Visit each of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sections below to learn more.
Biomedical Informatics is the science of collecting, processing, and converting data – ranging from molecules to populations – into actionable information, knowledge, and intelligence. Similarly, health informatics covers related topics, with the exception of genomics.
Informatics Career Outcomes Numbers (ICON) is a great resource. Additionally, here are several links for organizations that provide more information about the field of biomedical informatics. Many of these organizations have webpages that describe careers and certifications.
McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics holds informational webinars several times a year to discuss the programs offered and the admissions process with prospective students. To see a list of upcoming information sessions, please visit our Prospective Student Information Sessions. You may also register for one of our recorded information sessions if you are not able to attend one of our live sessions.
Prospective students can also contact the Office of Academic Affairs (SBMIAdmissions@uth.tmc.edu or 713-500-3591) at any time and request a meeting to discuss our graduate programs.
Our degrees and programs are designed to be flexible for our students. The below table reflects our course modalities for our degrees and programs.
|SBMI Programs||Online||In-Person||F1 Eligible|
|Applied Biomedical Informatics*|
|Dental Informatics*||Contact the SOD Academic Affairs|
|Health Data Science*|
|Public Health Informatics*|
|Master of Science Programs|
|Biomedical Informatics - Applied Track*|
|Biomedical Informatics - Research Track*|
|Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)|
|Doctorate in Health Informatics (DHI)**|
|Dual Degree Programs ***|
|Doctor of Medicine/Master of Science (MD/MS)|
|Doctor of Philosophy/Master of Public Health (PhD/MPH)|
|Doctor of Pharmacy/Master of Science (PharmD/MS)|
|Master of Science/Master of Public Health (MS/MPH)|
|* Program can be completed fully online domestically and internationally.|
|** Program can be completed online, but REQUIRES campus visits each semester.|
|*** Partner school program course modality based on institution.|
The applied track offers a hands-on approach to informatics 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.
The PhD program mainly focuses on research and investigation to map out procedures for clinical and biomedical problems and develop innovative solutions.
The DHI program focuses on implementing solutions to put into practice at clinical and healthcare organizations.
Undergraduate students have the opportunity to earn both a Bachelor of Arts/Science and a Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics over the course of five years through the Undergraduate Accelerated Master’s (4+1) program. The program is integrated so that graduate curriculum overlaps into the student's undergraduate work. This provides students with the opportunity to graduate with the bachelor’s degree at the same time as their Graduate Certificate in Biomedical Informatics.
McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics has collaboration agreements with the following institutions whose students are eligible to participate in this integrated curriculum:
More detailed information regarding our Undergraduate Accelerated Master’s (4+1) program can be found HERE.
Transfer credit for equivalent graduate courses taken elsewhere may be awarded to current McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics students and used to meet degree requirements if their equivalency to a McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics degree program course is approved through a Petition for Equivalency Credit (PEC). The maximum number of transferable semester credit hours is 3 for the certificate program, 12 for the master’s program, 36 for the PhD program, and 21 for the Doctor of Health Informatics (DHI) program.
The grade earned in the transfer course must be a “B” or higher. Courses for which grades of less than “B” were earned will not be accepted for transfer. Transfer credits are subject to the Five-Year Rule based on the semester and year the original credits were posted to a student’s official transcript.
Students enrolled full-time usually complete the programs in the following time-frames:
Note: Certificate students have a maximum of 5 years, MS and PhD level students have a maximum of 8 years, and DHI students have maximum of 10 years from the time of entry to complete the required coursework for their degree. Please be aware of the five-year rule.*
Please ensure you review the Admissions Requirements for your particular program of interest as admission requirements vary for each degree/program.
|Certificate||July 1||November 1||March 1|
|Master's||July 1||November 1||March 1|
|PhD||December 1||July 1||N/A|
|DHI||March 1||Only one DHI cohort will be admitted annually.|
The application is 100% online through a Centralized Application Service (CAS) via the GradCAS platform. You will submit all required admission documents via GradCAS. All official transcripts, test scores (if applicable) along with Letters of Recommendations can be electronically requested via GradCAS.
You can contact the GradCAS Applicant Help Center for assistance with your application documents.
To monitor your application and the receipt of any outstanding documents, please log in to your GradCAS application. You will be contacted regarding any missing documents, admissions decisions, etc. via e-mail.
Please allow 4-6 weeks for an admissions decision to be received. Doctoral decisions can take up to 12 weeks as an interview may be requested.
