Candidates who lack sufficient preparation in the social sciences, but whose academic record justifies consideration for eventual admission to the master's graduate program, must register for a qualifying year during which they are required to take courses to broaden their knowledge of sociology. Candidates must achieve a final grade of at least a B in these courses and an average in all courses of at least B+; in general, they must, in the opinion of the Department, have achieved sufficient preparation in the subject matter of sociology before they will be allowed to proceed with graduate work. All candidates are expected to have taken courses in statistics, research methods, and sociological theory at the undergraduate level.
Bioinformatics research lies at the intersection of biological/medical sciences and mathematics/computer science/engineering. The intention of the Bioinformatics option is to train students to become researchers in this interdisciplinary field. This includes the development of strategies for experimental design, the construction of tools to analyze datasets, the application of modelling techniques, the creation of tools for manipulating bioinformatics data, the integration of biological databases, and the use of algorithms and statistics. Students successfully completing the Bioinformatics option at the . level will be fluent in the concepts, language, approaches, and limitations of the field and will have the capability of developing an independent bioinformatics research program.