This resource provides quick answers for frequently asked questions (FAQ) for students in the Department of Biomedical Informatics (BMI). Please see our websites and the Computer Science and Informatics (CSI) Graduate Program Handbook for details:

  1. Health and Wellness
  2. Courses
  3. Policies
  4. Forms
  5. Thesis and Dissertation
  6. Questions or concerns?
  7. Abbreviations and Other Terms

Health and Wellness

Feeling sick? Stay home (and feel better soon).

If you are not feeling well, or have not felt well in the past week, then please do not come to campus. Your instructors and advisors can accommodate you, and they would be happy to accommodate you instead of risking your health or the health of others. Please see Emory’s current COVID-19 guidance for details.


If you have COVID-19 symptoms, test positive for COVID-19 symptoms, or were exposed to COVID-19, then please do not come to campus, and please contact Student Health. Please see Emory’s current COVID-19 guidance for details. Your instructors and advisors can accommodate you when you are sick.

Safety and Inclusion

Our goal is to create a safe and inclusive environment. If we mispronounce your name, use an incorrect pronoun, etc., then please correct us. If you do not feel safe, then please inform your instructor, advisor, or another trusted faculty member. Emory faculty are mandatory Title IX reporters, i.e., we are obligated by law to inform the Title IX coordinator at Emory about sexual harassment and misconduct.

Accessibility and Accommodations

The Department of Accessibility Services works with students with disabilities to provide reasonable accommodations. To receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must register with the DAS. It is your responsibility to request accommodations, and your accommodations cannot be retroactively applied, so please contact the DAS and your instructors as early to discuss the plan for implementing your accommodations. For additional information about accessibility and accommodations, please contact the DAS at (404)-727-9877 or

Support Services

You are important, and we want you to do well in your courses, in your research, and in life. If you are struggling with emotional, psychological, or other issues that threaten your success, then please contact Emory’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) or, more broadly, one of the support services and organizations through Campus Life. CAPS services are free to Emory students. Emory provides a variety of support services, including free, 24/7 support resources for emotional health, mental health, and medical support via TimelyCare. We understand that life happens outside of the classroom and the lab. If you suffer a tragedy, then please know that you can reach out to us, CAPS, and Student Health Services for help.

Academic Integrity

You are expected to uphold and cooperate in maintaining academic integrity as a member of the Laney Graduate School. By taking this course, you affirm your commitment to the Laney Graduate School Honor Code, which you can find in the Laney Graduate School Handbook. You should ensure that you are familiar with the rights and responsibilities of members of our academic community and with policies that apply to students as members of our academic community. Any individual, when they suspect that an offense of academic misconduct has occurred, shall report this suspected breach to the appropriate Director of Graduate Studies, Program Director, or Dean of the Laney Graduate School. If an allegation is reported to a Director of Graduate Studies or a Program Director, they are in turn required to report the allegation to the Dean of Laney Graduate School.

Your instructors and advisor likely have specific expectations for academic integrity. If you are in doubt, then please ask before potentially violating these expectations.


BMI faculty offer a variety of courses, and BMI students enroll in a variety of courses from BMI faculty, other CSI faculty, and other university faculty.

BMI students often take CS courses, BIOS courses, and MATH courses as well as courses from other departments and programs at Emory and nearby institutions.



The current Laney Graduate School (LGS) Handbook describes the policies of the graduate school, and the current Computer Science and Informatics (CSI) Graduate Program Handbook describes the policies of the graduate program. We recommend that you read both (at least) once at the beginning of the program.

Course Requirements

The CSI PhD Program has three required courses and four elective courses. See the Handbook for these courses.


There are two tracks in the CSI PhD Program: the BMI track and the CS track. The only difference between these tracks are the options for required and elective courses. You can satisfy either the BMI track or the CS track (or both) regardless of your advisor’s home department, but we recommend that you choose courses in consultation with your advisor.

Transfer courses, Course Substitutions, and Cross-Enrollment

You may be able to use courses that you took at other institutions to satisfy some of your course requirements through course transfers or course substitions. You cannot transfer courses that satisfied any degree requirements at another institution, and you cannot transfer more than 9 credit hours of courses, but these limitations do not apply to course substitions. You cannot use course substitions to reach the required number of credit hours, but this is not a problem for PhD students because PhD students take at least 9 credit hours of courses each semester, even when they are “only” doing research.

You can enroll at courses at Georgia Tech and other nearby institutions. You need to complete an application before the deadline.

Milestones and Deadlines

The CSI PhD Program has several milestones to support the timely progress of students from admission to graduation. Please see the following summary of the key deadlines and the Handbook for the details:

Academic Integrity

All students are expected to be familiar with and abide by the LGS Honor Code. Your instructors and advisor will have specific expectations. If you are in doubt about their expectations, then please ask them for clarification.


Thesis and Dissertation

Dissertation Template

Emory expects you to format your dissertation in a specific way. Pay attention to the details to avoid a back-and-forth near the deadline: instructions and more instructions. You can use the LaTeX template and Word template for your dissertation.

When you publish your work, you typically transfer some rights to the publisher of your work, which can make it more difficult to include parts of your work, including your figures, in your thesis. Contrary to popular belief, the material in your thesis is not necessarily protected by the “Fair Use” doctrine. If someone else holds the copyright to your work, then you may need to ask them for permission to include it in your thesis, which can take months to do. If you wait until the last minute to obtain permission, then you may need to remove material from your dissertation and/or delay your graduation. This is not an exaggeration. This document provides more detailed guidance.

Questions or concerns?

We encourage any struggling student to reach out to their advisor, another trusted faculty member, the DGS or a co-DGS, the Department Chair, the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs in LGS, and/or Student Health Services for support.

For some issues, you may prefer to contact your instructor or advisor. For other issues, you may want to contact one of the department, graduate program, or graduate school administrators. When in doubt, please feel free to ask me as the current Vice Chair for Education and Training for BMI and a co-DGS for the CSI graduate program.

Abbreviations and Other Terms

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