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Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics Programs
2016-2018 Student Handbook

Program Description and Goals Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics Admission Process
Transfer Credit Degree Requirements for the Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics
Course of Study for the Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics Practicum

Program Description and Goals

The formal study of informatics at the master’s level is designed as a multi-disciplinary approach to accomplish these important goals:

  1. Understand the scope of the discipline of health informatics;
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the literature of health informatics;
  3. Develop informatics solutions to biomedical problems based on current research; and,
  4. Utilize Electronic Health Records or other health information technologies effectively

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Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics Admission Process

The applicant should present to the Registrar’s Office the following:

  1. Official transcripts from every post-secondary school attended
  2. A baccalaureate or higher degree
  3. A personal statement detailing the applicant’s interest in the program
  4. A resume or curriculum vitae (as appropriate)
  5. A Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score
  6. Grade Point Average (GPA) in previous (degrees) coursework
  7. A minimum TOEFL score of 87 is acceptable on the internet based test. A minimum IELTS score is 7.
  8. Three letters of reference from educators and/or employers

Applicant materials will be organized into a portfolio for review by the SBMI Admissions, Progression and Graduation (APG) committee. The committee will consider such areas as:

  • Health, MIS, Computer, or Engineering related degree
  • Health-care work experience
  • Database work experience
  • Informatics work experience
  • Demonstrated expertise in programming
  • GRE score
  • GPA in previous degree
  • Success in overcoming social, economic or educational disadvantages, race and ethnicity.

Requirements for International Applicants:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)/IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score. The official score for the TOEFL test must be submitted directly to the UTHealth Office of the Registrar from the TOEFL test centers using institutional codes 6906; no department code is required. The minimum acceptable score is an 87 on the internet-based test. The official scores for the IELTS Academic test must be submitted directly to the UTHealth Office of the Registrar from the IELTS test centers. The minimum acceptable score is a 7. Testing is at the applicant’s expense.
  • International applicants who have received a diploma from a university at which English is the language of instruction are not required to submit an English Language exam. If this school is outside of an English-speaking country, evidence that indicates the language of instruction will need to be provided with your application such as a letter from the University on official letterhead.
  • International applicants must submit official transcripts and a course-by-course education evaluation of all transcripts from all universities attended outside the United States. The application forms for such an evaluation may be obtained online from the service providers; Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc., https://www.ece.org/. org and World Education Services, https://www.wes.org/. Only evaluations from ECE or WES will be accepted. The results of the evaluation must be submitted directly to the UTHealth Office of the Registrar by the agency. The evaluation report is at the applicant’s expense
  • Students on an F-1 student visa are not eligible to enroll in the Master’s in Biomedical Informatics programs. F-1 sponsorship is available for students in the Research Master’s programs.

Master of Science in Health Informatics application deadlines:

Fall admission - July 1
Spring admission - November 1
Summer admission - March 1

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit for equivalent courses taken elsewhere may be awarded and used to meet degree requirements if their equivalency to a SBMI degree program course is approved through a Petition for Equivalency Credit. Courses for which grades of less than “B” were achieved will not be accepted for equivalency.

The maximum number of transferable semester credit hours is 12 for the master’s program.

Applicants who are presenting coursework from universities or colleges outside the United States to meet admission or graduation requirements are referred to the section on International Applicants in this catalog for a listing of additional requirements.

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Degree Requirements for the Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics

Academic Requirements

Credit hours must total at least 39 semester hours for all courses in the degree plan. Each student follows a degree plan developed with an Advising Committee. A total of 39 semester credit hours must be completed prior to graduation. There are two tracks within the Master’s Program. Students should work with the Office of Academic Affairs and their advisor to assure they are taking courses in their desired focus area.

A full-time student in the Program in Biomedical Informatics has up to four years (12 semesters) from the time of entry to complete the required course work. A part-time student has up to eight years (24 semesters) from the time of entry to complete the required course work. Continuous enrollment is required unless approval from the advising committee is obtained. A maximum of one year of an approved leave of absence will be allowed for continuance in the program. If more than one year of leave occurs, the student must apply for readmission to the program.

Each course with an HI/BMI prefix in the Biomedical Informatics degree plan is a graduate-level course and should be passed with a grade of “B” or better. Only one course grade of “C” is allowed. The minimum grade point average (GPA) required for graduation is 3.0 on all courses.

Computer Requirement

Every student is required to have reliable access to a computer that meets the minimum technical requirements. Students are encouraged to purchase a laptop that meets the minimum SBMI requirements.

Computer requirements are listed on the website (https://sbmi.uth.edu/current-students/student-handbook/computer-requirements.htm) and are subject to change.

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Course of Study for the Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics

Traditional Track

The curriculum of the traditional track for the Master of Science degree in Biomedical Informatics includes required didactic courses and a practicum. Didactic courses (lecture/discussion, demonstration and student laboratories) are presented to provide facts, concepts, and theories related to the techniques and procedures of health informatics. The courses include instruction in basic informatics, research, advanced informatics and elective courses. The practicum is designed to give the students the opportunity to apply theory and techniques in the hospital, research, or private laboratory setting.

Each student will develop a degree plan with written approval of their advising committee. A degree plan will be filed that includes the core and required courses as specified below:

  • 6 semester credit hours in foundation courses
  • 12 semester credit hours in required courses
  • 18 semester credit hours in elective courses (see SBMI website for suggested concentration curriculum)
  • 3 semester credit hours in practicum courses.

Changes to the degree plan must be approved in advance in writing by the advisor/advising committee.

Applied Track

The curriculum of the traditional track for the Master of Science degree in Applied Biomedical Informatics includes required didactic courses and a practicum. Didactic courses (lecture/discussion, demonstration and student laboratories) are presented to provide facts, concepts, and theories related to the techniques and procedures of health informatics. The courses include instruction in basic and applied informatics. The practicum is designed to give the students the opportunity to apply theory and techniques in the hospital, research, or private laboratory setting

Each student will develop a degree plan with written approval of their advising committee. A degree plan will be filed that includes the core and required courses as specified below:

  • 36 semester credit hours in required courses
  • 3 semester credit hours in practicum courses.

Changes to the degree plan must be approved in advance in writing by the advisor/advising committee.

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Practicum

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. Students must complete at least 24 credit hours in their master’s program before participating in the practicum requirement. Students should work with the Practicum Coordinator for any necessary affiliation or program agreements with the practicum site, if agreements are not already in place. A practicum proposal must be submitted by week three of the semester of enrollment to the Practicum Coordinator and it must be approved, in writing, by the student’s Faculty Practicum Advisor. Students can complete all required practicum credit hours during one semester or the course can be repeated for a maximum of 3 semester credit hours (for HI/BMI 6000) to meet degree requirements. During the course of the semester(s), student must create weekly logs to chronicle their hours, tasks, and reflections on how the duties of the practicum relate to Health Informatics courses taken. Once the student has logged all 135 clock hours and concluded all practicum projects, she or he must create in a 10 page APA format double spaced capstone report that details the major project they completed during their practicum. This report, along with other deliverables, will be submitted in completion of the practicum. If students have any questions regarding the practicum, they can contact the Practicum Coordinator or the Office of Academic Affairs.

For further curriculum information, please contact:

UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics Office of Academic Affairs
7000 Fannin Street Suite 650
Houston, Texas 77030
Telephone: (713) 500-3591
Email: SBMIAcademics@uth.tmc.edu

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