Bionformatics and Computational Biology

Course Planning Specifics: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Before coming to campus you are expected to register for your A and B term classes. It is expected that you will take three classes in both terms in most cases. You will register for C and D term classes in December.

In addition to the course recommendations below that are specific to your major, each student must complete 4 PE courses in their four years at WPI. You are welcome to add a PE course to any term. PE courses are worth 1/12 unit, unlike major subjects discussed in course recommendations which are worth 1/3 unit, and can be taken in addition to the 3 courses recommended below.

For more information on the degree requirements for your major click here.

A Term Recommendations

CS 1101 is Introduction to Program Design. If you have have a strong programming background we recommend that you take CS 1101. 

CS 1004 is Introduction to Programming for non-majors. If you have little computer science background this is a good option for you to learn the basics of programming. 

BB 1035 is Introduction to Biotechnology. All BCB majors are recommended to take this course as it is a project based course that goes into depth in areas relevant to BCB. 

 

Your third course should be a GPS, Humanities and Arts, Math, or Chemistry course. More information about these courses is available below: 

GPS stands for Great Problems Seminar is a course that is exclusively for first year students and allow students to learn about a problem in the world and work with a group on how to fix it. These courses are helpful with the transition to college as well as useful for students when preparing for projects such as IQP and MQP in junior and senior year. GPS courses run for both A and B term, so you will only need to choose one. BCB majors are recommended to take a GPS in either the fall or spring. For more information click here.

Every student at WPI must complete the Humanities and Arts (HUA) Requirement. This consists of 6 courses in HUA subjects. The subjects available for HUA are:

  • Art (AR)
  • Music (MU)
  • Drama/Theatre (EN/TH)
  • Foreign Language- Spanish (SP), German (GN), Arabic (AB), Chinese (CN)
    • For Spanish Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Angel Rivera (arivera@wpi.edu)
    • For German Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Daniel DiMassa (ddimassa@wpi.edu)
    • For Arabic Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Mohammed El Hamzaoui (melhamzaoui@wpi.edu)
    • For Chinese Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Huili Zheng (hzheng2@wpi.edu)
  • Literature (EN)
  • Writing/Rhetoric (WR, RH)
  • International Student English (ISE)
  • History (HI)
  • International Studies (INTL)
  • Philosophy (PY)
  • Religion (RE)

You should pick courses in subjects you are interested in. When you come to campus you will learn more about the HUA requirement and how you will complete it. 

BCB majors are expected to take 5 math courses throughout their four years, with two being in calculus, one in statistics, and the other two chosen from a variety of different topics in math. In choosing which Math course you will begin with, please consider the following:  

  1. Complete the Math Placement Exam. The Math Placement Exam will tell you which Calculus course you should start in based on your current knowledge. If you are recommended to start in MA 1020, this will be your math course for both terms.
  2. Consider if you have AP Credit:
    Students who obtain a score of “4” or “5” on the AB-level Exam will receive credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022 and should begin with MA 1023/1033 in A term followed by MA 1024/1034 in B term.
    Students who obtain a grade of “4” or “5” on the BC-level Exam will receive credit for MA 1021, MA 1022 and MA 1023 and could begin with MA 1024 in A-term then MA 2051 in B-term, OR MA 1033 in A-term followed by MA 1034 in B-term.
  3. Students who received a 6 or 7 on the IB will receive 2/3 credit of MA 1000, and should use the math placement exam results to decide which math class to take.
  4. Consider the possibility of retroactive credit. If the Math Placement Exam recommends that you start in MA 1022 or MA 1023/1033 but you do not have AP credit, this could be a great option for you. If, in your first year, you complete MA 1022 and MA 1023/1033 on your first attempt you will receive credit for MA 1021. If, in your first year, you complete MA 1023/1033 and MA 1024/1034 on your first attempt you will receive credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022.  In determining if this is the right path for you, we strongly recommend completing the Math Placement exam and following the suggestion given to you. 

The sequence MA 1033 Theoretical Calculus III and MA 1034 Theoretical Calculus IV is an alternative to the MA 1023, MA 1024 sequence in A and B terms. The sequence is designed to give a deeper and more mathematically rigorous presentation of the relevant calculus topics. If you really enjoy math and have credit for Calculus I and II already, you should consider this sequence instead of the MA 1023-MA 1024 sequence.

BCB majors are required to take 2 General Chemistry courses in their four years. If you choose to take one of those in A term you should take CH 1010. If you are considering double majoring with Biology and Biotechnology or Chemistry/Biochemistry you should take CH 1010 and CH 1020 in the fall so that you can take CH 1030 in the spring. 

B Term Recommendations

CS 2102 is Object Oriented Design and is the second course taken in a typical CS series. This courses is recommended for BCB majors who took CS 1101 in A term. 

We highly recommend taking BCB 1003, Exploring Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, in B term. This course introduces the field of Bionformatics and Computational Biology and will give students a good foundation for the major. 

