[BiO BB] college

J.W. Bizzaro jeff at bioinformatics.org
Thu Apr 30 13:46:26 EDT 2009

Hi Eli,

I agree with everything that Keith wrote.  And please see our FAQ :-)

As for the SATs, some US colleges/universities don't require them for transfer students.  So, you could consider taking night classes in the "continuing education" division of a university and then transferring into a degree program there or elsewhere.  It might also be possible to avoid the GREs using the same strategy.

I would also emphasize that your undergraduate degree might only serve to prepare you for your graduate studies and not for employment, unless you're looking for a low-level technical position.  Since bioinformatics is a science, at least in part, most positions will require a graduate degree.

This could be a simple rule (and it's probably controversial):  If you'd like to stop at a master's degree, choose CS as an undergraduate major.  But, if you'd like to get a doctorate, choose biology as a major.  As Keith indicated, the former path is usually considered a bioinformatics education, while the latter path is usually considered a computational biology education.  That's not to say there are no doctorate programs in bioinformatics.  It's just that the trend I've seen is that bioinformatics is being increasingly associated with CS and not biology (look at the curricula for the graduate programs out there), and people often advise against "going the doctorate route" in CS (where you could find yourself overqualified for most positions).

For bioinformatics, that would mean a master's degree should be the goal, should you be looking for the largest number of positions available.  That's my 2 cents anyway.  I'm others will disagree.


Eli Draizen wrote:
> Hello-
> I am not sure if this is the right place to post this but I do not know
> who else to ask. I am currently applying to college and want to study
> bioinformatics. I have a few questions which my college advisors cannot
> answer:
> 1)       Which schools have the best programs and do not care about
> SAT's? 
> 2)       Would it be better to double major in biology and computer
> science and then be more focused in grad school?
> 3)       What is the difference between the major's bioinformatics and
> computational biology?

J.W. Bizzaro
Bioinformatics Organization, Inc. (Bioinformatics.Org)
E-mail: jeff at bioinformatics.org
Phone:  +1 978 562 4800

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