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PhD in Biomedical Informatics

PhD in Biomedical Informatics

Our PhD program provides intensive research training and coursework in biomedical informatics. The primary goal of the program is to train the next generation of students to be independent scientists who can transform data into knowledge to improve the health of individuals and populations.


The strengths of our program faculty are utilized in the building of the curriculum. This figure shows the expertise by application area (green, yellow, orange, red), methodology (grey), and focal research area (teal). After a year of core courses, students join an application track and choose methods courses as needed. The research foci are woven through the curriculum and demonstrate departmental strengths, although students are not limited to these fields.

Application Tracks

The strengths of our program faculty are utilized in the building of our curriculum and broken down into 4 application areas: 

Methods Tracks

There are 4 methods tracks, and students select courses from one or more track to meet their learning needs:


There are 4 focus research threads that have been designed to allow the trainee to find their starting point and build their skill set and knowledge:


The PhD degree requires approximately 40 hours of formal classwork with a grade of B or better. A PhD student must pass a written and oral Comprehensive Exam after the first year of study. Graduate work at this or other institutions, including courses taken for an MS degree, may be applied to the PhD coursework requirement at the discretion of the student's advisory committee. After completion of coursework, the student must pass a PhD written and oral Qualifying Examination. In addition to the classwork, 14 or more hours of research work (taken as BMI 7970) are required. This work must lead to completing and defending an original PhD dissertation demonstrating the student's capabilities to conceive and execute an independent research project.


The admission process is rigorous, and we attempt to provide funding for all admitted candidates. We work to match people's interest with research projects mentors. Funding includes:

  • Annual $40,000 stipend

  • 100% tuition coverage

  • Health insurance

  • Support for research conferences


  • First department of biomedical informatics, established in 1964

  • Internationally recognized as a leader in biomedical informatics

  • Available support via the National Library of Medicine Training Grant and other resources

  • Abundant research opportunities with leaders in the field

PhD Application Deadlines

December 1st

Online Application