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Practicum in Biomedical Informatics

The School of Biomedical Informatics students in the Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics must select an area of interest in which to apply the knowledge and skill gained during the didactic courses while participating in the required practicum course.

This practicum requirement will provide hands-on field experience that gives students the opportunity to work in a professional environment under the supervision of a professional with biomedical informatics or related experience, and with the guidance of a School of Biomedical Informatics faculty member.

Capstone Requirements for Graduation

Overview of Capstone Paper

  • The capstone paper is the culmination of the successful completion of the Practicum Course (BMI 6000) that is completed over the course of one to three semesters.
  • Students will not be approved for graduation until the capstone paper is submitted and signed by the Practicum Faculty Advisor.
  • Due to the depth of the capstone paper and the number of potential draft submissions, not all students are advised to enroll in the Practicum Course (BMI 6000) in the last semester of the M.S. program. This is unique for each student and students should seek advice from their Practicum Faculty Advisor.
  • This project is a comprehensive, integrative practice and/or research experience that reflects synthesis of program course work and mastery of expert practice knowledge in the translation of current research to improve biomedical informatics practice focusing on healthcare outcomes for patients, families, populations or systems.
  • Each student collaborates with an agency and/or School of Biomedical Informatics Practicum Faculty Advisor to address a real-world health problem or issue. The capstone allows the student to demonstrate expertise in biomedical informatics and competencies in applied and/or research areas of study.
  • The student must successfully complete the capstone in order to complete the requirements for the practicum course and ultimately earn a master’s degree. Students who successfully complete the capstone paper have achieved the following:

    • Regular meetings, at least two times per month, with their Practicum Faculty Advisor (in-person or via GoToMeeting).
    • Met with onsite preceptor (if applicable) to identify the clinical problem within three weeks of project start date.
    • Practicum/Capstone Proposal completed and approved by both the onsite preceptor (if applicable) and Practicum Faculty Advisor within three weeks of project start date.
    • Weekly logs to track project progress.
    • Student-produced outline of Capstone Paper content, which the Practicum Faculty Advisor, approves within four weeks of project start date.
    • The final Capstone Paper will include, at a minimum;

      • Most papers are at a minimum, 18 pages. This does not include references or appendices.
      • Cover page (using appropriate APA, SBMI formatted template)
      • Summary/Abstract
      • Introduction
      • Evidence-Based Practice Review
      • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes
      • Methods
      • Results
      • Discussion
      • Conclusion
      • References (APA formatted)
      • Acknowledgements

Goals and Objectives

Students will become active participants in the work of developing informatics-based applications and/or applying informatics science and skills to address an informatics need.

Goals and objectives for the practicum must be agreed upon by the student, Faculty Practicum Advisor, and Practicum Preceptor.

Most students must complete a minimum of 135 contact hours for practicum completion. There is an exception for students admitted to SBMI prior to Fall 2014, who must complete 270 contact hours. The contact hour requirements are noted below under “Practicum Eligibility Requirements.” Please contact the Practicum Coordinator ( with any inquiries you might have about your contact hour requirement.

Practicum Eligibility Requirements

Practicum Checklist

Practicum Forms

Students needing assistance with practicum placement must contact the Practicum Coordinator ( at least 30 days before the start of the semester.