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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the eligibility requirements?

A Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Math, Physics, Computer Science, or related field is required. Although not explicitly required, research and computer programming experience are preferred.

What is the average GPA of students entering the program?

The average GPA of students entering the program is 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.

Do I need to take the GRE?

No, you are not required to take the GRE or any of the subject tests, but you may include your scores in the application if you’ve already taken it.

May I begin the program in a later term (not the summer)?

No, our program only offers start dates for the summer term. Our intensive, workshop-style summer courses immerse students in the science of bioinformatics and are only offered during the summer.

How long will it take to get my degree?

On average it will take 18 months. The program starts in June and most students finish in December the following year.

How much will it cost?

The tuition for the program varies from year to year. There is no difference in cost for in-state and out-of-state students.

Estimated cost for required credits to complete degree for students entering the program in Summer 2020:

Required credits Tuition Fees* Matriculation fee** Total
Summer 12 credits $6840 $554 $430 $7824
Fall 9 credits $5130 $760 $5890
Winter 9 credits $5130 $760 $5890
Internship Spring 10 credits $5700 $225 $5925
Internship Summer 10 credits $5700 $116 $5816
Internship Fall 10 credits $5700 $225 $5925
Total for degree 60 credits $37,270

*A description of what student fees cover can be found here. Student fees do NOT cover student health insurance, which can be purchased separately here:

**A one-time Matriculation fee is assessed on all new and transfer students.

***Listed rates are provided only as an estimate and are subject to change. Estimate does not include any optional credits.***

What financial assistance is available?

Financial assistance is available through the University of Oregon Financial Aid office. Please contact them for more information.

May students in the program be considered for Graduate Employee (GE) positions?

Yes. The Bioinformatics and Genomics program does not administer these positions. Please refer to the Graduate School website. Interested students should apply directly to department advertising the position.

How many students are in the program?

We expect to enroll ~20 students for the 2020 cohort.

What are you looking for in an applicant?

We look for solid grades, research experience, and strong letters of recommendation. We also look for an ability to work well with others, good problem-solving skills, independent thinking and excellent communication skills.

How long are the internships?

Most internships will be 9 months and are full time paid positions.

I am very interested in interning at a company you don’t have listed on your web site. Is that possible?

Yes, we are happy to help you set up an internship and welcome new partners to our program, as long as the internship satisfies program requirements.

What can I do with my degree?

The degree and experience you receive in this program will make you competitive for positions in industry, academia, medical, and government laboratories. Internships often lead to jobs at the host institution or company. This degree and experience will make you more competitive for admission to graduate and medical school.

Do I need to be familiar with computer programming to apply?

Our program emphasizes writing custom scripts to analyze next generation sequencing data. Coming into the intensive summer courses with some programming experience will help you keep up with the fast pace of the material. Additionally, more programming experience will create more internship opportunities for you.

What can I do to strengthen my application?

We are frequently asked what a prospective student can do to strengthen their application. Students who are not offered admittance to the program can improve on one or more of the following points:

  • Strong reference letters are extremely important. If at all possible, at least one should be from faculty that can speak to your research and analytical skills.
  • Research experience, although not required, will help your application rise to the top of the pool. If you don’t have research experience, we highly recommend that you spend some time working or volunteering in a research lab. Research in bioinformatics and genomics is especially useful.
  • If your GPA in science/math is lower than 3.2, consider taking additional courses in these areas to demonstrate that science/math is actually a strength for you. GPA is of particular concern to our Master’s students because the University of Oregon Graduate School REQUIRES students to maintain a 3.0 in order to graduate.
  • If you don’t have experience with programming, consider taking a course or doing some self-study (such as taking an online course or working through the Rosalind website). Python and R are especially useful with respect to the classes we offer. Creating a free GitHub profile and uploading problems you have solved using Python/R is a great way to demonstrate your coding experience.
  • GRE scores are not currently required to apply to this program, but if you have high scores (especially on the quantitative section and subject tests), they will help strengthen your application.

What is it like to live in Eugene?

Eugene, Oregon is a classic college town, with a metropolitan-area population of more than 200,000. You’ll find that Eugene is small enough to bike across, but large enough to offer galleries, music venues, and great restaurants to discover. Eugene has more working artists, writers, and musicians per capita than Portland. Outdoor recreation is key to the Eugene lifestyle, with rivers to run, mountains to snowboard, rocks to climb, trails to hike, and an ocean to surf, all within easy reach.

For more information about Eugene visit the links below: