Certificate Program


Where biology meets Big Data

Enroll in Certificate View Individual Courses

Certificate Description

Build your computational and scientific foundation

This 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 PBD
  • 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

Required Credits: Total Required: 6–7 courses/16 units. Take 3 required courses (9 units) and 3–4 elective courses (7 units). End with certificate of completion review.
Duration: A full-time student can complete the certificate in 12 months.


Course Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
1. Prerequisite(s): "Molecular Biology, Introduction" and "Statistics" course or equivalent.
Statistics 5.0
2.Three Required Courses
Bioinformatics Tools, Databases and Methods 3.0
Experimental Methods in Molecular Biology 3.0
Statistical Analysis and Modeling for Bioinformatics and Biomedical Applications 3.0
3. Elective Course Seven Units Required
Data Analysis, Introduction 3.0
DNA Microarrays: Principles, Applications and Data Analysis 3.0
Gene Expression and Pathways 2.0
Genomics and Next Generation DNA Sequencing: Methods and Applications 3.0
Principles of Drug Discovery and Development 4.0
Python for Programmers 3.0
Python Programming for Beginners 1.5
Relational Database Design and SQL Programming 3.0
4. Fee for Certificate Review
Bioinformatics Certificate Completion Fee None

Requisite Knowledge

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 Biotechnology 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.

Statistics Knowledge: To take Statistical Analysis and Modeling for Bioinformatics and Biomedical Applications, you need an understanding of both probability and statistics. UCSC Extension offers Statistics.

Program Chair


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

Assistant Adjunct Professor​, Project Scientist/Lecturer
Biomolecular Engineering, UC, Santa Cruz

Biosciences Instructor, UCSC Extension

Founding CEO
Statistics Instructor, UCSC Extension

Director, Proxeom​
Senior Advisor, INanoBio
Partner, ZB AngelFunds
Bioinformatics Instructor, UCSC Extension

Statistical Data Analyst, Gilead Sciences
Bioinformatics Instructor, UCSC Extension

Biosciences Instructor / Program Chair
Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, and Clinical Trials Design and Management Programs

Certificate Inquiry Form

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Call (408) 861-3860


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