Computational Life Sciences (Certificate)

At a Glance: program details

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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 science data.

Program Description

In the computational life sciences certificate program, students discover a burgeoning new field where huge leaps in processing technologies have thrown open the doors for new research techniques and interdisciplinary collaborations.

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

Using their mastery of these new techniques, students examine data generated from a 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 historical data, and explore the ethical implications of collecting, storing, analyzing and sharing the results of computational life science 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.

Learning Outcomes

  • Use bioinformatics tools and command line bioinformatics tools, and write simple computer scripts to find, retrieve, and organize various types of biological data.
  • Interpret the ethical, legal, medical, and social implications of biological data.
  • Able to summarize key computational concepts, such as algorithms and relational databases, and their applications in the life sciences, and apply statistical concepts used in computational life sciences.

Career Outlook

The computational life sciences certificate program provides students with data interpretation skills and experience using new computational approaches and programs. When combined with a major program of study, graduates will be in high demand for roles identifying and interpreting data in a variety of fields, including ecology, medicine, botany, evolutionary biology and animal behavior.

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.