Spring 2021 Bioinformatics Info Session, APRIL 28TH (click for details)

Please sign up below to attend.
Have you considered a Minor in Bioinformatics? Are you interested in applying data science to medicine in your future career? The Department of Computational Medicine is hosting a virtual information session on the Bioinformatics Minor! Professors who teach in the program will be talking about what you will learn and what it prepares you for after graduation. This session will take place on Wednesday, April 28, from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM pacific time and be held via Zoom.
Please sign up here to let us know you will be attending. Thank you!  
Zoom details:

Tracking the Minor requirements

The best way to track your minor requirements is to use our planning worksheet.

Worksheet for minor requirements prior to Fall 2019

Bioinformatics: What is it?

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.  See more information.

Why would you add the minor?

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.

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.

How do I find out if I am interested in Bioinformatics?

There are three ways to get started in Bioinformatics at UCLA.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Join a research lab.  There are plenty of research opportunities posted on the Bioinformatics website.

Minimum Eligibility

Bioinformatics is open to any undergraduate major at UCLA. Minimum requirements to Apply:

  • Complete 2 of the course options below with a C or better
    1. CS 32 or Pic 10C
    2. LS 3 or 7A
    3. Math 33A
    4. Math 61 (required effective Fall 2019)

Application Process/Adding the Minor

Processing may take longer for Letters and Science majors with 150 total units or more, as we have to submit your request to the College for additional review.  You can check the status of this pending review on MyUCLA -> Petitions.

Planning and Enrolling in course for the minor

20 units must be unique to the minor and not counting towards any other major or minor.

When are minor courses offered?

CS proposed offerings

Math proposed offerings

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

LS 30A & 30B

LS 30A & 30B

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 with the LS 30 series, it is NOT recommended as the course content in the LS 30 series is not equivalent preparation.


Undergraduate Research is not required, but you 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. 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.

Enrolling in Engineering Courses

Enrolling in Engineering Courses

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.


Some lectures of LS 7A 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.


For students who added the minor in Fall 2019 or later, Math 61 is required.

For students who added the minor prior to this time, Math 61 is an extra class you may have taken to meet the requisites for algorithms.  You may petition to have these 4 units count towards your “20 units that need to be unique to the minor” if needed.  Just contact a CS counselor via myUCLA Message Center.


The faculty reassessed Biostats 100A and found that it really is more statistics than probability and doesn’t quite prepare you for what you need it to, so they have removed it from the requisite options for the Bioinformatics Core courses COM SCI CM121, CM122, and CM124.

If you really want to be prepared, I recommend you take STATS 100A or Math 170E for the CS CM120 series (EC ENGR 131A and C&EE 110 also work if you meet these requisites).   These classes will also fulfill a Bioinformatics elective!

Requisite Error when Enrolling

Requisite Error

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.

Course is closed with enrollment of 0/0

It is pretty common to see a closed section with no enrollment or very low enrollment like 5 seats.  But also 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 offer 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.

Meeting with a CS Counselor

If you are having any difficulty or need help trying to find flexibility to fit minor classes in with your major requirements, you may meet with a CS counselor during Engineering drop in advising: Wednesday mornings from 9-11:30am and Thursday afternoons from 1-4pm in Boelter Hall 6426. (Note drop in hours are limited during the summer for New Student Orientation)  You can also contact us via myUCLA Message Center.