Research Masters

The goal of our Master’s degree program is to train the next generation of researchers and leaders to advance the science of Biomedical and Health Informatics. Our MS program is research-focused; students must complete a thesis that aims at solving a research problem in the science of biomedical and health informatics. When broadly defined, we believe that a research-focused MS thesis can help our students achieve a broad range of career goals in the variety of domains that comprise BHI.

Our cross-cutting themes provide a more general vision statement for our graduate programs (MS and PhD) and the broad themes and goals we value in biomedical and health informatics education.

The core curriculum for our MS program is built around nine courses, and students may also select  from the wide range of related courses available from BHI-affiliated programs, as well as the UW catalog as a whole.  Optionally, students may also pursue a Data Science Specialization with their BHI M.S. (the specialization requirements are in addition to the below).

MS Coursework Requirements

BHI Program Core Coursework Requirements: All courses listed below are to be numerically graded, with the exception of Research Seminars, and the student must pass all these with individual grades of at least 2.7. Courses count for 3-4 credits (in parentheses), for a total of 34 credits.

  • BIME 530   Introduction to Biomedical & Health Informatics (3)
  • BIME 533   Public Health and Informatics (3)
  • BIME 534   Biology and Informatics (3)
  • BIME 535   Clinical Care and Informatics (3)
  • BIME 537   Informatics Research and Evaluation Methods (4)
  • BIME 539   Teaching, Learning and Communication in BHI (4)
  • BIME 550   Knowledge Representation and Applications (3)
  • BIME 554   Biomedical Information Interactions and Design (4)
  • BIME 543   Consumer Health and Informatics (3) *
  • BIOST 517 Applied Biostatistics I (or BIOST 537 Survival Data Analysis in Epidemiology or other equivalent biostatistics graduate course with approval) (4)**

*  effective for Autumn 2015 cohort and later

** effective for Autumn 2014 cohort and later

See the curriculum page for a recommended timeline on completing the above core courses.

Research seminars: In addition to the numerically graded courses listed above students must regularly enroll in BHI research seminars, BIME 591 (Biomedical and Health Informatics Research Colloquium) and/or BIME 590 (Selected Topics in Biomedical and Health Informatics)— 6 credits for MS students. Students who lead a BIME 591 seminar may also register for the course.


General Degree requirements: Cumulative GPA of 3.25 minimum and quarterly GPA of 3.0 minimum. Total of 60 credits minimum, including at least nine 700-level Thesis credits over a period of at least two quarters. At least 30 credits must be from numerically graded courses. Only courses graded 2.7 and above will count toward the degree. MS Students are not required to take BHI core courses all in their first year, but can take core courses with more flexibility in order to incorporate electives, rotations, and research.

MS Thesis & Final Examination: All students must complete an MS thesis and pass a final exam for the Master’s Degree (i.e. the thesis defense).

Graduate School Requirements: Students are responsible for reviewing the Graduate School policies, procedures, and requirements for the Master’s Degree.

Satisfactory Progress: All degree requirements above are expected to be completed according to BHI’s Satisfactory Progress Guidelines In addition, students and their advisors are required to submit a Quarterly Progress Report at the beginning of each academic quarter.

The University of Washington itself is situated in the beautiful city of Seattle, a veritable mecca for those who enjoy the beautiful outdoors and the diverse offerings of a big city. We look forward to your application and welcome your interest.

Video: Welcome to Life in Seattle

For additional information about our MS program and how to apply, please visit our Become A Student section.