Computational Life Sciences (Certificate)

At a Glance: program details

Certificate Map

Do you have a curious mind and a passion for solving problems in new ways? You can make a powerful impact in today's fast-changing research landscape by using new technologies to mine life-changing answers from life science data.

Program Description

The computational life sciences certificate program introduces students to a burgeoning new field. Huge leaps in processing technologies have thrown open the doors for new research techniques and exciting opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations.

Students are introduced to a suite of tools and approaches that enable them to uncover correlations, glean new understanding and help solve scientific problems.

Students examine many different types of data generated from a wide range of fields, including ecology, botany, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, molecular and cellular biology, and animal behavior. Students investigate topics such as DNA, RNA, protein, imaging, conservation and even historical data from long-term ecological research sites.

Finally, students also explore the ethical implications of collecting, analyzing and sharing the results of computational life sciences data.

Program Requirements

The certificate in computational life sciences requires a minimum of 15 credit hours, of which at least 12 credit hours must be upper division. The core consists of one computing course and one ethics course. A minimum of nine credit hours in elective courses complete the certificate. The computing course not used toward the core requirements may be used toward the elective credit hours. A grade of "C" (2.00 on a 4.00 scale) or higher is required for all courses used toward the certificate.
Required Courses -- 6 credit hours
Electives -- 9 credit hours
Prerequisite courses may be needed in order to complete the requirements of this certificate.

Enrollment Requirements

A student pursuing an undergraduate certificate must be enrolled as a degree-seeking student at ASU. Undergraduate certificates are not awarded prior to the award of an undergraduate degree. A student already holding an undergraduate degree may pursue an undergraduate certificate as a nondegree-seeking graduate student.

Career Outlook

In the life sciences, employers need scientists who are skilled in understanding and interpreting data, and those who have experience using new computational approaches and computer programs are in particular demand.

Graduates who have combined the certificate in computational life sciences with their major program of study often decide to pursue employment in ecology, medicine, botany, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, molecular and cellular biology, or animal behavior, and they work to identify and interpret data in the respective field.

Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions.

Example Careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions.

Bioinformatics Scientists

  • Growth: 3.9%
  • Median Salary*: 87300

Bioinformatics Technicians

  • Growth: 6.2%
  • Median Salary*: 71700
  Bright Outlook


  • Growth: 3.9%
  • Median Salary*: 87300

Climate Change Policy Analysts

  • Growth: 6.1%
  • Median Salary*: 76480
  Bright Outlook

Computer and Information Research Scientists

  • Growth: 22.7%
  • Median Salary*: 136620
  Bright Outlook

Database Administrators

  • Growth: 7%
  • Median Salary*: 99890
  Bright Outlook


  • Growth: 3.9%
  • Median Salary*: 87300

Natural Sciences Managers

  • Growth: 4.8%
  • Median Salary*: 144440
  Bright Outlook

Molecular and Cellular Biologists

  • Growth: 3.9%
  • Median Salary*: 87300

Software Developers

  • Growth: 25.7%
  • Median Salary*: 127260
  Bright Outlook

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

Attend Online

ASU offers this program in an online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. Applicants may view the program description and request more information here.

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.