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Ph.D. in Informatics with a specialization in Health and Biomedical Informatics

Unlimited exploration in health data research

There is no limit to the potential for innovation in the field of health and biomedical data. Health informatics researchers are examining far-reaching issues such as:

  • How do we design electronic health record systems to deliver genomic and genetic information to clinicians so they can make better patient treatment decisions?
  • How will we harness the power of social media to identify, monitor, and respond to disease outbreaks?
  • How can we create technology to improve health care outcomes in the most remote locales on the planet?

The Ph.D. in Health Informatics program at the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI immerses students in challenges like these and addresses them through pioneering research questions and approaches.

On the front lines of health care and technology

Our graduates play critical roles in health care organizations—managing and integrating systems for electronic health records and examining how we interact with technology.

Learn more about our health informatics degree programs

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Plan of study

The Ph.D. in Informatics with a Health and Biomedical Informatics specialization is a 90-credit-hour program that integrates knowledge from informatics, health care, health information technology, and other disciplines. The program includes core courses, research rotations, your choice of minor, qualifying examinations, and a dissertation.

Year one

Year two

Year three

Year four


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 subdiscipline within informatics. Some appropriate minors 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 student 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 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.

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