Frequently Asked Questions

Click the buttons to view information or questions under each category.

ACADEMICS

This video serves as a great introduction to biomedical informatics: What is biomedical informatics?
 
People who have a degree in biomedical informatics have a wide variety of career opportunities. The type of informatics career that an individual can pursue is, to some extent, dependent on his or her background, and selected area of study. Biomedical informatics trained professionals may become:
  • Chief medical information officers
  • Chief medical officers
  • Chief information officers
  • Directors of medical informatics
  • Chief nursing information officers
  • Project managers
  • Implementation specialists
  • Project Designers
  • Researchers
  • Programmers
  • Clinical Systems analysts
  • Health information technology educators, trainers and consultants
  • Template writers
  • Nursing informatics specialists
  • Account representatives
These professionals often work in hospitals and health systems, community health centers, physician practices and clinics, health care agencies within the federal and state government, and for health information technology system vendors, eHealth and health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions and consulting services.

Resources for current job opportunities can be found on our Financial Services page.
 

PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

The master's and certificate programs can be completed 100% online. The doctor of philosophy in biomedical informatics is a full-time, in-house program.
 
Yes, courses taken in the certificate program with a grade of a “B” or higher are transferrable into the master’s and Ph.D. programs. The specific academic programs build upon themselves.
 
Students enrolled full-time usually complete the certificate in two semesters and the master’s in five semesters. Students enrolled part-time must complete the certificate in three years and the master’s in eight years. Normal time for completion of the Ph.D. program is four to five years.

Note that maximum program lengths vary depending on year and semester of program entry. Please refer to a specific catalog for more details.
 
Each May, SBMI hosts Connect to give prospective students a chance to learn more about our school, the research findings of our current students and the career possibilities available in the industry. For more information on Connect, click here: https://sbmi.uth.edu/connect

SBMI also holds several times a year to discuss the admissions process with prospective students. To see a list of upcoming webinar dates, click here: https://sbmi.uth.edu/prospective-students/admission-session.htm
 
The applied track is more of a hands-on approach and students use different information systems to advance patient care. The applied track curriculum educates students in the correct and safe utilization of information systems to promote better quality of care for patients.

The research track focuses more on an abstract approach to information systems used in the healthcare field. This can include natural language processing techniques used for building clinical decision support systems or formulating algorithms used for health care datamining.

In essence, students in the research track pilot processes and innovate new technologies that are then evaluated, implemented and utilized daily by students in the applied track.
 
There is no part-time Ph.D. program. The master's and certificate programs are all offered part-time.
 
Students enrolled at TAMIU or Texas A&M International University have the opportunity to complete the graduate certificate in biomedical informatics during their fourth year of undergraduate study.

The 4+1 allows for SBMI graduate courses to satisfy advanced program electives in the majors of biomedical science, applied technology, biology, psychology, mathematics, and computer science.

Upon graduation from TAMIU, these students have the opportunity to complete the remaining master’s in biomedical informatics program requirements at SBMI in one year.
 
Yes, all students must be covered by private health insurance or an insurance policy obtained under the Affordable Care Act. Student who do not have insurance can purchase a policy provided by the UT System by clicking HERE or online at HealthCare.gov during open enrollment.
 
Admission requirements vary for each program. Visit the admission requirements webpage to view the requirements for each program.
 
You will upload all application requirements to your application. All documents that are uploaded to your application are considered unofficial documents.

If you are offered admission to one of our programs you will at that time be required to submit official copies of your transcripts, education evaluations, and test scores to the UTHealth Registrar’s Office. If you submit an education evaluation that includes your transcripts it is not necessary to submit another official copy of these transcripts.

Please send official GRE and TOEFL scores to the UTHealth Registrar’s Office directly from ETS using institutional code 6906; no department code is necessary.


Physical Address P.O. Box

UTHealth - Office of The Registrar UTHealth - Office of The Registrar

7000 Fannin, Ste 2250 PO Box 20036

Houston, Texas 77030 Houston, Texas 77225-0036
 
To monitor your application and the receipt of any outstanding documents, please log in to your self-service center
 
SBMI does not allow auditing of courses. You will need to apply to the program to take courses.
 
Yes, all courses taken in the certificate or non-degree programs are transferrable into the master’s or Ph.D. programs if you have received a grade of “B” or higher in your coursework.
 
Yes, all courses taken in the traditional research track master’s program are transferrable to the Ph.D. program if you have received a grade of “B” or higher in your coursework.
 
The minimum acceptable score for TOEFL is a 87 on the Internet-based test. The minimum acceptable score for IELTS is a seven (7).
 
GPA of 3.0 or greater out of 4.0 scale.
 
We recognize degrees obtained from universities accredited by
  • the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC),
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NAS),
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS),
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC),
  • and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

 
Previous educators, employers or someone who can speak to your utilization of informatics, your academic ability or your potential to be a good fit for informatics.

For current students of the School of Biomedical Informatics who are applying to another SBMI program, it is highly recommended that a reference letter from at least one SBMI faculty member be submitted.
 
We strongly recommend that you submit all of your applications materials by the application deadline.
 
