A masters in biomedical informatics is an interdisciplinary degree that applies computer science, statistics, and data science to help find solutions for pressing medical problems.
Many universities offer biomedical informatics graduate programs to train students to use biomedical data to improve health outcomes and advance research.
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After graduating with a master in biomedical informatics, you may be qualified for a range of jobs in the biomedical informatics field. You could also choose to pursue doctoral studies. Read on to learn more about earning a Master of Biomedical Informatics.
Masters in Biomedical Informatics Programs Online
Biomedical informatics is a relatively new field that seeks to integrate separate methodologies from computer and data science, statistics, and big data to solve biomedical issues.
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Working from a mixture of both clinical data and research data, biomedical informaticians try to find ways to analyze, organize, and interpret this data to make it useful for others. As a student earning an MS in Biomedical Informatics online, you’ll likely become familiar with many different subjects and fields.
A biomedical informatics masters program will likely have courses in fields such as:
- Biomedical informatics
- Computer science
- Leadership and management
- Data analysis
- Precision medicine
Biomedical informatics programs tend to have a core curriculum that includes the subjects above. You may have the opportunity to take electives in other topics as well to tailor your study to your interests. After graduating from a biomedical informatics graduate program, you may have the education and skills to pursue many rewarding careers.
Many graduates work as biomedical informaticians, putting their degrees to work within a research facility, university, or clinical location. There may also be opportunities to work as a health information manager, research scientist, data scientist, or analyst.
Biomedical Informatics Careers & Salaries
A master’s in biomedical informatics can help graduates qualify for a range of positions. Some biomedical informatics professionals work as data scientists, research scientists, or even IT trainers. Others take on leadership or management roles, overseeing departments, teams, or projects.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the median wages of potential positions related to the advanced study of biomedical informatics.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Computer and Information Research Scientists||$131,490|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||$101,340|
|Computer Systems Analysts||$99,270|
|Project Management Specialists||$94,500|
|Training and Development Specialists||$61,570|
|Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars||$55,560|
The fields of healthcare and information technology are both expected to see much faster than average growth over the next ten years.
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For example, medical and health services managers have a 28% predicted job growth rate over the next ten years, and data scientist positions have a 36% predicted job growth rate (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Health information managers are considered a type of medical and health services manager.
Biomedical Informatics Master’s Curriculum & Courses
The curriculum for biomedical informatics master’s programs can be different from university to university, as they each have their own strengths and thoughts on what’s important for students.
Here are some examples of courses you may study in a biomedical informatics masters program:
- Introduction to Biomedical Informatics: This course is an introduction to the field and surveys the foundational methods and approaches used in this type of informatics.
- Computer Science for Biomedical Informatics: This course teaches the necessary programming skills for biomedical informatics.
- Biomedical Informatics Statistics: This course teaches about the statistical methods needed to design and evaluate research studies in biomedical informatics.
- Data Analysis: This course serves to teach you biological data analysis skills that are foundational to your continued studies.
- Medical Decision Making: This course explores how data science can be used to inform medical decision making.
- Data Visualization: This course looks at how data can be visualized and organized to make for better viewing and consumption.
- Biomedical Data Deep Learning: This course explores the possibilities and current research in biomedical informatics using deep learning methods.
- Ethics in Biomedical Informatics: This course overviews ethical issues that arise from using biomedical informatics.
- Healthcare Information Technology: This course looks at healthcare information technology and how to integrate it into healthcare settings.
- Healthcare Entrepreneurship: This class explores how healthcare problems are identified and how innovative solutions can be found and developed.
In addition to coursework, your program may require the completion of a capstone experience.
Each master’s in biomedical informatics program will have its own admissions requirements for prospective students, but here are some general requirements:
- Personal statement explaining your goals and reasons for applying
- Letters of recommendation, often from prior professors or employers
- Transcripts from previous postsecondary institutions you’ve attended
- Resume or CV listing prior educational and work experiences
- GRE or GMAT scores (not required by all schools)
You can check the specific admissions criteria of your prospective programs to ensure that you meet their requirements and also meet their deadlines.
In order to ensure that the education you are receiving is of the highest quality, you might want to consider enrolling in a college or university that’s accredited by a regional accrediting agency.
These organizations review an institution’s educational offerings to ensure that they follow high-quality practices and procedures when it comes to educating their students. Earning a biology degree online from an accredited university can positively impact your chances of using your degree for employment or pursuing further education. Apart from an online masters in biomedical informatics, a number of universities also offer on-campus and online masters in biostatistics or masters in genetics online programs.
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To see if the colleges you are applying to are accredited, you can visit the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s website.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
There are many sources of financial assistance available to graduate students who qualify. Federal aid is one of the most common forms of financial aid. To apply for federal student loans, grants, or work-study programs, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Individual states may also have their own student aid programs for you to apply to. In addition, you may be able to apply for different scholarships. You can search for opportunities from your school or professional organizations and apply based on their requirements.
If you are employed, you can see if your employer offers professional development programs or financial assistance to help pay for your graduate studies.
What Is a Biomedical Informatics Masters Degree?
A biomedical informatics masters degree is a graduate degree that prepares students for information and computer science careers that deal with biomedical data.
This interdisciplinary field combines methods from computer science, data science, bioinformatics, and other disciplines to improve health outcomes in fields like clinical healthcare and public health. As a student in one of these programs, you will take classes in various disciplines in order to round out your education.
You’ll learn various methods, strategies, and research practices within the field with an eye toward applying this knowledge to solve problems and improve decision-making in healthcare.
What Can You Do with a Masters in Biomedical Informatics?
There are many positions that you can consider within the field of biomedical informatics. A masters degree can help you qualify for various career paths. For example, graduates may pursue work as data scientists, analysts, information research scientists, software engineers, and IT trainers.
