Student Handbook

The BICB graduate program is an all-University, interdisciplinary graduate program.

The administrative home is at the University of Minnesota Rochester. Faculty come from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, the University of Minnesota Rochester, the Mayo Clinic, IBM, Hormel Institute, National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), and the Brain Sciences Center. A Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) and an Associate Director of Graduate Studies (A-DGS) are the liaison with departments and partnering institutions.

Graduate students are admitted to the University of Minnesota after review of applications by the faculty of the program for which the student applied. The Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BICB) graduate program is one of many graduate programs offered by the University of Minnesota. A list of all majors and degrees offered by the University of Minnesota, the faculty members, requirements, and courses can be found in the Graduate School Catalog.

Specific information about the BICB graduate program can be found in the BICB Student Handbook. General information about graduate programs at the University of Minnesota can be found at the web page of the Graduate School. The Graduate School has also issued a Graduate Student Handbook with useful information about policies and procedures that are relevant to all University of Minnesota graduate students.

The information in this handbook and other University catalogs, publications, or announcements is subject to change without notice. University offices can provide current information about possible changes.

All students will be reviewed annually. The DGS assistant will solicit transcripts and a progress report of each student during the spring semester. Students meet with the DGS or Associate DGS or appointed faculty members during the summer to review their progress and to discuss the upcoming academic year. M.S. students who are not in good standing will be informed of the result in writing with a copy to the advisor. Ph.D. students, regardless of their standing, will be informed in writing about their progress.

The BICB program is composed of courses that are mostly taught out of Twin Cities departments or Mayo Graduate School. These courses are divided into core and elective courses. Below is a list of courses. This list is not exhaustive. If you and your adviser identify a course that is not on the list but is essential for gaining competency in your area of specialty, contact the Director of Graduate Studies to find out which of the areas the course would fall under. Most BICB courses and seminars listed below are Pass/Fail (where applicable).

DESCRIPTION OF BICB COURSES

Core Courses

  1. BICB 8510 Computation and Biology (2 crs; up to 2 repetitions totaling up to 4.0 crs)
    This course will be taught in modular form and will provide first‐year graduate students with an overview of topics in molecular biology and genetics; mathematics, statistics and biostatistics; programming in FORTRAN and C/C++; programming in Perl; data management; and data mining. The modules will be offered based on the needs of each incoming class of BICB graduate students.

  2. BICB 8990 Seminar on Current Topics (1 crs; up to 4 repetitions totaling up to 4.0 crs)
    Sections in this seminar will vary depending on instructor.

  3. BICB 8991 Independent Study (1‐2 crs; up to 2 repetitions totaling up to 4.0 crs)
    This course may be used by graduate students for reading courses with appropriate faculty or to conduct other independent studies. Ph.D. graduate students may only register for this course prior to passing the preliminary oral exam. M.S. graduate students may register for this course at any time.

Elective Courses

  1. BICB 8940 Education and Pedagogy Seminar (1 crs; up to 4 repetitions totaling up to 4.0 crs)
    This seminar will meet weekly in the fall semester. It will give students and faculty the opportunity to discuss effective teaching methods, advising methods, etc., with an emphasis on interdisciplinary training and training across multiple institutions.

  2. BICB 8970 Leadership Seminar (1 cr; 2 repeats allowed)
    This leadership seminar will focus on clinical and translational research and entrepreneurship. It will meet every other year and will feature invited speakers who are involved in clinical and translational research.

Mayo Clinic Courses and UMTC MOT Courses

  1. BICB 5620 Topics in Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology (0.5‐4 crs; up to 6 repetitions totaling up to 24.0 crs) Each section of this course corresponds to a Mayo Clinic 5xxx or 6xxx course. Contact DGS before enrolling

  2. BICB 8620 Topics in Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology (0.5‐4 crs; up to 6 repetitions totaling up to 24.0 crs)
    Each section of this course corresponds to a Mayo Clinic 8xxx course. Contact DGS before enrolling.

  3. BICB 8670 Topics in Management of Technology (0.5‐4.0 crs; up to 6 repetitions totaling up to 24.0 crs)
    Each section of this course corresponds to a MOT course. Contact DGS before enrolling.

