Bioinformatics PhD

Become an expert in computational methods for analyzing biological data with the Bioinformatics PhD in Temple’s College of Science and Technology. This full-time, 36-credit-hour doctoral program integrates biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics and statistics in a research-focused curriculum. You will develop, implement and manage tools for researching complex data. One of only a few bioinformatics doctoral programs in the Greater Philadelphia region, this program prepares you for advanced careers in both industry and postdoctoral academic research.

You’ll have opportunities to collaborate with College of Science and Technology faculty and partners from Temple University Hospital and Fox Chase Cancer Center on cutting-edge computational methods. Current bioinformatics research is performed in many of Temple’s state-of-the-art labs and research centers, including the Center for Biophysics and Computational Biology, the Center for Computational Genetics and Genomics, and the Center for Genomics and Evolutionary Medicine. Core faculty members study advances in areas such as

  • the evolution of species, which explores computer software to investigate the divergence of closely related species over time;  
  • computational methods used to study the dynamics, folding, function and structure of proteins; and
  • data management and tools developed to analyze large repositories of medical images and clinical data.

The Bioinformatics PhD curriculum focuses heavily on computational genomics, computational chemistry and the data sciences. Your first two years in the program include core coursework, giving you two to three years to focus solely on your research. In your first year, you’ll choose one track in which to hone your expertise. The four tracks are

  • Biological Data Analysis, which explores information analysis, management and retrieval, analysis and various applied disciplines;
  • Evolutionary Genomics, which employs computational methods to investigate changes in genome structure;
  • Evolutionary Medicine, an interdisciplinary field that studies the impact of natural environments on the biology of living organisms; and
  • Structural Bioinformatics, which applies algorithms, data mining and programming languages to study macromolecular structure and protein folding.

Program Requirements

Doctoral candidates have seven years to complete the required courses and examination, as well as a dissertation. All candidates must fulfill the following requirements for successful completion of the Bioinformatics PhD degree.

  • Successful completion of all core curriculum courses with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 (B grade) in each semester and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 for all work completed at Temple University. There can be no more than two grades of less than B-.
  • The qualifying examination, which is a written exam that must be completed by the start of the student's fourth semester. It is designed to test a student’s understanding of biological phenomena, specific research areas and scientific writing.
  • An original research proposal, which is a 15- to 20-page proposal that introduces a research problem and the student’s methodological plan for investigating the problem.
  • The preliminary thesis examination, which is administered after a student’s research proposal has been approved by the Graduate Committee and tests a student’s understanding of the background and substance of the research proposal (if a student’s research proposal is not approved, the student is considered to have not passed the oral examination).
  • The doctoral dissertation, an original, empirical study that demonstrates a student's knowledge of research methods and mastery of the primary area of research. All dissertation research is conducted under the guidance of the Doctoral Advisory Committee.
  • The final dissertation defense, which is the culminating event for Bioinformatics PhD candidates. Students must successfully pass the dissertation defense for completion of the Bioinformatics PhD degree.  

Learn more about the Bioinformatics PhD degree requirements.

Classes & Curriculum

The Bioinformatics PhD curriculum requires 36 credit hours. Students take 12 credits of common core courses (required courses completed by all bioinformatics doctoral students), 6 credits of core courses (required courses in your chosen track), 6 credits of elective courses in their chosen track and 12 credits of research.

The core courses for the Biological Data Analysis track are

  • Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining and
  • Quantitative Science to Solve Global Problems.

The core courses for the Evolutionary Genomics track are

  • Computational Genomics and
  • Population Genetics.

The core courses for the Evolutionary Medicine track are

  • Computational Genomics and
  • Fundamentals of Genomic Evolutionary Medicine.

The core courses for the Structural Bioinformatics track are

  • Structural Bioinformatics I and
  • Structural Bioinformatics II.

All courses and research take place at Temple’s Main Campus, where the program’s state-of-the-art labs and research centers are located.

Learn more about required courses for the Bioinformatics PhD.

Related Graduate Degrees

Related Graduate Certificates

*Lewis Katz School of Medicine

Tuition & Fees

In keeping with Temple’s commitment to access and affordability, this Doctor of Philosophy offers a competitive level of tuition with multiple opportunities for financial support.

Tuition rates are set annually by the university and are affected by multiple factors, including program degree level (undergraduate or graduate), course load (full- or part-time), in-state or out-of-state residency, and more. These tuition costs apply to the 2020–2021 academic year.

Pennsylvania resident: $1,159.00 per credit
Out-of-state: $1,514.00 per credit

Learn more about our tuition and fees.


Additional Program Information