This graduate certificate addresses the growing national and regional demand for trained computational biologists by combining a solid foundation in biotechnology with computational skills relevant to bioinformatics. With online and onsite courses, the flexibility of this certificate's structure permits students to custom design their curriculum under an advisor's guidance, making the graduate certificate especially relevant for students employed in today's diverse Northern Virginia high-technology workplace. Ideal candidates for this certificate are those who have a background in biological and computer sciences, and are currently working in or planning to enter the fields of biotechnology or bioinformatics. The certificate is also highly relevant for students who are interested in advancing their career goals but may not have adequate time available to undertake a graduate degree program.

All courses are also offered online, allowing students to participate in class without having to travel to campus. Further information can be found with Mason Online.

The certificate may be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis.


University-wide admissions policies can be found in the Graduate Admissions Policies section of this catalog.

To apply for this program, please complete the George Mason University Admissions Application.

Applicants should hold a BA or BS degree in a discipline related to biological or computer science from an institution of higher education accredited by a Mason-recognized U.S. institutional accrediting agency or international equivalent, with a minimum GPA of 3.00. Applicants should have taken courses in molecular biology, computer science, calculus, physical chemistry, or statistics, and should also possess working knowledge of a computer programming language. To apply, prospective students should complete a George Mason University Admissions Application, supply official transcripts from each college and graduate institution attended, and provide a current résumé. TOEFL or IELTS scores are required of all international applicants.


For policies governing all graduate certificate programs, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Premium Tuition

The certificate is a professional certification program that charges students at a differential (premium) tuition rate, with an additional $100 per credit added to the standard George Mason University graduate tuition rate for students who enroll in this certificate program, regardless of in-state or out-of-state status. The differential tuition is used to fund continuing improvements in the College of Science's (COS) educational facilities used to support the certificate program.

Students may not pursue this certificate concurrently with any other graduate degree program or certificate program offered by COS. In addition, students may not apply previous credit hours from another certificate, degree, or non-degree studies to this certificate program because of the differential (premium) tuition rate.

Banner Code: SC-CERG-BCB

Certificate Requirements

Total credits: 15

This certificate may be pursued on a full-or part-time basis.

Students should refer to the Admissions & Policies tab for specific policies related to this program.

Required Courses

Students must complete the following coursework:
BINF 630Bioinformatics Methods3
BINF 631Molecular Cell Biology for Bioinformatics3
Total Credits6

Concentration in Systems Biology and Biotechnology (SBBT)

This concentration was largely created to build a "bridge" option for students who had not yet decided if they would like to pursue a wet lab career or enter into the field of computational biology. Once completed, these certificate graduates will be well prepared to enter into the Biology, MS, the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, MS, or to pursue a career in biotechnology.

BINF 701Systems Biology3
BIOS 742Biotechnology3
or BIOS 743 Genomics, Proteomics, and Bioinformatics
Choose one elective from the following:3
Adaptation in Biosystems
Selected Topics in Animal Biology
Advanced Eukaryotic Cell Biology
Interdisciplinary Tools in the Biosciences
Total Credits9


For students not choosing the Systems Biology and Biotechnology Concentration, select three courses from the following, or other courses as approved by the coordinator:9
Molecular Biotechnology
Bioinformatics Programming
Microarray Methodology and Analysis
Introduction to Biometrics
Biological Sequence and Genome Analysis
Protein Structure Analysis
Gene Expression Analysis
Advanced Bioinformatics Programming
Topics in Bioinformatics
Total Credits9