Bioinformatics Minor

The first place you should start is reading about the field at the Bioinformatics at UCLA website.  This will have current research opportunities.

Bioinformatics Minor FAQ


What is Bioinformatics?

With the establishment of vast databases of genomes, molecular constituents, and electronic medical records, and exponential development in the technology to collect this data, the Bioinformatics field addresses the challenges of developing of robust methods for data analysis and its meaningful interpretation.


Why would I want to minor in Bioinformatics?

There are several great reasons to minor in Bioinformatics at UCLA.  If you are considering a career in computational biology, the minor program will provide an excellent introduction to core concepts in the field while offering a hands-on learning experience in wet and dry labs.  If you are a Life Sciences major and want to focus your career on coding, completion of hte minor program will ensure you graduate with competent programming skills.  Regardless of your major or long-term career objectives, the coursework and research experiences offered by the minor program will help you decide future directions and provide you with a competitive edge in negotiating the job market or graduate school application process.


What do Bioinformatics minors go on to do after college?

Many UCLA undergraduates who complete the minor work in industry and academia.  At present, there is a rapidly growing industry around next-generation sequencing.  Recent UCLA Bioinformatics alumni have gained admittance to graduate programs in computational biology at universities such as Harvard and Princeton.


Is Bioinformatics open to any undergraduate major at UCLA?

Yes, as long as you are able to complete all program requirements in addition to your major requirements.  Letters and Science students with 150 units or more must meet with College Academic Counseling in Murphy Hall first.


How to I figure out if I’m interested in Bioinformatics? How do I start?

There are three ways to get started in Bioinformatics at UCLA.  First you can take the COM SCI M184 Seminar – Introduction to Bioinformatics and Computational Biology.  The seminar course has very basic prerequisites and is a good option for students to get a survey of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at UCLA.  Second, you can take one of the three core courses required for the minor: COM SCI CM121 – Introduction to Bioinformatics, COM SCI CM122 – Algorithms in Bioinformatics, or COM SCI CM124 – Computational Genetics.  The core courses can be taken in any order.  Third, you can join a research lab.  There are plenty of research opportunities posted on the Bioinformatics website.


What is the preparation for the minor?

1) CS 32 or Pic 10C

2) LS 3 or 7A

3) Math 33A


What about the Life Science 7 Series?

Some lectures are restricted to first year students, but others are open to continuing students.  For information about enrolling, please contact the LS Core office for assistance.


When can I add the minor?

Any student in any major at UCLA may add a Bioinformatics minor once they have completed the minimum eligibility (2 of the 3 preparation requirements with C’s or better).


How do I add the minor?

Turn in the Undergraduate Program Change petition.  Turn it in to Boelter Hall 6426.  If you need to see a counselor to sign an academic plan for College Academic Counseling, you may come to drop in advising in BH 6426, Wednesday morning 9-11:30am, or Thursday afternoon 1-4pm.


When are the minor courses offered?

CS proposed offerings

Math proposed offerings

EE proposed offerings

For other department courses, you will need to check with that home department.


How do I enroll in an Engineering course?

If you are a declared minor, you should be within the restrictions and able to add your required courses.  If you are having issues enrolling, please contact us via myUCLA Message Center.

If you have not actually processed the paperwork to add the minor yet you will not be able to add yourself.

Historically we’ve been able to accommodate all bioinformatics requests.


How do I enroll in one of my required courses when it is listed as CLOSED with an Enrollment of 0/0?

It is pretty common to see a closed section with no enrollment or very low enrollment like 5 seats, check to see if it is an “M” course, e.g. Com Sci CM122, which is the same course as CHEM CM160B.  The M indicates that the course is listed in multiple departments.  Go to the course info to see what other departments off the course (it may be numbered differently) and check the seats.  It doesn’t matter if you enroll in Computer Science or Chemistry in this example.  It is the same course with the same credit.  Enroll where there is room.

If I take LS30A & 30B, can I enroll in Math 33A?

The requisite for Math 33A is Math 3B, 31A or 32A with a grade of C- or better.  While you may technically be able to enroll in the course it is NOT recommended as the course content in the LS 30 series is not equivalent preparation.


MyUCLA is telling me I don’t meet the requisites for an COM SCI course, but I do.  What do I do?

The system has trouble reading transfer or substitution credit.  Just contact the CS counselors via message center.  Indicate that you are a Bioinformatic minor (or planning to declare) and include how you meet the requisite and your section preferences.


Is Undergraduate research required to complete the Bioinformatics minor?

No, but students are strongly encouraged to supplement coursework with hands-on research experience.  By petition, up to 8 units of COM SCI 199/194 or BIOINF 199/194 may be use to satisfy Elective credit for the minor as well as up to 4 units of 199 research in your major department.


How do I find research and enroll in research units?

Research units are arranged between students and affiliated faculty.  Learn more about available research projects in bioinformatics at UCLA.  Once you arrange research, you may create a 199 contract course via myUCLA and follow the instructions to be enrolled.


Can I meet with a Counselor?

Yes.  We have drop in hours on Wednesday mornings from 9-11:30am and Thursday afternoons from 1-4pm in Boelter Hall 6426.  You can also contact us via myUCLA Message Center.


How do I track my requirements?

Use the worksheet linked at the top of this page to track your requirements.



Didn’t find what you were looking for?  Contact the CS counselors on myUCLA Message Center