A graduate degree could also help you qualify for more senior or leadership roles. Some bioinformatics professionals work as health information managers, digital health product managers, IT directors, and even chief information officers. You could also use a biomedical informatics masters degree as a stepping stone toward a doctoral degree.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Masters in Biomedical Informatics Online?
Masters programs generally take 1 to 2 years to complete. The time it takes you to complete a master’s in biomedical informatics depends on many circumstances, including your enrollment status as a student and the academic calendar of your university.
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If your program requires 36 credit hours and has no thesis requirement, then it may take you 1 year to complete the program if you study full-time and year-round. If the program you attend requires the completion of a thesis, then the overall program will take more time to complete. In addition, part-time enrollment can extend the length of your masters program as well.
What’s the Difference Between Biomedical Informatics vs. Bioinformatics Masters Programs?
While biomedical informatics and bioinformatics have some overlap, here are some of the differences between the two disciplines.
|Biomedical Informatics Masters Programs||Bioinformatics Masters Programs|
While there is some overlap in these fields of study, your long-term career goals may help you determine which degree path is best for you.
What’s the Difference Between an MS in Biomedical Informatics vs. Health Informatics?
Here are some of the differences between biomedical informatics and health informatics.
- MS in Biomedical Informatics: Students learn data and computer science methods to research and apply findings to biological and medical problems.
- MS in Health Informatics: Students learn to use statistics, computer science, and data to help clinicians and other healthcare practitioners in their practice. This program’s courses may additionally focus on the management of healthcare organizations.
The term biomedical informatics can sometimes be used interchangeably for health informatics, so it’s helpful to know the context in which an institution or employer is using this term.
Is a Masters in Biomedical Informatics Worth It?
Yes, a masters in biomedical informatics is worth it for many professionals. A master’s in biomedical informatics is an advanced degree that uses an interdisciplinary approach to analyze and solve biomedical issues.
The curriculums employed by biomedical informatics programs teach methods from diverse disciplines like data science, programming, and statistics. Common careers related to this field include data scientist, research scientist, IT trainer, software engineer, project manager, and health information manager.
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 13% job growth for healthcare occupations and 15% job growth for computer and information technology occupations over the next ten years. Both of these fields are growing much faster than the average for all job categories.
Universities Offering Online Masters in Biomedical Informatics Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
George Washington University offers an MSHS in Biomedical Informatics. This fully online program requires the completion of 36 credits and can potentially be completed in just 2 years. Courses are asynchronous to provide working professionals with maximum flexibility. Potential courses include Topics in Healthcare Leadership, High-Performance Computing, and Epidemiology Translational Research.
George Washington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
New York University offers an online program for an MS in Bioinformatics. The program consists of 30 credits delivered in a flexible but interactive format. It offers access to internships and other experiential learning opportunities. Optional concentrations are available in Laboratory Science and Translational Science.
New York University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Northeastern University’s Master of Science in Bioinformatics program is available online. It offers full-time and part-time enrollment and start dates in the spring and fall. The degree can typically be finished in 2 to 3 years. Optional concentrations are available in Data Analytics, Health, Informatics, Medical Health Informatics, Biotechnology, Omics, Bioinformatics Enterprise, and more.
Northeastern University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Stanford University offers a Master of Science in Bioinformatics that can be earned in a flexible online format. The degree requires the completion of 45 units and can typically be finished in 1 to 5 years, depending on full-time or part-time enrollment. The curriculum emphasizes quantitative and computational methods.
Stanford is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.
The State University of New York—Oswego offers a Master of Science in Biomedical and Health Informatics that can be earned online or on campus. There are 3 tracks offered: Health Informatics (Professional), Health Informatics (Intelligent Health Systems), and Health Information Management (Health Data Science).
SUNY Oswego is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Tulane University’s MS in Biomedical Informatics program usually takes 2 years to complete. Potential courses include Advanced Bioinformatics, Introduction to Data Science, and Data Science with Cloud Computing. There are also opportunities to take electives in fields such as molecular biology, biochemistry, and biomedical engineering.
Tulane University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill offers a Master of Professional Science in Biomedical and Health Informatics that can be earned online or on campus. This interdisciplinary program emphasizes hands-on experience and does not require a thesis. It offers a Clinical track and a Public Health track.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston offers an MS in Biomedical Informatics. The program has two tracks: Research and Applied Biomedical Informatics. Potential courses include Statistical Methods in Biomedical Informatics, Scientific Writing in Healthcare, and Practicum in Biomedical Informatics.
UTHealth is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Utah offers a Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics. This online program requires the completion of 35 credits. It accepts new students every fall. Courses are designed to be highly interactive, with discussions, collaborative group assignments, and synchronous lab sessions. Professors have online office hours so students can ask questions.
The University of Utah is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Vanderbilt University offers an online program for a Master of Science in Applied Clinical Informatics. This 36 credit program is designed to be completed with a cohort.
Potential courses include Foundations of Health Information Technology, Clinical Decision Support and Evidence-Based Patient Care, and Clinical Information System Lifecycle. Courses include a blend of both synchronous and asynchronous activities.
Vanderbilt University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Getting Your Masters in Biomedical Informatics Online
Much like with on-campus or online health informatics degrees, pursuing a masters degree in biomedical informatics can help you develop your professional skill sets in a number of fields, including health informatics, data science, research, and computer science.
When it comes to specialized fields like biomedical informatics, it’s strategic to visit each graduate program’s website and compare how they differ from each other. Especially since this is a newer field, higher education institutions may have their own take on the discipline.
The sooner you start exploring accredited schools, the sooner you may find the online masters program in biomedical informatics that’s right for you.