A fairly recent and still evolving area of specialization, health informatics occupies the nexus of information technology, healthcare, and communication. Healthcare informatics focuses on the acquisition, organization, storage, and retrieval of different types of medical and health information. By providing quick electronic access to relevant information, medical professionals and other stakeholders can deliver quality patient care in a timely and efficient manner.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 14% growth for healthcare professions from 2018-2028 — well above the national average growth rate for all occupations. As the U.S. population ages, the demand for health services rises in direct proportion. In addition, technological developments continue to shape and advance the field, giving health informatics professionals ample employment opportunities and career options.
The continued growth and relevance of the health industry relies on the skills and knowledge of well-trained health practitioners, including healthcare informaticists.
Several colleges and universities now offer online master's degrees in healthcare informatics. A bachelor's degree in the field qualifies graduates for a variety of growth-oriented, entry-level positions in health informatics, but a master's degree prepares them for leadership roles in this dynamic arena. Many professionals opt to pursue a master's in healthcare informatics online because of the increased flexibility provided by online programs.
The Most Affordable Online Master's in Healthcare Informatics Degree Programs
Affordable Online Master's in Healthcare Informatics Degree Program Ranking Guidelines:
We selected the following online healthcare informatics programs based on program quality, online class offerings for healthcare informatics, faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation, including the school's reputation for providing quality online degree programs.
1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
UNC-Chapel Hill offers 11 online degrees, including nine at the master's level. Many of the programs, including the school's master of professional science in biomedical and health informatics — a program that prepares students for leadership roles in the healthcare industry — offer a few different delivery options. Learners can take courses online anytime or on campus during the evenings and weekends.
The 35-credit master's in health informatics comprises courses in foundations, professional skills, an informatics core, and track-specific courses. Students can choose between two tracks: clinical informatics and public health informatics. Graduates of the clinical informatics track may qualify for certification. Both tracks also include an internship.
At UNC-Chapel Hill, online courses run asynchronously for the most part, though some classes may feature scheduled sessions. Learners can study part time, taking just one course per semester, or full time. While full-time students can complete the degree in less than one year, most learners typically graduate in two years.
Each applicant needs a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. UNC-Chapel Hill may also require GRE or GMAT test scores from some candidates. A transfer student may qualify for up to seven credits to put toward their degree. State residents pay lower tuition rates than nonresidents.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
2. University of Washington
Founded in 1861, UW offers more than 300 programs, many with online components. The school's online master's degree in health informatics and health information management — a program first offered in 2012 — prepares students to lead and work with emerging technologies in the healthcare industry. A student can complete most of the degree online, exploring new technologies while receiving hands-on experience.
In this 54-credit master's in health informatics, learners train in five key healthcare areas: information systems, information governance, information privacy and security, health systems leadership, and healthcare data analytics. The core program also includes a culminating capstone project during the second year. Students join the program as part of a cohort, taking three courses in six consecutive quarters. Each cohort completes the 18 required courses in 18 months.
While many of the online classes at UW run asynchronously, the program features some scheduled sessions. Every Thursday evening, for example, students participate in a scheduled, interactive online class. They must also complete three days of on-campus training once a month, on a Thursday through Saturday. All online enrollees at UW pay the same tuition rate, regardless of their location.
Each applicant must possess a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Online learners at UW can access the school's libraries, student support services, career services, and various student groups.
The University of Washington is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The health informatics degree is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.
3. University of Illinois at Chicago
As the largest school in the Chicago area, UIC features more than 250 programs, with several degrees offered entirely online. The online MS in health informatics at UIC prepares graduates to integrate and oversee the application of informatics and other information systems in various healthcare settings.
The 38-credit master's in health informatics begins with foundational and technical training before delving into clinical trends, best practices, and government regulations. Each student also completes 12 elective credits. Learners can dedicate these credits to a concentration in health data science. Though course schedules and course loads vary, enrollees commonly complete their degree in two years. UIC also offers a post-master's certification in health informatics.
UIC online students can start their programs during the spring, summer, or fall semester. Online courses typically run asynchronously through eight-week sessions, and each student can take up to two courses per session, allowing them to complete the degree in less than 18 months. Once enrolled, online learners gain access to the digital library, academic support, and student wellness services.
