Bioinformatics PhD

Become an expert in the computational analysis of 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 biotechnology hub, this program prepares you for advanced careers in both industry and postdoctoral academic research.

You will have opportunities to collaborate with College of Science and Technology faculty and partners from Temple University Hospital and Temple's 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 Data Analytics and Biomedical Informatics, the Center for Computational Genetics and Genomics, and the Center for Genomics and Evolutionary Medicine. Core faculty members study advances in areas such as

  • biodiversity and the divergence of species over time;  
  • the dynamics, folding, function and structure in proteins;
  • electronic health records, medical images and clinical data; and
  • personalized genomics and genomic medicine.

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 a specialty 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 across time;
  • 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, examinations and 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 Thesis 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. Students may also take courses selected from the broad and diverse options across Temple's campus.

The core courses for the Biological Data Analysis track are as follows.

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

The core courses for the Evolutionary Genomics track are as follows.

  • Computational Genomics
  • Population Genetics

The core courses for the Evolutionary Medicine track are as follows.

  • Computational Genomics
  • Fundamentals of Genomic Evolutionary Medicine

The core courses for the Structural Bioinformatics track are as follows.

  • Structural Bioinformatics I
  • 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 2023–2024 academic year.

Pennsylvania resident: $1,301.00 per credit
Out-of-state: $1,696.00 per credit

You can view the full Cost of Attendance breakdown on the Student Financial Services website.


Additional Program Information