MSACI Student Handbook

MSACI Program Information

Our Mission

The mission of the MSACI is to provide innovative clinical informatics education for working professionals in the health care field with a curriculum that emphasizes a deep theoretical and practical understanding of the care process, informatics concepts, information technologies, computer science, and the changing social, organizational, and economic context in which health care is delivered.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Obtain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the clinical informatics environment.
  2. Conceptualize, design, and plan systems that address significant clinical informatics challenges.
  3. Acquire the knowledge and skills required to design and conduct applied research studies to evaluate the efficacy of informatics applications in the clinical  environment. 

Degree Requirements

The program will provide a 36-credit hour curriculum in 21 months, with a course work intensive first year followed by a second year devoted to a capstone project. The curriculum emphasizes a deep theoretical and practical understanding of the care process, informatics concepts, information technologies, computer science, and the changing social, organizational, and economic context in which health care is delivered. This understanding will be developed through course work, over 240 hours of practicum experience that uses real HIT data and systems and health care contexts, and a mentored capstone project. The degree program will provide physicians with didactic and experiential training in alignment with Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) guidelines for CI fellowships.

Year 1 students are required to attend a 1-2 day in-person session on the campus of Vanderbilt University every semester. Also, students are required to reserve Thursday evening from 5 – 8 PM local time each week to complete synchronous course requirements.

Year 2 students are required to attend a half-day in-person session on the campus of Vanderbilt University in the Fall and the final Capstone Presentation set at the end of the Spring semester.

Curriculum and Course Schedule

Please visit the Curriculum and Course Schedule websites.

Practicum Experience

A practicum experience will have the following characteristics: Require a minimum of 240 hours effort to be completed during year 2 and can be satisfied in highly flexible ways, e.g., at VUMC, at home institution or other site (with MSACI program approval). The trainee must be embedded (i.e., assigned to participate as a member) in an interdisciplinary team that is addressing a significant clinical informatics challenge. This includes attending regular team meetings and participating in analysis of issues, planning, and implementation of recommendations from the team. The interdisciplinary teams must include physicians, nurses, other health care professionals, administrators, and information technology/system personnel, as appropriate.

Capstone Project

A required capstone project running throughout the fellowship will provide students with knowledge and skills required to design and conduct applied research studies to evaluate the efficacy of informatics applications in the clinical environment. Based on personal career objectives and informatics challenges that they identify in practica, the capstone project will have the flexibility to be completed as a cohort, a sub-cohort group, or individually, depending on its design and the needs of our learners. The project will begin in the first year and continue in the second year. Each student will have a project mentor from among the DBMI faculty, as well as a practice mentor within his/her home department/organization.

Academic Calendar

Coming soon                 

Academic Resources and Policies

VUnetID and Password

Your VUnetID is the username that identifies you to most computer-based systems at Vanderbilt.  During the VUnet ID authorization process you will select an e-password, which will give you access to personal information such as your email messages, course registration, and grades.  Please do not share it with anyone, including family, friends, or support personnel. You should also not use the same password with off-campus accounts, since those passwords may pass over the internet un-encrypted and may be intercepted by others.  You are required to use the Vanderbilt e-mail account throughout while you are enrolled in our program.  Please keep an eye for an e-mail from the Office of the University Registrar with instructions about setting up your VUnetID; this email was sent to the address provided on your application.  If you have not received it, please contact the University Registrar’s office at


Please note that your admission is contingent upon the Vanderbilt University Registrar receiving an official and final transcript with all previously earned degree(s) posted. Also, Vanderbilt must electronically receive your official GRE and TOEFL scores (if applicable) from Educational Testing Service. These items must be received by Vanderbilt no later than August 31. We need one transcript for each institution listed in your application where a degree was earned. Please have your final official transcript mailed directly to the Center for Data Management.

Center for Data Management

Vanderbilt University

PMB 407833

2301 Vanderbilt Place

Nashville, TN 37240-7833

ID Card

Students can get their Vanderbilt ID card at the Sarratt Student Center, Room 184. 