Each applicant must possess a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Furthermore, UIC may require each student to pass a fundamentals prerequisite course before starting. Candidates with lower grades may receive conditional acceptance. Once enrolled, each learner needs to maintain a 3.0 GPA. Regardless of their location, all online students pay the same tuition rate.
The University of Illinois at Chicago is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The health informatics degree is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.
4. Stanford University
Since 1891, Stanford has built a reputation for providing quality education to students from all over the country and beyond, including through its slate of online courses and programs. In addition to entirely online programs, students can combine online courses with on-campus classes to create a hybrid program. In the hybrid MS in biomedical informatics, enrollees can learn how to use technology and computational methods to provide healthcare solutions.
Students in this 45-unit master's in health informatics program can take courses across four major areas, including the core program, STEM electives, social and ethical courses, and free electives. The program also includes a research component and a practicum. Studying part time, students can complete this degree in 3-5 years; Stanford requires that enrollees complete the program within five years of starting.
Stanford's online delivery format varies, depending on the course and the teacher. While some classes run asynchronously, others may require learners to attend scheduled sessions. Since different online courses are offered each semester, students should plan their schedules ahead of time. While all students, no matter where they live, pay the same tuition rate, each learner must enroll in a minimum of three units per semester.
Each applicant needs a bachelor's degree and strong grades. Stanford may also request that candidates submit GRE or GMAT scores. Transfer students may qualify for transfer credit. Once admitted, online students can access the digital library, academic support, and career services.
Stanford University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.
5. University of South Florida
Growing its program options since its founding in 1956, USF offers many courses, degrees, and delivery formats, including online degrees. The online MS in health informatics is the only fully online program offered through the school's College of Medicine. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society recognizes that the school's health informatics program meets its standards.
The 32-credit master's in health informatics comprises core courses, required classes, and electives. Learners typically start with the foundational core courses and then move on to required informatics courses, like ethics and e-medicine business models. To fulfill six elective credits, students can take courses in analytics and project management, complete an internship, and/or enroll in an independent study course.
Online classes at USF run asynchronously through eight-week sessions. Students can start during any of these sessions. USF enables online learners to complete their degrees without any on-campus visits or residency requirements. The university also offers a concentration in healthcare analytics.
Each applicant needs a bachelor's degree in a STEM-related discipline with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Candidates can submit GRE or GMAT scores to improve their applications. A transfer student may receive transfer credit for up to 49% of their degree. At USF, all online enrollees pay the same tuition rate. Once enrolled, learners gain access to extensive student services, along with the USF library and other academic resources.
The University of South Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
6. Louisiana Tech University
Louisiana Tech was first founded in 1894 and has developed more than 60 graduate programs, including six that are available completely online. Students can earn an online master's degree in health informatics and learn how to utilize and operate relevant technologies to improve healthcare practice settings.
The 45-credit master's in health informatics comprises 15 courses in healthcare compliance, database architecture, and healthcare information analysis. Each learner must complete a capstone course as part of the core program, and students also take courses in leadership and project management.
The online courses at Louisiana Tech combine asynchronous and synchronous delivery to provide students with scheduling flexibility and interactive learning sessions. All students pay the same tuition rate, although nonresidents may need to pay additional online learning fees.
Each candidate must possess a bachelor's degree in health information management or a related field — with a minimum 3.0 GPA over their last 60 undergraduate credits — and at least two years of work experience. They must also submit an essay or GRE scores. Applicants with lower grades may qualify for conditional admission. Louisiana Tech offers access to its library and student support services for all online students.
Louisiana Tech University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The MS in health informatics program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.
7. Northern Kentucky University
Highland Heights, Kentucky
With roots dating back to 1946, NKU offers more than 80 bachelor's degrees and over 30 master's degrees. To better accommodate contemporary and distance learners, the school also offers more than 30 online degrees. The online MS in health informatics at NKU prepares students for careers in healthcare, using technology and informatics to improve care delivery.
