Image of the Tempietto in Kogan Plaza during cherry blossom season

Molecular Biochemistry and Bioinformatics

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Science (M.S.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

Since the complete sequencing of the human genome was revealed in 2000, the medical discipline of genomics has unfolded and evolved. The study of genetic material, genomics is radically reshaping biology and medicine and will lead to improved diagnosis and treatment of disease. Emerging in tandem with genomics is the field of bioinformatics, associated with massive databases of gene and protein sequences and information. Genomics utilizes bioinformatics as its operating tool in order to process and mine data, working to analyze and solve problems arising from gathered data.

Master’s Degree

The Master of Science program, one of the first in the United States devoted exclusively to important genome-wide approaches to medicine and biology, focuses on the areas of functional genomics that provide a basic understanding of genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics. The program takes an interdisciplinary approach, utilizing a consortium of departments and courses from the GW Medical Center’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Department of Microbiology and Tropical Medicine and the Department of Computer Sciences at GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. The program’s faculty comes from GW and other organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Children’s National Medical Center and National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Upon graduation, students are aptly prepared for careers in this emerging field. Particularly in the Washington, D.C. area, where genomics was developed and pioneered, there is a heavy demand for skilled individuals to work for biotechnology companies or governmental agencies such as the NIH and FDA.

Students may choose from a biological or a computer science track. Each track offers the option of preparing a thesis by completing research at GW Medical Center, Children's National Medical Center, NIH or the FDA. Alternatively, the non-thesis program requires a hands-on practicum at participating institutions.

Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – August 1 (May 1 for international applicants who require a student visa)
Spring – December 1 (October 1 for international applicants who require a student visa)

Standardized test scores:

GRE general test (institutional code 5246)

Recommendations required:

Two (2) recommendations

Prior academic records:

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission. If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.

Statement of purpose: 

In an essay of 250 – 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application. If you are applying for an assistantship or fellowship, you should also describe any teaching experience you have had.

International applicants only:

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.

For more information on the admission process, please visit the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences – Graduate Admissions Office
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
Washington DC 20052

Contact for questions:
askccas@gwu.edu ~ 202.994.6210 (phone) ~ 202.994.6213 (fax)
8:30 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday