This course is a computer-based lab course.

All Genetics majors must complete a lab course requirement to fulfill the degree requirements.  The lab course requirement can be satisfied by taking either this course or 01:447:315 or 01:694:214 or 01:694:215 or 01:447:302 or 01:447:303.


Spring Term, Monday and Thursday , 9:00 AM*-11:30 AM, IN-PERSON

*Please note that this course will begin at 9 AM despite the 8:30 AM listing on Web-Reg.




General Biology I (01:119:115) ;  Gen Bio II (01:119:116) is a co-requisite.

Course Restrictions

Students must be in their first or second year at Rutgers in an approved Honors program (e.g., the Honors College or the SAS Honors Program) OR receive special permission from the instructor.

Course Description

Honors computational genetics is a computer-based laboratory course that introduces students to the use of computers in biological research. This course is for freshman and sophomore Honors students who are thinking of careers at the intersection of life sciences, statistics, and/or computer science, particularly students who are considering majoring in Genetics. The course fulfills the laboratory requirement for the Genetics major.  Prior computer programming or computer science experience is NOT necessary, nor is it expected. 

In the first half of the course, students will receive instruction in introductory computer programming (Python) and the UNIX operating system. In the second half of the course, students will practice using Python and UNIX software packages to analyze genetic and genomic data. Each class consists of a mixture of lecture and computer-based demos and/or exercises, as well as time for students to work on assignments. The course provides the introductory skills needed to conduct basic computational research in the life sciences, including many aspects of computer programming and data analysis.

This course meets guidelines for an honors course specifically by providing close contact with faculty, covering topics with expanded scope and providing exercises that are more in-depth than in traditional courses.

Course Syllabus

Spring 2022 Syllabus

Course Goals

The goals of Honors Computational Genetics reflect the learning goals of the Department of Genetics, and include 1) knowledge specific goals: know the terms, concepts and theories in genetics; 2) integrate the material from multiple courses and research.

Core Curriculum Learning Goals Met by this Course

Info Tech & Research [ITR].  Goal: Employ current technologies to access information, to conduct research, and to communicate findings.

Course Materials

The computer lab has Windows computers. No textbook is required as most of the needed material is made available during class. 

Exams, Assignments, and Grading Policy

Attendance is expected at all classes; in-class demos and exercises are an integral part of this class and it is difficult to make-up work when class is missed. Students are responsible for being aware of all assignment due dates, which are included with each assignment. Changes to due dates or lecture topics are made in class and/or will be posted on the class Canvas website. There are no late submissions. There is no extra credit or make-up work available for this class. The course is graded on the basis of weekly assignments, short quizzes, and Mid-term and Final Exams.   The following grading scale will be used:   90% A   87% B+   80% B   77% C+   70% C.  D and F grades will be determined based on the final score distribution at the end of the course.

Computer Use

A username and password is assigned to use on the computers in the computer lab for the duration of the course. These student accounts provide individual space for class work. Work can be done outside of the computer lab on a personal computer. Printing is not available during class. 

Course Closed?

If the course is closed, please continue to monitor web-reg for openings. If you have any questions, please  see Genetics Spn Link  for  instructions and contact information.


Dr. Chris Ellison (Course Director)

Nelson B420

Phone: (848) 445-3841

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

** All information is subject to change at the discretion of the course coordinator.


Registration Information for Spring 2023!

CHECK OUT THE OUGI VIRTUAL FRONT DESK!  Our staff is available via zoom weekdays 9:00 am - 4:30 pm (closed for lunch between 12-1 pm) to answer questions regarding registration for Spring 2023!



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