Top Universities for Bioinformatics in 2022-2023

Posted on

Best global colleges and universities offering Bioinformatics programs

About Bioinformatics

Data in the field of biology is being generated at an unprecedented rate due to the implementation of biological techniques such as gene engineering. Because it is nearly difficult for the human mind to analyze this data alone, a new discipline called bioinformatics emerged from the intersection of computer science and life sciences studies to manage these massive volumes of biological data. In short, bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary science that analyses enormous amounts of biological data using computing tools. Bioinformaticians are the expert professionals who collect, store, analyze, and retrieve enormous amounts of biological and genomic data in order to design new pharmaceuticals, study genomes, develop new farming techniques, livestock breeding, and manage waste.

Duties of Bioinformaticians 

Upon completion of a degree in bioinformatics, students should be able to perform the following duties as bioinformaticians:

  • Understand basic biological and computational principles 
  • Have a basic knowledge of biological databases and tools
  • Collect, manage, and analyze biological data at the molecular level by using computational tools
  • Manage all scientific databases and prepare reports 
  • Develop new algorithms to analyze biological data
  • Coordinate with other team members and provide training to the newcomers
  • Have an understanding of the ethical and social issues pertaining to the scientific field 

Popular degrees for pursuing a career in Bioinformatics 

There are several undergraduate programs in bioinformatics and related fields. Students having a bachelor’s degree in any of the life sciences or computer science fields can pursue a master’s degree in bioinformatics. It is not necessary to have a specialized bachelor’s degree in bioinformatics. A master’s degree in the field requires specialization, is highly recognized by employers, and is well paid. Doctoral degrees are for people who desire to pursue research and teach at the university level in order to excel in this area. The following are some of the most popular bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in bioinformatics.

Bachelor’s programs 

  • B.S. in Bioinformatics 
  • B.A. in Bioinformatics
  • Bachelor’s in Computer Science
  • Bachelor’s in Computational Biology
  • B.Sc. in Biology
  • B.S. in Biological Science
  • B.S. in Biotechnology

Master’s programs 

  • M.S. in Bioinformatics 
  • M.A. in  Bioinformatics 
  • Master of Computational Biology
  • M.S. in Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics Research
  • M.Sc. in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology
  • M.S. in Quantitative and Computational Biology
  • MSc in Applied Bioinformatics
  • M.S. in Health Informatics
  • Master of Science in Bioinformatics and Biocomplexity 

Doctoral programs 

  • P.h.D in Bioinformatics 
  • P.h.D in Computational Biology
  • P.h.D in Genomics and Bioinformatics Research

Specializations in Bioinformatics 

Bioinformatics is a highly interdisciplinary area and hence offers multitudes of specializations such as:

Genetics: The study of heredity and variations in inherited traits 

Computational biology: The application of data-driven solutions to bioinformatics challenges

Molecular modeling: The process of simulating molecular structures using computational chemistry

Genomics: The branch of molecular biology that studies the structure, function, evolution, and mapping of genes or genomes

Proteomics: The study of protein sequences and their functions

Phylogenetics: The study of how animals and humans are related to one another

Metabolomics: The study of biochemistry and metabolites

Transcriptomics: The study of the entire RNA transcriptome

Metagenomics: The study of genetic materials from environmental sources

Systems biology: Mathematical and computational modeling of complex biological systems

Pathway analysis: The assessment of related proteins in metabolic pathways

Duration of programs in Bioinformatics

The duration of programs in bioinformatics varies from country to country. Here is a list of typical durations of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs in bioinformatics.

Country Bachelor’s Degree Master’s Degree Doctoral Degree
USA and Canada 4 years 1-2 years 4-6 years
UK 3-4 years 1-2 years 4-6 years
Australia 3-4 years 1-2 years 4-6 years

Career opportunities in Bioinformatics 

Bioinformatics is one of the fastest-growing careers, and bioinformatics professionals are in extreme demand. Professionals in this fieldwork for a wide range of sectors like pharmaceutical industries, biotechnology and biomedical organizations, research institutes, NGOs, hospitals, and manufacturing units involved in biological research. The following are a few popular careers in the field of bioinformatics:

  • Bioinformatics Scientist
  • Biostatistician 
  • Bioinformatician
  • Zoologist or Wildlife Biologist
  • Molecular Biologist
  • Bioinformatics Consultant
  • Bioinformatics Professors
  • Software Developers
  • Bioinformatics Engineers

Average salaries in Bioinformatics 

The pay scale in bioinformatics depends on the level of education, the position of employment and the experience of the individual. But it still pays well relative to other biological and life science fields. 