In the 33-credit master's in health informatics program, each student completes 21 credits in foundation courses, nine credits in electives, and three credits in a final capstone course. Every enrollee also needs to complete an electronic portfolio to graduate. Learners with relevant experience may qualify for a foundation course waiver. State residents pay lower tuition rates than nonresidents, though out-of-state online students pay lower rates than nonresidents studying on campus.
Most online programs use 16-week sessions, though some programs — including the MS in health informatics track — offer accelerated seven-week sessions. Courses typically run asynchronously, but certain courses may feature scheduled class times. Students can start on one of several start dates throughout the year.
Each applicant needs a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA. While NKU may admit students from many disciplines, those without academic or professional experience may need to complete a clinical course in addition to the standard curriculum.
Northern Kentucky University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
8. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
UMN offers many online programs, including certificate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral tracks. The online master's in health informatics — one of 13 online master's degrees available at UMN — teaches students the skills needed to help healthcare organizations adapt to the changing technological environments.
The 31-credit master's in health informatics comprises courses dedicated to the core program, along with electives. Depending on their choices, a student can take 18-24 credits in the major and 7-13 credits outside of it. Major courses include population health informatics, patient safety, and bioinformatics. Each learner must also complete a final capstone project near the end of the program.
At UMN, students can complete their degree entirely online through primarily asynchronous delivery or combine online classes with some on-campus courses. By taking classes online full time, learners can graduate within one calendar year. Students can also study part time. UMN offers start dates during the fall and spring, and students do not need to take summer courses.
Candidates need a bachelor's degree earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The university also requires that applicants take prerequisite courses in health or biological sciences and programming. They must also submit GRE scores for consideration. Regardless of their location, all online students pay the same tuition.
The University of Minnesota Twin Cities is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
9. Florida International University
Offering more than 190 degrees and online programs, FIU makes its education accessible to many types of learners. With more than 40 graduate degrees to choose from, the school gives working professionals and busy students many career development opportunities. The online MS in health informatics and analytics combines training in the technical and management components of the evolving healthcare field.
This master's in health informatics comprises 13 courses, covering topics such as data visualization, consumer health informatics, and security and compliance. The core curriculum also includes a final capstone course and professional development seminars. Students who participate in a summer session abroad may qualify for an advanced certificate in global healthcare analytics.
The online program admits students every fall. Learners can join a 40-student cohort and work their way through the fast-tracked program as a group, completing the degree in 14 months. Online courses typically run asynchronously, though some may run synchronously. Florida residents benefit from lower tuition rates than nonresidents.
Each applicant needs to possess a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also submit GRE or GMAT scores, though candidates with at least four years of relevant experience may receive a waiver. Transfer students may qualify for up to six transfer credits.
Florida International University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The online health informatics program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.
10. Arkansas Tech University
For more than 110 years, ATU has delivered educational training to students in and around Arkansas. In addition to its Arkansas River Valley campus locations, ATU offers some online programs, including six master's degree tracks. The online MS in health informatics at ATU equips graduates with the skills needed to protect and secure healthcare data and information.
The 35-credit master's in health informatics requires each student to complete 29 credits dedicated to the core program and six credits of electives. Some of the core courses include research in health information management, healthcare policy, and advanced biostatistics. For the electives component, each learner can choose two courses from options like website development, emerging IT trends, and information systems resource management.
At ATU, online courses are delivered in eight-week sessions. Most classes are offered asynchronously, though some may feature specific class times. Students can start their programs in the spring, fall, or summer and graduate within two years. Each learner needs to maintain a 3.0 GPA and complete the program within four years.
Candidates need a bachelor's degree earned with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Applicants must also possess health informatics foundations and programming courses as prerequisites. A transfer student may qualify to receive up to nine credits via transfer, permitted the credits were earned with a 2.0 GPA or higher.
Arkansas Tech University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
11. East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina
Over the last several decades, ECU has grown into one of the state's largest providers of healthcare professionals. The school offers healthcare programs at every level and provides online learning options for working professionals. The online MS in health informatics and information management — one of the only programs of its kind in North Carolina — teaches students how to apply information technology to provide healthcare solutions.
This 39-credit master's in health informatics features two options for students: a thesis track and an internship track. For both tracks, learners must complete 12 core courses in topics like organizational issues, health data structures, and health informatics project design. While most online classes run asynchronously, some classes feature scheduled sessions.
