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Bioinformatics Program

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Principal Course Distribution Requirement

Principal courses offer introductions to the breadth of disciplines in the College. They acquaint students with the subject matter in an area, with the types of questions that are asked about that subject matter, with the knowledge that has been developed and is now basic to the area, and with the methods and standards by which claims to truth are judged.

Students must complete courses in topical groups in three major divisions (humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences). For the B.A., three courses are required from each division, with no more than one course from any topical group. The B.G.S. requires two courses from each division, with no more than one from any topical group. To fulfill the requirement, a course must be designated as a principal course according to the codes listed below.

These are the major divisions, their topical subgroups, and the codes that identify them:


  • HT: Historical studies
  • HL: Literature and the arts
  • HR: Philosophy and religion

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

  • NB: Biological sciences
  • NE: Earth sciences
  • NM: Mathematical sciences
  • NP: Physical science

Social Sciences

  • SC: Culture and society
  • SI: Individual behavior
  • SF: Public affairs

No course may fulfill both a principal course distribution requirement and a non-Western culture or second-level mathematics course requirement. Laboratory science courses designated as principal courses may fulfill both the laboratory science requirement and one of the distribution requirements. No free-standing laboratory course may by itself fulfill either the laboratory science requirement or a principal course requirement. Students should begin taking principal courses early in their academic careers. An honors equivalent of a principal course may fulfill a principal course requirement.

View all approved principal course distribution courses »

Non-Western Culture Requirement

A non-Western culture course acquaints students with the culture, society, and values of a non-Western people, for example, from Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, or Africa. Students must complete one approved non-Western culture course.

One approved non-Western culture course is required. Occasionally courses with varying topics fulfill the non-Western culture course requirement. See the Schedule of Classes for details. These courses are coded NW.

View all approved non-Western culture courses »

Transfer and Earned Credit Course Codes

These codes are used to evaluate transfer credit and to determine which academic requirements a course meets.

  • H: Humanities
  • N: Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • S: Social Sciences
  • W: World Civilization and Culture
  • U: Undesignated Elective Credit (course does not satisfy distribution requirement)

All Bioinformatics courses

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First semester of a two-semester course in bioinformatics and computational biology. Topics include basic concepts of bioinformatics and molecular modeling, bioinformatics databases, computational tools and modeling methods, protein sequence and structure alignment, conformational analysis, secondary structure determination, tertiary structure modeling (homology, threading, ab initio, molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulations, protein folding and dynamics), as well as students presentations of material from current papers in the field of study and their own on-going research for discussion and critique. Prerequisite: College introductory biochemistry (no requirement for specific courses), math, and computer courses or concurrent enrollment in such courses and consent of instructor. (Same as PHCH 701.) LEC
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Second semester of a two-semester course in bioinformatics and computational biology. Topics include protein quaternary structure modeling (protein-protein/DNA/small ligand docking, binding, computer-aided drug design), protein structure-function relationships, biological membranes (structure and function of integral membrane proteins, protein-membrane and protein-protein interactions in membranes), phylogenetic trees, modeling of genome-wide protein interaction networks based on structure, sequence, experiment and data-mining, as well as students presentations of material from current papers in the field of study and their own on-going research for discussion and critique. (Same as PHCH 702.) Prerequisite: BINF 701. LEC
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Advanced courses on special topics in Bioinformatics, given as need arises, including lectures, discussions, readings, or laboratory. Students may select sections according to their special interests. LEC
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Original research that is to be incorporated into a PhD dissertation. THE
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