Historically biomedical informatics education has focused on the academic pathway via PhD and thesis-based masters training, as demonstrated by the NLM T15 training grants. Currently, there is an increasing demand for applied biomedical informatics and data science trained applicants. Training programs such as ours have responded to this industry need by creating non-thesis level masters (NTMS) programs oriented towards professional training. Balancing resources between academic and professional training within the same program can be challenging. Should there be totally separate courses for academic and professional training, or can some courses be utilized by both programs? If courses are shared, should there be different requirements for the academic versus professional students? What activities are solely academic, and what are solely professional? In this study, we will describe the curriculum of our programs and will present the preliminary results of a qualitative study that we are conducting as part of an Education Scholarship program. We desire to understand the expectations and motivations of these two groups of informatics students, to better design education experiences.


Damian Borbolla (Presenter)
University of Utah

Karen Eilbeck, University of Utah

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