Online learners can take up to 15 credits per semester. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and complete a comprehensive examination to demonstrate their understanding. Admitted students can utilize the school's library, career services, and student support services.
Each candidate needs a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA, plus strong GRE or GMAT scores. While ECU does not require a health informatics degree for admission, it does require applicants to complete prerequisite courses in statistics and computer programming.
East Carolina University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The online health informatics program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.
12. University of Maryland – University College
Founded in 1947, UMUC has grown into one of the largest public universities in the country. Comprising 12 institutions, the school provides extensive resources, several program options, and a variety of delivery formats. One of more than 15 online master's degrees, the online master's degree in health informatics administration at UMUC prepares graduates to take leadership positions overseeing healthcare information systems and applications.
Each student in this 36-credit master's in health informatics program completes 12 courses, including healthcare financial management, legal aspects, relational database systems, and IT acquisitions management. The program also includes an orientation and a final capstone course. To graduate, students need to maintain a 3.0 GPA and complete their degree within five years.
At UMUC, online courses typically run asynchronously. Some classes, however, may run on scheduled sessions. Online programs allow distance learners to complete their degrees from afar, but in-state residents pay lower tuition rates.
Each applicant needs a bachelor's degree. While UMUC does not require candidates to possess degrees in a specific discipline, students may benefit from relevant training. Courses in accounting or finance, statistics, and healthcare administration are recommended. A transfer student may receive up to six credits based on prior learning. UMUC also recommends that each candidate possesses three years of relevant experience.
The University of Maryland University College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The online health informatics program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.
13. Augusta University
Augusta University offers more than 150 programs and over 45 graduate degrees. By way of online learning, many of these programs and individual courses are accessible to students who do not live near campus. The school's online master of public health with a concentration in health informatics prepares graduates to improve care delivery and public health by taking advantage of health informatics.
This 45-credit degree comprises courses in the core program, electives, research and practice, and concentration-specific courses. For the health informatics concentration, students complete five courses covering topics like computerized health information systems and public health informatics. The research and practice component includes an internship and a capstone project. Learners can customize their schedules to complete their degrees in two years.
The health informatics concentration allows participants to complete 90% of their degree online, with the remaining 10% taken in-person at the school's Health Science campus. Online courses typically run asynchronously, but some courses may require synchronous sessions. Students can start during the spring or fall. Augusta University also offers MPA concentrations in health management, environmental health, and social and behavioral sciences.
Each candidate needs a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.8 or higher, plus a minimum combined score of 290 on the GRE or 25 on the MCAT. Transfer students may qualify for credit for general education courses. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of where they live.
Augusta University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The online master of public health program is fully accredited by the Council of Education in Public Health.
14. University of Mississippi
Since its founding in 1844, Ole Miss has developed 15 academic divisions. To improve accessibility for contemporary students, the school also introduced online learning programs. Its online master's degree in health informatics and information management provides graduates with the skills needed to lead in a variety of healthcare environments.
The master's in health informatics program offers two tracks for students: health informatics and health information management. While the health informatics track features more clinically focused training, the information management track offers additional electives that can be used to pursue certification. Both tracks require 36 credits in total and a capstone project. Students can complete both within two years, and most online courses run asynchronously.
While each of these tracks can qualify graduates for additional postgraduate credentials, health information management graduates who take certain electives may qualify to sit for the Registered Health Information Administrator certification exam offered by the American Health Information Management Association.
Each applicant needs a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. They must also submit GRE scores and complete prerequisite courses in human anatomy and physiology. While students can complete all degree components from a distance, they may need to take part in clinical components at a location chosen by Ole Miss. Once admitted, online learners can access the student success center, digital library, and career services.
The University of Mississippi is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The online master's in health informatics and information management program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.
15. Texas State University
San Marcos, Texas
To better accommodate nontraditional students, Texas State offers online learning opportunities. The school provides more than 20 master's programs with online components, including an online master's degree in health information management. In this program, students learn to use the latest information technologies to improve healthcare operations and care delivery.
