New MBI Cohort Welcomed

Master of Biomedical Informatics program expected to grow along with demand for data science skills in both academia and industry.

people sitting around a conference room
Eighteen incoming students join the Master of Biomedical Informatics (MBI) program, one of three programs within the newly launched Harvard Data Science Initiative.

This month the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School welcomed the next cohort of students in the Master of Biomedical Informatics (MBI) program.

For the first time, the program enrolled eight MBI students who are not already holding a doctorate or enrolled in an MD program. These students are joining the program from top undergraduate institutions and have a broad range of educational backgrounds, including cognitive science, molecular biology, biomedical engineering, and electrical and computer engineering. They are scheduled to graduate within three semesters.

An additional ten postdoctoral students enrolled in the accelerated MBI program, designed to be completed in one year (or two years for part-time students). Most of these students hold medical doctorates and are actively involved in clinical research and service. But an increasing number of students with doctorates in other fields, such as applied mathematics or genetics, are being admitted as well.

The 18 incoming students are looking forward to coursework in precision medicine, data science, computational biology, and clinical informatics, providing numerous opportunities to learn about cutting-edge translational biomedical informatics. Students complement these courses with electives from the university-wide course catalog, including courses at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health (HSPH), Harvard Business School (HBS), and the Harvard John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).

A capstone project conducted under the supervision of Harvard faculty will allow the students to apply their expertise and deepen their knowledge in their area of interest.

The Master of Biomedical Informatics is one of three Master’s programs that are part of the university-wide Harvard Data Science Initiative. The other programs are the Master of Science (SM) in Health Data Science at HSPH and the Master of Science (SM) in Data Science at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS).

Given the high demand for biomedical informatics and data science skills in both industry and academia, the Master of Biomedical Informatics program is expected to grow over the next couple of years. Applications for the Fall of 2018 will be due in early December 2017. Details and announcements about the Master’s program can be found on