Biomedical Informatics Doctoral Program


Program Overview

The Division of Biomedical Informatics and Genomics offers an interdisciplinary PhD concentration in Biomedical Informatics (BIMI) within the School of Medicine Biomedical Sciences Program. The division reaches across medical disciplines to provide clinical insights into the underlying mechanisms of disease, to assist in the discovery of novel therapeutic treatments and point to new lines of scientific and medical inquiry for improving human health.

Our graduates may find careers in:

  • Research and teaching facilities at universities and medical institutions.
  • Private research and (bio)-technology companies such as Microsoft, Google, and the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Biomedical related consulting firms.

In the BMI track program, students will learn to effectively use conventional, electronic health/medical, and big data for biomedical and clinical research to improve human health.

Program objectives include:

  • Offering a researched-based professional PhD program that prepares its graduates to perform as leaders in the critical area of biomedical informatics.
  • Developing an interdisciplinary program that builds on the strengths of students from diverse backgrounds in fields such as data science, bioinformatics, statistical science, biomedical engineering, computing, public health, and medicine.
  • Preparing students to participate in research programs and apply their knowledge in academia, clinical healthcare, public health, and other industries.
  • Preparing students to seek external funding that will support and advance the mission and educational activities of the biomedical informatics program.

The curriculum is designed to include the following high-level competency areas:

  • Biomedically-related courses 
    • Principals of Public Health Informatics
    • Biomedical Imaging and Process
    • Advanced Bioinformatics
  • Data science related courses
    • Introduction to Data Science
    • Data Science with Cloud Computing
    • Advanced Data Science Analytic Techniques
    • Big Data related courses
  • Other courses in Biomedical Engineering, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The first two years are generally devoted to coursework and research. Subsequent years focus on independent research that culminates in a dissertation. Students accepted into the BMS BIMI track are required to join faculty in the Division of Biomedical Informatics and Genomics, but may consider one of other faculty outside of the Division for committee members or co-mentors (with approval of the Division Chief).

For more information about the curriculum, please visit the corresponding Interdisciplinary PhD in BMS page.


    Application & Admission

    Like the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) PhD Admissions Committee, the Biomedical Informatics (BIMI) PhD Admissions Committee conducts a holistic review of the total application, evaluating applicants using indicators of academic excellence and the potential for educational and professional success. This process relies upon the comprehensive assessment of a combination of quantitative and qualitative measures. Holistic review recognizes that an applicant possesses strengths and weakness that must be evaluated in relation to one another, and ensures that an applicant is neither accepted nor denied admission based on a single parameter.

    Applications for admission will be assessed on the basis of both achievement and potential for success, within the broader context of an applicant’s experiences, opportunities, and challenges. Strong applicants will not only possess competitive academic qualifications for admission, but will demonstrate the ability to contribute to the academic environment, complete the graduate degree program, and ultimately, have a successful research career.

    Standardized test scores: GRE or MCAT scores are not required but will be evaluated if provided.

    A competitive candidate generally has documented evidence of academic excellence as demonstrated by several of the following:

    • GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) with a strong performance in upper-level courses
    • Progression of academic performance over time
    • Rigorous curriculum in prior degree program(s)
    • Successful completion of a professional degree
    • Prior research experience
    • Strong communication skills

    Additional factors that will be considered as indicators of commitment to the degree program and overall potential for success include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following:

    • Leadership abilities
    • Relevant work experience
    • Focused talents/skills
    • Creativity in problem-solving
    • Educational and personal background
    • Work ethic

    There is no application fee.
    The application deadline for the BMS BIMI track is May 1, 2023.

    Apply Now

    For more information on the application and admission process, please visit the corresponding Interdisciplinary PhD in BMS page.


    Degree Requirements

    A minimum of 48 credit hours of coursework and independent study with a cumulative GPA ≥ 3.0 is required. All formal coursework is to be completed within the first two years.

    Students will need to pass a comprehensive examination by the end of the third year of graduate study.

    Each student will be asked to submit a prospectus after the student has completed course requirements, satisfied research requirements, and passed the comprehensive examination.

    All candidates must take a final examination for the PhD degree. In the examination, the candidate will conduct a presentation and an oral defense of the dissertation.

    The research portion of the program will be overseen by the student’s dissertation advisor and a dissertation committee. The advisor and committee are usually involved in administering a student’s elective course selection, comprehensive examination, approving the Prospectus, and approving the oral thesis defense and the final written dissertation.

    For more information on the degree requirements, please visit the Tulane University School of Medicine Catalog.


    Tuition & Fees

    All PhD students receive a full tuition waiver, paid health insurance and a stipend of approximately $33,000 per year for the entire duration of the program. Students are responsible for all fees assessed during the academic year on a per-semester basis: Academic Support Services ($400 max.), Student Activities ($130), Reilly Recreation Center ($190), and Student Health Services ($333).

    For more information on the application process, please visit the corresponding Interdisciplinary PhD in BMS page.