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Academic Program Guide

Computational Biology (Biology)

College: Arts and Sciences
Degree: BS
Specialized Admission: No

Contact: Biology Undergraduate Advising
Address: King Life Sciences Building, suite 1067
Phone: (850) 644-5053

Description of Major

*Please Note: Face-to-face/in-person instruction of this program is available ONLY at the main campus in Tallahassee, FL. This program is NOT available via Online/Distance Learning.*

Computational biology is an actively advancing, promising field of study. The purpose of this interdisciplinary major is to provide a top-notch educational program for students interested in the areas of computational biology and bioinformatics. The program seeks to achieve two goals: 1) to develop an understanding of the issues associated with developing biologically meaningful computational models, and 2) to give students the broad-based education that is needed to create a set of models directed towards solving a practical biomedical problem. This major is offered through both the Biological Science and Computer Science departments. Students in the program should be sure to consult with the advisors in their home department to make sure they are taking the correct courses in the correct sequence.

Note to prospective transfer students: Prospective transfer students should contact (Arts and Sciences Admissions) with specific questions about admissions and mapping requirements.

Prerequisite Coursework

Common program prerequisites are periodically reviewed and revised by the state of Florida. Please visit for a current list of state-approved prerequisites. The following lists the common program prerequisites or their substitutions, necessary for admission into this undergraduate major:

BSC X010 (3,) General Biology I or equivalent
BSC X011 (3) General Biology II or equivalent
CHM X045, X045L (3, 1) General Chemistry I & Lab or equivalent
CHM X046, X046L (3, 1) General Chemistry II & Lab
PHY X048/X048L (5) General Physics A with Lab
PHY X049/X049L (5) General Physics B with Lab
MAC X311 (4) Calculus I
MAC X312 (4) Calculus II

Interested students are encouraged to contact the participating departments regarding completion of these courses.

Note: State-wide common prerequisites are always under review. For the most current information and for acceptable alternative courses, visit the “Common Prerequisites Manual.” This is available from the “Student Services” section of .

Requirements for graduation in the College of Arts and Sciences include:
The College of Arts and Science requires proficiency in a foreign language through the intermediate (2220 or equivalent) level or sign language through the advanced (ASL2160C or equivalent) level.

Requirements for Progression to the Upper-Division Major
Students must complete at least 52 semester hours of credit with a minimum grade point average of 3.00, at least half the required General Education hours including two English and two mathematics, or an A.A. Degree.

Academic Performance Required for Retention and Graduation:
a) All courses applicable to the major, including biological science, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer programming and statistics must be completed with a final grade of "C minus" or better;

b) Designation, continuation, and graduation with a major from the department of Biological Science requires a minimum combined 2.00 GPA in all courses, excluding the Term 1-4 State Common Program Prerequisites milestone courses, including biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer programming and statistics;

c) A student who has received more than one unsatisfactory grade (U, F, D minus, D, or D+) in courses required for the major, excluding the Term 1-4 State Common Program Prerequisites milestone courses, taken after enrolling at FSU, will be required to change to a major outside of the department of Biological Science.

d) A student with a major within the department of biological science who applies for readmission to the college must meet the degree requirements of the catalog in force on the date of readmission.

Course Repeat Policy in Biological Science
According to FSU Academic regulations, students may repeat courses in which they received a grade of "D" or "F" but will not be allowed additional credit for a course repeated in which the student originally made a "C minus" or better unless the course is specifically designated as repeatable to allow additional credit. Students will not be allowed to take non-repeatable coursework in the department of biological science if they have already earned a passing grade of C minus or higher at FSU or as transfer credit unless they petition for permission from the department.

Major Program of Studies at FSU: (45 hours)
All courses applicable to the major must be completed with a final grade of C minus or better.

Required Biological Science Courses: (17 hours)
BSC 2010 and BSC2010L (3, 1) Biological Science I and Lab
BSC 2011 and BSC2011L (3, 1) Biological Science II and Lab
PCB 3063 (3) Genetics
PCB 4674 (3) Evolution
Three (3) additional hours of biological science courses selected from any biological science course, except directed individual study (DIS) or internship, at the 3000-4000 level.

Required Scientific Computing Courses: (21 hours)
ISC3222 (3) Symbolic and Numerical Computation
ISC 3313 (3) Introduction to Scientific Computing
ISC4220C (4) Algorithms for Scientific Applications I
ISC 4221C (4) Algorithms for Scientific Applications II
ISC4304C (4) Programming for Scientific Applications
ISC4420 (3) Introduction to Bioinformatics

Required Research Experience: BSC4943 or BSC4970 (4, 2 each in two semesters)

Additional Elective Course (3 hours)
Three (3) additional hours chosen from Chemistry, Computer Science; Mathematics or Statistics, Physics and Scientific Computing selected from: CDA 3101, COP 4531, COP 4710, COT 4420, and CIS 4900, MAC 2313, MAP 4481, STA 4102, STA 4103, STA 4202, STA 4203, STA 4442, STA 4502, and STA 4702, PHY2054C, PHY2049C, ISC4223C, ISC4232C.

Collateral Courses: (27-28 hours)
All collateral courses must be completed with a final grade of C minus or better.

Mathematics/Statistics (15 hours)
MAC 2311 (4) Calculus with Analytical Geometry I
MAC 2312 (4) Calculus with Analytical Geometry II
MAD 2104 (3) Discrete Mathematics
STA 2171 (4) Statistics for Biology

Chemistry (8 hours)
CHM 1045 (3) and CHM 1045L (1) General Chemistry I and Lab
CHM 1046 (3) and CHM 1046L (1) General Chemistry II and Lab

Physics (4/5 hours)
PHY2053C (4) College Physics A, or
PHY2048C (5) General Physics A

Minor Requirements: The required collateral courses constitute a collateral minor; however, the student may select other minors in consultation with an advisor.

Digital Literacy: (0 hours beyond major)
BSC2011L Biological Science II Lab meets this requirement.

Oral Communication Competency: (3 hours)
Students must demonstrate the ability to orally transmit ideas and information clearly. This requirement may be met with a University approved college-level course.

Minimum Program Requirements - Summary
Total Hrs. Required 120
General Education 36*
Prerequisite Coursework 0 beyond other requirements
Major Coursework 45
Collateral Coursework 27
Minor Coursework 0 beyond collateral courses
Foreign Language 0-12 (depending on placement)
Digital Literacy 0 beyond major
Oral Communication Competency 3
Electives to bring total hours to 120

*Some coursework completed for this major may also apply toward General Education in the areas of Mathematics and Science.

Mapping is FSU’s academic advising and monitoring system. Academic progress is monitored each Fall and Spring semester to ensure that students are on course to earn their degree in a timely fashion. Transfer students must meet mapping guidelines to be accepted into their majors. View the map for this major at

1. A minimum of 45 hours at the 3000 level or above, 30 of which must be taken at this University.
2. Half of the major course semester hours must be completed in residence at this University.
3. The final 30 hours must be completed in residence at this University.

Employment Information
Salary Information:For more information go to: National Association of Colleges and Employers ( or the Occupational Outlook Handbook ( provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Representative Job Titles Related to this Major: Computational Biologist, Bioinformatics Specialist, Biotechnologist, Pharmaceutical/Medical Researcher, Forensic Scientist, Molecular Medicine Specialist, Comparative Genomics Scientist, Genetic Engineer, Human Geneticist, and Genome Analyst, Programmer, Systems Analyst, Software Engineer, Data Processing System Manager, Network Administrator.

Representative Employers: Pharmaceutical Companies, Healthcare Providers, Medical Laboratories, Biotechnology Companies, Law Enforcement Agencies, Colleges and Universities, State and Federal Government, Software Development Companies.

View Computational Biology (Biology) Academic Map