The 36-credit master's in health informatics features a program core plus six credits of electives. For the core, learners take courses in data security, healthcare finance, and compliance. Electives allow students to customize their program and push it in a specific direction. They can also choose to dedicate these credits to a thesis. Online learners gain access to Texas State's library, career services, and student learning assistance center.
Students enroll in the fall, take three courses each fall and spring semester, and graduate in two academic years. Online courses typically combine flexible asynchronous delivery with some collaborative, synchronous components. While students can complete the degree from a distance, Texas residents benefit from a lower tuition rate than nonresidents.
Each applicant must possess a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA over their last 60 undergraduate credits. This program admits students from various disciplines, but candidates must possess prerequisites in statistics, technology, medical foundations, and pathophysiology and pharmacology. Transfer students may bring in up to nine credits.
Texas State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The online master's in health information management program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.
16. George Mason University
As Virginia's largest public research university, Mason offers many study options for students. With more than 50 online programs available, students from all over the country can access the school's courses. Designed for working professionals, the online MS in health informatics at Mason combines asynchronous and synchronous delivery with no on-campus requirements. As an added benefit, all online learners pay the same tuition, regardless of their location.
The 39-credit master's in health informatics requires each student to complete 13 classes, including a capstone practicum course. Learners also take courses in health data integration, statistical process control, and computational tools in health informatics. Depending on a student's course load and transfer credits, they can complete the degree in 22-28 months. Enrollees with relevant training or experience may qualify for introductory course waivers, which can expedite graduation.
Each applicant needs a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.25 GPA. While Mason does not require candidates to possess a degree in a certain discipline, relevant experience may be beneficial. Degree-seekers can take a health informatics bridge course to help with the transition. Transfer students may bring in up to 12 credits.
George Mason University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The online MS in health informatics program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.
17. Michigan Technological University
Founded in 1885, MTU offers programs at its campus and online. Distance learning options include 10 online graduate degrees and many online certificates. MTU's online MS in health informatics teaches students to oversee the implementation, design, and management of health information systems and informatics.
While earning this 30-credit master's in health informatics, students choose between coursework, report, and thesis options. Each option contains the same number of overall credits, although the thesis option is the most research heavy. Learners can also choose a specialization, including health information security, healthcare data informatics, and imaging informatics. Regardless of their specific focus, each student takes 12 credits in core health informatics courses.
At MTU, online classes typically run asynchronously, though students should expect some interactive synchronous sessions. The program offers start dates in the fall, spring, and summer, with no on-campus residency requirements. State residents benefit from lower tuition rates than nonresidents.
Each applicant must possess a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Transfer students may qualify for up to 10 credits based on prior training. Once enrolled, students can access the school's digital library, in addition to career, student success, and student wellness services.
Michigan Technological University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
18. University of Central Florida
UCF offers more than 220 programs, including more than 80 online. In addition to accommodating busy students and working professionals, online degrees allow distance learners to earn degrees from UCF. The school's online MS in healthcare informatics prepares graduates to work in many healthcare settings, leveraging their technology expertise to improve care delivery and operations.
The 38-credit master's in health informatics includes 10 courses covering areas like biostatistics, healthcare data architecture and modeling, and systems analysis and design. The program also includes an internship course, and students can participate in industry events. UCF accepts learners into cohorts every fall and spring, and the program takes approximately two years to complete.
While students can complete this program entirely online, some electives may only run on campus. Regardless of where they live, all online students pay the same tuition rate. Graduates with relevant professional experience may qualify for a health data analyst certification after completing their degrees.
Each applicant needs a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also submit GRE or GMAT scores. Candidates without professional experience may need to complete additional foundational courses before beginning the core program.
The University of Central Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The online MS in healthcare informatics program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.
19. Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville
In addition to its main campus near St. Louis, SIUE offers nearly 20 online programs, with 13 at the master's level. Designed for professionals seeking career advancement, the online MS in healthcare informatics prepares students to enhance their organization's services and patient care operations. The program leverages new online learning technologies to provide students with hands-on training while they study.
The 36-credit master's in health informatics includes courses in topics like project management, information security, and database design. In addition to technical training, learners can gain an understanding of clinical guidelines and industry best practices. The program also includes an in-depth capstone project. Each learner must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.
