Learn the science of storing, extracting, organizing, analyzing, interpreting and using biological data with a bachelor's degree in bioinformatics from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. One of only a few programs like it both regionally and nationwide, the bioinformatics program will help you develop your programming and statistical skills while enhancing your knowledge in the life sciences.
Coursework throughout the program will introduce you to the software used to extract information from large databases and teach you how to use that information in computer modeling and data analysis. Students also will gain critical skills in problem-solving, which will allow them to develop new algorithms and methods of data analysis, as well as learn how to explain and apply fundamental methods in probability and statistics to the analysis of biological datasets.
UW-Eau Claire’s bioinformatics majors will graduate with the programming and statistical skills required to work as data scientists or data analysts. They also will be prepared to pursue graduate studies in bioinformatics, data science or the life sciences. The study of bioinformatics is also an excellent choice for future biologists who aspire to be involved in research and are interested in areas such as molecular biology, genetics and evolutionary biology. Computer scientists with an interest in information technologies and developing and maintaining software used in molecular biology, genetics and evolutionary biology may also find bioinformatics an exciting program. Other students who may find this program helpful to their career goals are future mathematicians, statisticians and data scientists with an interest in using statistical techniques to analyze datasets encountered in molecular biology, genetics and evolutionary biology.
In-demand career. Students who graduate from UWEC's bioinformatics program will find themselves in high demand. In fact, the program was developed specifically to respond to a projected increase in the need for computer and information research scientists, data scientists and software developers in the area of bioinformatics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a more than 30% increase in demand in these fields by 2029.
Out-of-the-classroom learning opportunities. UW-Eau Claire’s bioinformatics program’s design will allow students to complete their degree in a timely manner, but also have opportunities to participate in high-impact practices such as student-faculty research and presenting at national research conferences. Students can also take advantage of presenting their research at an annual Math Retreat; help host a math competition for over 300 high school students from Wisconsin and Minnesota during the annual Math Meet; and participate in Sonia Kovalevsky Day, which encourages middle-school and high-school girls’ interest in math.
Valuable research collaboration. UW-Eau Claire’s research agreement with Mayo Clinic — one of only three like it in the world — will ensure students have many research opportunities through the bioinformatics program. In fact, UWEC faculty and students are already conducting bioinformatics-related research with Mayo Clinic partners and clinicians, working on a project that analyzes a large gene family involved in selective protein degradation in land plants and algae, as well as distinguishing closely related ancestral populations via linear discriminant analysis on genetic data.
Access to state-of-the-art technology. Bioinformatics majors will have direct access to UW-Eau Claire’s high-performance computing infrastructure to analyze massive amounts of biological datasets. Having access to this kind of technology as an undergraduate student is rare — which is precisely why UWEC offers it. Here, you'll not only learn about bioinformatics, but you'll also gain real-world experience solving problems, conducting research and mastering software found in industry today.
Bioinformatics program details
- Program length: four years
- Offered: in person
- Campus: Eau Claire
- This major does not require a minor.
- Students majoring in this program may choose either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.
- Math Club
- Women and Gender Minorities in STEM
- Data Analytics Association
- Biology Club
- Student Association for Computing Machinery (SACM)
- Organization for Minorities in Technology (OMTECH)
The field of bioinformatics grew out of the need to organize and analyze the increasingly large amounts of biological data being generated. Since bioinformatics analyses are increasingly necessary to address many biological questions, the demand for bioinformaticians is rapidly growing. More than ever, our world requires experts who are not only capable of processing data to gain information but to do so in a way that allows for a faster and more accurate response.
Bioinformatics graduates will find themselves a necessary component of many teams addressing questions in biology, including the elucidation of basic molecular/genetic mechanisms, the discovery of targets for drug discovery, the study of structural and functional relationships, and molecular evolution. Bioinformaticians with skills in computer science or mathematics also may help develop new algorithms and new approaches to data analysis.
- Data scientist
- Research scientist
- Data analyst
- Computer scientist
- Computer research scientist
- Information scientist
- Software developer
Housed in the mathematics department, the bioinformatics bachelor's degree will require students to complete the university’s liberal education core classes as well as coursework in biology, chemistry, computer science and mathematics.
Curriculum throughout the program will empower you to use cutting-edge computational tools to solve problems and answer questions using large amounts of biological data. Students graduate with the knowledge, skills and experience necessary for current jobs in both industry and academia.
What classes do bioinformatics majors take?
Your classes may cover topics like:
- Applied bioinformatics
- Chemical principles
- Computing in Python
- Data structures and algorithms
- Discrete math
- Unix Systems programming
Learn more about the comprehensive bioinformatics major in the UWEC course catalog.
Thinking about a bachelor’s degree in bioinformatics? Here are other programs you may be interested in exploring.
- Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
- Biomedical Engineering
- Chemistry, ACS Certified - Biochemistry Emphasis
- Computer Programmer
- Computer Science
- Master of Science in Data Science
- Mathematics - Research Emphasis
- Mathematics - Statistics and Applied Mathematics Emphasis
- Software Engineering