Why study bioinformatics?

Bioinformatics is the application of computational tools to biology and concerned with implementing tools to analyze big data across biology — all the way from inside the cell and genome to ecological systems.

  • Augustana is the first university in South Dakota to offer bioinformatics at the undergraduate level.
  • As the only bioinformatics program in the region to require courses in both data science and artificial intelligence, AU also allows students to dive deeper into software engineering, the mathematical tools of data science or pursue a track in environmental data analysis.
AU Biology Class

Academics at AU

Course Descriptions

Major Map


Related Programs of Study



Latest News

Augustana University will offer South Dakota’s first undergraduate program in bioinformatics as both a major and minor beginning in the fall — adding to the list of interdisciplinary academic programs being developed as part of Augustana’s strategic plan Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030.




Bioinformatics majors often pursue careers as bioinformatics programmers, research scientists, genome analysts, microbiologists, forensic investigators, software developers, computational biologists, genetic data managers, animal scientists or pharmaceutical researchers.

Hands-On Learning

Research and internship opportunities may include:

  • Hospitals & clinics
  • Pharmacies
  • Laboratories
  • Information technology organizations
  • Botanic gardens

Bioinformatics students may have the opportunity study away in:

  • Costa Rica — looking at the history of conservation and how bioinformatics can help conservation efforts with AU faculty

Courses & Organizations

The bioinformatics major consists of courses in biology, computer science, mathematics and chemistry, as well as a bioinformatics capstone course. The capstone allows students to put together a portfolio of their work and reflect on the bioinformatics major or minor and what it means for their future careers.

Bioinformatics students may participate in:

  • Biology Club
  • Computer Science Club
  • Math Club
  • Augie Green