Interdisciplinary PhD Program


The Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program at UMKC offers students the opportunity to work across disciplines and develop an individualized academic plan which requires students to be admitted to at least two disciplines (a primary discipline and a co-discipline).  In the School of Medicine, both a Primary Discipline and Co-Discipline in Bioinformatics are offered through the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics.

Biomedical and Health Informatics is the “scientific field that deals with biomedical information, data, and knowledge – their storage, retrieval, and optimal use for problem solving and decision making. It accordingly touches on all basic and applied fields in biomedical science and is closely tied to modern information technologies, notably in the areas of computing and communication, i.e. medical computer science.” (Definition from Stanford University, Medical Informatics.) The National Center for Biotechnology Information defines Bioinformatics as the “field of science in which medicine, biology, computer science, and information technology merge to form a single discipline. The ultimate goal of the field is to enable the discovery of new biological insights as well as to create a global perspective from which unifying principles in biology and health can be discerned.”

Biomedical and Health Informatics is the field at the intersection of health, biomedicine, computer science, and information technology that uses information to improve human health. Career opportunities in Biomedical and Health Informatics are plentiful in industry and academic arenas, including jobs in:

  • Health care (health system: clinical leadership and IT leadership)
  • Biomedical and clinical research, including application of genomics and molecular biology
  • Consumer health
  • Public health
  • Imaging
Students interested in pursuing Bioinformatics as the Primary Discipline might consider the following Co-Discipline areas:
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Cell Biology and Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
  • Oral Biology and Craniofacial Sciences
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • Public Affairs and Administration
Students interested in pursuing Bioinformatics as the Co-Discipline might consider the following Primary Discipline areas:
  • Mathematics
  • Cell Biology and Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
  • Oral and Craniofacial Sciences
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmacology
  • Computer Science

The left-hand menu will provide more information regarding applying for admission, the admissions timeline and the curriculum for either the Primary Discipline or the Co-Discipline in Bioinformatics.

For additional general information about Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Studies at UMKC, please refer to the School of Graduate Studies website.