Immunization Requirements

All incoming students are required to complete an Immunization Requirements Form that includes information regarding university and state-mandated vaccinations, as well as information on other strongly recommended vaccinations. This form should be returned to the Student Health Center with vaccination information no later than July 31st.  For more information and to access the form and instruction, please visit the Student Health Center website.  MSACI students should use the Graduate Immunization Requirements Form.

Note: the Student Health Service Fee of $65 will be charged in two installments of $32.50 in the fall and spring terms; this fee is charged to all students, regardless of their health insurance provider.

Health Insurance

Vanderbilt University requires all students to be covered by a health insurance plan that is comparable to or exceeds the Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan.  Your student account will be automatically billed an insurance fee for the Vanderbilt policy.  If you have other insurance and do not wish to participate in the Student Injury and Sickness Plan offered through the University, you must complete an online waiver form indicating your other insurance information. The online waiver form must be completed no later than August 1 for Fall admits or you will remain enrolled in the plan offered by the university and you will be responsible for paying the insurance premium.  All students who wish to waive coverage are required to complete an online waiver form at the beginning of each academic year.  Please be sure to keep your confirmation email from Gallagher.  Also, if you withdraw or leave the University at any time or for any reason after enrolling in the Vanderbilt insurance plan, you will still be responsible for payment of the premium for the full 12 months of coverage.  For more information please visit the Vanderbilt Student Health Center website. 

Criminal Background Check

Prior to matriculation, new students will be required to complete a criminal background check.  You will get an email from Certiphi notifying you of the background check request and the steps to follow.  Please submit the required information as soon as you receive the message.  The e-mail will be sent to your Vanderbilt e-mail account.

Student Financial Services

Please visit the Student Financial Services website.

Class Registration

Students are required to register for classes via YES.  There are numerous YES user guides online; the one titled “Enrollment” will provide an overview of how to register. Please remember the subject area for our courses is ACI.

Credit Transfer

The MSACI Program does not allow matriculated students to transfer credit for coursework completed at another institution.

Compliance Training

The Office of the Dean of Students will send an e-mail directly to the student listing all required online training (e.g. Haven Plus, Protection of Minors, and Campus Safety for Students).   The MSACI Program will assign additional mandatory training sessions that need to be completed via the Leaning Exchange portal (e.g. StarPanel, HIPAA, and Standards of Conduct & Confidentiality).  Students are encouraged to invest the time required to complete all mandatory online modules by the set deadlines.


Please visit the VSTAR website.

Grading Policies

Please read the School of Medicine Catalog, page 59.

Inactive Student Policy

Students who are not enrolled and not on approved leave of absence for any semester (excluding summer) are considered to have withdrawn from the university and must reapply for admissions.

Complaint and Grievance Procedures

Please click here.

Leave of Absence Requests

Please read the School of Medicine Catalog, page 59.

Withdrawal from School

Please read the School of Medicine Catalog, page 59.

Students who wish to withdraw from the School of Medicine for any reason must do so in writing to the associate dean for medical student affairs. In some cases, the student may be able to receive a refund of tuition, but it is important that the student discuss this decision with VUSM Office of Student Financial Services staff before moving forward with the process. A student who has been dismissed from school, but decides to appeal the decision, is no longer able to choose to withdraw. If a student withdraws, reentry is possible only with reapplication.

Student Account Balance Refund

Please click here.

Commencement Requirements

The university holds its annual Commencement ceremony following the spring semester. Degree candidates must have completed successfully all curriculum requirements and have passed all prescribed examinations by the published deadlines to be allowed to participate in the ceremony. In the same way when degree requirements have been completed, it is necessary for the degree to be conferred. A student completing degree requirements in the summer or fall semester will be invited to participate in Commencement the following May; however, the semester in which the degree was actually earned will be the one recorded on the diploma and the student’s permanent record.  Students unable to participate in the graduation ceremony will receive their diplomas by mail. All students are required to be free of indebtedness to the university at the time of graduation.

Address and Name Change

Please click here.

Vanderbilt University (VU) and School of Medicine (VUSM) Policies

Student Life