Requirements (Prior to 2015)

The Biomedical Informatics curriculum is designed to provide a uniform foundation in the essentials of the field while meeting the needs of a wide range of students with different backgrounds and career goals.

The core courses provide a foundation in general Biomedical Informatics methods, techniques, and theories, while electives enable students to apply these methods to one or more areas of specialization in bioinformatics, clinical informatics, public health informatics, or translational informatics.

All students are required to take four Biomedical Informatics core courses. Curriculum requirements vary depending on the degree and area of research. However, all students are expected to take one or more courses in each of the three education objective areas. MA degree students are required to take one course in each of the Biomedical, Computational, and Mathematical education objective areas, two electives, and one project course. PhD students are required to take one course in each of the Biomedical and Mathematical education objective areas and two courses in the Computational education objective area, two electives, one ethics course and research courses to support their dissertation work.

Students who meet biomedical, computational, or mathematical objectives through prior graduate courses may not be required to take further courses in these areas as determined by their academic advisor or the graduate program director, but must fulfill the Columbia University requirement of the minimum number of points of Columbia University instruction and residence units required for the degree (60 points and 6 residence units for PhD students, 30 points and 2 residence units for MA students).

Comprehensive information on departmental policies and procedures for students is found in the DBMI Trainee Handbook.  In the event of questions, contact the Graduate Program Manager.

Core Courses – 4 courses

Students must demonstrate competence in areas that serve as a building block for Biomedical Informatics by successfully completing relevant graduate level courses. A number of Biomedical Informatics courses are offered to meet the educational objectives. Students are also permitted to take courses in other departments with approval from their research or academic advisors or the graduate program director.

Class Details
BINF G4001 Introduction to Computer Applications in Health Care & Biomedicine (Prof. David Vawdrey, fall) See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes for time and semester offered.
BINF G4001 must be taken fall term of entry.
BINF G4003: Methods I: Symbolic Methods (Prof. Chunhua Weng, fall) See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes for time offered.
BINF G4002: Methods II: Computational Methods (Prof. Noemie Elhadad, spring) See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes for time and semester offered.
BINF G6002 Methods III: Research Methods (Prof. Olena Mamykina, spring) for Clinical, Public Health or Translational students See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes for time and semester offered.
BINF G4015 Computational Systems Biology (Prof. Dennis Vitkup, spring) for Bioinformatics students See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes for time and semester offered.

Computational Requirements – 2 course requirement for PhD, 1 course requirement for MA

The educational objective includes being able to apply computational techniques to manage data, develop software, and solve problems. Biomedical informatics courses that meet the computational objectives include:

Class Details
COMS W4111 Database Systems
See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes, Courseworks, the Computer Science Department website for further course information (ie term offered, prerequisites, enrollment cap).  DBMI student course enrollment may be restricted to the GSAS Change of Program Period (see online academic calendar for dates available from the main Columbia University website as a quick link).
COMS W4231 Analysis of Algorithms
See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes, Courseworks, the Computer Science Department website for further course information (ie term offered, prerequisites, enrollment cap).  DBMI student course enrollment may be restricted to the GSAS Change of Program Period (see online academic calendar for dates available from the main Columbia University website as a quick link).
STAT W4240 Data Mining OR COMS W4771 Machine Learning (not both)
See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes, Courseworks, the Computer Science Department website or Statistics Department website for further course information (ie term offered, prerequisites, enrollment cap).  DBMI student course enrollment may be restricted to the GSAS Change of Program Period (see online academic calendar for dates available from the main Columbia University website as a quick link).
COMS W4444 Programming and Problem Solving See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes, Courseworks, the Computer Science Department website for further course information (ie term offered, prerequisites, enrollment cap).  DBMI student course enrollment may be restricted to the GSAS Change of Program Period (see online academic calendar for dates available from the main Columbia University website as a quick link).
COMS W4701 Artificial Intelligence See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes, Courseworks, the Computer Science Department website for further course information (ie term offered, prerequisites, enrollment cap).  DBMI student course enrollment may be restricted to the GSAS Change of Program Period (see online academic calendar for dates available from the main Columbia University website as a quick link).

Biomedical Requirement – 1 course requirement (medical doctors and nurses are exempt)

The educational objective includes being conversant with concepts, terminology, institutions, professionals, and methods of the biomedical domain. Biomedical Informatics courses that meet the biomedical objectives include:

BINF G4011 Acculturation to Medicine  See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes for time and semester offered.

