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BSHS in Biomedical Informatics: Curriculum

Curriculum Details


Students must earn a total of 120 college credit hours to receive the BSHS degree. They may transfer in up to 60 college credit hours from another institution which are applied toward the general education and advanced standing requirements. They then must earn at least 60 college credit hours at the George Washington University to meet the academic residency requirement of which 48 credit hours are required courses for the major.*

* Students may be considered for review with a minimum of 45 transfer credits but will be required to complete any missing general education credit hours in addition to completion of the 60 programmatic hours. Transfer credit hours will be evaluated prior to admission.


Basic issues, approaches, and requirements of ethically acceptable decision making with patients, including patient confidentiality, conflicts of interest, allocation of scarce resources, occupational risks in health care, and professional responsibility for overall quality of care.

Introduction to the health sciences literature Emphasis is on construction, evaluation and organization of written communication of health sciences information.

Biostatistics for health science professionals. Concepts and methods, including confidence intervals, ANOVA, multiple and logistic regression, and non-parametric analyses. Scientific literature is used to provide a comprehensive context in which analytical evidence is employed to support practices in the health sciences.

Includes a significant engagement in writing as a form of critical inquiry and scholarly expression to satisfy the WID requirement.

Basic concepts of scripting in bioinformatics, such as alignments, searches, and data manipulation for biological data Four credits in general biology courses may be substituted for the prerequisite.

Medical informatics applications and innovations in health care and the health care system; implications for health care delivery and patient outcomes, including electronic medical records, health system databases, and medical data analysis.

Survey of clinical medicine and basic concepts related to clinical process, medical vocabulary, anatomy, pathophysiology, and clinical disease management for selected organ systems and healthcare specialties; evaluation of medical records, clinical decision making, and health providers in the U.S. healthcare system Laboratory fee Completion of one course in general biology, anatomy, or physiology may be substituted for the prerequisite.

Programming (Java), databases, and data models in medical informatics.

Terminology and standards commonly used in clinical and public health systems; practical experience in selecting terminology, mapping concepts to standard terminologies, and creating and testing standardized messages.

Consumer health informatics as a field of research and development in the context of medical informatics, including patient and provider perspectives and technology innovations utilized by patients and healthcare systems.

Population health informatics, and informatics techniques used on population-level data to improve health.

Examination of clinical decision support systems and associated quality improvement efforts.

The automatic extraction of information from clinical text; specificities, information extraction methods, existing applications, and resources for information extraction.

Evaluation methods associated with clinical information systems and informatics interventions; objective and subjective evaluation, design, measurement, and analysis of medical informatics cases.

Principles of health analytic techniques, and implications associated with big data uses in clinical and health care settings.

Advanced scripting skills in the context of computational biology problems.

Core – One of the following courses selected with the advisor’s approval:

Supervised field work in medical informatics, arranged in consultation with the program director. May be repeated for credit.

Supervised research project in medical informatics, arranged in consultation with the program director May be repeated for credit.

Elective – Three courses selected from the following with the advisor’s approval:


Incorporates economic theory and policy analysis methodology to analyze the impact of changes in the health care system on the practice of health sciences professionals and the quality and process of health care. Development of critical thinking skills through review of current medical literature.

An introduction to epidemiological methods and their applications in the prevention and control of illness, community and clinical interventions, and health services. 

Concepts and practice in high performance computing for scientists; systems, resource management, parallel programming, and nationally shared resources.

Supervised field work in medical informatics, arranged in consultation with the program director. May be repeated for credit.

Supervised research project in medical informatics, arranged in consultation with the program director May be repeated for credit.

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