New This Fall! Master of Professional Science in Biomedical and Health Informatics

Release date: 

May 1, 2014

CHAPEL HILL, NC - A new degree program that focuses on biomedical and health informatics at the master’s level is now available through the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Graduate School.

The Master of Professional Science in Biomedical and Health Informatics is interdisciplinary, building on the combined strengths of several top-ranked professional schools on the UNC campus including the School of Information and Library Science (SILS). Several SILS faculty will be part of the program that includes the Gillings School of Global Public Health, School of Nursing, School of Medicine, Eshelman School of Pharmacy and School of Dentistry.

“The intellectual home of this highly interdisciplinary degree is the Carolina Health Informatics Program, which was launched about three years ago, with strong support from the faculty of the School of Information and Library Science and the health affairs partner schools,” said Dr. Javed Mostafa, SILS professor and director of the Carolina Health Informatics Program. “Also, it could not have been possible to develop this degree without the backing from the Provost’s office and the Graduate School.”

Dr. Javed MostafaWhile the graduate program is intended to be completed in three semesters of full time study, it is also open to part time students. The program requires 35 credits to graduate and has two tracks: the Clinical Informatics track and the Public Health Informatics track. Students begin their study by completing core courses in “Informatics” and go on to enroll for “Professional Skills” courses. They then take “Biomedical and Health Informatics Foundation” courses and then move on to one track or the other. Finally, all students complete a practicum consisting of an internship in a health care, public health, health research or health IT organization that includes a project, which synthesizes knowledge gleaned from the entire program curriculum.

The Master of Professional Science in Biomedical and Health Informatics is the first Professional Science Master’s to be offered by UNC-Chapel Hill. The Graduate School will provide general administration of Professional Science Master's programs, and the curriculum will be supported and managed by the partner schools.

“The science industry understands the need for Master’s programs that provide training in scientific knowledge and skills as well as business fundamentals," said Dr. Heidi Harkins, director of the Professional Science Master's Programs in The Graduate School. "We are pleased to respond to this need and offer these first two Professional Science Master's programs at The Graduate School at UNC-Chapel Hill.”

A second Professional Science Master's program in Toxicology is now accepting students for Fall 2014.

The Professional Science Master's is distinct from other master’s degrees. According to the Council of Graduate Schools, the Professional Science Master's degree is: “a unique professional degree grounded in science and/or mathematics and designed to prepare students for a variety of career options in business, government, or non-profit organizations. The degree combines advanced coursework in science and/or math with an appropriate array of professional skill-development activities to produce graduates highly valued by employers and fully prepared to progress toward leadership roles.”

The deadline to apply for Fall 2014 admission is June 10th, 2014.

For more information about the program, visit the Web site:

To apply through University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's graduate application system, go to: