48-Credit Program

The 48-credit MBI program is a full-time program completed in three semesters for students interested in applying quantitative skills and computational methods to biomedical sciences.

Students in the 48-credit program must:

  • be enrolled in program requirements for 3 full-time academic terms. 
  • be enrolled in a minimum of 14 credits per semester. 
  • not exceed 20 credits in any single semester without special permission from the program. Students can take up to 22 credits in the Spring Year 1 semester with program approval.  

Students are required to complete 48 credits of approved coursework as follows:

Year 1

Fall Semester

BMI 701 - Foundations in Biomedical Informatics I (4 credits)
BMI 713 - Computing Skills for Biomedical Informatics (2 credits)
BMI 715 - Computational Statistics for Biomedical Sciences (2 credits)
BMI 722 - Topics in Biomedical Informatics (4 credits)
MCB 112 - Biological Data Analysis (4 credits)

Spring Semester

Required Courses (6 credits)

BMI 702 - Foundations in Biomedical Informatics II (4 credits)
BMI 751 - Capstone I (2 credits) 

Select 3 of the following quarter courses (6 credits)

BMI 704 - Data Science for Medical Decision Making (2 credits)
BMI 706 - Data Visualization for Biomedical Applications (2 credits)
BMI 707 - Deep Learning for Biomedical Data (2 credits) 
BMI 710 - Single-cell analysis for functional genomics of disease (2 credits)

Select one of the following courses (4 credits)

BIOSTAT 281 - Genomic Data Manipulation (4 credits)
BST 282  - Introduction to Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (4 credits)  
BMI 741 - Health Information Technology: From Ideation to Implementation (4 credits)


(For Spring 2023 only) An approved Program Elective or Data Science Selective that is a minimum of 2 credits.

Program Elective and Data Science Selective requirements
Students complete 4 credits of an approved program elective and 4 credits of an approved data science selective during their time in the program. Students in good academic standing after their first semester can complete one of these requirements beginning in the spring semester or choose to wait to complete these courses in the fall semester of their second year in the program. Currently approved electives and data science selectives are found on the MBI Program Electives page. Current students can also petition for courses not on this list to count towards these requirements. 

Year 2


BMI 703 - Precision Medicine I: Genomic Medicine (2 credits)
BMI 705 - Precision Medicine II: Integrating Clinical and Genomic Data (2 credits)
BMI 752 - Capstone II (4 credits) 
SELECTIVE - Students select 4 credits from a list of approved 'Data Science Selective' courses.
ELECTIVE - Students complete 4 credits of an approved elective either in Spring Year 1 or Fall Year 2.

Taking Additional Courses

In addition to the program requirements outlined above, students may take a limited number of additional courses during their time at Harvard to enhance their educational experience. Students who are enrolled in the 48-credit MBI Program may take a maximum of 8 credits of coursework in addition to their degree requirements under the following conditions:

  • Student does not exceed 20 total HMS credits in a single semester without special permission from the program. Students can take up to 22 credits in the Spring Year 1 semester with program approval.  
  • Student is making satisfactory academic progress as defined in the Master’s Student Handbook
  • Additional courses taken do not present a schedule conflict with required MBI courses