Houston, Texas, Biomedical Informatics Certificate and Degree Programs
Prospective students interested in earning a certificate or degree in biomedical informatics near Houston, Texas, have only three schools from which to choose. This article examines one of the schools, about a 10-minute drive from the city center, looking at the several certificate and degree programs it offers. This article also includes a table that displays important information in an easy-to-access format.
- The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), about five miles from downtown Houston, offers certificate programs in public health informatics, biomedical informatics and applied biomedical informatics; as well as a master's program in biomedical informatics. It also offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in biomedical informatics. The university was the first institution in the nation to create a school devoted exclusively to the graduate-level study of biomedical informatics.
Comparison of Schools
Students considering a school for graduate studies in biomedical informatics will want to consider several factors. The following table offers pertinent information at a glance.
|University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston|
|School Type||4-year; public*|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||5,242*|
|Campus Setting||Large city*|
|Graduate Tuition (2017-2018)|| $8,518 in-state;
Sources: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics.
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
All of UTHealth's biomedical informatics programs are offered through the School of Biomedical Informatics (SBMI), which is located within the Texas Medical Center complex near downtown Houston. SBMI's programs are heavily research-driven, which is facilitated by the school's four research centers and several research seminars held every semester. The university's programmatic offerings include three separate certificate programs, one master's degree program and one doctoral degree program in biomedical informatics. Dual degree programs at both the master's and doctoral degree levels are also available to SBMI's most ambitious students.
Certificate in Applied Biomedical Informatics
All three certificate programs are designed for working professionals interested in gaining new knowledge and skills related to the integration of medical technologies into the everyday practice of healthcare. Each certificate program also consists of 15 credit hours divided among five courses. This program trains students to work with Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and health information systems. Students may choose to take either five predetermined classes focused on EHRs management or five courses approved by the program director. Courses for the first option include the study of the U.S. healthcare system and introductory courses to applied health informatics. Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Certificate in Biomedical Informatics
This program is specifically designed for healthcare and information technology professionals already employed in the healthcare field. Two options consisting of five courses each are offered to students in this program as well. The first option includes a set of classes focused on clinical informatics, while the second option allows students to customize the program to fit their individual needs by picking any five classes from the SBMI course catalog. The predetermined courses under the first option include introductory classes in biomedical informatics and EHRs, as well as a course in clinical support systems. The admissions requirements of this program are the same as the applied certificate program. Students have the option of completing the program online.
Certificate in Public Health Informatics
This program consists of five courses from the School of Public Health and the School of Biomedical Informatics. It is designed for allied health and public health practitioners, nurses and physicians interested in learning more about the informatics of public health. Students must take four required courses in the foundations of biostatistics, public health informatics, epidemiology and biostatistics along with one elective course. In addition to all of the same admissions requirements of the other two certificate programs, applicants to this program must also submit a resume or curriculum vitae and a personal goal statement.
Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics
Students have the option of two different tracks: applied biomedical informatics and a traditional research track. The applied biomedical informatics track can be completed in a fully-online format. Both programs require 39 credits of coursework, and students will be responsible for a capstone project in their final semester. In the traditional research track, students will choose six courses from an area of focus, like bioinformatics, cognitive informatics, health data science and public health informatics.
Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Informatics
The doctoral program is aimed at teaching students informatics concepts that can be applied to all healthcare disciplines. The program consists of 93 credit hours and takes five years to complete on a full-time basis. Students will be expected to work with an advisory committee throughout the program, pass a candidacy exam with a written and oral presentation of a proposed research topic and submit a dissertation at the end of the program. Course topics include database concepts in biomedical informatics, research in biomedical informatics, grant writing, advanced data structures in BMI and the U.S. healthcare systems.