Doctoral Curriculum

All required courses must be taken for a letter grade, with the exception of the Journal Club, and some Independent and/or Dissertation Studies (to be determined by faculty advisors). A minimum grade of “B” is required in all graduate courses. The doctoral committee may waive course requirements that have been satisfied through prior university-level study, in accordance with the Committee on Graduate Studies guidelines. A trainee must comply with the regulations of the University of Pittsburgh (www.gradstudents.pitt.edu/),  as well as those regulations established by the biomedical informatics faculty. We expect that the average full time trainee will complete the degree in four years.

Up to 30 credits – grade “B” or better – from a master’s program in another institution or another department within the University of Pittsburgh can be considered for transfer towards the Biomedical Informatics Doctoral degree. In recognition of graduate study beyond the masters’ degree successfully completed elsewhere or within the University of Pittsburgh, no more than 12 additional credits may be accepted at the time of admission to meet the minimum credit requirement. (At least three terms, or 36 credits, of full-time doctoral study, or the equivalent in part-time study, must be successfully completed at the University of Pittsburgh.) Acceptance of transfer credit must be discussed between the trainee and advisor, and approved by the Director of the Training Program.

The doctoral degree in Biomedical Informatics requires at least 72 credits that include 32 credits of required coursework (20 foundation and research skills credits plus 12 elective credits), 3 doctoral teaching practicum credits, 18 dissertation research credits, and 19 credits of additional electives and/or independent study. 

  • Foundations (15 required credits)
  • Research Skills (5 required credits)
  • Teaching Practicum (3 required credits)
  • Elective Courses (12 or more credits)
  • Research (18 credits)

Additional Requirements

  • Biomedical Informatics Colloquium (0 credit): The colloquium will showcase presentations from DBMI researchers and invited speakers from across campus and beyond. It will meet weekly for one hour during the Fall and Spring terms. Minimum 75% attendance is required of all trainees.
  • Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research: This Web-based set of instructions and evaluation modules may be accessed at https://www.citi.pitt.edu/.
  • Attendance at and participation in the Department Biomedical Informatics’ invited lectures, symposia, conferences, etc, e.g., and the Annual Training Program Retreat and special departmental lectures). Such lectures are considered important educational experiences, as well as introducing students to primary researchers and their work in the field of biomedical informatics.
  • Doctoral trainees are required to produce one first-author, peer-reviewed conference or journal paper per year beginning in their second year of graduate study.

All required courses must be taken for a letter grade, with the exception of the Journal Club, and some Independent and/or Dissertation Studies (to be determined by faculty advisors). A minimum grade of “B” is required in all graduate courses. The doctoral committee may waive course requirements that have been satisfied through prior university-level study, in accordance with the Committee on Graduate Studies guidelines. A trainee must comply with the regulations of the University of Pittsburgh (www.gradstudents.pitt.edu/),  as well as those regulations established by the biomedical informatics faculty. We expect that the average full time trainee will complete the degree in four years.

Up to 30 credits – grade “B” or better – from a master’s program in another institution or another department within the University of Pittsburgh can be considered for transfer towards the Biomedical Informatics Doctoral degree. In recognition of graduate study beyond the masters’ degree successfully completed elsewhere or within the University of Pittsburgh, no more than 12 additional credits may be accepted at the time of admission to meet the minimum credit requirement. (At least three terms, or 36 credits, of full-time doctoral study, or the equivalent in part-time study, must be successfully completed at the University of Pittsburgh.) Acceptance of transfer credit must be discussed between the trainee and advisor, and approved by the Director of the Training Program.

 

Proposed 4-Year Doctoral Schedule for Biomedical Informatics Courses

YEAR 1

Fall – Year 1 Spring – Year 1 Summer – Year 1
BIOINF 2070 Foundations of Biomedical Informatics 1 (3 credits) BIOINF 2032 Biomedical Informatics Journal Club (1 credit) Elective course (3 credits) or
CS 1501 Algorithm Implementation (3 credits) BIOINF 2071 Foundations of Biomedical Informatics 2 (3 credits) BIOINF 3990 PhD Independent Study (3 credits)
CS 2710 Foundations of Artificial Intelligence (3 credits) BIOINF 2118 Statistical Foundations of Biomedical Informatics (3 credits)
Research Rotations (optional) Elective course (3 credits) Milestone: Preliminary Evaluation

YEAR 2

Fall – Year 2 Spring – Year 2 Summer – Year 2
BIOINF 2134 Publication and Presentation in Biomedical Informatics (3 credits) BIOINF 3998 Teaching Practicum (3 credits) BIOINF 3990 PhD Independent Study (3 credits)
BIOINF 2032 Biomedical Informatics Journal Club (1 credit) Elective courses (3 or more credits)
Elective course(s) (3 or more credits) Milestone: Doctoral Comp Exam

YEAR 3

Fall – Year 3 Spring – Year 3 Summer – Year 3
Elective course (3 credits) BIOINF 3999 Doctoral Dissertation Research (6 credits) BIOINF 2480 MS Research Project (3 credits)
Elective course (3 credits)
BIOINF 3990 PhD Independent Study (3 credits)
Milestone: Nominate Doctoral Committee Milestone: Propose Doctoral Dissertation Research

YEAR 4

Fall – Year 4 Spring – Year 4 Summer – Year 4
BIOINF 3999 Doctoral Dissertation Research (9 credits) FTDS 0000 Full-Time Dissertation Study FTDS 0000 Full-Time Dissertation Study
Milestone: Defend Doctoral Dissertation

Foundations

(15 required credits)

BIOINF 2070 Foundations of Biomedical Informatics 1 (3 credits) – Fall
BIOINF 2071 Foundations of Biomedical Informatics 2 (3 credits) – Spring
BIOINF 2118 Statistical Foundations of Biomedical Informatics (3 credits) – Spring
CS 1501 Algorithm Implementation (3 credits) – Fall or Spring
CS 2710 Foundations of Artificial Intelligence (3 credits) – Fall

Research Skills

(5 required credits)

BIOINF 2032 Biomedical Informatics Journal Club (1 credit) – Fall
BIOINF 2032 Biomedical Informatics Journal Club (1 credit) – Spring
BIOINF 2134 Publication and Presentation in Biomedical Informatics (3 credits) – Fall

Teaching Practicum

(3 required credits)

BIOINF 3998 Biomedical Informatics Teaching Practicum (3 credits).
Each trainee is required to complete 3 credits (8 hours per week for one term) of teaching assistant service in biomedical informatics courses – in consultation with biomedical informatics faculty. 

Elective Courses

(14 or more credits)

BIOINF 2016 Foundations of Translational Bioinformatics (3 credits)
BIOINF 2018 Introduction to R Programming for Scientific Research (3 credits)
BIOINF 2021 Human-Computer Interaction and Evaluation (3 credits)
BIOINF 2103 Design & Analysis of Biomarker Study (3 credits)
BIOINF 2117 Applied Clinical Informatics (3 credits)
BIOINF 2124 Principles of Global Health Informatics (3 credits)
BIOINF 2125 Informatics and Industry (1 credit)
BIOINF 2129 Internship in Global Health Informatics (3 credits)
BIOINF 3990 Doctoral Independent Study

Research

(18 credits)

BIOINF 3999 Doctoral Dissertation Research (18 credits minimum)