The 5 Best Master’s in Bioinformatics Online

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Master's in Bioinformatics

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, biomedical scientists (including those working in the field of bioinformatics) earn a median annual wage of over $80,000 and entering this lucrative career field can become a reality with an earned online master's in bioinformatics degree. Such degrees provide specialized education in topics such as online masters in microbiology, biostatistics, epidemiology, cellular engineering, biological research, and more. Online master's in bioinformatics degree programs make it convenient for students to receive the training they need to find employment in this relatively new STEM field. In this ranking, we probe the top 5 online masters degree programs in bioinformatics. Looking for more general information regarding online learning? Visit our ranking of the top online colleges.

Questions About Earning a Master's in Bioinformatics

What can you do with a master's in bioinformatics?

Graduates with a degree in bioinformatics can find work as a bioinformatics scientist, computer and information research scientist, or as a scientist in specific fields such as microbiology.

Is bioinformatics a good major?

Bioinformatics is a great major for students who are interested in studying both biology and computer science. Students can also focus in molecular biology, medicine, and biochemistry, among other fields of study.

Does bioinformatics lead to a good career?

Students with a master's in bioinformatics can earn over $95,000 a year as a bioinformatics scientist. Those who want to work as a computer and information research scientist can expect a 22% growth rate and can make over $125,000 a year on average.

What degree do you need for bioinformatics?

Students can enter a master's program in bioinformatics with a bachelor's degree in biology, computer science, or a similar scientific or technological field.

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Career and Salary Outlook for Bioinformatics

Earning a master's in bioinformatics can lead to many career opportunities. Students can find work in computer science and technology industries, as well as pharmaceutical and medical facilities. While working as a bioinformatics scientist is common, other careers, such as microbiology and biochemistry, are also viable options. 

  • Computer and Information Research Scientists: Working as a computer and information research scientist requires individuals to design, conduct, and analyze experiments for software systems. Scientists may also develop new softwares or computing languages, work with other scientists to problem solve, and present research findings at conferences or in publications. 
  • Microbiologist: Microbiologists typically work in a lab with other scientists to design experiments. Experiments may include developing drugs for contagious diseases or monitoring the effect of a potential new drug before it goes to market. Microbiologists need to stay up-to-date on current literature in their field and may present or publish their findings. 
  • Biochemists and Biophysicist: Students who find work as a biochemist or biophysicist work in labs to plan and conduct experiments, they may also manage a lab team. These scientists may research the side effects of drugs on the human body and may present or publish findings and find grant money for future research. 
CareerMedian Annual SalaryProjected Growth Rate (2020-2030)
Computer and Information Research Scientists$126,83022%
Biochemists and Biophysicist$94,2705%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Ranking the Best Online Masters in Bioinformatics Programs

Online master's degree programs in bioinformatics are still relatively hard to come by. In fact, there are only about a dozen such programs currently available. To rank these programs, our editors considered tuition data from College Navigator, the college or university's graduate ranking in biological sciences according to U.S. News & World Report, and program information published on each school's website. What follows is our ranking of the top 5 online masters in bioinformatics programs. Note that in cases of a tie, the more affordable program received the higher ranking.

true#1 –University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Master’s in Biomedical Informatics Online


Points: 10

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston offers a versatile and cheap online master’s in bioinformatics degree program that can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis. Students can opt to pursue one of two distinct tracks: a traditional research track or an applied biomedical informatics track. Those who choose the research track will take courses such as Foundations of Biomedical Information Sciences, Research Design and Evaluation in Biomedical Information, and Scientific Writing in Healthcare. The applied biomedical informatics track is comprised of classes like Legal and Ethical Aspects of Health Informatics, Quality and Outcome Improvement in Healthcare, and Standards in Health Informatics. A practicum is required for successful completion of this online degree in bioinformatics.

In-State Tuition: $7,219

true#2 –Northeastern University

MS in Bioinformatics Online


Points: 7

Northeastern University offers a master’s in bioinformatics degree online that can be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis. Required courses include Bioinformatics Computational Methods, Ethics in Biomedical Research, and Bioinformatics Programming. Students will also choose from elective classes like Stem Cells and Regeneration, Microbial Biotechnology, and Cellular Engineering. An optional co-op experience is also available and provides students with 6 months of hands-on work experience in the field. In addition to this online degree in bioinformatics, a graduate certificate in Data Science is also available.

In-State Tuition: $23,408

true#3 –Harvard University

Online Master’s in Biotechnology: Biomedical Informatics


Points: 7

Harvard University’s masters in bioinformatics online degree offering is technically a hybrid program as there are four required on-campus courses. Students can choose from the thesis or capstone track. Sample course titles include Introduction to Genomics; Genetics, Genomics, and Evolution; Introduction to Epidemiology; and Medical Microbiology. In addition to this MSc in bioinformatics online degree, Harvard also offers graduate certificates in bioinformatics, biotechnology management, innovation and entrepreneurship, and nanotechnology.

In-State Tuition: $44,816

true#4 –University of Maine

Professional Science Master’s of Bioinformatics Online


Points: 6

The masters in bioinformatics online from the University of Maine is a 30-credit hour offering that includes a required field experience. This component is self-directed and can be scheduled at a time and location convenient for individual students. Courses required for the program include Biostatistics/Computational Biology and Genetics, Information Systems Programming, Computational Methods in Biomedical Science, and Database System Applications. Graduates of this affordable online master’s in bioinformatics go on to work in sequence assembly, genotyping, functional genomics, database administration, pharmacogenomics, and related fields.

In-State Tuition: $7,722

true#5 –Stanford University

MS in Biomedical Informatics Online


Points: 6

Stanford University offers a comprehensive, 45-credit hour online masters in bioinformatics degree program. The curriculum for the program is broad and covers four distinct areas: core biomedical informatics; computer science, statistics, mathematics, and engineering; social and ethical issues in biomedical informatics; and electives. Enrolled students will take core courses such as Introduction to Biomedical Informatics, Representations and Algorithms for Computational Molecular Biology, Data-Driven Medicine, and Computational Methods for Biomedical Image Analysis and Interpretation. This online MSc in bioinformatics program is designed to be completed on a part-time basis, and students typically graduate within three to five years.

In-State Tuition: $48,987

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