Curriculum

Primary Discipline in Bioinformatics

Required Curriculum

The following courses provide a general outline of the minimum courses included in the Primary Discipline for Biomedical and Health Informatics. Students may work with the Discipline Coordinator to create an individualized plan of study.

  • 6 credit hours of biostatistics
    • MEDB 5501 & 5502, Biostatistics I & II
  • 6 credit hours of research methodology and research ethics
    • MEDB 5510, Clinical Research Methodology
    • MEDB 5561, Responsible Conduct of Research
  • 6 credit hours of Informatics courses (selected from the following)
    • MEDB 5520, Introduction to Medical Informatics
    • MEDB 5521, Clinical Bioinformatics
    • BIOL 5525, Bioinformatics and Data Analysis
    • COMP-SCI 5566, Introduction to Bioinformatics

Qualifying Examination

Students will take and pass a written qualifying examination that is created by department faculty in order to verify that the student is proficient in the fundamentals of the discipline. The exam will cover the core minimum coursework listed and must be passed before the student is deemed qualified to carry out doctoral-level research.

The exam must be taken within one year of completing the doctoral core coursework.

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination is the mechanism used to review and approve the plan for dissertation research which will be structured around a common question/theme/issue. There will be a written component and an oral component of the comprehensive examination. Students are required to have prepared and have an accepted comprehensive proposal of their dissertation research plan within two years following successful completion of the qualifying examination. Upon successful  completion of the written and oral components of the comprehensive examination, the student wills be classified as a PhD candidate.

For the department’s policy on academic progression or more information about the Qualifying or Comprehensive Examinations, please contact the Discipline Coordinator.

Suggested Co-Discipline Areas for Bioinformatics Primary Discipline
  • 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

Co-Discipline in Bioinformatics

Recommended Curriculum

While the following courses are suggested core components for the Biomedical and Health Informatics co-discipline, students may work with the Discipline Coordinator to create an individualized plan of study.

  • MEDB 5510, Clinical Research Methodology or MEDB 5512, Clinical Trials
  • MEDB 5511, Principles and Applications of Epidemiology or
  • MEDB 5514, Human Genome Epidemiology
  • MEDB 5521, Clinical Informatics
  • MEDB 5501 & 5502, Biostatistics I & II

For the department’s policy on academic progression, please contact the Discipline Coordinator.

Suggested Primary Discipline Areas for Bioinformatics Co-Discipline
  • Mathematics
  • Oral and Craniofacial Sciences
  • Cell Biology and Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmacology
  • Computer Science
  • Public Affairs and Administration

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.