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, TOEFL scores (as applicable), three (3) letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. The application deadline for the 2024-25 cohort is now closed. 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.

PhD Applications: Access the online application here. (Deadline closed Dec. 1, 2023)
MA Applications: Access the online application here. (Deadline closed Dec. 1, 2023)
NLM MA Applications: Access the online application here. (Deadline closed Dec. 1, 2023)
NLM Funded Postdoctoral Research Fellowship: Access the online application here. (Deadline closed Dec. 1, 2023)

MD-PhD Application information is 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 a Bachelor’s Degree. Training or experience in a related field (healthcare, public health, healthcare policy, health IT, IT, computer science, etc.) is preferred, but all applicants will be considered. Application components include a personal statement, resumé or CV, contact information for two recommenders, and unofficial copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts. Admissions for the 2024-25 cohort not open yet. Visit the HIT program homepage for more information.

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.

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 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.

Do you offer a part-time program?
The MA and HIT Certification of Professional Achievement Programs may be pursued part-time. Time to completion for the MA program is up to 4 years for 30 points of coursework (approximately 10 courses + Master’s Essay). The HIT Certification of Professional Achievement Program is only offered part-time and is completed over two consecutive terms (two courses in fall, two courses in spring).