BS in Health Data Science

Studying health data science

Learn more about the exciting and evolving field of Health Data Science, the need for and high demand of data scientists in health care, and how the Bachelor of Science in HDS program at the Fairbanks School of Public Health prepares you for great career outcomes.

Description of the video:

Description of the following video:

[Video: Text and stick man appears with a thought bubble.]

[Words appear: All decisions rely on data… What should I do? When? How? Why?

Voiceover of woman beginning to speak: Every decision we make relies on data. Consider for a moment this question.

[Video: Text appears “Homework? Movies? How to decide…” alongside image of boy doing homework, stick figure man with a thought bubble, and a penguin holding a bucket of popcorn and a drink. The penguin’s shirt reads “I LOVE MOVIES.”]

Young woman: Should I do my homework or go to the movies? The answer probably relies on several factors. You might consider whether you’re doing well in the class…

[Video: Image of a boy holding up a homework with an A+ grade on it appears.]

Young woman: whether your homework will be accepted late…

[Video: Image of a homework late pass appears.]

Young woman: how much you enjoy the class, how good of a movie it will be, or even the likelihood that you’ll have a good time.

[Video: Text appears “Business Decisions… Best ROI, Future Returns…” alongside image of man in office excited about a chart and a woman at a desk speaking with a headset on.”]

Young woman: This is actually not that different from the types of decisions that businesses or research organizations make every day. In the movie/homework example, we used informal measures of our feelings, but stores like Kroger and Target use data collected from our previous purchases to predict what we’ll likely buy in the future.

[Video: Article on a computer screen appears that’s titled “The Emerging Field of Health Data Science” and begins scrolling]

Young woman: However, this kind of prediction is not confined to business. Precision medicine is using data to create individualized treatments for patients based on their environment, past medical history, and patient characteristics such as their genetic makeup.

[Video: Another article on a computer screen appears with an image of a young woman, that’s titled “Clue is an app that is using data in exciting ways to make strides in health research” and begins scrolling]

 Young woman: Doctors use these findings to create personalized treatment plans…

[Video: A third article on a computer screen appears, that’s titled “Using It or Losing It? The Case for Data Scientists Inside Health Care” and begins scrolling]

 Young woman: …that maximize effectiveness and lead to better health outcomes.

 [Video: The Richard M Fairbanks website appears with the image of two African American girls working on laptops in a building with many windows.]

Young woman: The Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI is now offering a BS degree in health data science.

 [Video: A landing page on the Richard M Fairbanks website appears, titled “Advance Human Health With Data Science”

Young woman: This degree will be at the center of an estimated 300 billion dollar added to the American health sector and will be composed of a 120-credit program.

[Video: The HDS “minors” landing page of the Richard M Fairbanks website appears.

Young woman: As part of this program, students will take several data science courses as part of their major and also coursework sufficient for a minor in either computer science or informatics.

[Video: The HDS “Admissions Criteria” landing page of the Richard M Fairbanks website appears.

Young woman: Admissions criteria may be found on the public health website for direct admissions, as well as transfers from internal programs and Ivy Tech.

 [Video: An excel doc with lots of cells and numbers appears and begins scrolling.

Young woman: Health data science students are given a front-row seat to observing and participating in using data to make health decisions.

[Video: A chart on “Life Expectancy vs HIV Prevalence – 1990 to 2014” appears and a cursor begins to tamper with it.

Young woman: In the health data science BS program, our students learn cutting-edge methods for harnessing various data sources, uncovering and learning to tell the story of their data. They will be caught up in the current revolution in medical science where they will be among the key players making a difference in their field.

[Video: The website appears, with “Health Data Scientist” in the job title search field. The screen begins to scroll downward.

 Young woman: Our program offers training so you can expect to start with a salary of at least $50,000 a year and upwards into the six-figure range. You’ll also be able to find a job anywhere with over 7,000 positions under health data scientist currently posted on Organizations such as Aetna, Blue Cross, Anthem, and IBM…

[Video: The term “Data Scientist” is then entered into the job title search field. The screen begins to scroll downward.

Young woman: … as well as over 20,000 positions under data scientist currently posted in Indeed at organizations such as Eli Lilly, Facebook, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley or Google.

[Video: The following text appears on a white background: Program Information Contacts; Spencer Lourens; Director, BS in HDS;; Leah Jansen; Student Services Coordinator;; HDS Program Website;

Young woman: For more information on the BS degree in health data science at IUPUI, please contact Spencer Lourens at or our student advisors in public health.

 Video ends. 

Meet Logan Harris, a recent graduate of the Health Data Science program.

Description of the video:

Hi! My name is Logan Harris. I was born and raised in Fort Wayne and graduated from Homestead High School. I am an alum of the BS in Health Data Science. I gained a great number of skills from the program from learning to think statistically to problem solving and of course programming, but I think the best part of the degree was the diversity. No one came in with the same background, but we were all successful, and we surely didn’t end up in the same place. This is one degree that can open up a plethora of doors no matter where your interests lie. Whether it’s in business to biology and everything in between, I’m sure there will be an application in the field that you love. 
Now of course, the big question is, is this program right for you? I certainly had that same question myself, but I can confidently answer yes; if you love working with data and you enjoy problem solving, then you will have a blast in this program. Additionally, not many of us came in with much more than a glimpse into programming and our mathematical backgrounds varied widely. With the small class sizes and the great professors, I’m sure that you will succeed in this program!

Student internship profiles

Students in our Health Data Science program who have completed internships in the field have agreed to share their stories to help students like you discover a career path they'll love! Browse the student internship profiles to see what our students are up to.

Meet our health data science students


In addition to its focus on health, and the deep analytical skills obtained through the Health Data Science curriculum, a unique characteristic of the degree is the availability of minors in computer science or informatics.

