New online Capstone Certificate in Applied Bioinformatics meets rising demand for biotechnology professionals

Female scientist studying DNA helix on computer

A new online graduate certificate from the University of Wisconsin launched this month to help meet industry needs and high-growth employment opportunities in the field of biotechnology.

The Capstone Certificate in Applied Bioinformatics is designed for college graduates with a strong science background who are interested in developing solutions and making key decisions in health, security and biotechnology information. Developed by an advisory board of academic and industry leaders, the certificate provides working professionals with the knowledge and skills to process biological data from scientific research.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is one of seven UW System campuses partnering with UW Extended Campus to offer the certificate.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of computer and information research scientists is projected to grow 15 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.

“The field of bioinformatics has become increasingly critical for the analysis and generation of the data and databases needed for biotechnology and other life science research and product development,” says Dr. Natalie Betz, associate director and faculty instructor for UW–Madison’s MS in Biotechnology program, who serves on the advisory board that developed the certificate.

“The graduate certificate in bioinformatics will provide students with expertise in the programming and analysis skills needed to be successful in solving bioinformatics problems in both industry and academia.”

Collaboratively designed for flexibility, access and excellence

 The Capstone Certificate in Applied Bioinformatics is a collaborative partnership of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, University of Wisconsin Extended Campus, and six other University of Wisconsin campuses: UW–Green Bay, UW–Oshkosh, UW–Parkside, UW–Platteville, UW–Stevens Point and UW–Whitewater.

Natalie Betz_UW-Madison Academic Directo
Dr. Natalie Betz

This fully online certificate takes advantage of the expertise in bioinformatics across the UW system, allowing students access to top instructors for the necessary topics and skills needed to be successful in this field,” Betz says.

While students may take courses from faculty at any of the seven partner campuses, they designate one to serve as their “home” campus, from which they receive qualified financial aid, advising, career services and the certificate credential.

The certificate may be completed in as little as one year; however, based on work and life commitments, students may decide to take longer. Courses, class discussions and homework are completed entirely online, giving students the flexibility to complete their work on their schedule, from anywhere in the world. Tuition is the same whether students live in Wisconsin or out of state.

Students who choose to continue their studies in the field may apply to the UW–Madison online MS in Applied Biotechnology or the in-person MS in Biotechnology program.

Applications for the applied bioinformatics graduate certificate are accepted for enrollment in fall, spring or summer. Prospective students can learn more by calling 608-262-2011 or 877-895-3276, or by emailing learn@uwex.edu.