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HIMSS Approved Education Partner SealMcWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at UTHealth Houston, formerly UTHealth Houston School of Biomedical Informatics (SBMI) is the first school in the nation to offer an advanced, practice degree in health informatics. The Doctorate in Health Informatics (DHI) provides unique curriculum that was custom-built for executive-level professionals seeking a terminal, applied degree in the field of health informatics.

The program is best suited for individuals who have at least three (3) years of informatics experience at the management or supervisory level. An applicant who lacks substantial informatics in her or his background must at least have advanced IT work experience.

The DHI is a 63-semester credit hour program for students who already hold a master’s degree in health informatics, or a related field. Students without a master’s degree in health informatics, or a related field, can enter the program with a bachelor’s degree. However, those students must complete 33 semester credit hours of didactic coursework before starting the DHI curriculum.

Important Details

  • Only one DHI cohort will be admitted annually. Each cohort will begin in fall.
  • Fall Deadline - March 1

This practice doctorate provides informatics leaders with the advanced education required to translate evidence from original research, evaluate current practices, and utilize critical thinking to accelerate the adoption of best informatics practices in clinical and healthcare organizations. Because the program is geared towards working professionals, instruction for the DHI is in a hybrid environment with more than 50% of the coursework taught online. Students will be required to make visits to campus each semester to meet with their classmates, instructors and advisors.

Rather than write a dissertation for the culminating project, the DHI program requires a large-scale translational project that students must complete in a healthcare organization.

Important Dates for Fall 2023

  • August 24-25, 2023 - DHI Student Orientation
  • October 12-13, 2023 - Glaser Society Events

  • Admission Requirements
    1. Completed online application form and $60 application fee
    2. Resume or curriculum vitae
    3. Goal statement - (pdf)
    4. Proposed area of interest for the translational practice project
    5. A Letter of Support from the healthcare organization willing to facilitate the translational practice project. The Letter of Support must be on the healthcare organization's official letterhead. The Letter of Support should not be from the same person as a Letter of Recommendation. The Letter of Support should include background on the healthcare organization (including the indication of the size and the type of activities), the area the institution expects the student to perform the project in, and whether or not the organization will provide any type of support (monetary or technical) for the applicant’s project.
    6. Three letters of reference from supervisors or colleagues. At least two letters should be from supervisors. On the application, you will enter your references' information and they will be sent a form to complete and a space to upload a letter of recommendation.
    7. Transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended
    8. A baccalaureate or higher degree (master’s degree preferred)
    9. No minimum GPA requirement. The majority of successful applicants have a GPA of 3.0 or greater.
    10. International applicants must also submit the following:
      1. All students with international college transcripts must submit a "course by course" evaluation report by either of these independent organizations, Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) or World Education Services (WES). Your 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 U.S. equivalency of a bachelor's degree or higher.
      2. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) results. The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 94 and the minimum acceptable score is a 7 for the IELTS.

      Please be aware that F-1 sponsorship is not available for students in the DHI program.

      Interview with the McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics Admissions, Progression and Graduation (APG) Committee by invitation only

  • Curriculum

    Doctorate in Health Informatics *
    Courses Credits
    BMI 5300 - Intro to Biomedical Informatics (required) 3
    BMI 6305 - Social Dynamics and Health Information (required) 3
    BMI 6311 - Leadership and Decision Making (required) 3
    BMI 6316 - Change Management in Health Informatics (required) 3
    BMI 6324 - Health Information Technology Policy (required) 3
    BMI 6328 - Value in the Health Data Eco-System (required) 3
    BMI 7070 - Fellowship in Health Informatics (required) 21
    BMI 7170 - Project Advisement (required) 3
    BMI 7350 - Scholarly Foundations of Advanced HI Practice (required) 3
    BMI 7351 - Evidence-based Health Informatics Practice (required) 3
    BMI 7360 - Advanced Project Management (required) 3
    BMI 7361 - Vendor Relations and Contract Negotiations (required) 3
    BMI 9950 - Project Evaluation and Writing (required) 9
    Total Hours 63
    Students can transfer in satisfactory courses from a previously earned MS degree.
    *Required Courses - any substitutions must be pre-approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs prior to course registration.

  • Doctorate in Health Informatics Webinar Information Sessions

    There are no Doctorate in Health Informatics Webinars scheduled at this time. The next DHI session will be offered in November.

    You may register for one of our upcoming Prospective Student Information Webinars now. These sessions include information about the Doctorate in Health Informatics program.

SBMI Contact Information:

For more information or questions about the DHI program, please contact:

Office of Academic Affairs
D. Bradley McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at UTHealth Houston
(713) 500-3591

DHI Program Coordinators

Susan Fenton, PhD

Angela Ross, DNP

Debora Simmons, PhD

Information Sessions

Interested in learning more? Visit the admission sessions webpage for upcoming prospective student webinars for both the DHI program and all other programs offered at SBMI.

To view one of our past DHI information sessions, please register online.

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