Class Details
BIST P6400/P6402 Epidemiology See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes, Courseworks, and the Mailman School of Public Health website for further course information (ie term offered, prerequisites, enrollment cap).  DBMI student course enrollment is restricted to the GSAS Change of Program Period (see online academic calendar for dates available from the main Columbia University website as a quick link) and requires Mailman approval via a Mailman course enrollment form (see forms on DBMI website).
BIST P6530 Issues and Approaches in Health Policy and Management

See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes, Courseworks, and the Mailman School of Public Health website for further course information (ie term offered, prerequisites, enrollment cap).  DBMI student course enrollment is restricted to the GSAS Change of Program Period (see online academic calendar for dates available from the main Columbia University website as a quick link) and requires Mailman approval via a Mailman course enrollment form (see forms on DBMI website).

ECBM E4060 Intro to Genomic Info Science and Technology See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes, Courseworks, and the Department of Electrical Engineering website for further information.
BCHM G6300 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Eukaryotes See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes, Courseworks, and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics website for further information.
BINF G4062 Public Health Informatics See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes for time and semester offered.
COMS W4761 Computational Genomics See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes, Courseworks, the Computer Science Department website for further course information (ie term offered, prerequisites, enrollment cap).  DBMI student course enrollment may be restricted to the GSAS Change of Program Period (see online academic calendar for dates available from the main Columbia University website as a quick link).

Math Requirement – 1 course requirement

The educational objective includes being able to apply mathematical techniques to analyze data and test hypotheses. Example courses include:

Class Details
BIST P8116 Design of Medical Experiments See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes, Courseworks, and the Mailman School of Public Health website for further course information (ie term offered, prerequisites, enrollment cap).  DBMI student course enrollment is restricted to the GSAS Change of Program Period (see online academic calendar for dates available from the main Columbia University website as a quick link) and requires Mailman approval via a Mailman course enrollment form (see forms on DBMI website).
HBSS 4160/4199 Introduction to Biostatistics (Teachers College) See Teachers College online Course Schedule for course times.
STAT W4107 Statistical Inference See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes, Courseworks, and the Statistics Department website for further course information (ie term offered, prerequisites, enrollment cap).  DBMI student course enrollment may be restricted to the GSAS Change of Program Period (see online academic calendar for dates available from the main Columbia University website as a quick link).
APAM E4990 Data Driven Modeling See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes, Courseworks, and the Applied Physics and Applied Math Department website for further information.  DBMI student course enrollment may be restricted to the GSAS Change of Program Period (see online academic calendar for dates available from the main Columbia University website as a quick link).
STAT G6104 Applied Statistics See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes, Courseworks, and the Statistics Department website for further course information (ie term offered, prerequisites, enrollment cap).  DBMI student course enrollment may be restricted to the GSAS Change of Program Period (see online academic calendar for dates available from the main Columbia University website as a quick link).
BIST P6104/P6114 Introduction to Biostatistical Methods Requires August placement test.  Must e-mail Justine Herrera (jh2477@columbia.edu) to arrange.  See the Columbia University online Directory of Classes, Courseworks, and the Mailman School of Public Health website for further course information (ie term offered, prerequisites, enrollment cap).  DBMI student course enrollment is restricted to the GSAS Change of Program Period (see online academic calendar for dates available from the main Columbia University website as a quick link) and requires Mailman approval via a Mailman course enrollment form (see forms on DBMI website).

Electives

PhD and MA students are required to take two three point graduate level elective courses relevant to their educational goals and research focus. The objective of the electives is to apply general methods and theories of informatics to one or more biomedical levels: molecules and cells; tissues and organs; patients; or populations.

Ethics Course

All doctoral and postdoctoral students are required to take CMBS G4010 Responsible Conduct of Research and Related Policy Issues during the Spring semester of their first year in the program. The ethics course satisfies a National Institutes of Health requirement.

MPhil Course

All doctoral and postdoctoral students are required to participate in the teaching activities of the department, serving as a teaching assistant (TA) for up to two different courses (two year postdoctoral research fellows are only required to TA one course). TA preferences are solicited from both students and faculty in the Spring, with the Training Committee making final assignments based on departmental need. To fulfill the TA requirement, students enroll in BINF G8010 MPhil Teaching Experience for 2 points for each semester in which they TA.

Research Seminar

Enrollment in the Research Seminar (BINF G4099, 1 pt) is required for PhD students in all tracks their first year.  Bioinformatics students may attend the C2B2 seminar in their second year in lieu of the Research Seminar.   Full-time MA students are expected to enroll in the Research Seminar.  Part-time MA students are not required to enroll if doing so would cause them to enter the next residence unit category.  However, they are expected to attend whenever feasible.  Passing the Research Seminar is dependent upon attendance.