Country Average salary in USD*/year
USA 78,750 (Source: Glassdoor)
Germany 67,013 (Source: Glassdoor)
Australia 66,596 (Source: Glassdoor)
Denmark 61,812 (Source: Glassdoor)
Canada 54,842 (Source: Glassdoor)
UK 53,064 (Source: Glassdoor)
Netherlands 36,180 (Source: Glassdoor)

*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.

Top 50 universities in the world for Bioinformatics based on world rankings (Shanghai/QS/THE) :

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
1 4 5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology USA Click Here Click Here
2 7 1 University of Oxford UK Click Here Click Here
3 2 4 Stanford University USA Click Here Click Here
3 3 5 University of Cambridge UK Click Here Click Here
5 1 2 Harvard University USA Click Here Click Here
6 9 2 California Institute of Technology USA Click Here Click Here
7 25 12 Imperial College London UK Click Here Click Here
8 17 18 University College London UK Click Here Click Here
13 15 13 University of Pennsylvania USA Click Here Click Here
14 11 9 Yale University USA Click Here Click Here
21 12 22 Cornell University USA Click Here Click Here
23 26 24 University of Michigan – Ann Arbor USA Click Here Click Here
23 24 35 University of Tokyo Japan Click Here Click Here
25 16 13 Johns Hopkins University USA Click Here Click Here
26 22 18 University of Toronto Canada Click Here Click Here
27 35 50 University of Manchester UK Click Here Click Here
32 5 8 University of California – Berkeley USA Click Here Click Here
33 37 61 Kyoto University Japan Click Here Click Here
35 47 35 King’s College London UK Click Here Click Here
37 33 33 The University of Melbourne Australia Click Here Click Here
40 14 20 University of California – Los Angeles USA Click Here Click Here
46 42 37 University of British Columbia Canada Click Here Click Here
47 51 54 The University of Queensland Australia Click Here Click Here
48 18 34 University of California-San Diego USA Click Here Click Here
50 52 38 Technical University of Munich Germany Click Here Click Here
52 32 23 Duke University USA Click Here Click Here
63 57 42 Heidelberg University Germany Click Here Click Here
70 54 75 University of Zurich Switzerland Click Here Click Here
70 87 42 Catholic University of Leuven Belgium Click Here Click Here
73 151-200 86 University of Glasgow UK Click Here Click Here
75 31 58 University of Wisconsin – Madison USA Click Here Click Here
79 30 96 University of Copenhagen Denmark Click Here Click Here
85 19 29 University of Washington – Seattle USA Click Here Click Here
93 96 132 The University of Western Australia Australia Click Here Click Here
96 101-150 119 Pennsylvania State University USA Click Here Click Here
99 151-200 185 Technical University of Denmark Denmark Click Here Click Here
100 29 52 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill USA Click Here Click Here
107 23 51 Washington University in St Louis USA Click Here Click Here
110 50 69 Utrecht University Netherlands Click Here Click Here
120 101-150 85 Ohio State University USA Click Here Click Here
126 101-150 125 University of Alberta Canada Click Here Click Here
163 101-150 140 University of Pittsburgh USA Click Here Click Here
168 151-200 193 University of Barcelona Spain Click Here Click Here
206 301-400 301-350 RMIT University Australia Click Here Click Here
230 201-300 162 University of Ottawa Canada Click Here Click Here
235 151-200 201-250 University of Calgary Canada Click Here Click Here
289 301-400 201-250 Simon Fraser University Canada Click Here Click Here
334 301-400 301-350 University of Victoria Canada Click Here Click Here
NA 42 39 Karolinska Institute Sweden Click Here Click Here
NA 92 NA Weizmann Institute of Science Israel Click Here Click Here

Top universities in the USA for Bioinformatics

Without a question, the USA is one of the best countries in the world to study, with excellent educational opportunities, a diverse cultural environment, and numerous job prospects. Bioinformatics is one of the hot professions in the USA, known for its many job opportunities and high income. Also, the USA has the highest number of colleges offering courses in bioinformatics such as master’s and bachelor’s courses in bioinformatics. The top universities offer master’s courses in bioinformatics to candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds in bioscience, life science, or related areas in biology. 

