Apply To DBMI

Data has transformed the study of medicine, biology, and health. Here at Columbia DBMI, we have been a key part of that revolution. We are one of the oldest biomedical informatics departments in the world, and with the unique ingredients that comprise our program, we offer a truly distinctive experience for students looking to prosper in this field.

Year after year, our graduates go on to successful careers in academia and industry. DBMI students come from diverse backgrounds, including medicine, biology, computer science, mathematics, engineering, and public health. They build on the training they receive in biomedical informatics to become tenured faculty and academic chairs at top-tier institutions as well as leaders in healthcare and pharmaceutical companies and founders of innovative new startups.

From interactions with our renowned faculty to collaborations with fellow students who have a range of expertise, the relationships you forge here will inspire and guide the rest of your career. The breadth and depth of the DBMI experience will provide a solid foundation as you develop state-of-the-art computational tools to address critical challenges facing healthcare and medicine today.  

Application information (including deadlines, fees, requirements and more) is available online through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Coordinated PhD program in biomedical sciences on the uptown CUIMC campus. Only electronic applications are accepted. The PhD application consists of applicant information, official transcripts, GRE and TOEFL scores (as applicable), three (3) letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. All application materials must be received before the application deadline for consideration. PhD finalists selected for an interview will be notified through the admissions portal by late December. Non-finalists are notified of their status online through the admissions portal by late March. The application deadline for the 2022 cohort has passed.  

The online application to apply to any of the Coordinated Doctoral Programs in Biomedical Sciences and the MA Program in Biomedical Informatics is available here.

Application information for the MD-PhD program is also available online. To apply for admission to the MD-PhD program, please do not use the online application form listed above.

US Citizen and Permanent Resident applicants for the NLM funded postdoctoral research fellowship apply online through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences using the same application as our PhD and MA program. There is no separate category for postdoctoral fellowship so applicants must select MA or PhD.

Applying to the Certification of Professional Achievement in Health IT: Eligible candidates for the Health IT program must have at least a Bachelor’s Degree and training or experience in a related field (healthcare, public health, healthcare policy, health IT, IT, computer science, etc.). On the application, you will be asked to provide a personal statement, your resume or CV, contact information for two recommenders, and unofficial copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts. Admissions for the 2022-2023 cohort are now open and will close on June 6th. Apply on our application portal.

The Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) guarantees funding for all Ph.D. students under certain conditions. See the GSAS Office of Graduate Affairs policy on time to degree limits. Funding covers tuition, health insurance fees, University fees and a stipend. 

We have a long and distinguished 27-year history of funding by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to support pre and postdoctoral fellows as part of our training program. Fellows specialize in health care informatics, clinical research informatics, translational bioinformatics, public health informatics. In all of these areas, biomedical data science concepts and methods are part of the core curriculum. NLM-funded trainees join a rich network of NLM supported programs, attend annual conferences to present their research, and are pioneering alumni who found and lead informatics programs nationwide. Per the NIH, NLM eligibility is limited to US citizens and permanent residents.  

DBMI supports the overall Columbia University mission to foster an environment of diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism for students, faculty and staff. Please learn more about our work in this area, as well as resources available to our department.

Is the GRE required?
Yes, GRE scores are an admission requirement. Applicants who took the GRE more than five years ago but have subsequently enrolled in a graduate-level program at a US institution may petition the GSAS Office of Graduate Affairs to accept their old scores. Any applicants who wish to substitute MCAT scores for the GRE must contact the GSAS Office of Graduate Affairs (, 212.305.8058) for special permission in advance.  See test scores under Application Guidelines section for code for GSAS to send your score report.

Are there minimum GRE scores? Should I take the GRE subject test?
Your application is not enriched by taking the GRE subject test.  The general test is the only requirement.  Our program is highly competitive.  As such, it is recommended you score as high as possible.

May I take the GRE after the official admissions deadline and still be considered for admission?
If you are a PhD applicant, you will not be considered for admission if you take the GRE test after the official application deadline has passed and your score is not received by the GSAS Office of Graduate Affairs by the application deadline.  Per the GSAS Office of Graduate Affairs, test scores must be submitted 6 weeks prior to the admission deadline. See test scores section of the Application Guidelines section of the GSAS admissions website.

Are there minimum score requirements for the TOELF or IELTS?  Under what conditions may I request a TOEFL or IELTS waiver?
See Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of the GSAS website on English Proficiency Requirement. Contact the GSAS Office of Graduate Affairs (, tel. 212.305.8058) with any questions.  Our office is not able to provide any waivers.

Where may I find information on cost of attendance?
See here for information on MA and PhD tuition and fees. See HIT program tuition and fees.

Do you hold open houses?
The HIT program offers virtual information sessions in the spring term (dates TBA).

May I apply for Spring entry?
There is no admission nor enrollment for Spring term for any of our programs.