Jun 15, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Bioinformatics Program

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Graduate Program Director: Jessica Messersmith, Ph.D. 

Dean’s Office
Arts & Sciences room 110
Phone: (605) 658-3830    
Fax: (605) 658-3825



Program Description

Bioinformatics is the use of computer technology to analyze and enhance understanding of complex biological and biomedical data. In a world where medical and biological science are unfolding in real time, persons with training in bioinformatics are necessary. The bioinformatics certificate will prepare you to employ computational and mathematical models for biological data analysis, decision-making and visualization. You will not only succeed, but become a leader in medical and biological science to solve the challenges of the future.

The bioinformatics certificate is available to students across graduate programs at USD. Programs of potential greater interest are biology, biomedical engineering, and computer science. Students in health-related programs would also benefit from this program as there is a strong need for biological data analysts to interpret data, make decisions, and visualize output.


  1. Completed Graduate Application form found at: https://www.usd.edu/graduate-school/apply-now and a non-refundable application fee of $35.
  2. Official transcript(s) verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree and previous graduate credit (in English or with translation) must accompany an application. Official transcripts of all academic work at the undergraduate and graduate levels are required for all applicants. The USD Graduate School and/or academic units retain the right to require credential evaluations from organizations, such as Educational Credential Evaluators/World Education Services (ECE/WES), for a student if such an evaluation is deemed necessary.
  3. Baccalaureate degree or an equivalent degree from an institution with Institutional accreditation for that degree. A minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.7 on conferred degree and/or graduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, based on a 4.0 scale, on all graduate coursework is required for full admission. Each graduate program may admit students on provisional status per university policy.
  4. Applicants with degrees from countries other than the United States who have obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institutionally accredited American college or university or from an accredited institution in the following English-speaking countries: United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Canada (Excluding Quebec), Australia, and New Zealand are not required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score. For all other applicants, a minimum score of 79 on the Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT), 550 on the Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT), 8.5 on the TOEFL Essentials, 6.0 on the IELTS Academic, or 53 on the PTE is required for graduate admission. 

Subject to faculty approval, those who do not meet all of the criteria above may be admitted on a provisional basis.

Application Deadlines

  • Three weeks before the start of the semester
    • Fall and Spring start


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