Programs by Campus


School of Informatics and Computing

Departmental E-mail: graduate [at] soic [dot] indiana [dot] edu

Departmental URL:



Degrees Offered

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Informatics, and Computer Science,, the Ph.D. Minor in Informatics, and the Ph.D. Minor in Bioinformatics are offered through the Univer­sity Graduate School.

In addition, the School of Informatics and Computing offers the Master of Science in Bioinformatics, the Master of Science in Chemical Informatics, the Master of Science in Computer Science, the Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction Design, and the Master of Science in Security Informatics (see the School of Informatics and Com­puting graduate bulletin).

Ph.D. in Informatics

The Ph.D. in informatics provides a balance between techno­logical, scientific, and social dimensions involved in the devel­opment and application of information technology.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements in the areas of undergraduate grade point average and GRE score levels are those of the University Graduate School. The applicant must have some direct familiar­ity with computation.

For students planning to focus on bioinformatics or chemical informatics, a high level of computer programming competence is required. Students focusing in health informatics are expect­ed to have a background in one of the health care professions. Students planning to specialize in social informatics or human-computer interaction should have familiarity with design prin­ciples and have some grounding in the social sciences.

For those who enter the Ph.D. program directly from their bachelor’s program, there will be a formal assessment after two years of coursework, an “up or out” evaluation. Assess­ment will look at successful progression in the Ph.D. program with regards to progress toward completion of course require­ments, maintenance of course grades and overall GPA accord­ing to Graduate School guidelines, and research, as measured by presentations at disciplinary meetings and publications. For those who wish to enter the Ph.D. program from their master’s program, there will be an application process. In this case, there is a natural evaluation of the student’s record. Upon matriculation, an advisor, which may be temporary, will be as­signed to the applicant. This advisor will help guide the student to his or her intended focus until a full-time advisor is found.

Annual Review

Each year, students will be required to file an annual review with their advisor and program or dissertation committee.  The review covers the period of the previous academic year and is due June 1. Four areas will be covered: coursework, research, teaching, and service. Written feedback will be provided by the student’s advisor.

Course Requirements

A total of 90 credit hours are required. There are 27 required credits, which include I501, 6 credits of seminar work, 9 credits in 3 different subdisciplinary or ‘breadth’ areas, also called ‘core’ courses, 3 credits in professionalism and pedagogy (most likely taken as I600), and 6 credits of research rota­tion (I790). Students must take an additional 12 credits of theory and methodology courses applicable to the student’s specialty. These courses can be taken inside or outside the school. Students must also take an additional 21 to 30 credits in elective coursework. The required Ph.D. minor is included in this category. The remaining 21 to 30 credits will be taken in dissertation credits. 

No more than 30 hours may be counted from a master’s degree taken at Indiana University or a graduate program at another university. (An additional 6 hours of master’s thesis or capstone project may be counted toward the Ph.D. at the discretion of the student’s program committee, assuming the thesis or cap­stone project is of sufficient research quality.)

Tracks of Study

Choices of fields offered for qualifying examinations must be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee. Tracks of study currently proposed within the department are bioinformatics, chemical informatics, human-computer interaction, social infor­matics, complex systems, music informatics, security informat­ics, logic and mathematical foundations, and data discovery.


All students are required to have an appropriate minor ap­proved by the University Graduate School. Minors will be selected with the advisor’s recommendation. Some of the courses included in the minor may also count towards the stu­dent’s methodology or other requirements.


An overall B (3.0) average for all Ph.D. courses in Informatics is required. A student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 for two consecutive semesters is subject to dismissal from the program.

Written Qualifying Examinations

All students will take a written qualifying examination that consists of a depth exam and a breadth exam. The qualifying examinations are described in a separate document. Examina­tions will be offered at the end of August and at the beginning of the second semester in January. Examinations must be completed by the beginning of the student’s fourth year in the program but can be completed before that time when the core courses are completed. Students who do not successfully com­plete the examination can retake the exam a second time.

Oral Qualifying Examination

The oral qualifying examination covers in-depth knowledge of the student’s primary research area. This examination is administered by the student’s program committee. The qualify­ing examinations will normally be completed at the end of course work, before the student embarks on the dissertation. The student must pass this examination before passing on to candidacy.

Dissertation Proposal

The proposed research for the dissertation must be approved by the research committee and presented at a public collo­quium in the school.

Final Examination

Oral defense of the dissertation.

Ph.D. Minor in Informatics

A minor in informatics requires 9 credit hours. The required 9 credit hours refer to any 3 graduate courses suitable for the student’s research, to be decided by the student’s advisor (in his or her department) and the Informatics graduate program director. Typically, these 3 graduate courses are chosen from the set of core courses available in the Informatics Ph.D. pro­gram.

Ph.D. Minor in Bioinformatics

Bioinformatics draws on knowledge and information from vari­ous fields such as biology, computer science, medicine, chem­istry and physics. Students in relevant Ph.D. programs such as biochemistry and molecular biology, medical and molecular genetics, medicine, chemistry, or biology are the target audi­ence for the Ph.D. minor in bioinformatics.


A minor in bioinformatics requires 12 credit hours. The core curriculum consists of graduate level courses in informatics. Electives may be chosen based on personal interests from a broad list of courses in biology, chemistry, computer science, information science, and medical and molecular genetics. The graduate bioinformatics courses in the School of Informat­ics and Computing assume a minimal knowledge of cell and molecular biology. That level of understanding could be gained with at least 6 undergraduate credit hours in molecular biology, genetics, or evolution.

Academic Bulletins

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