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Academic Program Guide

Computational Biology (Computer Science)

College: Arts and Sciences
Degree: BS
Limited Access: No

Contact: Kimberly Pack
Address: C.S. 203C Love Bldg.; Tallahassee, FL 32306-4530
Phone: (850) 644-8700
Contact: Dr. George Bates
Address: Bio: 1067 Life Science Bldg; Tallahassee, FL 32306
Phone: (850) 644-3099

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

Computational biology is a new and 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.

Prerequisite Coursework
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
PHYX053, PHYX053L (4) or PHY X048, X048L (4) College or General Physics A 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.

Strongly recommended: Students interested in this major are encouraged to complete an introductory programming course in C++ or equivalent during their freshman/sophomore years.

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 3.0, at least half the required General Education hours including two English and two mathematics, or an A.A. Degree.

Major Program of Studies at FSU: 43 hours
All courses applicable to the major must be completed with a grade of C minus or better.

Required Biological Science Courses (9 hours)
BSC 2010 (3) Biological Science I
BSC 2011 (3) Biological Science II
PCB 3063 (3) Genetics

Required Scientific Computing Courses (16 hours)
COP 3014 (3) Programming I
COP 3353 (1) Introduction to UNIX
COP 3330 (3) Object-Oriented Programming
CDA 3100 (3) Computer Organization I
COP 4530 (3) Data Structures, Algorithms, and Genetic Programming
COP 4531 (3) Complexity and Analysis of Data Structures and Algorithms

Additional Elective Courses: (14 hours)
Fourteen (14) additional hours chosen from Biology, Computer Science, Mathematics or Statistics selected from: MAC 2313, MAP 2480, MAP 4481, STA 4102, STA 4103, STA 4202, STA 4203, STA 4442, STA 4502, STA 4702, CDA 3101, COP 4710, COP 4420, CIS 4900R, BOT 4394, BSC 2010L, BSC 2011L, BSC 4613, BSC 4900, BSC 4933, MCB 4403, MCB 4403L, PCB 3134, PCB 3743, PCB 4024, PCB 4233, PCB 4253, PCB 4674, PCB 4843

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

Mathematics/Statistics (14 hours)
MAC 2311 (4) Calculus with Analytical Geometry I
MAC 2312 (4) Calculus with Analytical Geometry II
MAD 2104 (3) Discrete Mathematics
STA 2171 (3) Statistics for Biology

Physics, one of the following series (4 or 5 hours)
PHY2053C (4) College Physics A with Lab
or PHY 2048c (5) General Physics A with Lab

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

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

Computer Skills Competency: 0 hours beyond major. ISC 3313 (3).

Oral Communication Competency: 0-3 hours
Students must demonstrate the ability to orally transmit ideas and information clearly. This requirement may be met with an approved college-level course.

Minimum Program Requirements - Summary
Total Hrs. Required 120
General Education 36*
Prerequisite Coursework 0 beyond other requirements
Major Coursework 51
Collateral Coursework 24
Minor Coursework 0 beyond collateral courses
Foreign Language 0-12 (depending on placement)
Computer Skills 0 beyond major
Oral Communication Competency 0-3
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: National Association of Colleges and Employers, Occupational Outlook Handbook

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 (Computer Science) Academic Map