B.S. in Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology

Bioinformatics, also known as computational biology, is the study of biological systems through computational and statistical models. Molecular Biology is the study of the molecular components of living things. This major requires knowledge of biology, computer science, and information technology.

Rensselaer is one of the few universities to offer an undergraduate program in this emerging field. Most of the instructors maintain active research programs in different aspects of computational biology, from database analysis to molecular simulations.

Graduates are encouraged to continue their studies in one of the growing number of worldwide computational biology graduate programs. While those who enter the workplace often are hired into the pharmaceutical industry, medical informatics, agricultural bioinformatics, database management, or the biotech industry.

Program of Study

In this major, you typically emphasize either computational biology, which requires more mathematics, statistics, and computer science courses, or molecular biology, which requires more molecular-level life-science courses.

Program Outcome

As a result of completing this program students will:

  • demonstrate proficiency in the foundational topics of cell and molecular biology, genetics and evolution, biochemistry, and ecology and the environment.
  • demonstrate additional competency in advanced Biological Sciences topics relative to their academic interest.
  • be able to apply skills such as reading primary literature, developing a testable hypothesis, designing an experiment, collecting and analyzing data, and using statistical and quantitative methods.
  • be able to communicate effectively on scientific topics in both written and oral forms.
  • be able to apply knowledge and skills from across the curriculum to current problems in biological sciences to generate integrative papers, proposals, or other types of projects.


A student may become a candidate for a second baccalaureate degree when he or she has completed: (1) the equivalent of at least two terms (30 credit hours) of additional work beyond the requirements of a single degree, and (2) the courses in the department in which the student is registered and such other courses as are required for the second degree.

View Curriculum Details


You’ll learn to think like researchers and learn the essential tools to carry out research in bioinformatics and molecular biology. All students are required to complete a “culminating experience” for graduation, which may include research. Select students may perform their bioinformatics research in faculty labs as an independent study course or summer internship.


The Arch is a unique approach to education that provides flexibility in the semester schedule, allowing students to pursue professional and personal development opportunities that prepare them to meet the multifaceted challenges of the 21st century. The Arch is a requirement of the Rensselaer curriculum.


Summer Here
During The Arch, students remain on campus for the summer after their sophomore year, taking junior-level classes, and receive focused attention from professors at this pivotal point in their academic progression. 


The World Away
Then, students leave the Troy campus for a semester during the traditional junior year—either fall or spring—to pursue their passions in the form of co-ops, internships, civic engagement, research, or international experiences. Students who pursue these opportunities during their academic career are better prepared for future professional careers and graduate school.


For more information regarding the Arch, please visit https://info.rpi.edu/the-arch

Academic Opportunities

Student researchers play a critical role in the world-changing discovery, innovation, and breakthroughs taking place across campus.

A biological honor society for undergraduate students dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study, and extending the boundaries of human knowledge through scientific research.

Ecologic is the longest-running environmental club at Rensselaer. Their mission is to make progress toward a greener world and educate the community about environmental issues. They run many fun projects and events throughout the year.

Inspiring a younger audience to explore the role of science in society.