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Establishing a master's degree programme in Bioinformatics: challenges and opportunities

Establishing a master's degree programme in Bioinformatics: challenges and opportunities

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The development of the Bioinformatics MS degree program at the University of Illinois, the challenges and opportunities associated with such a process, and the current structure of the program is described. This program has departed from earlier University practice in significant ways. Despite the existence of several interdisciplinary programs at the University, a few of which grant degrees, this is the first interdisciplinary program that grants degrees and formally recognises departmental specialisation areas. The program, which is not owned by any particular department but by the Graduate College itself, is operated in a franchise-like fashion via several departmental concentrations. With four different colleges and many more departments involved in establishing and operating the program, the logistics of the operation are of considerable complexity but result in significant interactions across the entire campus.

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