Top universities for MS in Bioinformatics for international students: Here’s a Guide

Bioinformatics is an integration of various disciplines- Computer science, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, Statistics, Mathematics, and Engineering. This course has managed to gain quite momentum in this fast-paced world. Bioinformatics encompasses the technical process for extracting, collecting, storing, analyzing, and interpreting biological data with the application of information technology. This is done through computation and analysis tools. Numerous discoveries and developments in the field of pharmaceuticals and genetics along with breeding and farming can be attributed to the study of Bioinformatics.

Specializations

Students can opt for the following specializations in the top universities for MS in Bioinformatics:

  • Genomics 
  • Molecular modeling
  • Genetics
  • Proteomics
  • Transcriptomics
  • Computational Biology Pathway analysis 
  • Metagenomics
  • Phylogenetic Systems Biology Metabolomics 

Job prospects after completion

There are enormous options students can explore after pursuing MS in Bioinformatics, especially after the recent pandemic. Some career opportunities that students with MS in Bioinformatics can discover are:

  • Research Scientist
  • Bioinformatics Scientist
  • Microbiologist
  • Biostatistician
  • Zoologist
  • Bioinformatician
  • Molecular Biologist

Top Universities 

The increasing popularity of pursuing Bioinformatics as a career is a reason why top universities around the globe are focussing and investing in the subject. Various universities in the world have gained popularity for offering Bioinformatics, which has also made students choose from the plethora of options. Based on parameters such as career prospects, quality of faculty, structure, and design of curriculum, here are some top universities for MS in  Bioinformatics. 

United States of America (USA)

Top Universities for MS in Bioinformatics provide a spectrum of subjects expanding your learning. They invest in student’s all-round personality and not just academics. The living expenses in the USA range anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 and it depends largely on your choices of accommodation, travel, and habits. 

The US colleges/universities boasts of notable alumni in the field of Bioinformatics:

  • Brock, Kelly, MS (2016)-Associate Research Director-MIT
  • Haomin Peng, MS (2019)- Research Engineer, at Plus AI-Stanford University
  • Mary Piper- Research consultant at Pfizer- from T. Chan School, Harvard University
  • Michael Cuoco- Research Associate at Institute of MIT and Harvard-University of California, San Diego

University  QS subject Ranking 2022 Tuition fees
Massachusetts Institute of Technology #1 $ 27,755 (Per Term)
Stanford University #3 $77,586 (Annual)
Harvard University #5 $ 56,018 (Annual)
California Institute of technology #6 $ 58,467 (Annual) 
University of California- San Diego #8 $ 55,822

(Annual)

Intake: Three intakes for the MS course are available for admission. However, this may vary with the University/College.

  • Spring: Begins in January  and deadlines vary with the university 
  • Summer: May; however it is available for only a few programs 
  • Fall: August and September

Application Process:  Documents needed are:

  • All Transcripts ( 10th, 12th, UG, Diploma)
  • Personal Statement
  • Certificate of Graduation
  • Certificate validating your English Proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, GRE)
  • Resume 
  • Reference Letters         

Canada 

Canada is a cost effective country with a wonderful academic curriculum. The living expenses for students in Canada range between $12,000 to $16,000 per annum. 

Some notable alumni from renowned universities in Canada are:

  • Graham Colby- Microbial Risk evaluator at Health Canada, University of Ottawa
  • Moon, Mark- Supervisor at Peter Liu, Institute of medical Science, University of Toronto
  • Elizabeth Chun (2010)- Supervisor at Genome Sciences Centre, BCCA, University of British Columbia

University name QS Subject Ranking 2022 Tuition fees
Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto #26 $39967

(Annual)

University of British Columbia #46 $ 9313(Annual) 
University of Alberta #126 $4660 (Annual)
University of Ottawa #230 30,517 (Annual) 
University of Calgary #235 $25000 (Annual) 

Intake: With three intakes at the universities in Canada,  it is best to apply early 

  • Winter Term: January-April
  • Spring Term: May-August 
  • Fall Term: September-December

Application Process: Admission requirements for Canadian University are as follows:

  • A bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, or Mathematics
  • Good academic score, equivalent to 78% of Canadian score
  • Three academic references
  • TOEFL (score of 90)
  • IELTS (minimum band 7) 

United Kingdom 

The UK is the most prominent country for students planning to pursue Bioinformatics. The cost of living here ranges between 700 Euros to 1500 Euros. 