At SIUE, most online courses are delivered asynchronously and there are no on-campus requirements. The healthcare informatics program offers start dates every fall and spring. Online learners all pay the same tuition rate, no matter where they reside.
Each applicant needs a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA. They also need to have completed a statistics course as a prerequisite. After enrolling, learners can access SIUE's library, academic support services, and career and wellness services.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
20. SUNY College at Oswego
Oswego, New York
For more than 150 years, Oswego has delivered innovative programs to its students. To make its courses more accessible, the school offers online courses and degrees. The online MS in biomedical and health informatics helps graduates shape the medical world, preparing them to incorporate new technologies and applications into healthcare settings.
Students in this 33-36-credit master's in health informatics choose between health data science, intelligent health systems, and professional specializations. All of these options require learners to complete four core courses in health information systems, health informatics methods, e-health systems, and systems designs. Enrollees then complete three courses dedicated to their specialization, plus a thesis or an internship.
Online courses run asynchronously. Students can enroll in the program during the fall, spring, or summer semester and graduate in less than two years. Additionally, online learners can complete the program entirely from a distance with no on-campus visits required. All online students pay the same tuition, regardless of their location.
Each candidate needs a bachelor's degree to apply. Though Oswego does not require GRE or GMAT scores, they are recommended. Applicants without prior training or experience may need to take additional foundations courses.
SUNY Oswego is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The online MS in health informatics program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.
21. University of Missouri
Founded in 1839, Mizzou now offers online programming. The school's hybrid MS in health informatics trains students to assume leadership positions while implementing, utilizing, and managing healthcare informatics.
While earning this 33-credit master's in health informatics, each student takes 27 credits in the core program. Courses include data warehousing and mining, data analytics, and information architecture. For their remaining six credits, students complete in-depth research projects. Each learner must also pass a comprehensive oral examination at the end of the program.
At Mizzou, online learners take courses as part of a cohort. They begin in the winter and take two classes per semester to complete the program in two years. Online courses run asynchronously, but some campus visits are required. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of where they live.
Each applicant needs three years of relevant professional experience and a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA over their final 60 undergraduate credits. Candidates also need to complete prerequisites in algebra and statistics. Mizzou may conditionally admit applicants with lower grades.
The University of Missouri is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
22. Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Since its founding in 1901, SWOSU has developed several programs, campuses, and delivery methods for students to choose from, including online learning. Its online MS in health information management prepares graduates to help healthcare organizations use health informatics to improve operations. This program represents the only one of its kind in Oklahoma.
The 36-credit master's in health informatics comprises 10 core courses, including corporate compliance, IT ethics and security, strategic planning, and data integrity. For their final six credits, each student completes a thesis or a final capstone project. To be eligible for graduation, a learner needs to complete their degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Online courses combine flexible asynchronous delivery and interactive, synchronous sessions. Students can start their program at the beginning of any semester, taking classes through four- or eight-week sessions. Online learners can access the school's digital library, academic advising, tutoring, and wellness services.
Each applicant needs a bachelor's degree for consideration. Admitted students must meet with the program director to develop a study plan. SWOSU may request GRE or GMAT scores. A transfer student can bring in up to nine credits based on prior training. Oklahoma residents benefit from lower tuition rates than nonresidents.
Southwestern Oklahoma State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The online health information technology program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.
23. Northwestern University
Northwestern oversees more than 150 programs, including several distance learning options. For example, students can earn a master's degree in health informatics online and learn how technology can improve patient care and make delivery more effective and efficient.
The master's in health informatics comprises 12 courses, including five core classes covering topics like legal aspects, leadership, and health analytics. The core also includes a capstone project or a thesis. Learners dedicate remaining courses to their specialization, choosing health technology informatics, clinical informatics, or health administration informatics.
At Northwestern, students complete their degrees in 2-3 years of part-time study, taking one or two courses per quarter. Though learners can customize their course loads and schedules, they must complete the degree within five years. All courses feature online delivery, but they may not run during every term. No matter where they live, all online students pay the same tuition rate.
