics Computational Methods 1 and 2
  • Bioinformatics Programming
  • Statistics for Bioinformatics
  • Ethics in Biological Research
  • Bioinformatics Seminar


  • Graduate Biochemistry
  • Molecular Modeling
  • Database Management
  • Web Development

To view the program's website, click here.

How Will I Gain Work Experience?

As a recognized leader in experiential learning and a trusted source of high-caliber students, Northeastern enjoys relationships with more than 3,000 public and private-sector employers on seven continents. Recent bioinformatics co-op partners have included:

  • Broad Institute
  • Harvard Medical School
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Seattle Children’s Research Institute
  • Genzyme
  • Millennium
  • Novartis

Who Are the Faculty Members?

Program Director: Steven Vollmer, Ph.D.

Our Faculty Members:

  • Are dedicated academics and seasoned industry professionals
  • Bring interdisciplinary perspective, experience, and collaboration to their classrooms and research
  • Provide opportunities to participate in research, including next-generation genomics, drug discovery, personalized genomics, and network analyses

Am I Right for This Program?

Our Bioinformatics ALIGN Program is designed for students from a wide variety of backgrounds who have an interest in the field and do not have an undergraduate degree in Life Sciences or Computer Science.

If you have an undergraduate degree in Life Sciences or Computer Science, we recommend that you consider applying to the traditional MS in Bioinformatics program.

Still not sure? Let us help. Click here.

What Are the Admissions Requirements?

  • Completed application form and transcripts
  • Undergraduate degree in any discipline
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Two letters of recommendation

Minimum TOEFL score of 90 for the Boston location, which is international compliant.

How Much Will it Cost?

ALIGN is a customized degree program that includes bridge courses embedded into a full academic curriculum, as well as additional support and services related to your transition into Bioinformatics.

Tuition and fees are set on an annual basis by Northeastern University’s Board of Trustees and were updated in April 2015. The total estimated cost of the MS in Bioinformatics ALIGN program for academic year 2015-2016 is $42,400.00.

Financial aid is available. Connect with your enrollment coach or contact us at for additional details.

Program Locations

To view current program location offerings and key application dates, click here.