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MS Program in Systems Biology and Bioinformatics (SYBB)

Academic Requirements for MS

Case Western Reserve University's SYBB program offers two MS courses of study.

Case Western Reserve University's SYBB program offers two MS courses of study. Candidates for MS will complete 30 total credits and will fulfill the overall academic requirements for MS study at Case Western Reserve University. MS students will have the option to complete a course of study with thesis (Plan A) or without thesis (Plan B).

Program Competencies

Entering students will be assigned a mentoring committee of two faculty members to guide their first year. The mentoring committee will recommend a course of study to be approved by the steering committee. The student's overall study plan will be completed and approved by the end of the first semester for MS students. The mentors will guide the coursework choices of the student such that they will have completed training in the three major areas required for the thesis research or major project. The programs required competencies are intended to drive a novel training program where the student will combine experimental and theoretical or mathematical work in their thesis research or major projects and comprehensive exam.

Students will also participate in two to three, three month laboratory rotations. A student may request to be admitted to a laboratory at any time after matriculation. The student, the mentor, the mentor's Department Chair, and the steering committee must approve the laboratory selection in writing, after review and evaluation of the student's proposed academic record and proposed/completed curriculum.

The Master's Thesis (Plan A)

The minimum requirement to complete a Master's degree under Plan A is 30 hours. Of these, students must complete at least 21 hours of coursework and 9 hours of 651 thesis registration. At least 18 semester hours of coursework, not including thesis, must be at the 400 level or higher. 

Please note, once a student begins registration of 651, the student must register for at least one unit of 651 every semester until graduation.

For completion of Master's degrees Plan A, an oral examination (defense) of the Master's thesis is required. The examinations are conducted by a committee of three University faculty members. The candidate's thesis adviser usually serves as the chair of the examining committee. The SYBB steering committee will identify the other two members of the examining committee. The examining committee must agree unanimously that the candidate has passed the thesis examination.

The Master's Comprehensive (Plan B)

The minimum requirement to complete a Master's degree under Plan B is 30 hours. In addition to coursework, students must successfully complete a comprehensive examination. At least 18 semester hours of coursework must be at the 400 level or higher.

The comprehensive examinations are administered by a member of the SYBB steering committee. The examination may be written, oral, or both. A student must be registered during the semester in which any part of the comprehensive examination is taken. If not registered for other courses, the student will be required to register for one semester hour of EXAM 600, Comprehensive Examination, before taking the examination.