Programs by Campus


Informatics and Computing
School of Informatics and Computing

Departmental E-mail: infograd [at] indiana [dot] edu

Departmental URL:

(Please note that when conferring University Graduate School degrees, minors, certificates, and sub-plans, The University Graduate School’s staff use those requirements contained only in The University Graduate School Bulletin.)



Degrees Offered

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Informatics, and Computer Science, the Ph.D. Minor in Informatics, 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 Computer Science, the Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction, 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 G.P.A. 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, Ph.D. 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 October 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 18 required credits, which include I501 and I502, 6 credits of seminar work, 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 30 credits in elective coursework. The required Ph.D. minor and transfer credits are included in this category. The remaining 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.)


All students are required to have an appropriate minor ap­proved by the University Graduate School. Minors will be selected with the advisor’s recommendation.


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 qualifying examination that consists of an oral exam and a written exam with the Ph.D. track faculty determining the content of the exam. Examinations must be completed by the beginning of the student’s fourth year in the program but can be completed before that time or earlier upon completion of 60 credit hours of coursework. Students who do not successfully com­plete the examination can retake the exam a second time.  The student must pass this examination before passing on to candidacy.

Dissertation Proposal

The proposed research for the dissertation must be presented and approved by the research committee.

Final Examination

Oral defense of the dissertation must be approved by the students research committee and presented at a public colloquium in the school.

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 Director of Graduate Studies. Typically, these 3 graduate courses will include I501 and two other approved Informatics courses available in the Informatics Ph.D. pro­gram.

Ph.D. Minor in Bioinformatics

A minor in Bioinformatics requires 12 credit hours. 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.

Ph.D. Minor in Human-Computer Interaction

(See separate entry in this Bulletin.)

Tracks of Study

Choices of fields offered for qualifying examinations must be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee. Tracks of study approved within the department are bioinformatics, chemical informatics, complex networks and systems, health informatics, human-computer interaction, logical and mathematical foundations of informatics, music informatics, robotics, security informatics, social and organizational infor­matics.

Twelve hours in the informatics core are required. INFO-I 501, Introduction to Informatics, covers probablility, statistics, statistcal distributions, measures of information and uncertainty, and linear algebra. The topics for INFO-I 502, Human-Centered Research Methods in Informatics, include research inquiry, research design, data collection methods, analysis and interpretation, and translational research.

Academic Bulletins

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