A summer mini course for hands-on training in the fundamentals of programming for biological research

Program Overview

About UNC How to Learn to Code

Do you need to find better, faster ways to analyze your data? Do  you want to make your repetitive computer tasks quick and easy? Or do you just want to be able to better communicate with bioinformaticians and add a set of skills to your repertoire?

Are you not sure where to start because it’s overwhelming on your own?

How to Learn to Code (HLC) is a summer miniseries about the basics of computer programming/coding for biological research. HLC is run and taught by graduate students, post docs, and data scientists at UNC. The program is free and designed to introduce biological researchers (students/postdocs/faculty/staff) to foundational coding skills and tools they can apply to their own work. This program was named How to Learn to Code because coding is a continual learning process, even for experts, and not everything can be taught in one summer. This program aims to equip individuals with approaches on how to advance their skills in the future for their own specific data analysis goals.

Beginner participants can choose to learn either Beginner R or Python. Zero to minimal previous experience is expected.

Participants with previous experience can register for the Intermediate Python course. You should either have previous Python experience or experience in another language and be comfortable learning Python syntax quickly. Please contact us if you have questions about the specifics of this option.

Please see the course pages and FAQ for further information.



Certificate of Completion

We also offer a Certificate of Completion of this program to add to your CV/resume!

To receive the certificate , participants must:

  1. Attend 80% of small group classes (7 out of 8 classes)
  2. Participate in small group lessons and homework
  3. Participate in any end-of-class presentations
  4. Complete an exit survey

UNC How to Learn to Code is sponsored by UNC TIBBS: http://tibbs.unc.edu



  1. RR

    Hello, are the 8 class sessions held virtually? Or, are all of them in person?
    Thank you

    • Teresa Mcgee

      Hi RR, Thank you for your question! Classes are all in-person. Teachers may provide a hybrid option for students on a need basis, but none of the classes will be fully virtual.

  2. Kim Hackman

    my son – rising junior- really would love to learn intro to python this summer, as he is taking AP CS programming next school year. are you still giving summer lessons?

    • Teresa Mcgee

      Hi Kim, It sounds like your son is in high school. This program is for staff, faculty, employees, and currently registered students at UNC. If I am mistaken and he is registered at UNC, he is welcome to sign up for our classes when registration opens. Sorry for any confusion!

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