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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Center for Education in Health Sciences
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Health & Biomedical Informatics

Informatics is the study of information: how you collect it, how you organize it and how you use it to solve problems. The Health and Biomedical Informatics track applies the concepts and techniques of informatics to healthcare and biomedical research. This track contains many different sub-fields within the broader field of health and biomedical informatics. These sub-fields use similar techniques and tools but apply them to different problem areas. A discussion of the various domains of informatics can be found at the Health & Biomedical Informatics page in the Department of Preventive Medicine site.

The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine provides two separate but closely affiliated doctoral training programs in the Health and Biomedical Informatics tracks. Each track is affiliated with one of the two major integrated programs at Feinberg: the Driskill Graduate Program in Life Sciences and our Health Sciences Integrated Program. Both programs leverage the faculty in the Division of Health Biomedical Informatics within the Department of Preventive Medicine. Prospective students are encouraged to review both programs before selecting the informatics track that is right for them.

The following guidelines will help applicants identify the appropriate PhD program at Feinberg. These are an abbreviated version of the guide created by the Health and Biomedical Informatics department.


Health Sciences Integrated Program

  • Emphasis on clinical informatics, clinical research informatics and public health informatics
  • Required to take distribution of courses in the health sciences domain
  • More emphasis on socio-technical factors, as well as computation


Driskill Graduate Program

  • Emphasis on bioinformatics
  • Solid biologic sciences base required
  • Ability to take graduate level biology, genetics, microbiology or related topics required
  • Primary emphasis on computational applications and algorithm development


 Required Courses

  • HSIP 400 Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Doctoral Colloquium
  • HSIP 440 Introduction to Medical Informatics
  • EPI_BIO 301 Introduction to Biostatistics
  • HSIP 441, 442, 443 Informatics Methods I, II, III
  • HSIP 401 Introduction to Health Measurement Science

 Choose One Writing Course

  • HSR 462 Grant Writing (0.5 credit)
  • PH 445 Writing and Peer Reviewing for Publication

 Choose One Healthcare and Biomedical Knowledge Course

  • HQS 420 Introduction to Health Management
  • HSR 470 Health Policy
  • IGP 401 Biochemistry
  • IGP 405 Cell Biology
  • IGP 410 Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • IGP 430 Genetics
  • MED_INF 401 American Healthcare System
  • MED_INF 402 Introduction to Clinical Thinking
  • PH 301 Behavior, Society, & Health
  • PH 420 Introduction to Health Management

 Choose One Computation Course

  • EPI BIO 305 Data Management and Programming
  • EPI BIO 428 Bioinformatics and Data Mining
  • MED_INF 406 Decision Support Systems and Health Care
  • MED_INF HIT Integration, Interoperability & Standards
  • MED_INF Introduction to Databases
  • MED_INF Telecommunications & Computer Networks
  • MSCI 305 Introduction to Bioinformatics

 Recommended Electives

  • EPI_BIO 302 Intermediate Biostatistics
  • HQS 440 Fundamental Methods for Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety
  • HSR 425 Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Health Services and Outcomes Research
  • HSR 433 Health Economics and Healthcare Financing
  • HSR 460 Applied Ethical Issues in Health Services Research
  • IBIS 401 Molecular Biophysics
  • IBIS 401 Quantitative Biology
  • IBIS 403 Proteomics, Genomics, and Variation
  • IBIS 407 Genome Scale Science
  • IBIS 426 Signal Transduction and Molecular Pharmacology
  • IGP 422 Introduction to Translational Research
  • IGP 466 Structural Basis of Signal Transduction
  • MED_INF Advanced Decision Analysis
  • MED_INF Health Care Enterprise Operations
  • MED_INF Legal, Ethical & Social Issues in Informatics
  • MED_INF Medical Technology Acquisition & Assessment
  • MSCI 303 Drug Development Process
  • PH 425 Introduction to GIS and Spatial Analysis for Public Health
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