Courses and Course Materials

Listed below are all course requirements and suggestions to optional helpful coursework for the Biological and Medical Informatics (BMI) Graduate Program, including course name and number, quarters offered, units, and instructors.

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Required core courses

BMI 206: Statistical Methods

4 units
Katie Pollard

Broad survey of bioinformatics with accompanying assignments. Topics covered include genomics, database searching, family/super-family analysis, structural genomics, complex systems, genetic circuits, and protein-protein interactions.

BMI 203: Biocomputing Algorithms

3 units
Michael Keiser

Introduction to computational issues and methods used in the fields of bioinformatics and computational biology. This course emphasizes the implementation, analysis, and validation of methods. It is about attacking computational problems in biology and not the expert use of existing tools. Areas addressed include analytical thinking, problem decomposition, and algorithm design and implementation. Assignments will focus on the design and implementation of key bioinformatics algorithms.

In addition, an elective course must be taken in Winter quarter. The list of available courses is updated annually, but can include Biophysics 204B (Macromolecular Interactions), Biophysics 205B (Dynamical Systems), PSPG 245B (Systems Pharmacology), or other courses with the consent of an academic adviser.

BMI 219: Special Topics in Bioinformatics (mini courses)


UCSF Basic Science Graduate Programs collaborate to offer elective courses that allow for diversification of curriculum.


BMI 221: Informatics rotations (3 rotations)

Fall/Winter/spring (first year only)
3 units each rotation

Other requirements

BMI 220: Informatics Seminar (BBC Seminar Series)


Selected topics by guest lecturers

BMI 222: Bioinformatics Student Research Talks


Research in progress talks by senior program students

BMI 223: Critical Topics in Biomedical Informatics


QBC Journal Club, critical review of published scientific papers from scholarly journals, including comprehension, analysis, and evaluation of published scientific data.

Grad 204: Race and Racism in Science

2 units

This course provides an introduction to the historical background of systematic racism in scientific research.

Grad 214: Responsible Conduct of Research

1 unit

Sessions cover data management, animals in research, human subjects in research, rules and etiquette of publications, procedures and rules of grants, corporate-academic interactions.

Optional online coursework

The following are suggestions from our students to other resources that can be helpful in this program:

  • For statistics: OpenIntro - free online course, free textbook
  • Class Central - a list of free online courses
  • Udacity - very engaging, about 3 to 5 hours per course