Partnership with NIH FAES

UMBC and the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) at NIH established a partnership to extend academic opportunities for their respective students. Qualified students who successfully complete coursework in data science, bioinformatics, or technology transfer at FAES may be able to transfer coursework into UMBC’s Master of Professional Studies in Data Science.


I am taking BIOF classes at FAES and I am interested in MPS Data Science at UMBC. What should I do?

First, you should submit an application to our program. In your “statement of purpose”, please mention that you are currently taking or you previously took BIOF classes at FAES.

Second, if you are admitted to our program and you decide to join us, fill out the “Transfer of Credits” form and submit it to the UMBC Graduate School along with your official transcripts provided by FAES as soon as you join our graduate data science program. The “Transfer of Credits” form can be found on UMBC’s Graduate School website.

How many courses can I transfer from FAES?

You can transfer up to 15 credits if you are going to take FAES courses which are equivalent to DATA 601 and DATA 602. Please read the following paragraph.

FAES students, who plan to earn an MPS in Data Science degree from UMBC, can transfer “BIOF 309 & BIOF 475” and/or “BIOF 509 & BIOF 510” as equivalents to DATA 601 and DATA 602, respectively. Students who transfer the courses in Table 1 (see below) will be able to earn their MPS DS degrees from UMBC by completing eight additional courses. These courses will be four data science courses (DATA 603 Platforms for Big Data Processing, DATA 604 Data Management, DATA 605 Ethical and Legal Issues in Data Science, DATA 606 Capstone in Data Science) and four additional elective/pathway courses.

FAES COURSES (Two 2-Credits courses are required)  UMBC EQUIVALENT
BIOF 309 Introduction to Python and
BIOF 475 Introduction to New Technologies in Data Science
 DATA 601
BIOF 509: Applied Machine Learning and
BIOF 510 Advanced Applications of Artificial Intelligence
 DATA 602

What are the Bioinformatics Pathway elective courses?

Within Bioinformatics, FAES offers one-credit and two-credit courses. The one and two-credit credit courses are needed to be combined to be considered as equivalents to three-credit graduate-level courses offered at UMBC. You can transfer in coursework from FAES to serve as a nine-credit Bioinformatics pathway within the MPS among the courses listed in the table below.

BIOF 339 Practical R (2 credits) and
BIOF 439 Data Visualization with R* (2 credits)
BIOF 501 Introduction to R (2 credits) and
BIOF 529 Super R with Shiny (2 credits)
BIOF 395 Introduction to Text Mining (2 cr) and
BIOF 399 Deep Learning for Healthcare Image Analysis* (2 cr)
BIOF 450 Bioinformatics, Evolutionary Genomics, and Computational Biology (3 cr.)  3
BIOF 518 Theoretical and Applied Bioinformatics I (2 cr) and
BIOF 519 Theoretical and Applied Bioinformatics II (2 cr)
BIOF 521 Bioinformatics for Analysis of Next Generation Sequencing  3

Note: Students with no programming experience and students with some basic programming experience are advised to take “BIOF 339 & BIOF 439” and “BIOF 501 & BIOF 529” paired courses, respectively, but not both.

Whom should I contact at UMBC to get more information?

Dr. Ergun Simsek at


UMBC students, please visit this page if you are interested in the Bioinformatics pathway.