Build your computational and scientific foundation
Big data is everywhere and its presence across multiple industries will continue to stimulate job growth in pharma, biotech, and software industries. This certificate program is designed in consultation with industry leaders to meet the need for biologists and computer scientists to analyze and interpret today’s deluge of biological information. Tailor your studies to your particular needs and interests while learning the tools and methods of bioinformatics. Life scientists delve into data tech and computer scientists gain a background in molecular biology.
Bioinformatics certificate program objectives
- Use public domain bioinformatics tools, including Genbank and the Protein Data Bank (PDB).
- Employ statistical design of experiment (SDOE) to analyze experimental data and factors affecting outputs.
- Distinguish key molecular biology techniques—gene cloning, manipulation and sequencing; PCR; RNA interference; and gene expression analysis.
- Complete a computational biology project using Java.
- Recognize sequence analysis techniques such as Hidden Markov Models and RNA analysis.
- Query and read DNA sequences from Fasta files.
Additional informational resources
Often they are the experienced programmers who have an interest in biology or they are already in a lab and interested in the flexibility and new options that learning new data tools can offer. Janani Rangarajan, M.S., bioinformatician and program chair, tells you about her students. (2021)
Bioinformatics: An Informational Webinar
Janani Rangarajan, M.S., bioinformatician and program chair, discusses the tools and technologies used to make meaning from health data, the foundation for cures and vaccines being discovered each day. The webinar begins with a very brief overview of upcoming courses in the Bioinformatics certificate program and jumps right into Q&A.
• An 8-Part Video Q&A with Janani Rangarajan, M.S., Bioinformatician and Program Chair
• A 5-Part Deep Dive Into the Technologies & Biology of Bioinformatics
Estimated Cost: Starting at $5,480. (You pay only for courses you enroll in.) | International Tuition Cost
Program Requirements: 6–7 courses (minimum 18 quarter units). Take 4 required courses (12 quarter units) and 2–3 elective courses (minimum 6 quarter units). End with certificate of completion review.
Minimum Hours of Instruction: 180 hours of instruction.
Estimated Duration: A full-time student can complete the certificate in 12 months.
Special Programs: None
1. Required Courses(s): Four Total & Equal to 12 Units
2. Electives: Total of Six Units
3. Completion Review:
4. Related Course(s) (Not Part of Certificate Program)
Meet Our Instructors
Certificate Inquiry Form
Recommended Course Sequence
After completing the prerequisites, it is recommended that you start with Next-Gen Sequence Analysis Tools—a Hands-On Approach and Experimental Methods in Molecular Biology. Courses may then be taken in any sequence, unless otherwise specified in the individual course description.
To receive your certificate
Upon completion of the course sequence you may request your Bioinformatics Certificate Completion Review.
Please review the course descriptions to ensure that you have taken the necessary prerequisites or meet the requirements through job experience or previous education. You can learn more about each course in the Syllabus Library.
Molecular biology knowledge
Familiarity with the principles of modern molecular biology is required to begin the Bioinformatics certificate. You can satisfy this requirement with an introductory course in molecular biology (taken within the last five years) or by demonstrating equivalent work experience.
To take Statistical Analysis and Modeling for Bioinformatics and Biomedical Applications, you need an understanding of both probability and statistics. You can satisfy this requirement with an introductory course in statistics or by demonstrating equivalent work experience. UCSC Extension offers Statistics.
Basic familiarity with the Python programming language is required to begin the Bioinformatics certificate. You can satisfy this requirement with an introductory course in Python (taken within the last five years) or by demonstrating equivalent work experience. UCSC Extension offers Python Programming for Beginners.
Genomics and next Generation DNA sequencing knowledge
Basic familiarity with genomics and next generation DNA sequencing is required for Next-Gen Sequence Analysis Tools—a Hands-On Approach. You can satisfy this requirement with a similar course or by demonstrating equivalent work experience. UCSC Extension offers Genomics and Next Generation DNA Sequencing: Methods and Applications.
Certificate Program Chair
JANANI RANGARAJAN, M.S., is a QA statistical data analyst at Gilead Sciences where she supports the Quality Risk Management department with data analysis for plant-wide interdepartmental KPIs. Former positions include working as a bioinformatics analyst at the USC Norris Cancer Center, as a statistical analyst/programmer for Northwestern University and as a researcher at the Scripps Research Institute, where she designed and produced custom DNA, peptide and carbohydrate arrays. Rangarajan has a graduate degree in bioinformatics and extensive experience with bioinformatics tools, databases and methods. She has contributed to the Consortium for Functional Glycomics and helped print the Glycan microarray for the project.
Certificate Program Advisory Committee
DAVID BERNICK, Ph.D.
Assistant Adjunct Professor, Project Scientist/Lecturer
Biomolecular Engineering, UC, Santa Cruz
GREGORY FRANK, Ph.D.
Biosciences Instructor, UCSC Extension
ROBERT KNIGHT, MS, DPM
Statistics Instructor, UCSC Extension
ABIZAR LAKDAWALLA, Ph.D., MS, DMLT
Senior Advisor, INanoBio
Partner, ZB AngelFunds
Bioinformatics Instructor, UCSC Extension
JANANI RANGARAJAN, MS, BS
Statistical Data Analyst, Gilead Sciences
Bioinformatics Instructor, UCSC Extension
EDWARD ROZHON, Ph.D.
Biosciences Instructor / Program Chair
Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, and Clinical Trials Design and Management Programs
Establish candidacy in a certificate or specialization
Once you create your student account, you can establish candidacy in a certificate or specialization program any time during your studies.
The benefits of enrolling early
- Lock in your certificate requirements.This means that even if program requirements change, the requirements to complete your certificate will remain the same for you
- Receive program updates
- Set your intention
- It’s free
To complete a program, you must enroll in the certificate program before enrolling in the Certificate Completion Review.
You have five years to complete all necessary courses in a certificate program or three years to finish up a specialization program.
All the necessary units in a certificate must be completed within this window.* The clock begins on the first day of your first course in the certificate program. For example, if you started a course on Sept. 5, 2017, you would have to complete all of the required units in this certificate by Sept. 4, 2022.
Enrolling in a certificate program does not trigger the beginning of the five-year window. It begins the first day of the first course that applies to a certificate program. The Certificate Completion Review process does not have to occur within the five-year timeframe.
For more information: How do I get my certificate or specialization?
* Students participating in a special program, such as workforce, international, Personal Financial Planning, or curriculum partner programs (such as GreenFig or CLS by Barbri) may have a shorter completion requirement.
Please note that only letter grades of C or higher may be applied to a certificate, and in some programs, students may have more stringent requirements. Students in most employer- and government-sponsored payment programs, such as workforce development, as well as international students on F-1 visas, need to maintain a B average to meet their requirements. Personal Financial Planning students have additional grade requirements for individual courses to attain a certificate.
See Grading and Credits Policy for further information.