24 October, 2022


October 24, 2022, Cairo – The American University in Cairo (AUC) introduced four new minors this fall. The University is offering this semester the first bioinformatics academic degree in Egypt, in addition to three new minors in Game Design, Islamic History and Visual Arts. 

Bioinformatics Minor

Paving the way into the future, AUC has launched the first bioinformatics academic degree in Egypt. Ahmed Moustafa, professor and chair of the Department of Biology, explained that recent developments in DNA sequencing technologies have resulted in an enormous amount of genetic data.

“To be able to process, analyze and interpret these data, a need for researchers with combined expertise in biological and computational sciences arose — resulting in the birth of the interdisciplinary field of bioinformatics,” Moustafa said.


Many organizations in Egypt have begun adopting genomics-based approaches across a number of fields, including medicine, agriculture, energy and food. Students who study under this program will be well-equipped to meet the growing demand for bioinformaticians.

“The minor will prepare students to apply data analytics in genomic sciences,” he explained. “Moreover, the students will gain practical skills and experience that allow them to answer questions such as which genetic mutation and/or microbe is associated with a certain disease, which coronavirus variant is dominant in a specific area at a certain point in time, or what genetic modification can be applied to improve the production of a certain crop.”

Game Design Minor

Also created as a response to changing job market demands, the new minor in Game Design is overseen by Ahmad Saqfalhait, associate professor of practice and associate chair of the Department of Arts. A collaboration between the Graphic Design Program and the Department of Computer Sciences and Engineering, the program is a response to an industry that has surpassed “three of the biggest entertainment-related industries: music, film and sports, combined,” Saqfalhait said. “

“In addition to its economic value, game applications have expanded and evolved to cover various needs, from educational and social to medical and psychological — all playing on our need to have fun and engage,” he said.

With the region lacking representation in this field, according to Saqfalhait, training students in this field will allow them to harness gaming to share their own narratives.

Visual Arts Minor

The Department of the Arts is now offering a Visual Arts Minor for those wishing to unlock their artistic side. Also open to all students, the program will touch on art foundations, painting, ceramics, photography and animation, among others, allowing students to create works of art with various tools.

“Students joining from scientific disciplines, for example, will be able to produce their science-based projects as creative art productions,” said Shady Elnoshokaty, visual arts program director and associate professor of practice in the Department of the Arts. “This is the contemporary concept of arts and art education today.”

Islamic History Minor

The Islamic History minor is the result of a comprehensive rework of a previous minor in Classical/Medieval Middle East History. 

“The courses in this program will prepare students to consider the Islamic past with more nuance and with a variety of analytical skills,” said Amina Elbendary, associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Arab and Islamic Civilizations, stressing the program’s importance for anyone interested in the Middle East and Islam today.

Explore all of AUC’s course offerings here.

For regular updates from the University during coronavirus visit www.aucegypt.edu/coronavirus 

For more information about the university news and events follow us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/aucegypt and Twitter @AUC

Founded in 1919, The American University in Cairo (AUC) is a leading English-language, American-accredited institution of higher education and center of the intellectual, social, and cultural life of the Arab world. It is a vital bridge between East and West, linking Egypt and the region to the world through scholarly research, partnerships with academic and research institutions and study abroad programs. 

The University offers 40 undergraduate, 52 master’s and two PhD programs rooted in a liberal arts education that encourages students to think critically and find creative solutions to conflicts and challenges facing both the region and the world. 

An independent, nonprofit, politically non-partisan, non-sectarian and equal opportunity institution, AUC is fully accredited in Egypt and the United States.