Carnegie Mellon University

Training future leaders in computational biology and bioinformatics

M.S. in Computational Biology at Carnegie Mellon University is a joint program between the Mellon College of Science and the School of Computer Science. Students complete rigorous coursework across the spectrum of life sciences, statistics, computer science, machine learning and at the intersection of these disciplines.

CMU also offers an MS in Automated Science degree program (MSAS). It shares some training faculty and three required courses (02-712, 02-750, 03-709) with MSCB, but the intellectual content is distinct. The MSAS curriculum is tailored to automation of experimental design and data acquisition through the hands-on use of automated instruments. In contrast, the MSCB program offers broader training in advanced biological and computer science concepts encompassing genomics, biological modeling and simulation, and machine learning. Both programs prepare students for jobs in industry or additional graduate study in competitive PhD programs.  Please note that applications are managed by the School of Computer Science in order to allow simultaneous application to other programs in related fields, but the academic home of the program is Mellon College of Science because it is a shared program so some functions (academics) are primarily under the Department of Biological Sciences.

Computational Biology is a growing field not only in academia, but also in industry. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, fields where computational biologists work, Medical Scientists, Biochemistry and Biophysics, and Computer and Information Research Scientists are all growing faster than average. Median starting salaries in these fields nationally are higher than $75,000 per year.

Career paths of M.S. in Computational Biology graduates have led to research, teaching, and administrative positions at renowned academic institutions. Graduates are also leaders in industry and government. The median starting salary of a biology major is $38,800 according to US News and World Report. According to exit survey data, the median starting salary of MSCB alumni is around $100,000 for alumni not entering Ph.D. programs.

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Hear From Our Alumni

Tim Majarian

Tim Majarian (M.S. '17)

"The MSCB program at CMU gave me the fundamental knowledge, both conceptual and applicable, to address a range of scientific problems at their core. The availability of research participation paired with methods-focused classwork yields dynamic scientists who are ready to hit the ground running after graduation."

Siwei Xie

Siwei Xie (M.S. '17)

"The solid training in bioinformatics that I received in the MSCB program at CMU provided me with problem solving skills that helped me transition from an undergraduate degree in biochemistry to a software engineering job at Ancestry and allowed me to better understand customer needs in my everyday work."

Easwaran Ramamurthy

Easwaran Ramamurthy (M.S. '15)

"The Masters program not only provided me the flexibility to take courses in diverse fields such as biology, computer science, statistics and machine learning but also gave me the opportunity to explore intriguing research problems under the tutelage of knowledgeable and prominent research faculty."

Alumni Positions After Graduation

Alumni Positions Pie Chart

Median Starting Annual Salaries

Alumni Starting Salaries Graph