Highly-motivated and exceptional undergraduates can pursue a master’s degree (M.S.) via the Bioinformatics Graduate Interdepartmental Program, while simultaneously completing the requirements for their B.S. in Computational & Systems Biology. The academic mechanism for this dual degree is called the Departmental Scholar Program (DSP), administered by L&S College Honors. 

M.S. Bioinformatics Degree Requirements

Applicants should review the Bioinformatics M.S. requirements before applying at: https://grad.ucla.edu/programs/life-sciences/bioinformatics/. For their M.S. requirements, DSP students pursue Field 3: Computational & Systems Biology. Students can choose any of the Subfields. Only the M.S. Thesis Plan is available to DSP students in CaSB and, with adequate planning, this can be an extension of the Senior Thesis required for the bachelor’s degree.

If applicants have any questions, they should consult with the departmental counselors for CaSB and/or Bioinformatics.

Minimum Eligibility Criteria

  • Completion of all Pre-Major courses and a minimum of 5 Upper Division courses for the Major or, for transferring students, the equivalent at a similar institution.
  • A 3.5 Cumulative GPA
  • A 3.5 GPA in Upper Division courses for the Major

Application Requirements

  • A completed Departmental Scholar Nomination Form
  • Two letters of recommendation from CaSB IDP faculty members — the student’s faculty mentor (senior thesis advisor), plus one other
  • A statement of purpose detailing your intellectual and research interests, short and long term

The Application Process

The application process can be initiated with the CaSB Student Affairs Office once the student is eligible — normally by the end of Junior year or beginning of Senior year. When the application is complete, it is reviewed by an IDP faculty committee. Upon approval, the nomination is forwarded to the Dean of the Division of Honors, and finally to the Dean of Graduate Division. Students can begin taking graduate courses toward the M.S. degree in the quarter following admission. The application approval process can take a full quarter to complete, and students must be admitted to the program prior to the start of their final undergraduate quarter. At the latest, students should apply at the beginning of their second to last undergraduate term (e.g., beginning of Winter quarter for a Spring degree candidate).