Discipline Coordinator
Mary M. Gerkovich, Ph.D. (816) 235-1322, gerkovichm@umkc.edu

Biomedical and Health Informatics faculty who are members of the doctoral faculty.

Biomedical and Health Informatics is a discipline in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program administered by the School of Graduate Studies.

Note: The discipline-specific requirements listed here are in addition to the requirements listed in Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Application Procedure and Minimum Criteria for Admission and Minimum Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Academic Regulations and Degree Requirements.

Note: The Biomedical and Health Informatics discipline is accepting applications for the co-discipline only.

Discipline Overview

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.”

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.

  • Clinical Research Methodology or Clinical Trials
  • Clinical Epidemiology or General Epidemiology or Human Genome Epidemiology
  • Introduction to Health Services Research
  • Biostatistics I1

All students are expected to have Biostatistics as a core competency for this co-discipline; however, if students have a primary discipline in Mathematics, they may substitute Medical Informatics or Clinical Research Informatics.

For the department's policy on academic progression, please contact the discipline coordinator.

Suggested Primary Discipline Areas

Cell Biology and Biophysics
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Oral and Craniofacial Sciences
Pharmaceutical Science
Computer Science


Applicants must meet both the general and the discipline specific criteria for admission and be recommended for admission by the doctoral faculty review groups in at least two disciplines. Upon approval by the graduate dean, students are admitted to the School of Graduate Studies.

General Admissions Requirements

Please visit the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Admissions page to learn about the general application requirements.


  • Minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Minimum graduate grade-point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale

Letters of Reference

Curriculum Vita or Resume

Official college/university transcripts

Recommendation by the “Doctoral Faculty Review Group” in at least two participating disciplines

Discipline Specific Admissions Requirements

Degree Requirements

  • A Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree from an accredited institution is required.
  • A Master of Science or Master of Arts degree is preferred, but not required.

Prerequisite Coursework1

  • Calculus (2 semesters)
  • Introductory Biology (2 semesters)
  • Introductory Computer Science (2 semesters)
  • Statistics or Probability (1 semester)

If students have successfully completed a professional doctoral degree (e.g. MD, DDS, DO, PharmD), these prerequisites may be waived.

Written consent from primary academic advisor

Personal Interview

Application Deadlines

The Biomedical and Health Informatics co-discipline admits students to the spring, summer, and fall semesters yearly.

U.S. citizens and permanent resident applicants must submit all applications and application materials by April 1 (summer semester admission), June 1 (fall semester admission) and December 1 (spring semester admission).

International applicants must submit all applications and application materials by March 1 (summer semester admission), May 1 (fall semester admission) and November 1 (spring semester admission).