Each applicant needs an accredited bachelor's degree. While Northwestern does not require experience or a degree in a specific discipline, academic or professional experience in a clinical or information technology field may improve a candidate's chances of being accepted. Similarly, applicants do not need to submit GRE scores, but doing so can enhance their applications.
Northwestern University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
24. University of South Carolina – Columbia
Columbia, South Carolina
While UofSC boasts more than 200 years of history, the school also pushes forward with innovative technologies and learning options. With more than 44 degrees and 1,000 courses available, UofSC provides many study choices for distance learners and working professionals. Students who earn the school's online master's degree in health information technology develop the skills needed to help healthcare organizations take advantage of new systems and technology.
The 36-unit master's in health informatics features 10 three-unit courses and a six-unit internship. The program core includes training in health economics, telecommunication, and large-scale health information systems. Flexible scheduling options allow students to adjust their course load to suit their schedules. Most full-time students can complete the program within 18 months.
At UofSC, online students can take accelerated courses throughout eight-week sessions. Most classes run asynchronously, and the program features four start dates throughout the year. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of their location.
Each applicant needs a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA for consideration. Candidates must also submit GRE or GMAT scores unless they possess at least three years of experience.
The University of South Carolina Columbia is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The online health information technology program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.
25. Mississippi College
Despite its status as the state's oldest college, MC constantly seeks to improve its programs and accessibility with the future in mind. The school's online programs allow working professionals and distance learners to enjoy an MC education. Online students can choose from more than 30 online programs, including over 20 at the master's level. The online MS in health informatics combines information technology and clinical training to prepare graduates for this dynamic industry.
The 30-credit master's in health informatics includes eight courses in foundations and health informatics, in addition to four courses in healthcare administration. Courses include e-medicine business models, organizational behavior in healthcare administration, and integrated electronic medical records.
Online students benefit from asynchronous class delivery. All classes are offered online, though some clinical sessions may require in-person attendance at a local facility. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of their location.
Each applicant needs a bachelor's degree in healthcare science (or a similar field) and a minimum 2.75 GPA. They also need to submit GRE or GMAT scores. A transfer student may bring in up to six credits. Once enrolled, online learners can access the school's library, career services, and academic assistance.
Mississippi College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The Advantages of an Healthcare Informatics Education
Healthcare informatics uses technology to organize and evaluate health information in order to enhance patient care and improve health outcomes. With technological advances often moving at a rapid rate, keeping up with the healthcare field can be daunting. A well-designed online master's degree in healthcare informatics can help upgrade your skills and update your knowledge base, making it possible for you to deliver efficient and effective patient care.
A master's in health informatics provides the advanced training required by many leadership roles in healthcare. Employers value the skills that aspiring healthcare practitioners develop while pursuing their master's and usually assign greater responsibilities to healthcare professionals who hold a graduate degree. Increased professional responsibilities often accompany higher earning potential, as well.
The next section goes into greater detail about the career options available to those with master's degrees in healthcare informatics.
Healthcare Informatics Degree Salary Information
Whether you decide to pursue a master's in healthcare informatics online or on campus, you will likely qualify for professional opportunities in a variety of workplace settings. Accredited master's programs prepare graduates for a variety of managerial and technological responsibilities in hospitals, private clinics, government agencies, and large healthcare organizations.
A master's program also provides an excellent foundation for further studies in the field, such as pursuing a doctorate, which can qualify graduates for roles as researchers and postsecondary professors.
- Health Information Management Director
- In a large healthcare facility, the HIM director may oversee departmental staff tasked with gathering, organizing, and managing health information. HIM directors make sure their facilities comply with industry, state, and federal regulations. They research and implement new technology to improve workflow and increase productivity. Some healthcare facilities require HIM directors to hold registered health information administrator certification.
- Medical and Health Services Manager
- Medical and healthcare services managers coordinate a variety of tasks, implementing relevant programs that impact the delivery and quality of patient care. Their duties often include managing databases containing patient and treatment information, overseeing the hiring and training of support services personnel, and directing administrative services such as patient billing and insurance authorization.
- Health Informatics Specialist
- A health informatics specialist with a master's degree in the field often assumes leadership roles and top managerial duties. These may include developing health information protocols that comply with relevant regulations and identifying system deficiencies and crafting solutions that improve the process. They also train medical and support staff in new technology.