Some notable Alumni are:

  • Dorothy Hodgkin-Nobel Prize-Winning Chemist
  • Ansu Kumar- Chief Scientific Officer at Cellworks Research India Pvt. Ltd.

University QS

Subject Ranking 2022

Cost of attendance

(Living+ tuition fees)

University of Oxford #2 38, 410 Euro (Annual) 
University of Cambridge #3 32, 220 Euro

(Annual) 

Imperial College London #7 US $ 34046

(Annual) 

University College London #8 US $ 23510

(Annual)

University of Manchester #27 27000 Euro

(Annual) 

Intake: There are three intakes to apply for an MS course in the UK.

  • Fall Intake: September/October
  • Winter Intake: January-February
  • Spring/Summer Intake: May

Application Process:  Documents needed are:

  • All Transcripts ( 10th, 12th, UG, Diploma)
  • Personal Statement
  • Certificate of Graduation
  • Certificate validating your English Proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS)
  • Resume 
  • Reference Letters         

Australia 

Australia welcomes students for all courses and is a popular destination for many. The living expenses in Australia range from AUD 8730 to AUD 18,600. 

Some notable alumni in the Bioinformatics field:

  • Emeritus Professor John Pearn AO RFD- Brisbane pediatrician, The University of Queensland
  • Warren Ewens-Professor at University of Pennsylvania, from University of Melbourne

University name QS subject Ranking Tuition Fee
The University of Melbourne #37 AUD 46,272 

(Annual) 

The University of Queensland #47 17.6 lacs+23 lacs

(annually)

The University of Western Australia #93 23.3 lacs

(Annual)

RMIT University #206 AUD 28000

(Annual)

The University of Adelaide #96 AUD 30395 (Annual)

Intake: With most universities having flexible intake, it is best to apply during September. The MS course in Australia is maximum for 24 months and a minimum of 18 months. 

Application process: The documents needed are:

  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • Medical Insurance
  • All transcripts
  • Proof of Funds
  • Internships
  • Work experience (If any)
  • English Proficiency test (TOEFL, GRE)

Europe 

With Bioinformatics courses being the foundation of many career opportunities, Europe provides excellent technical and biological faculties. The living expense for Europe ranges between 10000 Euros to 20000 Euro Annually. 

Some alumni from European Universities are as follows:

  • Prof. Dr. Yana Bromberg- VP at International Society for Computational Biology- Technical University of Munich
  • Lars Rønn Olsen- Associate Professor -Bioinformatics at DTU-University of Copenhagen

University name QS subject Ranking Cost of attendance

(Living+ tuition fees)

Technical University of Munich #50 290 Euro 

(Annual) 

Catholic University of Leuven #70 6000 Euro (Annual) 
University of Copenhagen #79 7,394  Euro (Per semester)
Heidelberg University #63 154 Euro (Per Semester
Technical University of Denmark #99 15000 Euro 

(Annual)

Intake:  The fall intake for universities in Europe will end by 15th August 2022. It’s best to apply six months before the course begins. 

Application Process: In Europe, courses are offered in various languages. However, if you prefer English as the teaching medium, it is important to have an International Certificate in English at the B2 level. Other than that you need the following:

  • All previous certificates, including 10th, and 12th mark sheets
  • Entrance test scorecard
  • Previous work experience letter
  • Internship letter
  • Letter of motivation
  • Bachelor’s degree Diploma/Diploma in Health or Social Sciences
  • Additional Research Work/Publications
  • Resume
  • TOEFL Score
  • IELTS Score

FAQs

Q1. Is Computer Science knowledge for Bioinformatics?

Ans. Knowledge of Computer Science is a must for pursuing Bioinformatics. The course entails programming and data mining, and hence, it is vital. Bioinformatics is alternatively called Computational Biology

Q2. What is the duration of the MS in Bioinformatics programs abroad?

Ans. Duration for MS in Bioinformatics is one to two years. Some universities in the UK offer courses of 18 months duration as well.

Q3. Are MS in Bioinformatics and MS in Biotechnology different courses? If yes, which is having a wider scope?

Ans. Yes, both are different courses. Biotechnology encompasses Bioinformatics and many other courses. Bioinformatics is a specialization course.

Q4. Which country is best to pursue MS in bioinformatics?

Ans. The scope of Bioinformatics is almost the same in all the developed countries. Besides the US, and UK, European countries like France, Germany and Switzerland are the best in the field.

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