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
1 4 5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology USA Click Here Click Here
3 2 4 Stanford University USA Click Here Click Here
5 1 2 Harvard University USA Click Here Click Here
6 9 2 California Institute of Technology USA Click Here Click Here
13 15 13 University of Pennsylvania USA Click Here Click Here

Top universities in the UK for Bioinformatics

The UK has an excellent higher-education system with hundreds of world-class universities in bioinformatics for international students. Therefore, studying in the UK is the next best option. The UK provides a diverse range of bioinformatics master’s and bachelor’s degree programs in bioinformatics. The fees for these courses, especially the master’s courses in bioinformatics, are also lower than those of the USA universities. The following is a list of top UK universities for bioinformatics. 

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
2 7 1 University of Oxford UK Click Here Click Here
3 3 5 University of Cambridge UK Click Here Click Here
7 25 12 Imperial College London UK Click Here Click Here
8 17 18 University College London UK Click Here Click Here
27 35 50 University of Manchester UK Click Here Click Here

Top universities in Canada for Bioinformatics

Because of its high quality of life, economic independence, and educational opportunities, studying in Canada is an excellent choice for international students. The scope of novel courses like bioinformatics is also high in Canada. Postgraduate degrees in bioinformatics are in high demand because they pay well. The following is a list of some of Canada’s top bioinformatics universities, as ranked by top-ranking agencies with both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in bioinformatics.

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
26 22 18 University of Toronto Canada Click Here Click Here
46 42 37 University of British Columbia Canada Click Here Click Here
126 101-150 125 University of Alberta Canada Click Here Click Here
230 201-300 162 University of Ottawa Canada Click Here Click Here
235 151-200 201-250 University of Calgary Canada Click Here Click Here

Top universities in Australia for Bioinformatics

In addition to a beautiful, sunny climate, students can obtain true global exposure and broaden their horizons by studying in Australia. Australian universities are known for providing high-quality education both domestically and globally. Despite the fact that the number of universities offering degrees in bioinformatics in Australia is low, these universities provide a wide range of undergraduate and graduate bioinformatics courses. The table below offers a list of the best bioinformatics universities in Australia, offering master’s and bachelor’s degrees in bioinformatics. 

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
37 33 33 The University of Melbourne Australia Click Here Click Here
47 51 54 The University of Queensland Australia Click Here Click Here
93 96 132 The University of Western Australia Australia Click Here Click Here
206 301-400 301-350 RMIT University Australia Click Here Click Here

Academic requirements for studying Bioinformatics

A solid background in both biology and computer science is extremely beneficial while pursuing a bioinformatics degree. In order to get into bioinformatics, students usually take one of two paths:

  1. After earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science and programming, pursue specializations in life science and biology
  2. Study bioscience, life science, or related areas in biology before pursuing specializations in computational fields to learn about data analysis, statistics, and programming

Here are some of the most prevalent academic requirements suggested by many top universities throughout the world that offer bioinformatics degrees.

Bachelor’s level

  • A high school diploma with a GPA of 3.0 or greater (on a scale of 4.0)
  • Academic transcripts
  • SATs or ACTs score
  • Personal statement 
  • Letter of recommendation (optional for some universities)
  • A valid passport
  • English proficiency test scores such as TOEFL (generally above 90) or IELTS (generally above 6.0)

Master’s level

  • A bachelor’s degree in bioinformatics or relevant fields from an accredited institute with a GPA of 3.0 or greater (on a scale of 4.0)
  • Academic transcripts
  • Personal statement 
  • Letters of recommendation
  • A valid passport
  • GRE score 
  • English proficiency test scores such as TOEFL (generally above 90) or IELTS (generally above 6.0)

Frequently Asked Questions

Bioinformatics helps analyze and interpret complicated biological data. Computational biology deals with both theoretical and experimental aspects of biology using computational tools. Although the two subjects are tightly intertwined, bioinformatics demands a higher level of programming and technical background than computational biology.

Yes, the career prospects for bioinformatics are very high. With the advent of new technologies in biological and life science fields, bioinformaticians will be in high demand. 

Countries such as the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Japan, and Switzerland provide excellent bioinformatics education.

As such, there are no certification and licensing requirements in the field of bioinformatics.