Applicants to the Non-Degree/Certificate and Master level programs are eligible to apply Fall, Spring, and Summer terms.
Applicants to our doctoral programs who miss the deadline may consider applying to a Non-degree/Certificate program to take coursework applicable to the degree plans. Admissions/application requirements must still be submitted by the deadline.
All applicants with international college transcripts must submit a "course-by-course with GPA calculation" evaluation report by one of two independent organizations; Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) or World Education Services (WES). The evaluation report needs to include the official copy of the transcripts used for the evaluation. WES and ECE are the only two agencies that we will accept for admission to any of our programs. If all education was completed outside the U.S., you must have a U.S. equivalent of a bachelor's degree or higher.
International applicants are required to report TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) results. The minimum acceptable score for TOEFL is 94. The minimum acceptable score on IELTS is 7. TOEFL/IELTS scores may be waived for applicants completing prior schooling with the mode of instruction in English. For more information, please visit our prospective student page and/or e-mail SBMIAdmissions@uth.tmc.edu.
GRE scores are only required for admissions consideration to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program. A GRE waiver may be granted if specified criterion met. Please review the admissions requirement page for more information.
Unofficial valid GRE scores can be uploaded with your GradCAS application. Official scores should also be sent to UTHealth Houston Office of the Registrar’s. Use code: 6906.
If official scores need to be sent to out registrar’s office:
Attn: Office of the Registrar
7000 Fannin, Ste 2250
Houston, TX 77030
A TOEFL/IELTS waiver may granted if specified criterion met. Please review the admissions requirement page for more information.
There is no minimum GPA requirement for admissions consideration into our programs. The application is reviewed in a holistic manner. A recommended cumulative GPA of a 3.0 or higher is encouraged.
Academic (professors/advisors) and/or professional (current/previous employers, supervisors, etc.) letters of recommendations are recommended. These individuals should speak on behalf of your character and potential success in our program.
For current students of the McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics who are applying to another SBMI program, it is highly recommended that a reference letter from at least one McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics faculty member be submitted.
At the time of submitting an application, you will list and enter contact information for recommenders. The LOR is submitted electronically by the recommender via the application.
You must submit and meet the admission/application requirements for each school you apply to. Admissions to one program does not guarantee admissions to SBMI.
Please note: You cannot have completed more than 50% of your coursework/credit hours from either school/program to be eligible for the dual program. You must notify each school of your intent to pursue the dual degree program to ensure you follow the correct degree plans. Additionally, at the time of applying to the Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics, you must provide us with a copy of your admissions letter to the corresponding partnering school.
SBMI has collaboration agreements in the following areas with these respective institutions whose students are eligible to participate in this integrated curriculum:
Doctor of Medicine/Master of Science (MD/MS)
McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) School of Medicine
Baylor College of Medicine
Doctor of Pharmacy/Master of Science (PharmD/MS)
University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy
Master of Science/Master of Public Health/ (MS/MPH)
Doctor of Philosophy/Master of Public Health (PhD/MPH)
UTHealth Houston School of Public Health
Once admitted to each individual school/program, you will be assigned individualized advisors for each program and school, separately. It is important that you communicate with each advisor from each school to ensure proper degree plans and forms are on file to fully reflect your account as a dual degree student for both schools.
As a dual degree student, you are still required to abide by each individual schools’ policies, procedures, and individualized degree plans. You must meet with your academic advisors at each program/school to ensure you are properly complete requirements for each degree.
Currently, all of our degrees and programs are considered STEM eligible.
We recognize degrees obtained from universities accredited by:
Our school does not currently offer English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. We recommend the RICE University - ESL program. Information for the application can be found here.
A cost estimate breakdown for the School of Biomedical Informatics can be viewed on the Registrar's website. Depending on if you are a Texas Non-Resident or Texas resident, your amount per credit hour will vary. Fees are assessed every term based on the courses and number of courses you enroll in.
Yes; students are encouraged to apply early for the given term in which they are interested in enrolling. New Student Scholarships are considered when the application is being reviewed for an admissions decision.
We also offer competitive scholarship opportunities to our current students.
Being awarded a competitive scholarship of $1,000 or more not only entitles you to the financial reward of the actual scholarship, but it also makes you eligible to be assessed tuition at a resident rate for three consecutive semesters.
In addition, Graduate Assistant (GA), Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA) and Student Assistantships (SA) may also make students eligible to resident tuition for the duration of the position.
You can also visit our Resources under the “Financial Services” section for other opportunities.
Non-Degree students or students pursuing a Certificate as their only academic program are not eligible for federal financial aid. Non-Degree/Certificate students may be eligible for McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics scholarships if funds are available.
Only degree-seeking students are eligible to apply for Financial Aid. For students seeking financial assistance, please contact the Office of Student Financial Services.
The Board of Regents of The University of Texas System mandates health insurance for all students enrolled in programs within the UT System Health Components. As such, each UTHealth Houston student who cannot provide evidence of coverage under another approved plan will be enrolled in the student insurance plan with Academic Health Plans and assessed a health insurance fee.
Advisors are assigned to new students upon admission to the School of Biomedical Informatics. Newly admitted students are provided the name of their academic advisor in their admissions letters. The advisor is also listed in myUTH.
Upon accepting your offer of admission, you must view and complete holds reflected in your applyUTH account. Once your Identity Management Hold (IDM) is cleared, your UTHealth credentials are activated and you are granted access to myUTH. You can click on the “Hold” item and it will provide you instructions on completing each individual hold and the office to contact for questions pertaining to the hold.
Please review the New Student Checklist for further assistance
You can locate contact information for all student services through the Student Center portal where you will be connected with the most sought-after resources on campus by visiting: https://www.uth.edu/student/.
Courses completed in the certificate or non-degree program are transferrable into an applicable master’s or doctoral program if you have received a grade of “B” or higher in your coursework. The same is true of applicable master’s courses that can be applied to an appropriate McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics doctoral program. Students are encouraged to speak with their academic advisor upon consideration. An application to the new McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics program of interest is required for admissions (i.e., M.S. to doctoral). Please note: Admissions to any McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics program is not guaranteed.
Please contact the Office of Academic Affairs at SBMIAcademic@uth.tmc.edu to discuss your circumstance and create a plan of action that best suits you.
Students may drop courses through their myUTH account before Census Day (12th day of class) in the fall and spring and prior to the fourth day of class in the summer. After census day, to drop a course, an SBMI Drop/Withdrawal Form must be submitted to SBMIAcademics@uth.tmc.edu.
An approval or permission code is the key that allows you to register and enroll in the courses on myUTH. Please note, approval/permission codes are required for the following courses:
Review the "Note" section of the course in myUTH that you are trying to enroll to confirm if approval is required.
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/permission code.
Only students in the Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics program must complete the practicum course.
Students in the Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics program must complete 135 contact 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 credit hour per semester).
Typically, students will have completed 24 credit hours in their respective program before enrolling in a practicum. That credit hour total should also include their respective writing course; BMI 6313 (Scientific Writing in Healthcare) in the Research Track or BMI 5371 (Business and Technical Writing) in the Applied Track.
Students needing assistance with practicum placement must contact the Practicum Coordinator at least 30 days before the start of the semester.
Please contact the McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics practicum coordinator for information on how to enroll in the practicum course (Keisha.C.Smoke@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. Please note that both an affiliation and program agreement must be filed if the site is not directly associated with UTHealth Houston.
Students will have an on-site practicum preceptor they will report to. He or she will assign the student tasks, monitor student progress on-site, arrange the practicum work schedule, etc. If you encounter issues while at your practicum site, you can contact your faculty practicum advisor for assistance.
A practicum project can be completed remotely/virtually. The details for these types of projects vary for each student. As such, we require practicum eligible students to work with the practicum coordinator to facilitate the ideal experience.
Requirements for practicums outside of Texas or the United States will vary for each student. Some requirements include but are not limited to legal documentation/agreements, Office of International Affairs (OIA) approval, advisor consent, and more. We ask that any student considering a practicum of this format work with the practicum coordinator well in advance.
Yes; this is permissible for dual degree students as long as the project is germane to both programs. It is also important that the student meet all practicum requirements for both degrees and enroll in all required practicum credit hours at both schools. Our practicum coordinator can assist in this process.
Students in the final semester of an academic program are added to a “Graduation/Certificate Completion” course in Canvas. Within that course, students should upload required documents which must be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs prior to the completion of their program. Failure to submit the required documents will result in a delay of the student receiving their certificate or diploma.
A final copy of your dissertation, translational project, or practicum capstone report is due to the Office of Academic Affairs via Canvas. The required document (including signed cover page) should be uploaded in the appropriate assignment within that Canvas course.
Commencement is held once a year every May for Summer, Fall and Spring graduating students. Specific details of the event are shared directly with eligible students.
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:
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.
Visit each of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sections above to learn more.