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  • Bioinformatics


(Optional Co-op)

Program Code:BIF
Duration:2 Semesters (8 Months)
Start Dates:Fall,
Start dates are subject to change
Credential Awarded:Ontario College Graduate Certificate

Program Description

Bioinformatics is the application of computer programming to the management and analysis of biological information and is used to address biological problems. Bioinformatics is essential in examining how data from biological experiments can be used to generate critical information about gene sequence and function, protein structure, molecular evolution, drug targets and disease mechanisms in today's science– and technology–driven world. This emerging field requires individuals with a multi–disciplinary background in biology and computer science.

This program is designed to meet the increased demand for trained Bioinformatics professionals, by providing further training for people holding a university degree or three–year college diploma in biotechnology (or biotechnology–related program).

As a student in BIF, you'll receive specific training in Bioinformatics, focusing on:

  • Computer operating systems (UNIX, Windows);
  • Programming and scripting (C, Perl, HTML, Java);
  • Data Storage, management and analysis (Oracle, SQL);
  • Computer applications used in this field;
  • Current molecular biology laboratory techniques.

Admission Requirements

Program Eligibility:

  • A recognized degree or three year post secondary diploma from an accredited institution in Biotechnology, Biology, or a closely related field.
  • Working knowledge of a Windows PC environment, word processor, and web browser.
  • English proficiency at the college level is required.

Applicant Selection:

  • All eligible applicants are required to complete an Applicant Profile and attend a mandatory orientation session where a $55 pre-admissions test and a logic test will be administered. A pamphlet with your testing information is available here.
  • Applicants are selected on the basis of the results of the above assignments, English proficiency, and academic credentials.


  • Although not required for admission, the following are considered assets:
    • A home PC or laptop and ISP;
    • Familiarity with statistics;
    • Demonstrated ability to interpret, plan, and use a systematic approach to solving problems;
    • Previous exposure to computer programming/coding.

The Importance of Learning Skills:

Student success in college requires well developed learning skills (such as being able to work independently, participate in a team, be well-organized, develop good work habits, and show initiative). These skills are as important as prior academic achievement. While it is expected that applicants would have developed these skills through previous education and life experiences, Seneca offers support to assist students with further development of these important skills. Seminars, workshops and tutoring are available at Seneca's Learning Centres.


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Your Career

Bioinformatics is a rapidly expanding area requiring personnel with multi–disciplinary backgrounds in biotechnology and computer science. With your graduate certificate in Bioinformatics, you’ll be prepared for a successful career in a variety of roles such as Bioinformatics Technician, Bioinformatics Scientist or as a Bioinformatics resource for a Biotechnology or Pharmaceutical laboratory.

School Guidelines

All students are required to follow guidelines, policies and procedures set down by the School of Biological Sciences and Applied Chemistry.

Diploma to Degree... and Beyond

Through transfer agreements and institution partnerships, graduates of this Seneca College program may be eligible for credit at the following post-secondary institution(s):

Co-operative Education Option

Should you choose the co–operative education option, you’ll find that it’s an important partnership between the employer, the College and you. Following the two academic semesters, you’ll begin to integrate your academic study with practical work experience in academic, industrial, and governmental settings. The experience you’ll gain during this work–placement semester provides considerable reinforcement to your overall studies and is a way for you to connect with employers for potential future employment.

As part of the graduation requirements, you must successfully complete the professional theory and practice courses, as well as the work–term. In this option, you must also achieve a high academic standing (G.P.A. 3.0) in each semester, while maintaining a full course load, as well as fulfilling other responsibilities in order to continue in the program or qualify for the work–term.

A “Policies and Guidelines for Students” document, that elaborates on this cautionary note, is available from the School or the Faculty of Technology Co–operative Education office.

Admission to the Co–operative Education program is by application during the first semester. Note that a minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 from semester one is required to be eligible, but does not necessarily guarantee entry into the co–operative education option. As part of the selection process the Promotion Committee will play a key role in assessing the suitability of students to participate in co–operative education.


Co-op Model
  Sept-Dec Jan-Apr May-Aug
Year 1 Semester 1 Semester 2 Work-Term

Important Academic Dates

Please take a few moments to view Important Academic Dates for your relevant term.


Semester 1 Course Name Hrs/Wk
BIF701 Bioinformatics I 4
BIF712 Concepts of Programming with Perl 6
BIF713 Operating Systems and Project Management 3
BIF804 Molecular Biology and Biotechnology 5
BIF805 Biological Data Systems 4
Semester 2 Course Name Hrs/Wk
BIF705 Applied Statistics 4
BIF724 Bioinformatics Programming with Perl 5
BIF801 Bioinformatics II 3
BIF803 Technical Communication 3
BIF806 Independent Group Project 1
BIF812 Concepts of Programming with Java 6

Contact Us

For more information, please visit our website at:
Admissions Advisors:
Domestic Admissions Advisor: Carsten Wuertz
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22803
International Admissions Advisor: Valentyna Gorodovych
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22432
Registration & Records Advisor:
  Diane Duerden
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 33006
Program Contacts:
Student Advisor: Monica Russell
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 33769
Program Coordinator: Dan Fieldhouse
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 33321
Co-op Coordinator: Zahra Hirji
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 33778
Program Chair: Paola Battiston
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 33760
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