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Biomedical Informatics, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #8 (ARWU) , NY,
The Biomedical informatics program at Columbia University studies the flow of information in health care, medical education, and biomedical research. Through our program, students will participate in projects ranging from basic science to clinical and population health. 


The specific goals of the Biomedical Informatics program are:

  • to teach the fundamentals of biomedical informatics through formal course work and to enable the student to gain proficiency in several defined areas, including physiology, computer science, biostatistics, experimental design, and evaluation methodology related to medical informatics
  • to provide a structured research experience that includes development of a research proposal, execution of the research project, evaluation of the outcome of the project, and the preparation of written documents describing the project’s accomplishments
  • to offer students experience in learning the necessary domain knowledge and communication skills to conduct collaborative research with faculty in clinical and basic medical science departments
  • to aid the students in implementing innovative solutions to real-world problems, by testing explicit hypotheses about the effectiveness and utility of information systems in medical care, research, or teaching

Career Placement

Graduates of the MA and PhD programs have found employment in academic and nonacademic institutions in the US and abroad. For example, individuals pursuing academic careers currently have positions at the University of California at San Diego Cancer Center, Marquette University, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, University of Tennessee, Columbia Genome Center, and Columbia University. Others work in industrial settings such as Pfizer,, GE, and Torex Health Ltd., or in health care institutions, including Columbia University Medical Center.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

PhD Research

  • Research is the primary focus of the doctoral program and represents more than half of the required points, and students are expected to receive an “A” or above in research every semester. 
  •  Students are expected to work a minimum of 25 hours per week on research in the first year, increasing to 60 hours by the third year. Research should be the primary occupation of the student’s time during the summer, due to the absence of course work. The doctoral dissertation is the culmination of the student’s research activity.

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

Academic Requirements

Admissions Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, mathematics, physics, biology, nursing, medicine, public health, information management, or similar discipline. 
  • The applicant should have demonstrated strong mathematical and computer science skills.

Tuition Fee

Living costs for Manhattan

  • 2638 - 5760 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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