Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
Fall classes are offered remotely—either live-online with an instructor, entirely self-paced, or in a blended online format. Please check our coronavirus update page for our latest announcements.
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.
Past bioinformatics event recordings
Listen to our recent week-long webinar series and see the accompanying lecture slides. Designed to give you a sense of what it takes to begin a bioinformatics career, you will hear from Silicon Valley bioinformaticians about the different tools and technologies used to make meaning from the vast trove of amassed health data. This specialized data serves as the foundation for cures and vaccines being discovered each day. The demand is enormous for trained professionals in the bioinformatics field. Help save lives!
Cost: $6,000 | International Tuition Cost
Required Credits: Total Required: 6–7 courses (18 units). Take 4 required courses (12 units) and 2–3 elective courses (6 units). End with certificate of completion review.
Duration: A full-time student can complete the certificate in 12 months.
|Python Programming for Beginners||1.5||Fall Online Fall Live-Online||Winter Online Winter Live-Online||Spring Online Spring Live-Online||Summer Online Summer Live-Online|
|Statistics||5.0||Fall Online||Spring Online|
|Experimental Methods in Molecular Biology||3.0||Fall Online||Spring Online|
|Next-Gen Sequence Analysis Tools—A Hands-On Approach||3.0||Summer Online|
|Python for Programmers||3.0||Fall Online Fall Live-Online||Winter Online Winter Live-Online||Spring Online Spring Live-Online||Summer Online Summer Live-Online|
|Statistical Analysis and Modeling for Bioinformatics and Biomedical Applications||3.0|
|Biochemistry: An Introduction||3.0||Fall Live-Online||Spring Live-Online|
|Bioinformatics Tools, Databases and Methods||3.0||Winter Online||Summer Online|
|Data Analysis, Introduction||3.0||Fall Live-Online||Winter Live-Online||Spring Live-Online||Summer Live-Online|
|Gene Expression and Pathways||2.0||Spring Live-Online|
|Gene Therapy: Hacking the Genome||1.5||Fall Online|
|Genomics and Next Generation DNA Sequencing: Methods and Applications||3.0||Fall Live-Online|
|Principles of Drug Discovery and Development||4.0||Winter Live-Online||Summer Live-Online|
|Relational Database Design and SQL Programming||3.0||Fall Online Fall Live-Online||Winter Online Winter Live-Online||Spring Online Spring Live-Online||Summer Online Summer Live-Online|
|Bioinformatics Certificate Completion Fee||None||Fall Online||Winter Online||Spring Online||Summer Online|
Certificate Inquiry Form
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.
Dual certification • Shared credit
Learn more for Less: You can complete two bioscience certificate programs at UCSC Extension simultaneously or in sequence with fewer units than if the programs were taken individually. Students pursing two certificates need to:
- Complete the total number of units indicated in the table below.
- Complete all required courses for both programs.
- Count each unit only once.
- Select some electives that are common to both programs.
|Biotechnology||Clinical Trials||Medical Devices||Regulatory Affairs||Bioinformatics|
|Biotechnology||19 units||32 units||31 units||32 units||30 units|
|Clinical Trials||32 units||19 units||31 units||32 units||X|
|Medical Devices||31 units||31 units||17 units||31 units||X|
|Regulatory Affairs||32 units||32 units||31 units||19 units||X|
|Bioinformatics||30 units||X||X||X||18 units|
Please review the course descriptions to ensure that you have taken necessary prerequisites or meet the requirements through job experience or previous education.
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
You can enroll in a certificate program any time during your studies.
Once you create your student account, you can enroll in a certificate program. Although you can enroll in a program at any time, the benefit of enrolling early is that it locks in your certificate requirements. This means that even if program requirements change, the requirements to complete your certificate will remain the same for you.
- You must enroll in the certificate program before enrolling in the Certificate Completion Review.
You have a total of five years to complete all necessary courses in a certificate program.
All the necessary units in a certificate must be completed within a five-year 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.
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.