Computer Science
The minor in Computer and Information Science will focus on the use and modification of sophisticated software tools, to provide students with the computational background necessary in developing the deep analytical capabilities necessary in their careers. This minor requires taking INFO-I453 and INFO-I425.

The minor in Informatics will focus on combining principles from information systems, computer science, psychology, and sociology, to prepare students to tackle the challenges found in the health sciences. This minor requires taking CSCI-34000 and CSCI-36200. 


To complete this degree, you will take a combination of general education courses, health data science major and core courses, electives, and a minor in computer science or informatics that together total at least 120 credits.

Core Communication

Take 2 courses for 6 credits

  • ENG-W 131 Reading, Writing and Inquiry (3 credits)
  • COMM-R 110 Fundamentals of Speech Communication (3 credits)

Analytical Reasoning

Take 2 courses for 6 credits

  • MATH 15300 Algebra and Trigonometry I (3 credits)
  • MATH 15400 Algebra and Trigonometry II (3 credits)

Cultural Understanding, Social Sciences/Arts & Humanities

Take 1 course for 3 credits

Social Sciences/Arts & Humanities

Take 3 course for 9 credits

Life & Physical Sciences

Take 2 courses for 6 credits

General Education Requirements

Take 3 courses for 9 credits

  • ENG-W 231 Professional Writing Skills (3 credits)
    BUS-X 204 Business Communications (3 credits)
    TCM 220 Technical Report Writing (3 credits)
  • MATH 165 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (3 credits)
  • MATH 171 Multidimensional Mathematics (3 credits)

Take two courses for 6 credits

  • PBHL-A 316 Environmental Health Science (3 credits)
  • PBHL-E 322 Introduction to Epidemiology (3 credits)

Major Courses
Take all 9 courses and internships for 27 credits

  • PBHL-B 275 Probability for Health Data Scientists: A Computational Approach (3 credits)
  • PBHL-B 280 Biostatistics for Health Data Scientists: A Computational Approach (3 credits)
  • PBHL-B 285 Classical Biostatistical Regression Methods (3 credits)
  • PBHL-B 385 Contemporary Biostatistical Regression Methods (3 credits)
  • PBHL-B 401 Health Data Science Internship I (3 credits)
  • PBHL-B 402 Health Data Science Internship II (3 credits)
  • PBHL-B 420 Introduction to Biostatistical Learning (3 credits)
  • PBHL-B 481 Introduction to Biostatistical Computing (3 credits)
  • PBHL-B 490 Advanced Biostatistical Computing (3 credits)

Computer and Information Science Minor

Take six courses for 20 credits

  • CSCI 23000 Computing I (4 credits)
  • CSCI 24000 Computing II (4 credits)
  • CSCI 34000 Discrete Computational Structures (3 credits)
  • CSCI 36200 Data Structures (3 credits)
  • CSCI 44300 Database Systems (3 credits)
  • CSCI 48100 Data Mining (3 credits)

Required Informatics Electives:

  • INFO-I 223 Data Fluency (3 credits)
  • INFO-I 453 Computer and Information Ethics (3 credits)


Informatics Minor

Take six courses for 21 credits

  • INFO-I 101 Introduction to Informatics (4 credits)
  • INFO-I 210 Information Infrastructure I (4 credits)
  • INFO-I 211 Information Infrastructure II (4 credits)
  • INFO-I 223 Data Fluency (3 credits)
  • INFO-I 308 Information Representation (3 credits)
  • INFO-I 453 Computer and Information Ethics (3 credits)

Required Computer Science Electives:

  • CSCI 34000 Discrete Computational Structures (3 credits)
  • CSCI 36200 Data Structures (3 credits)

Take up to seven courses (21 or 22 credits), at least four from PBHL, CSCI or INFO up to a total of 120 credits.

  • PBHL-A 316 Environmental Health Science (3 credits)
  • PBHL-B 452 Fundamentals of Data Management (3 credits)
  • PBHL-H 220 Policy and Management for Population Health (3 credits)
  • PBHL-S 315 Community Health (3 credits)
  • CSCI-N 241 Fundamentals of Web Development (3 credits)
  • INFO-I 303 Organizational Informatics (3 credits)
  • INFO-I 402 Informatics Project Management (3 credits)
  • NEWM-N 220 Introduction to Media Application Development (3 credits)
  • NEWM-N 230 Introduction to Game Design and Development (3 credits)
  • COMM-C 180 Introduction to Inter-personal Communication (3 credits)
  • COMM-C 223 Business and Professional Communication (3 credits)
  • COMM-C 392 Health Communication (3 credits)

Degree electives
A minimum of 105 credit hours of required courses are listed for this curriculum. 39 credit hours are required in general education and preparatory courses and 12 required credit hours in public health. For those pursuing an informatics minor 53 credit hours are required in the major and minor areas. For those pursuing a computer science minor 54 credit hours are required in the major and minor areas. In addition, students must take a sufficient number of college-level elective courses to total a minimum of 120 credit hours. Contact the Office of Student Services at (317) 278-0753 for specific determinations.


Students who are interested in this degree are encouraged to contact the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health Office of Student Services at (317) 274-2000 to speak with one of our friendly, helpful advisors who can answer questions about degree requirements, eligible classes, course substitutions, and course waivers. We’re here to help you successfully complete the program.

Intercampus transfer
In order to be admitted to this degree program a student must:

  • Have earned a 2.5 undergraduate cumulative and previous semester GPA.
  • Must maintain at least a 2.5 semester and cumulative grade point average (GPA) to remain in good academic standing and graduate from this program.

Ivy Tech transfers
Please contact Kayla Rinker at

Apply now