Your third course should be a GPS, Humanities and Arts, Math, or Chemistry course. More information can be found on these courses below: 

GPS stands for Great Problems Seminar is a course that is exclusively for first year students and allow students to learn about a problem in the world and work with a group on how to fix it. These courses are helpful with the transition to college as well as useful for students when preparing for projects such as IQP and MQP in junior and senior year. GPS courses run for both A and B term, so you will only need to choose one. BCB majors are recommended to take a GPS course in the fall or spring. For more information click here.

Every student at WPI must complete the Humanities and Arts (HUA) Requirement. This consists of 6 courses in HUA subjects. The subjects available for HUA are:

  • Art (AR)
  • Music (MU)
  • Drama/Theatre (EN/TH)
  • Foreign Language- Spanish (SP), German (GN), Arabic (AB), Chinese (CN)
    • For Spanish Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Angel Rivera (arivera@wpi.edu)
    • For German Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Daniel DiMassa (ddimassa@wpi.edu)
    • For Arabic Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Mohammed El Hamzaoui (melhamzaoui@wpi.edu)
    • For Chinese Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Huili Zheng (hzheng2@wpi.edu)
  • Literature (EN)
  • Writing/Rhetoric (WR, RH)
  • International Student English (ISE)
  • History (HI)
  • International Studies (INTL)
  • Philosophy (PY)
  • Religion (RE)

You should pick courses in subjects you are interested in. When you come to campus you will learn more about the HUA requirement and how you will complete it. 

BCB majors are expected to take 5 math courses throughout their four years, with two being in calculus, one in statistics, and the other two chosen from a variety of different topics in math. In choosing which Math course you will begin with, please consider the following:  

  1. Complete the Math Placement Exam. The Math Placement Exam will tell you which Calculus course you should start in based on your current knowledge. If you are recommended to start in MA 1020, this will be your math course for both terms.
  2. Consider if you have AP Credit:
    Students who obtain a score of “4” or “5” on the AB-level Exam will receive credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022 and should begin with MA 1023/1033 in A term followed by MA 1024/1034 in B term.
    Students who obtain a grade of “4” or “5” on the BC-level Exam will receive credit for MA 1021, MA 1022 and MA 1023 and could begin with MA 1024 in A-term then MA 2051 in B-term, OR MA 1033 in A-term followed by MA 1034 in B-term.
  3. Students who received a 6 or 7 on the IB will receive 2/3 credit of MA 1000, and should use the math placement exam results to decide which math class to take.
  4. Consider the possibility of retroactive credit. If the Math Placement Exam recommends that you start in MA 1022 or MA 1023/1033 but you do not have AP credit, this could be a great option for you. If, in your first year, you complete MA 1022 and MA 1023/1033 on your first attempt you will receive credit for MA 1021. If, in your first year, you complete MA 1023/1033 and MA 1024/1034 on your first attempt you will receive credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022.  In determining if this is the right path for you, we strongly recommend completing the Math Placement exam and following the suggestion given to you. 

The sequence MA 1033 Theoretical Calculus III and MA 1034 Theoretical Calculus IV is an alternative to the MA 1023, MA 1024 sequence in A and B terms. The sequence is designed to give a deeper and more mathematically rigorous presentation of the relevant calculus topics. If you really enjoy math and have credit for Calculus I and II already, you should consider this sequence instead of the MA 1023-MA 1024 sequence.

BCB majors are required to take 2 General Chemistry courses in their four years. If you choose to take one of those in B term you should take CH 1020. If you are considering double majoring with Biology and Biotechnology or Chemistry/Biochemistry you should take CH 1010 and CH 1020 in the fall so that you can take CH 1030 in the spring. 

There are other possible sequences that could also work.  Please feel free to contact Liz Ryder, the Program Director, for advice!  ryder@wpi.edu

Once you go through the above recommendations, please be sure to review Registration Information so you know how to register on June 22, 2021 at 4:00 PM EST.

Registration Information

To begin to plan your schedule for next fall, you should use the WPI Planner. This resource can assist you in searching for available courses before building out a saved schedule in Workday, WPI's course registration software.

PRE-REGISTRATION PREP

  • Watch the 10 min. overview video
  • Login to Workday
  • Use Find Course Sections to build at least one Saved Schedule for A-Term, B-Term, and if you're taking any 10 or 14 week classes, Fall Semester (instructions)

JUNE 22, 4PM ET: REGISTER

  • Login to Workday

  • Open a browser tab or window for A-Term, B-Term, and Fall Semester (if you have any 10 or 14 week classes) and View My Saved Schedules for each

  • [Optional] Open tabs for alternate course sections from other Saved Schedules or search results

  • When registration opens, click Start Registration, then click Register (instructions)

  • Open View My Courses, scroll right to Drop or Swap (instructions)

  • Waitlisted? If a spot opens, a notification will be sent to your WPI email asking you to login to Workday and take action