Frequently Asked Questions

What is Bioinformatics?:
Bioinformatics is a modern interdisciplinary science that uses computational techniques to help frame and resolve biological problems. Its purpose is to manage biological information and solve biological problems with the help of computer science based technology. The management involves gathering, storing, analyzing and interpreting biological data that can then be used for molecular modeling, gene discovery, assignment of functions to newly discovered genes, and studying relationships like structure and function of proteins. Bioinformatics is practiced in the fields of molecular, personalized and preventative medicine, biotechnology and nanobiotechnology. The information obtained by the application of this powerful new technology can be applied to prevent, diagnose and treat inherited and other diseases, design new drugs and vaccines, shorten the development cycle of new medicines and much more.

Why Ramapo College?:
Ramapo College is one of the first primarily undergraduate colleges in the United States and the first in New Jersey to offer a baccalaureate degree in Bioinformatics. There is an great demand for Bioinformaticians to join the forefront of research areas in industry as well as academic institutions. Northern New Jersey is a hub for pharmaceutical industry and one of the largest centers of biotechnology. Ramapo College is located within a short distance from potential employers that seek work skills in Bioinformatics and offer opportunities for internships. In addition, several institutions of higher education that offer graduate degrees and research opportunities are located in and around this area. Therefore, Ramapo College is very well suited for a Bioinformatics program.

What courses are taught in the Bioinformatics major?:
The curriculum for this program has been designed to lay a solid multidisciplinary foundation in modern life sciences, chemistry, mathematics, as well as cutting-edge computer technology using informatics as an interdisciplinary cohesive tool. In advanced courses, students are trained to manage biological data, develop computational methods to analyze and interpret data, solve scientific problems and make new discoveries. In addition to the scientific and technical concepts, students are also exposed to the social, business, and ethical aspects of science. Highly qualified and experienced educators teach the courses of Bioinformatics curriculum. The faculty members are actively engaged in research and typically involve undergraduate students in their projects. Students are also encouraged to present their findings at research conferences and publish their accomplishments in peer reviewed scientific journals.

What kind of laboratory facilities are there for Bioinformatics majors?:
Supporting academic programs with the technology necessary for their success is top priority at Ramapo College. The College has well-maintained modern laboratories for biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, chemistry and physics that are used for the Bioinformatics program. Most of these laboratories are equipped with modern computers with Internet connections. In addition, two state of the art labs have been specially designed to teach Bioinformatics courses. The college also boasts over forty different PC and Mac based computer labs across the campus, with over 700 PCs and Macs for student use. In addition to email and web page space for students, a high end Sun System supports higher end computing needs for faculty and students. Several servers are dedicated to Bioinformatics teaching and research.

How many credits are needed to graduate?:
In order to graduate with a B.S. in Bioinformatics from Ramapo College, a student will have to earn a total of 128 credits. In addition to 72 credits of the core subjects, students pick 12 credits from two sets of specialized electives. Additionally, Fundamentals of Physics I and II courses are highly recommended for Bioinformatics majors. There is also provision for students to opt for Bioinformatics research that can be performed under the guidance of one of the faculty members of the program, as part of the Research Honors program, or taken as Co-op/Internship in a suitable industry in the area.

What career options do Bioinformatics majors have?:
This career-oriented program prepares the students to obtain employment in industry and academia, pursue graduate education, careers in medicine and related disciplines, or engage in research in this technological field of great demand. Potential job options for Bioinformatics graduates include: research scientist, bioinformatics programmer, project manager, database developer and administrator, technical assistant and technical sales representative (some of these may require graduate education). The Bioinformatics program also provides excellent preparation for graduate, medical & other professional programs. In addition to the pharmaceuticals, potential employers include research labs in academia, hospitals, governmental agencies, software industry and bioinformatics service industry.


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