Computational Genetics Certificate


The Department of Genetics offers a Certificate in Computational Genetics (CCG) for Genetics majors. The volume of data being generated in Genetics and related life science fields has been expanding tremendously in recent years, and career opportunities for geneticists with computational and quantitative expertise are simultaneously growing. This certificate program is intended for students who are either interested in applying to graduate-level programs, or planning careers, in Computational Genetics/Biology, Statistical Genetics, Bioinformatics, or other programs in quantitative biomedical related research. The goal of the CCG is to provide students with guidance, coursework, and relevant data design and analysis experience to prepare them for graduate studies in the field or entry-level informatics jobs. This program is only open to declared Genetics Majors. The Certificate will be awarded only in conjunction with the awarding of a baccalaureate degree in Genetics. At the end of the program students will:

  1. Have gained competence in genetic data analysis using basic computer programming and statistical analysis.
  2. Be prepared to apply to M.S. or Ph.D. graduate programs in the areas of Computational Genetics and Bioinformatics.
  3. Be prepared to apply for career positions in industry, biotech companies, pharmaceutical companies, medical centers, or universities.

Students who complete the Certificate in Computational Genetics are eligible to receive Departmental Honors.


Prerequisites for Certificate Program:

  1. Undergraduate student declared to major in Genetics
  2. Have a minimum 3.2 GPA.
  3. Application interview with Dr. Derek Gordon (CCG Director, ).

Students accepted into the certificate program will meet regularly with the CCG director. To complete the certificate, students are required to: 

  1. Conduct research in a Computational Genetics lab for at least two semesters
  2. Complete an additional 4-7 course credits beyond those needed to complete the Genetics major, depending on how many credits of
    Research in Genetics are taken. 

Courses Required for Certificate (in conjunction with other Genetics major requirements): 


Course Number



447 (Genetics)

203 or

302 or


Honors Computational Genetics

Quant Biol and Bioinform1

Computational Genetics of Big Data1


447 (Genetics)


Research in Genetics1,2

3,3/6,6 (H)

960 (Statistics)


Basic Probability1,3


960 (Statistics)


Intro to Stat Analysis3,4


198 (Comp. Sci.)


Intro to Comp Sci4


198 (Comp. Sci.)


Data Structures4


1 These courses satisfy Genetics Major requirements.

2 All Genetics majors are required to take at least 2 semesters (6-12 credits) of Research in Genetics. Students in the Computational Genetics certificate program shall do research in the lab of a Genetics department computational faculty member. Exceptions can be made with permission of the certificate director, upon review of a document describing the computational genetics components of the proposed research project.

3 Statistics 960:401 may be substituted for 960:384; 960:381 may be substituted for 960:379.

4 These courses may be used to fulfill the elective requirements of the Genetics major. 

Interested students should contact the Computational Genetics certificate program director, Dr. Derek Gordon ().

Recommended Programs for Additional Study 

Recommended Summer Programs

Recommended Masters Programs

Recommended PhD Programs

List of Educational Programs in Computational Biology
(Compiled by the Department of Computational Biology, Carnegie Mellon University)

Also visit our page on Careers and Graduate Study