Frequently Asked Questions
We are tracking student interest in and completion of the Bioinformatics Minor, as well as undergraduate research experiences in Bioinformatics at UCLA. To help guide further development of the Minor and undergraduate research opportunities in general, we ask that you take a few minutes to complete this survey: http://bit.ly/uclabioinformaticsminorsurvey
Why would I want to minor in Bioinformatics?
There are several great reasons to minor in Bioinformatics at UCLA. If you are considering a career in computational biology, the minor program will provide an excellent introduction to core concepts in the field while offering a hands-on learning experience in wet and dry labs. If you are a Life Sciences major and want to focus your career on coding, completion of the minor program will ensure you graduate with competent programming skills. Regardless of your major or long-term career objectives, the coursework and research experiences offered by the minor program will help you decide future directions and provide you with a competitive edge in negotiating the job market or graduate school application process.
Is the Bioinformatics minor open to any undergraduate major?
Yes, as long as you are able to complete all program requirements in addition to your major requirements.
How do I figure out if I’m interested in Bioinformatics? How do I get started?
There are three ways to get started in Bioinformatics at UCLA. First, you can take the Seminar “Introduction to Bioinformatics and Computational Biology.” The seminar course does not have any prerequisites and is a good option for students to get a survey of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at UCLA. Second, you can take one of the three core courses required for the Minor: CM121 “Introduction to Bioinformatics,” CM122 “Algorithms in Bioinformatics,” or CM124 “Computational Genetics.” The core courses can be taken in any order to complete the Minor. Third, you can join a research lab. There are plenty of research opportunities posted on the Bioinformatics website.
Are the eight units of research required in order to complete the Bioinformatics minor?
No, but students in the minor program are encouraged to supplement coursework with hands-on research experience.
How does the research scheduling work? How do I find a lab to join? How many hours do I commit to?
Research units are arranged between students and affiliated faculty, and students may receive up to 8 units credit toward the minor with enrollment in Computer Science 194/199 or Bioinformatics 194/199. Learn more about available research projects in bioinformatics at UCLA: http://bioinformatics.ucla.edu/undergraduate-research/.
What do Bioinformatics minors go on to do after college?
Many UCLA undergraduates who completed the Bioinformatics minor work in industry and academia. At present, there is a rapidly growing industry around next-generation sequencing. Recent UCLA Bioinformatics alumni have gained admittance to graduate programs in computational biology at universities such as Harvard and Princeton.
Where can I get current updates about the Bioinformatics minor?
Visit the Bioinformatics website: http://bioinformatics.ucla.edu/.
What is the preparation for the minor?
1) CS 32 or Pic 10C
2) LS 3 and 23L (or LS 7A by petition, see below)
3) Math 33A
What about the Life Science 7 Series?
At this time, we will be accepting petitions for LS 7A for LS 3 and 23L. You may also petition to waive LS 23L if you do not need the units to the requirement of 20 units being unique and counting to the minor only. Petition form may be found here: http://www.seasoasa.ucla.edu/petition-process/
Forms are also available at 6426 Boetler Hall. Submit the completed petition to 6426 Boetler Hall.
When can I add the minor?
Any student in any major at UCLA may add a Bioinformatics minor once they have completed the minimum eligibility (2 of the 3 preparation requirements with C’s or better). Letters and Science students with 150 units or more must meet with College Academic Counseling in Murphy Hall first.
How do I add the minor?
Turn in the Undergraduate Program Change petition and attach a short statement about why you want to add the minor. Turn it in at Boelter Hall 6426. If you are turning it in during week 6 and 7 please notify the front desk that it is a Bioinformatics request. Otherwise your petition may get put with our other change of major requests for processing and it will delay processing.
When are the minor courses offered?
For other department courses, you will need to check with that home department.
Can I meet with a Counselor?
Yes. Contact a Bioinformatics undergraduate counselor via myUCLA Message Center. To make sure your message and request for a meeting reaches the appropriate counselor, please include the phrase “Bioinformatics Minor” in the subject line.
How do I enroll in an Engineering course?
If you are a declared minor, you should be within the restrictions and able to add your required courses. If you have not actually processed the paperwork yet you will not be able to add yourself.
- Enrolling in CS 31: http://web.cs.ucla.edu/classes/enroll/31/
- Enrolling in CS 32: http://web.cs.ucla.edu/classes/enroll/32/
- Enrolling in CS 33-188 and any other Engineering course: You will need to fill out the Enrollment Consideration Request (ECR): http://www.seasoasa.ucla.edu/ECR/ Once majors and minors have had a chance to enroll in 2nd pass (think about 2 weeks after pass 2 begins), I will be able to assess demand and enroll you wherever there is room, or go to the department to increase enrollment to accommodate requests.)
Historically we’ve been able to accommodate all bioinformatics requests.
How do I enroll in one of my required courses when it is listed as CLOSED with an Enrollment of 0/0?
It is pretty common to see a closed section with no enrollment or very low enrollment like 5 seats, check to see if it is an “M” course, e.g. Com Sci CM122, which is the same course as CHEM CM160B. The M indicates that the course is listed in multiple departments. Go to the course info to see what other departments off the course (it may be numbered differently) and check the seats. It doesn’t matter if you enroll in Computer Science or Chemistry in this example. It is the same course with the same credit. Enroll where there is room.
How do I track my requirements?
Use the worksheet linked at the top of this page to track your requirements.
My DPR is not reflecting the course I took, how do I fix that? (Only applicable to students admitted prior to Fall 2012)
Don’t use the DPR to look at your Bioinformatics requirements. It does not pick up credit correctly and may not be checking cross listed courses. Unfortunately, the only way to track is manually with a worksheet.
If you were admitted in Fall 2012 or later, you can use your Degree Audit Report or DARS. If you see something applying incorrectly, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your UID and the issue.
If I take LS30A and 30B, can I enroll in Math 33A?
No. The requisite for Math 33A is Math 3B, 31A or 32A with a grade of C- or better.
In my Major, a lot of required classes overlap with the requirements of the Bioinformatics Minor. Am I still required to take 20 units outside the major, regardless of overlap?
Yes. This is a campus rule. You can take additional elective courses to fulfill the 20-unit requirement. Because of the large number of research opportunities, we structure the Bioinformatics Minor so that two 4-unit courses (8 units total) of 199 research can be applied toward this requirement in the Minor. Since most Majors also allow 4 units of 199 research, this option can give you 12 units of research that if often easily scheduled in your undergrad program. Research units give you valuable experience and can go a long way toward fulfilling the additional 20 unit requirement without extending the time-to-completion of your degree plan.
MyUCLA is telling me I don’t meet the requisites, what do I do?
The system may not be reading your AP or transfer credit correctly. Just follow the instructions here to be enrolled: http://www.seasoasa.ucla.edu/faqs-undergraduate-students/#computer-science and indicate that this is for Bioinformatics. During peak enrollment, we are getting dozens of enrollment requests, and it helps to know what minor you are requesting help with.