Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Graduate Certificate

Fully Online Program

Program: Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Graduate Certificate In-State Tuition per Credit: $617.25 plus fees
Department: School of Systems Biology, College of ScienceOut of State Tuition per Credit: $1,333.25 plus fees
Application Deadlines:
Domestic students – Jun 1 (Fall), Nov 15 (Spring)
International students – May 1 (Fall), Oct 15 (Spring)
Credits: 15


What is Bioinformatics and Computational Biology?

Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Graduate Certificate In the field of bioinformatics and computational biology, specialists collect, store, analyze, and present complex biological data. Through this work, critical contributions are made to disease detection, drug design, forensics, agriculture, and environmental sciences through the combination of biological analysis and high-performance computing.

Who should apply?

Ideal candidates for this certificate have a background in biological and computer sciences, and are either currently working in or planning to enter the fields of biotechnology or bioinformatics. Completion of this certificate will enhance the careers of individuals already working in the field and is designed for those who may not have adequate time to undertake an entire graduate degree program. Nevertheless, this certificate can serve as a useful intermediate step toward future enrollment in the Bioinformatics MS or PhD programs.

Why choose George Mason?

  • This program addresses the growing national and regional demand for trained computational biologists by combining a solid foundation in biotechnology with computational skills relevant to bioinformatics.
  • In this program, you will receive the most up-to-date, advanced bioinformatics education available in the region.
  • Courses in this program are taught by acclaimed professors like Dr. Donald Seto, Dr. Dmitri Kilmov, and Dr. Iosif Vaisam. Dr. Seto has been awarded a research grant with the NIH. He is an expert in the origins and molecular evolution of viral pathogens using bioinformatics, predicting the next pathogen, and developing vaccines to viral pathogens. Dr. Kilmov’s research is mainly in computer simulations of protein aggregation and amyloid formation, such as those found in Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Vaisman’s research focuses on developing computational methods for protein structure and function analysis.
  • The online format of the program allows you to participate in class without having to travel to campus.



  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in a discipline related to biological and/or computer science from an accredited university
  • Achieve a minimum GPA of 3.0 in undergraduate courses
  • Demonstrate completion of courses in molecular biology, computer science, calculus, and/or statistics
  • Possess a working knowledge of a computer programming language

Application Materials

  • Graduate application
  • Transcripts of all post-secondary education (two from each institution attended)*
  • Resume*
  • A TOEFL score with a minimum of 20 in each section (internet-based test), 230 (computer-based test), 575 (paper-based test), or 6.5 IELTS is required for all students who have not attained a degree in the US, Canada, U.K., New Zealand, or Australia*

* Please send your application materials to:
George Mason University
College of Science
Graduate Admission Processing Center
4400 University Drive, MSN 6A3
Fairfax, VA 22030


Program requirements are subject to change; please refer to the Mason Course Catalog for the most up-to-date requirements.

Requirements: 15 credits total

  • 9 credits core courses
  • 6 credits electives

Sufficient courses are offered online for you to complete your entire Bioinformatics Certificate program online. Only the courses available online are listed below. The semester that each course is generally offered online is indicated as well.

Core Courses (all required)

  • BINF 630 Bioinformatics Methods | 3 credits| Spring
  • BINF 631 Molecular Cell Biology for Bioinformatics | 3 credits | Fall
  • BINF 634 Bioinformatics Programming | 3 credits | Fall

Electives (choose 6 credits from the following)

  • BINF 633 Molecular Biotechnology | 3 credits | Spring
  • BINF 641 Biomolecular Modeling | 3 credits | Fall
  • BINF 731 Protein Structure Analysis | 3 credits | Fall
  • BINF 732 Genomics | 3 credits | Fall
  • BINF 733 Gene Expression Analysis | 3 credits | irregular course offerings online
  • BINF 734 Advanced Bioinformatics Programming | 3 credits | irregular course offerings online


Tuition (2014-15)

Virginia Resident$617.25 plus fees
Non-Virginia Resident$1,333.25 plus fees
Distance Education Fee$35
Education Resource Fee$60 - $100 (per semester)

Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Graduate Certificate Please refer to the Students Accounts Office website for more information on tuition and fees.

Financial Aid

For information on loans, scholarships, fellowships, and other types of financial aid, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Online Program ContactDiane St. Germain
Phone: (703) 993-4263
Fax: (703) 993-8976
Academic Program Office10900 University Boulevard, MS 5B3
Manassas, VA 20110
Phone: (703) 993-4263
College of Science
Graduate Admission Office
4400 University Drive, MS 6A3
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: (703) 993-3430
School of Systems Biology
Graduate Student Research

All online and hybrid programs in the College of Science

(Fully Online)

(Hybrid Online)


Career Descriptions

With a graduate certificate in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, you will be prepared for careers as a:

  • Biological Software Engineer
  • Biostatistician
  • Computational Biologist
  • Data Analyst
  • Data Manager
  • Pharmaceutical Scientist
  • Research Scientist
  • Scientific Programmer

Check out the International Society for Computational Biology website for current job postings in the field of bioinformatics. As a Mason student, you may also contact the George Mason Career Services center for more career information and counseling.

Mason Graduates

Graduates from this program have been offered positions at world-class institutions including NIH, NCI, The John Hopkins University, FDA, USDA, J. Craig Venter Institute and FBI among the regional research opportunities, and University of Georgia and Baylor University among U.S. opportunities. Many graduates have also found positions overseas in India, China, and Mexico.

Student Stories

“Distance learning courses have been a huge help to me in completing my program according to schedule. I live in northern Virginia and work as a tutor in the evenings. It’s quite difficult for me to make it down to Prince William for long afternoon courses. Distance courses vastly shorten my time spent driving, and in some cases, when professors have recorded their lectures, I have been able to take a class even when I have a direct scheduling conflict."

- Sean Mackesey, MS ‘13

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