BioHealth Informatics Department Menu

Health and Biomedical Informatics Ph.D.

Kislaya Kunjan, a Health Informatics Ph.D. Candidate: Health information has to be of use to the user

The Ph.D. in Informatics with a Health and Biomedical Informatics specialization is a 90-credit-hour program that integrates knowledge from informatics, healthcare, health information technology and other disciplines to analyze and protect patient data, increase healthcare efficiencies and produce higher quality patient care.

The program includes core courses, research rotations, your choice of minor, qualifying examinations and a dissertation.

Careers in Health Informatics

Our graduates play a critical role in health care organizations by leading the design, development, implementation, management, and integration of electronic health record systems, m-health, and other technologies. These individuals often have a passion for improving health care and making a difference in their community as well as the world. Our graduates work on a wide array of projects in hospitals, doctors’ offices, insurance companies, government agencies, and health IT software companies.

A sample of some projects include:

  • Lead product development teams developing cutting-edge technologies that will be used on the front lines of medicine
  • Lead health care analytics projects where they are analyzing Big Data in health care to inform business, clinical, and population decisions
  • Develop policies affecting the privacy and security of health information as it is collected, stored, managed, and shared
  • Work with clinical teams to better use IT systems such as electronic health records to improve efficiencies, expand their services to serve more people, and support e-visits where patients communicate with their providers using e-mail, texts, and video.

Areas of Research

Researchers in health informatics are working on tough problems, such as:

  • How do we design electronic health record systems to capture, manage, and deliver genetic and genomic information to clinicians when they are making decisions about how to treat patients?
  • What methods can we use to harness the power of social media technologies such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. to identify, monitor, and respond to disease outbreaks such as the H1N1 flu pandemic?
  • How should we design the next generation of electronic health records to better support the various places and contexts in which health care is delivered?
  • What new technologies are needed to improve health care outcomes in the most remote villages on the planet?
  • Which machine learning and natural language processing techniques can be applied to messy, unstructured clinical information available in most EHR systems?
  • What business models will create sustainable health IT companies and services for the health care organizations of the future?

If you are interested in working on these challenges, then studying health informatics at IUPUI is the right choice. Our faculty are interested in working with students to address these open research questions.

Why study at SOIC?

As a health informatics student, you have access to unique combination of faculty, organizational, and community resources to enhance learning and research. Our faculty are engaged in cutting-edge research on the next generation of health IT systems, applications of health analytics, and development of technologies to support patients wherever they may need access to health informatics. Furthermore, the School of Informatics and Computing collaborates with many world-class partners including:

  • IU Schools of Medicine and Nursing
  • The Regenstrief Institute, with its internationally-recognized research in health services and biomedical informatics
  • The Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center and its Center for Health Information and Communication as well as its human-computer interaction laboratory

Indianapolis and the State of Indiana are a significant hub for innovation in the life sciences and a national model for healthcare in the Digital Age. Indianapolis is one of the Most Wired healthcare markets in the nation, home to 5 major technology-ready networks of hospitals and physician practices. Indianapolis is further home to the largest health information exchange in the U.S. These community resources provide access to patient data and research possibilities that are truly unprecedented. Our community is also home to a health informatics accelerator, which works with entrepreneurs to take their innovative ideas to the market.

Learn how to applyContact us

Plan of Study

Year 1

Year 2





Year 3

Year 4


Choose four courses.

Other elective courses are possible upon approval of your faculty advisor.

Human-Computer Interaction Courses

Graduate School Courses

  • GRAD 610 Topic in Translation and Implementation of Research
  • GRAD 661 Clinical Trials
  • GRAD 653 Introduction to Applied Statistic Methods

Minor (12 cr.)

All students will be required to have an appropriate minor outside or partially inside the school.  Minors will be selected with the advisor’s recommendation. The selected minor should be appropriate to the student’s choice of sub discipline within informatics. Some appropriate minors would include biology, chemistry, cognitive psychology, computer science and information science. In all cases the number of hours to be included in the minor will be consistent with the requirements of the unit granting the minor.

Qualifying Examinations

Written Exam

All students will take a written qualifying examination that covers the (1) core courses of the Master In Health Informatics Program and (2) critical review of Health Informatics Research. The examination will be set by a group of faculty who are familiar with the content of the core courses. Examinations will be offered in August. Examinations must be completed by the beginning of the student’s third year in the program, but can be completed before that time when the core courses are completed. Students who do not successfully complete the examination can retake the examination a second time.

Oral Exam

The oral examination will take place after the student successfully passes the written exam. Students must pass both the written and oral exam before passing on to candidacy. Only two attempts to pass the oral examination will be allowed.

The oral exam will be based on the student’s response to the written exam and any material from the core courses.


Proposal (Required)

This is an oral exam that covers in-depth knowledge of the student’s primary research area and dissertation proposal. The research proposal for dissertation must be approved by the student’s research committee. That committee may have the same membership as the program committee or the students may choose different members. The advisor for the dissertation will be a faculty member in the School of Informatics and Computing and a member of the Graduate Faculty. At least one the three members of the committee will be based outside of the school. The student will defend the thesis proposal at a public colloquium in the school. The examination should be completed within one-year after passing the Qualifying Examinations. Only two attempts to pass this examination will be allowed.

Dissertation (21 to 30 cr.)

A written elaboration of significant original research, which must be successfully presented to the research committee in a public defense as described in the Graduate School Bulletin.