Department of Biomedical Informatics

Admission Information

woman at laptop

Students admitted to the program should have basic competencies in college-level calculus, statistics, and computer programming as well as undergraduate biology. Strong applicants who are missing some of this background (e.g., an MD with no formal computer science training) can be accepted but will be required to take introductory courses in computer science as a condition of admission. Similar accommodations will be made for strong computationally-oriented applicants who have no specific training or experience in the biomedical domain.

Interested in applying? Please see additional application information and apply here!

Program Requirements

The current Laney Graduate School (LGS) Handbook describes the policies of the graduate school, and the current Computer Science and Informatics (CSI) Graduate Program Handbook describes the policies of the graduate program. These handbooks describe important teaching and ethics opportunities within the program (and we recommend that you read them)!

Courses and Research Rotation Projects 

Courses and research rotation projects provide foundational knowledge and skills for our PhD program.

Students must complete seven courses with grades of B or better and an average GPA of 3.3 or better by the spring semester of their second year and two research rotation projects with grades of B or better by the end of the spring semester of your second year:

  • 3 core courses: Introduction to Biomedical Informatics, Biomedical Statistics for Machine Learning, and Introduction to Machine Learning
  • 4 elective courses, including BMI, CS, BIOS, and other courses. See the CSI Handbook for approved elective courses and the BMI Director of Graduate Students (DGS) for approval of additional elective courses.
  • Complete two research rotation projects that introduce you to research and potential PhD advisors.

Your advisor, another faculty member, and the DGS can help you choose courses and research rotation projects.

Qualifying Exams 

The qualifying exam helps students transition from coursework to teaching as they progress through our PhD program.

The qualifying process has three components: a technical report, committee feedback and written response, and an oral examination. Each component provides the opportunity for a student to demonstrate proficiencies in one or more of the four objective areas: expert area knowledge, critical analysis skills, research readiness, and technical communication. The qualifying exam includes:

  • A publication-quality technical report
  • Committee feedback about your report and a written response to the committee’s feedback
  • An oral presentation of your technical report and written response and oral exam by the committee

Thesis Proposal, Dissertation, and Defense

The thesis proposal, written dissertation, and oral defense are the culmination of your time in our program and demonstrate your ability to perform independent, high-quality research.

Each student must: 

  • Propose their dissertation research
  • Complete a written dissertation of their research
  • Deliver an oral defense of their research