University Of Washington Bioinformatics Masters

Last Updated on December 13, 2022 by Omoyeni Adeniyi

Is there anything else you need to learn about University Of Washington Bioinformatics Masters? If so, you need not be concerned because the following article will provide the information to answer your questions.

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The graduate program in Genome Sciences trains students at the interface of several disciplines to prepare them for the challenges of modern biology and medicine. Our goal is to address leading edge questions by developing and applying genetic, genomic and computational approaches that take advantage of genomic information now available for humans, model organisms and a host of other species. The program emphasizes extensive research experience within an interdisciplinary and state-of-the-art research environment.

First Year of Graduate School:

Welcome to the Department

New students are welcomed to the department during an annual retreat.This is a time for everyone in the department to interact in a peaceful setting, and allows new students the opportunity to hear about the research in the different faculty laboratories.

Course Work

Genome Sciences graduate students take a common set of core courses:

Genome 550: Methods and Logic

Health Informatics: A Guide to This Flourishing Field

This is a literature review/discussion class designed to develop your ability for evaluation of the research literature, from pioneering works to the latest research reports.

Genome 551: Mechanisms of Gene Regulation in Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes

Genome 552: Genomics

Genome 553: Advanced Genetic Analysis

Genome 555: Proteomics

Genome 560: Statistics for Genome Sciences

Genome 561: Population Genetics

Genome 599: Grant Writing

In addition to these courses, students with a strong Biological Sciences background, but little or no programming experience, will take Genome 559 (Intro to Statistical and Computational Genomics), and students with an interest in Computational Biology often take Genome 540 & Genome 541. Most graduate level Genome Sciences classes are small and discussion-oriented, consisting of first year Genome Sciences students and a small number of students from other departments.

In addition to these classes, other courses are selected based on the student’s interests. These courses may include classes from within Genome Sciences or any other department. Finally, requirements in basic biochemistry may be fulfilled in the first year if not already taken during undergraduate study.

Students may continue to take courses during their second year of study. These usually concern disciplines relevant to the student’s dissertation research. In addition, beginning in the second year graduate students present oral reports on their research annually and make journal club presentations.  

Research Rotation

During each quarter of the first year of graduate study, the student completes a research project in the laboratory of participating faculty. Rotations are chosen by the student based on their research interests. At the end of the final rotation, the student chooses a faculty sponsor for dissertation research.

The Precision Medicine Informatics Group is an umbrella research group that brings together multiple students and faculty interested broadly in the domain of precision medicine and translational bioinformatics. The group meets weekly to discuss and get feedback on the research projects of faculty, student and postdoctoral students who are members of the group. The discussions include discussions of relevant journal articles, RFAs, grants, dissertation proposals, dissertation projects, etc. The two broad areas of focus are a) Precision Medicine in the context of Genomic Medicine, and b) Precision Medicine in the context of predictive analytics using EHR data plus/minus genotype or other biomarker type data. Projects include machine learning for prediction of biological pathways, machine learning for prediction of clinical outcomes, using the EHR to phenotype patients, developing knowledge bases of clinical genomic knowledge, development and implementation of genomic decision support, shared patient/provider genomic decision support. Major research projects include the UW faculty working on the informatics aspects of the UW CSER and eMERGE grants and the eMERGE bioinformatics data coordinating center and the CSER coordinating center informatics core. For more information on specific projects led by faculty and students please see Research Projects Grouped by Faculty or click on the name of a faculty or student in PMIG.

Journal Club, Research Reports, and Seminar

All members of the Department of Genome Sciences gather together weekly for Journal Club, Research Reports, and the Departmental Seminar. All graduate students and some post doctoral fellows present annual reports on their research. Journal Clubs are presented by both students and faculty.

Journal Clubs and Research Reports give students many opportunities to develop their presentation skills. The Department takes seriously the training of its graduate students, and a big part of that is learning to communicate in a professional manner. In addition to such departmental events, students often present their work at national or international scientific meetings. Research Reports also serves to keep each member of the department current with the diversity of research in the department, and facilitates the free exchange of ideas.

Second Year and Beyond:

Molecular & Cellular Biology Graduate Program – University of Washington


Shortly after picking a thesis advisor, the student begins work on the research for the dissertation. At this time, the student assembles a supervisory committee. The committee guides the student’s training program with regard to further course work, research, and the Ph.D. dissertation, and conducts the General Examination, which is taken at the end of the second year.