Other Courses

  1. BICB 8920 BICB Colloquium (1 cr; up tp 2 repetitions totaling up to 2.0 crs)
    This is a weekly seminar for BICB graduate students that introduces students to current topics in the research area. The seminar features outside speakers and will utilize existing seminar series when appropriate, such as the CBCB seminar series. Ph.D. students must take two semesters of this seminar; M.S. students must take one semester.

  2. BICB 8930 Journal Club (1 cr; up to 4 repetitions totaling up to 4.0 cr)
    This seminar will meet weekly for 60 minutes during both fall semester and spring semester. The seminar is required of 1st and 2nd year Ph.D. graduate students and 1st year M.S. graduate students. This seminar consists of discussions of journal articles that are led by 2nd year Ph.D. graduate students. The journal articles will be chosen by the 2nd year students in consultation with their advisors/co‐advisors

  3. BICB 8932 Proposal Writing Seminar (1.0 crs; no repeats allowed)
    This seminar is required for all 2nd year Ph.D. graduate students. Its purpose is to teach students how to write proposals and to guide them through the writing of their preliminary written exam. This seminar will meet during the spring semester.

  4. BICB 8994 Directed Research (1‐3 crs; up to 2 repetitions allowed totaling up to 6.0 crs)
    This course may be used by Ph.D. graduate students to engage in research projects prior to passing the preliminary oral exam. These research projects may lead to thesis research or could be independent of the planned Ph.D. or M.S. thesis research. M.S. graduate students may register for this course at any time.

  5. BICB 8960 Internship Course (1‐6 crs; up to 6 repeats allowed totaling up to 12.0 crs)
    All students are required to complete 120 hours of internships. Students may register for up to 6 credits per semester. Students are not required to register for credit for internships. However, they must provide documentation of completion of internships that are kept on file as outlined in Appendix B.

Other Program Credits

  1. BICB 8333 FTE: Master’s (No Grade Associated)

  2. BICB 8444 FTE: Doctoral (No Grade Associated)

  3. BICB 8666 Doctoral Pre‐Thesis Credits (1‐6 crs; 2 repeats allowed; DGS consent for 3rd/4th registrations; No Grade Associated)

  4. BICB 8777 Thesis Credits: Master’s (1‐18 crs; 10 repeats allowed; No Grade Associated)

  5. BICB 8888 Thesis Credits: Doctoral (1‐24 crs; 10 repeats allowed; No Grade Associated)

The BICB program is composed of courses that are mostly taught out of Twin Cities departments or Mayo Graduate School. These courses are divided into core and elective courses. Below is a list of courses. This list is not exhaustive. If you and your adviser identify a course that is not on the list but is essential for gaining competency in your area of specialty, contact the Director of Graduate Studies to find out which of the areas the course would fall under. Most BICB courses and seminars listed below are Pass/Fail (where applicable).

 

Course Designators

College Name

Phone Number

Notes

GCD

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

(612) 624-7470

 

BioC

Biochemistry

(612) 625-5179

 

ChEn

Chemical Engineering

 

 

MICA

Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology

 

Email the professor and ask for permission number. If he approves, he'll call the secretary and you'll get the number.

PHCL

Pharmacology

(612) 625-9997

 

Csci

Computer Science

(612) 625-4002

 

EE

Electrical and Computer Engineering

 

Get the permission number from the specific instructor

SciC

Scientific Computation

 

 

Math

Mathematics

(612) 625-4848

 

PubH

Public Health

 

On the PubH page off of onestop, look at the contact for the course you're interested in, and contact them for the number.

Stat

Statistics

 

 

Biol

Biology

(612) 624-9717

 

EEB

Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

(612) 624-6770

 

Ling

Linguistics

(612) 624-3331

 

CMB

Comparative and Molecular Biosciences

(612) 624-2282

 

Chem

Chemistry

(612) 624-0026

 

Phys

Physics

(612) 624-9856

 

BMEN

Biomedical Engineering

 

Email the professor and ask for permission number.  If he approves, he'll call the secretary and you'll get the number.

MedC

Medical Chemistry

 

Contact the professor for the permission number

NURS

Nursing

(612) 625-7980

 

BTHX

Bioethics

(612) 624-9440

 

EdPA

Educational Policy and Administration

(612) 624-1006

 

MOT

Management of Technology

(612) 624-5747

 

BICB

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

(612) 625-6255

 

Statement on Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is against the law. It is prohibited by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and by the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Sexual harassment is broadly defined to include behavior which is not considered overtly sexual. Although not specifically prohibited, consenting sexual relationships between faculty and student, or supervisor and employee, are actively discouraged. The University of Minnesota has had a strongly enforced policy on sexual harassment since 1981 and encourages reporting of violations. Call 612-624-9547 for additional information.