Please send your results from ETS using institutional code 6906; no department code is necessary.
 
Yes, the GRE is required for all degree-seeking programs. If you have previously taken another standardized test, contact the SBMIAdmissions@uth.tmc.edu, as this is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
 
No, SBMI utilizes a holistic review process for all applicants. This enables us to give careful consideration to all the credentials presented by the applicant. This ensures that no single factor leads to either accepting or excluding the applicant from admission.

The majority of successful applicants have individual GRE scores (quantitative, verbal and analytical) in the 40th percentile or higher for our master's program and 50th percentile for our doctoral program.
 
If you have previously taken the MCAT, contact the Office of Academic Affairs, as utilization of MCAT scores is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. However, our office will not accept GMAT scores in the admissions process.
 
You must submit TWO applications – one to the School of Biomedical Informatics and one to the School of Public Health. The application for SBMI is to be completed using ApplyNow and the application for the master’s in public health is to be completed with SOPHAS.

You do not need to apply for both programs at the same time. However, you cannot have more than 21 hours in each college in order to be eligible for the dual program. You must notify each college of your intent to pursue a dual program so the appropriate degree plans can be completed.
 
Yes, students who complete a graduate certificate program at SBMI do qualify for standard OPT.
 
A cost estimate breakdown for the School of Biomedical Informatics can be viewed on the Registrar's website.
 
For students seeking financial assistance, please contact the Office of Student Financial Services. Students interested in scholarships or job opportunities at SBMI can find additional information at our website, the UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics.
 

CURRENT STUDENTS

For all new incoming master of biomedical informatics students, Dr. Amy Franklin will act as your stand-in advisor. For all new incoming master of applied biomedical informatics students, Dr. Susan Fenton will act as your stand-in advisor.

Faculty advisors are not assigned. Students are expected to develop relationships with faculty members who they can then approach about acting as their advisor. You can learn about our faculty through your classes, the SBMI website, publications, and other sources, as well as posted YouTube videos.

All master's students will need one faculty advisor and at least one other faculty committee member. Your advisor will help you select courses each semester in order to acquire the skills and knowledge required to complete your state of the science paper and your degree.
 
Yes, a request will need to be sent to the Office of Academic Affairs (SBMIAcademics@uth.tmc.edu) including a jpeg file of a head shot (ending at the shoulder) and the mailing address to where you would like the badge mailed.
 
No
 
This PDF will give you directions for clearing your health insurance hold.
 
Click this link to view a video tutorial: Course Registration
 
The full list of courses (updated every semester) can be found on the course offerings page
 
You can obtain the schedule by clicking on the following link: Two-Year Course Rotation.
 
Students may drop courses through their MyUTH account before the 12th day of class in the fall and spring and prior to the fourth day of class in the summer. An Add-Drop/Withdrawal/Audit form must be used after the 12th class day in the fall and spring and after the fourth class day in the summer. A grade of “WP” or “WF” will be assigned by the instructor.
 
Yes, the maximum number of transferable semester credit hours is three for the certificate program, 12 for the master’s program, and 36 for the doctoral program.
 
An approval code is the key that allows you to register and enroll in the courses on MyUTH. Please note, approval codes are only required for the following courses: practicum, directed study, preceptorship, research in biomedical informatics, and dissertation. An email showing prior approval from the instructor must be forwarded to the Office of Academic Affairs SBMIAcademics@uth.tmc.edu) in order to issue the approval code.
 
This link will provide you information regarding Poster Sessions.
 
Submit an electronic copy of your approved state of the science paper in Microsoft Word format to SBMIAcademics@uth.tmc.edu. The signed cover sheet for your respective program can be found in the student handbook and must be original signatures either mailed or dropped off in person to the Office of Academic Affairs.
 
Everything required for graduation checkout can be found on the graduation webpage in the "For Our Graduates" section under "Graduation Checkout Procedures.”
 
Only students in the master of science in biomedical informatics must complete a practicum course.
 
Students in the master of science in biomedical informatics program must complete 135 clock hours to earn the three credit hours that are required. Practicum hours can be completed in one semester or over the course of three semesters (1 semester clock hour per semester).
 
Typically, students will have completed 24 credit hours in their respective program before enrolling in a practicum.
 
Students needing assistance with practicum placement must contact the Practicum Coordinator at least 30 days before the start of the semester.
 
Please contact the SBMI practicum coordinator for information on how to enroll in the practicum course (Chelsea.E.Overstreet@uth.tmc.edu).
 
The practicum coordinator can provide assistance in securing a practicum site.
 
If you have secured a site, please contact both your faculty practicum advisor and the practicum coordinator for information on getting practicum agreements filed (Chelsea.E.Overstreet@uth.tmc.edu). Please note that both an affiliation and program agreement must be filed if the site is not directly associated with UTHealth.
 
Students will have an on-site practicum preceptor that they will report to. He or she will assign the student tasks, monitor student progress on-site, arrange student’s practicum work schedule, etc. If you encounter issues while at your practicum site, you can contact your faculty practicum advisor for assistance.