Biomedical Informatics MS Degree

Stanford School of Engineering

  • Master's Degree
  • Fee:
    Fee may apply



The Biomedical Informatics (BMI) training program encompasses bioinformatics, clinical informatics, and public health informatics. Bioinformatics focuses on methods relevant to basic biology. Clinical informatics focuses on methods relevant to patient care. Public health informatics focuses on methods relevant to entire health systems.

Students in the BMI program may focus on any aspect of information management and analysis relevant to biomedical research. Students are united in their interest in using information technology to analyze and understand biomedical data, and in developing new methods for using information to improve health care. The BMI core curriculum requires training in 4 areas:

  • Core Biomedical Informatics
  • Computer Science, Statistics, Mathematics & Engineering
  • Social and Ethical Issues
  • Unrestricted Electives

Core Biomedical Informatics

Students are required to complete 17 units in the area of Biomedical Informatics. This area of study will provide the foundation for methods used to represent knowledge and develop biomedical models. Courses that satisfy this requirement are:

  • Required: Introduction to Biomedical Informatics Research Methodology (BIOMEDIN 212)
  • 4 out of the following 5 courses: Modeling Biomedical Systems: Ontology, Terminology, Problem Solving (BIOMEDIN 210)
  • Representations and Algorithms for Computational Molecular Biology (BIOMEDIN 214)
  • Data Driven Medicine (BIOMEDIN 215)
  • Translational Bioinformatics (BIOMEDIN 217)
  • Computational Methods for Biomedical Image Analysis and Interpretation (BIOMEDIN 260)

Any remaining units must be graduate level courses listed under BIOMEDIN.

Computer Science, Statistics, Mathematics & Engineering

Students are required to complete 18 units in the area of Computer Science, Statistics, Mathematics & Engineering. They are expected to create a program of study with a mixture of graduate-level courses in computer science, statistics or other technical informatics-related disciplines that allows them to achieve in-depth mastery of these areas. The programs of study may focus on aspects of these disciplines including (but not limited to):

  • Machine Learning
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Data Mining
  • Image Analysis
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Systems Engineering
  • Scientific and Numerical Computing or Graphics

Note: In general, this course of study should include no more than 9 units in courses 100-199, and the rest should be 200 or above (unless specifically approved by adviser). CS courses 106, 107 and 108 cannot be counted for this requirement. BIOMEDIN units above 17 may also be counted for the requirements in this category. Students may petition for quantitative courses in the medical school or Humanities and Sciences to be counted in this section of the curriculum. Contact the department of Biomedical Informatics for information about potential courses:BMI-CONTACT@LISTS.STANFORD.EDU

Social and Ethical Issues

Students are required to complete 4 units in the area of Social and Ethical Issues. These courses are designed to familiarize students with issues regarding ethical, legal, social, organizational and behavioral aspects of the impact of biomedical informatics technologies on society in general. Students should select courses broadly from University offerings to explore one or more of these aspects more deeply. In addition, they are required to take, The Responsible Conduct of Research (MED255,1 Unit), or the equivalent.

  • Technology Assessment and Regulation of Medical Devices (MS&E 256)

Unrestricted Electives

Students may fulfill this requirement with any Stanford course, including courses taken to satisfy core curriculum prerequisites.


For course tuition and fees, please click Tuition & Fees.

Time Commitment

Most part-time students take an average of 3 to 5 years to complete the 45-unit requirement. You must complete a Master's degree within 5 years of starting the program.


For assistance while in the application process, please visit the Biomedical Informatics Department website: Biomedical Informatics Admissions


Applicants should have a strong background in calculus, computer programming, statistics, linear algebra, biology, and physiology. Students without this background would have difficulty succeeding in the BMI graduate program. Please see details at: Biomedical Informatics Department


To be eligible for the online distance professional MS program, you must be employed full-time and remain employed throughout the duration of the degree program. Candidates may only enroll on a part-time basis.


All courses counted toward a core requirement must be taken for a grade. Pass/Fail options are not accepted for core courses. Master's candidates must maintain a GPA of 3.0 in each of the 5 core areas, as well as an overall GPA of 3.0. If the candidate's GPA does not meet the minimum requirement, the executive committee may require corrective courses of action.

Program Proposal

Students must submit a Program Proposal by the end of their first quarter of study. This form must be submitted to the Student Services officer in the Biomedical Informatics department, and is required to be eligible for graduation.