Statement of Equal Opportunity
The University of Minnesota is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, or sexual orientation.

Other general information about graduate programs at the University of Minnesota can be found at the web page of the Graduate School. The Graduate School has also issued a Graduate Student Handbookwith useful information about policies and procedures that are relevant to all University of Minnesota graduate students.

Responsibilities
The University suggests principles for mutual roles and responsibilities in Mutual Rights and Responsibilities of Faculty and Graduate Students: Guidelines.

Grievances
For resolving student academic complaints, please contact the DGS (see also Administrative Policy: Addressing Student Academic Complaints, and the Student Conflict Resolution Center)

Conduct
See the Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code and related resources (e.g., Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity)

Research
For research involving human subjects and animals, see: Research Involving Human Subjects and Research Involving Animal Subjects.

Opportunities for Student Involvement

  • BICB has a student representative who attends BICB Faculty meetings

  • COGS

  • GAPSA

Adding External Members to an Examining Committee

  1. The graduate student initiates the process by informing the DGS that s/he would like to add an external member to the committee.

  2. The DGS solicits the CV from the suggested member, and verifies with the student's adviser that the suggested member is appropriate for the committee and approved by the adviser.

  3. The DGS checks whether the suggested member has the appropriate credentials, which typically is a Ph.D. in a field appropriate to the student's research.

  4. The DGS circulates the CV among BICB graduate faculty to solicit comments within a fixed period (say, two weeks). If nobody voices any concerns about the suggested member being a member of an examining committee, the DGS will initiate the process of adding the member to the committee.

Being an external member of an examining committee does not confer any rights other than participating in that committee. i.e., the external member does not become a permanent member of the BICB graduate faculty. Once the student graduates, the external member no longer has a relationship with the program. If serious concerns by other faculty members are voiced, i.e., if faculty have reasons to believe that the academic credentials of the suggested external member are not at the level expected of a member of a BICB examining committee, the DGS will contact the student's adviser to discuss the concerns. If the concerns cannot be resolved through discussions, the DGS will ask the adviser to suggest a different committee member.

Classes can be searched online using One Stop. Click on Class Search, which is available under the Quick Links. BICB courses are listed on the Rochester campus; others courses are listed under the Twin Cities campus. Select the Term and then the Subject to find the courses you wish to register for. If you are registering for the first time, see your temporary advisor and the DGS/Associate DGS before you register for courses. Returning graduate students should discuss the schedule for the upcoming semester with their advisor/co-advisors and committee members. To register for a course, click on the Add Now button next to the section you wish to attend. If a course requires departmental or instructor permission, obtain a permission number from the department that offers the course. BICB graduate courses are processed by the BICB Graduate Program Secretary at UMR. If a hold was placed on your registration, contact the DGS/Associate DGS.

The University requires registration every Fall and Spring semester to maintain active status. If you do not register, you are considered to have withdrawn, and you must seek re-admission to the Graduate School (see Maintaining Active Status). To get re-admitted, you need to pay a reapplication fee to the Graduate School.

The Graduate School has two registration options: active or full-time status. Full-time status is defined as 6 or more credits per semester. Students who are either Teaching or Research Assistants, or have loans to defer, or are on a foreign visa, or live in student housing must maintain full-time status (some fellowships and traineeships also require full-time status). Graduate students (M.S. Plan A or Ph.D.) who have completed all their coursework and required thesis credits and are working full-time on their research or writing of their thesis have the option to register for “Full-time Equivalent” (FTE). M.S. students register for BICB 8333 and Ph.D. students for BICB 8444 (see Procedures for FTE with One Credit for Advanced Graduate Students). Depending on the source of funding, the Graduate Program reserves the right to require registration for FTE for students who are eligible.

The University creates Internet accounts for all incoming students. In order to use it, you need to “initiate” it by defining a password (more information about how to initiate your Internet Account). Your Internet account gives you 50 hours per month of modem access, as well as 50 MB of file storage space on a University server and 20 MB which can be used for a personal web page. Current students may download and use Symantec Antivirus on one personal computer.