Admission Information

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Students admitted to the program, in full standing, should have basic competencies in college-level calculus, undergraduate biology, statistics and computer programming. 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 computer science-oriented applicants who have no specific training or experience in the biomedical domain.

Program Requirements

Students must complete each of the following requirements, as well as fulfill the Graduate School residency requirements.

Courses and Projects 

  • 3 core courses, 6 required courses from 3 tracks, and 2 electives (see course requirements below)
  • Complete two projects: one in informatics and one in a clinical rotation. These involve interdisciplinary work and will be co-supervised by a core faculty member and an informatics or domain faculty member. Projects should be in areas relevant to your dissertation topic and must include a project proposal and a final report. Possible areas of rotation include Intensive Care Unit informatics, Biomedical informatics studies in HMOs, Medical Home, Imaging informatics and radiation therapy, Data modeling and visualization, Transplant informatics, Natural Language Processing in biomedicine.

Qualifying Exams 

Qualifying exams consist of: 

  • An area exam that covers foundational materials within your area of research, and 
  • A thesis proposal in which you describe a set of open research questions and the approaches that you will take to answer them.

Teaching Requirements

Each student must: 

  • Attend a 3-day summer teaching workshop 
  • Attend a 1-semester department seminar on teaching
  • Co-teach 1 course, and 
  • Independently teach an introductory-level undergraduate course

Seminar and Dissertation

Each student must: 

  • Present a department graduate seminar
  • Complete an acceptable dissertation and deliver an oral defense

Course Requirements

Students must complete their core courses with a grade of B+ or higher and complete the remaining coursework by year 3 with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. You may take a qualifying exam once you have completed the minimum course requirements.

Core Courses

Students must take the following 3 core courses:

  • BMI 500: Introduction to Biomedical Informatics
  • CS 534: Machine Learning
  • BIOS 506: Statistical Methods (4)

Foundational Tracks

In addition, you must take 6 courses that serve as building blocks of a sound biomedical informatics training. Choose 2 courses from each of the following tracks.

Mathematical Foundations Track (Choose 2 courses)

This track provides training in mathematical and statistical techniques to analyze data, formulate and test hypotheses, etc. Example courses that meet this requirement are listed below, or you may substitute other graduate-level courses from Math, BIOS, or EPI with prior approval from the BMI program director and/or your thesis advisor.

  • BIOS 510: Probability Theory I
  • BIOS 710: Probability Theory II
  • BIOS 511: Statistical Inference I
  • BIOS 711: Statistical Inference II
  • BIOS 522: Survival Analysis
  • EPI 504: Fundamentals of Epidemiology
  • INFO 503: Management Principles for Informatics
  • MATH 515: Numerical Analysis I

Biomedical Applications (Choose 2 courses)

This track provides training in the specific domains that motivate the methodological and applied activities of biomedical informatics research. Example courses that meet this requirement are listed below, or you may substitute other graduate-level courses from GDBBS, BMI, etc., with prior approval from the BMI program director and/or your thesis advisor.

  • IBS 523 Cancer Biology I
  • IBS 524 Cancer Biology II
  • IBS 534 Computational Neuroscience
  • IBS 574 Computational Biology & Bioinformatics
  • BMI 614+ Machine Learning & Computational Biology
  • BMI 615+ Biomedical Imaging Informatics
  • BMED 6760/6790 Info Process Model Neura
  • BMED 6780 Medical Image Processing
  • BMED 6789 Technology Ventures
  • BMED 7411 Mathematical Models in Biology & Medicine

Computational Techniques (Chose 2 courses)

This track provides training in the computational systems and techniques that are essential to the conduct of biomedical informatics research and development activities. Example courses that meet this requirement are listed below, or you may substitute other graduate-level courses from Math, CS, BMI, etc., with prior approval from the BMI program director and/or your thesis advisor.

  • CS 551 Systems Programming
  • CS 554 Database Systems
  • CS 556 Programming Languages & Compilers
  • CS 557 Artificial Intelligence
  • CS 570 Data Mining
  • CS 571 Natural Language Processing
  • CS 572 Information Retrieval
  • CS 573 Data Privacy & Security
  • CS 563* Digital Image Processing
  • CS 580 Operating Systems
  • CS 581* High Performance Computing (merged with CS 555)
  • MATH 771 Numerical Optimization

Graduate Electives

Students must take 2 additional graduate-level courses from Mathematics, Computer Science, Biology, Chemistry, Biomedical Informatics, the Rollins School of Public Health, School of Medicine, or appropriate schools at Georgia Tech through the ARCHE program. When substituting courses, you must obtain prior written approval from your thesis advisor, the CSI DGS, and the BMI program director.