Evaluation of Progress and The General Examination

The Department’s means of monitoring each student’s scientific development have been modified to provide more effective feedback from the faculty and to encourage timely progress toward the completion of thesis research. As a first stage, a faculty committee will meet to evaluate written reports prepared by all faculty members who have interacted with the student in classwork or in research throughout the initial year of study. A timely discussion with the student will then provide the opportunity for the student to work toward making improvements where needed and to develop specific strengths that the intended research may demand.

During the second year, students will begin preparation for the Oral General Examination by writing a research proposal in the format of an NIH grant proposal to be submitted for evaluation by their advisory committee. This proposal will include an addendum outlining how the same issues might be approached in another system. The committee will promptly provide feedback to the student, who will then revise the proposal. The revised proposal will serve as the basis for the oral general examination to be conducted by the committee at the end of the second academic year. Critical evaluation of the research project in this manner is intended to ensure that preparation is thorough and well-conceived, thus providing the student with a solid basis for timely publication of the research as it is completed.


All graduate students in Genome Sciences participate in undergraduate instruction by serving as teaching assistants for a total of two quarters, generally once during Year Three and a second time during Year Four. Assignments are within the Department of Genome Sciences, and student preferences are respected whenever possible. This experience prepares students for teaching responsibilities after receipt of the Ph.D.


The graduate program in Genome Sciences is designed to take approximately 5 years. On average, our students graduate in 5.5 years, although we are increasingly seeing students graduate within 4 – 5 years. Prior to obtaining the Ph.D. degree, the student must defend the dissertation in a presentation to the department in a seminar format. Approval of both the written thesis and the oral defense by the supervisory committee qualifies the student to receive the Ph.D. degree.

Financial Support

Full funding is provided for the duration of studies, including a stipend for living expenses (currently $35,906 per year as of July 2019), tuition waiver, and health insurance.


The Department is relatively small, with about 70 graduate students in residence at any given time. This not only provides a nurturing environment, but also encourages close associations and scientific interactions. Students in the department will be assigned space in the laboratories of the faculty members with whom they do their rotations or dissertation research. State-of-the-art research facilities are available in the department for cellular, protein, and DNA analysis. Extensive computer resources are also available to students. In addition, the Seattle area houses many prestigious scientists in other departments at the University of Washington, at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and at several large biotechnology companies. Many labs are members of the yeast, fly, worm, or mouse clubs, which hold meetings regularly, and which include labs from each of these institutions

he UW School of Medicine provides advanced scientific training toward graduate degrees as well as postdoctoral training in biomedical research in a resource-rich, collaborative environment dedicated to scientific discovery. Our commitment to inclusive community is reflected in part by our programs in climate, inclusivity and justice.

Academic graduate degrees are available through the following departments and programs:

  • Biochemistry
  • Bioengineering
  • Bioethics and Humanities
  • Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education
  • Biological Structure
  • Genome Sciences
  • Global Health
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Graduate Program in Neuroscience​
  • Pathobiology
  • Molecular Medicine and Mechanisms of Disease (M3D)
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology and Biophysics
  • Rehabilitation Science 

The UW School of Medicine is home to more than 650 postdoctoral researchers appointed throughout the School’s 32 academic departments. UW Medicine’s robust research environment and collaborative culture create outstanding opportunities for postdoctoral training. 

MS in Health Informatics—Applied Data Analytics | BU MET

Salary and benefits

Biomedical Sciences programs guarantee competitive salary, medical coverage, and tuition waivers to students in good standing according to program policies. 

In most cases, the Bioengineering program and the Bioinformatics programs provide stipend and tuition waivers or research assistantships to their students. However, this funding is not guaranteed.

Visiting International Student Internship & Training (VISIT)

The UW School of Medicine participates in the Visiting International Student Internship & Training Program (VISIT). The VISIT program permits students pursuing predoctoral programs at universities outside of the U.S. to participate in full-time, supervised research and work-based learning experiences at the University of Washington. In the UW School of Medicine, such internship experiences are generally based on existing collaborations between our faculty members and the student’s home institution. Applications* for the program can be found on the ​​VISIT website.

*The 1025-J VISIT Visa Request Form must be signed by the faculty mentor, the department chair, and routed to the [email protected] with all necessary attachments for signature on behalf of the Dean of the School of Medicine.

How to apply

Application to one of the Biomedical Sciences programs must be completed using the UW Graduate School’s Application for Graduate Study at the University of Washington form. Completing this form, and following the instructions for each specific program, will fulfill application requirements for both the UW Graduate School and the individual program. If you wish to apply to more than one program, you must complete a new application, and pay another application fee.​

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