Academic Support

Registration for classes occurs during designated periods via Student Services Online. See the registrar’s website for dates, policies and the official university academic calendar.

Students with fees on their accounts, such as library fines, are responsible for resolving these fines expeditiously. Failure to do so will result in holds that will prevent registration and issuance of diplomas. Ann Marshak is the department contact for student account issues for fees covered by the department (ie tuition, student health insurance, etc).

Related Links
Registration and Student Financial Services
GSAS Office of Dissertations
Columbia Web of Science
Research and Compliance (RASCAL)

Cubicle space is assigned to incoming PhD and NLM postdocs in August. Cubicles may be reassigned on an as-needed basis based on departmental needs. Students may request conference room space on the DBMI website.

Research Advisor
PhD students elect two research rotations, which take place in the fall and spring terms. A permanent research advisor is selected by May 15. A summer research rotation is possible prior to selection of a permanent research advisor with advance permission from the Graduate Program Director. Research rotations and permanent research advisors must be chosen from the GSAS Approved Dissertation Sponsor list for Biomedical Informatics. The fall research rotation begins by the end of the change-of-program period (first two weeks of classes) and ends on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday (the day prior to the first day of spring term). The spring term research rotation begins the first day of classes and ends May 15. Consult the University academic calendar for dates.

Research with the permanent research advisor begins the first day of the summer term. Fall and spring term research advisor rotations must be approved by the Training Committee in advance by emailing the graduate program manager. Students register for research (BINF G6001 or BINF G9001) every fall and spring term as follows: 6 points in fall and spring term in year one, 9 points in fall and spring term year 2, 12 points in each subsequent year or in year two if needed to maintain the full-time status of 12 points. Once students have passed their Oral II/Depth examination and reached doctoral candidacy, they register for BINF G9001 Doctoral Research in lieu of BINF G6001 Projects-Research.

Students in the free-standing master’s program do a master’s essay with a DBMI appointed faculty member. MA students register for BINF G6001 Research Projects during the term in which they intend to complete their MA essay. The MA essay normally takes at least 2 terms to complete. While MA students may register for BINF G6001 Projects-Research in the summer, full-time students are advised that summer classes are offered through the School of Professional Studies, not GSAS, and may result in paying additional tuition charges overall. Since these courses are not normally in the Directory of Classes, request a BINF G6001 Projects-Research section from the Graduate Program Manager.

NLM-funded postdoctoral MA students may do two research rotations (fall and spring) before selecting a permanent research advisor. They register for BINF G6001 Projects-Research as follows: 6 points in fall and spring term in year one, 9 points in fall and spring term in year two, 12 points in year three (if applicable). NLM-funded postdoctoral MA students must be registered for a minimum of 12 points at all times and may increase their number of research points as necessary to maintain full-time status in year two if needed.

In all cases, students email faculty to request appointments to meet to discuss research projects well in advance of the above deadlines.

Academic Advisor
All incoming students are assigned an academic advisor to assist with course selection and program completion. If the academic advisor becomes a student’s research advisor, a new academic advisor is assigned.

Jury Duty
PhD students selected for jury duty may contact the Assistant Dean Yinghui Mao ( in the GSAS Graduate Affairs Office to request a letter of excusal.

Training Committee and Graduate Program Manager
The training program is overseen by faculty and staff (see membership list below) who direct the ongoing management and program curricula. They are led by Prof. Noémie Elhadad, graduate program director, and supported by Marina Bonanno, the Graduate Program Manager. Their responsibilities include admissions, departmental policies and procedures, satisfactory academic progress, and curricular oversight and design.

Lena Mamykina, Associate Professor & Graduate Program Director
Gamze Gursoy, Assistant Professor
George Hripcsak, Professor
Yufeng Shen, Associate Professor

PhD Student Representatives
There are two student representatives, nominated by the student body in June and approved by the Training Committee.  They assist with new student orientation, Interview Day for PhD finalists, social activities, Town Halls, and represent DBMI on the Graduate Student Advisory Councils on the Morningside and CUIMC campus. They advocate for students and present any issues to the Training Committee, as needed.

Tara Anand (George Hripcsak Lab)
Courtney Diamond (Sarah Collins Rossetti Lab)