About the Major
Bioinformatics is a modern interdisciplinary
science that was born from the marriage of Biology and Computer
Science. It is applied to manage biological information and
solve biological problems with the help of computer science
based technology. The management involves gathering, storing,
analyzing and integrating biological data that can then be used
for molecular modeling, gene discovery, assignment of functions
to newly discovered genes, and study of relationships like structure
and function of genes and proteins. The information obtained
by the application of this powerful new technology can be applied
to prevent, diagnose and treat inherited and other diseases,
design new drugs and vaccines, shorten the development cycle
of new medicines and much more.
There is an unprecedented demand for Bioinformaticists to join
the forefront of research areas in industry as well as academic
institutions. Northern New Jersey is a hub for pharmaceutical
industry and one of the largest centers of biotechnology. Several
institutions of higher education are located in and around this
area as well. Ramapo College is well suited for a Bioinformatics
program since it is located within a short distance from institutions
for higher education and companies that have high priority programs
Ramapo College is one of the first primarily undergraduate colleges
in the United States to offer a baccalaureate degree in Bioinformatics.
The curriculum for this program has been designed to lay a solid
foundation in modern life sciences as well as cutting-edge computer
technology. In advanced courses, students are then trained to
manage biological data, develop computational methods for analysis
and integration of the data, solve scientific problems and make
new discoveries. In addition to the scientific and technical
concepts, students are also exposed to the social, business,
and ethical aspects of science. This career-oriented program
prepares the students to obtain employment, pursue higher education
or engage in research in this technological field of great demand.
Highly qualified and experienced educators teach the courses
of Bioinformatics curriculum. The faculty members are actively
engaged in research and typically involve undergraduate students
in their projects. Students are also encouraged to present their
findings at research conferences.
Supporting academic programs with the technology necessary for
their success is top priority at Ramapo College. The College
has well-maintained modern laboratories for biology, molecular
biology, biochemistry, genetics, chemistry and physics that
are used for the Bioinformatics program. Most of these laboratories
are equipped with modern computers with Internet connections.
The college also boasts over twenty different computer labs
across the campus for students, hundreds of PCs for student
use, an Alpha Workstation for email, another for Web Server
and a Sun Server dedicated to Bioinformatics software.
The Major is offered by the School of Theoretical and Applied
Science and leads to a B.S. degree.
Curriculum for the Bioinformatics Major:
In order to graduate with a B.S. in Bioinformatics from Ramapo College, a student will have to earn a total of 128 credits. In addition to 65 credits of the core subjects, students pick 10 credits from two sets of specialized electives. Additionally, Fundamentals of Physics I and II courses are highly recommended for Bioinformatics majors. There is also provision for students to opt for Bioinformatics research that can be performed under the guidance of one of the faculty members of the program, or taken as Co-op/Internship in a suitable industry in the area.