- Clinical Director
- Clinical directors focus on the quality and timely delivery of patient care services. They often hire and manage clinical personnel, maintain accurate and current treatment and medical records, develop and implement programs that improve staff performance, enhance service delivery, and boost patient satisfaction.
- Hospital Administrator
- Hospital administrators take charge of a hospital's daily operations, such as setting budget goals and liaising with external bodies like the press or the scientific community. They also coordinate and direct department efforts to make sure their operations support and progress organization-wide objectives.
Salary by Experience Level for Healthcare Informatics Careers
|Health Information Management Director||$50,000||$55,000||$66,000||$78,000|
|Medical and Health Services Manager||N/A||$60,000||$65,000||$74,000|
|Health Informatics Specialist||$56,000||$61,000||$75,000||N/A|
Choosing an Online Healthcare Informatics Degree Program
Pursuing an online master's degree in healthcare informatics requires a serious commitment of time and financial resources. Before deciding on a program, applicants should make sure it supports their professional and educational objectives. Several colleges and universities acknowledge the growth of the healthcare field and recognize the increasing demand for highly educated practitioners, including health informatics professionals.
Make sure to evaluate each program according to factors that pertain to your individual situation. The list below describes five program variables that may influence your decision.
- Program Cost: Program cost does not only refer to tuition; it often includes other factors such as textbooks and technology fees. As a rule, in-state students pay lower tuition rates than out-of-state students at public schools, and state schools cost less than private colleges. However, some institutions allow online students to pay in-state tuition, no matter where they live.
- Transfer Policies: Programs that allow students to transfer credits usually limit the number of credits that learners can transfer into the program; many master's program allows 6-9 transfer credits. Accredited institutions only consider graduate-level credits earned at other accredited colleges or universities. Some institutions award credit based on relevant military experience and/or professional certifications.
- School Size and Type: State universities often maintain higher enrollment numbers, meaning lower teacher-to-student ratios, even in online classrooms. However, state universities also often offer more classes and concentration options.
- Program Length: Several factors affect how long it takes to complete an online master's degree in healthcare informatics. These factors typically include enrollment status (part time or full time), whether courses follow an asynchronous or synchronous delivery format, and the number of credits required to graduate from the program.
- On-campus Requirements: Some online master's degrees in healthcare informatics require students to attend an on-campus residency, similar to an orientation, before starting their program. Additionally, mandatory residencies may occur toward the end of the program. Find out about any onsite requirements before committing to a program, especially if you cannot make it to campus for personal or professional reasons.
Accreditation for Online Healthcare Informatics Degrees
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) act as overseeing organizations in the accreditation process. They do not accredit programs and institutions themselves; rather, they make sure accrediting bodies adhere to and apply standards evenly and consistently.
Two main types of accreditation exist in the United States at the institutional level: regional accreditation and national accreditation. Regional accrediting bodies tend to focus on nonprofit, degree-granting colleges and universities. Both private and public institutions can seek regional accreditation. Regional accreditation covers all of an institution's programs and degrees. Alternatively, nationally accrediting bodies tend to focus more on religious, single-purpose, and/or for-profit institutions.
Another type of accreditation — programmatic — focuses on specific programs rather than entire schools. The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education acts as the main programmatic accrediting body for healthcare informatics programs.
Accreditation can affect your educational experience in many ways. For example, the ED only awards financial aid to accredited institutions. If you plan to apply for federal scholarships, grants, or fellowships, you cannot do so if your school does not hold the appropriate accreditation. Additionally, accredited colleges and universities only accept transfer credits from other accredited institutions. The number of credits that can be transferred toward a degree program can affect your overall program length and cost.
Healthcare Informatics Concentrations
Though healthcare informatics represents a highly specialized field, students can further focus their studies on one of several available concentration areas. Specializations prepare students for focused careers or additional studies, and it qualifies them for a specific career path with a clear professional trajectory and purpose. Explore five of these specialization areas below.
This concentration gives students the chance to learn about genome sequencing and comparison, as well as how to identify the genetic bases for diseases. Learners study the retrieval and application of crucial information necessary for decision-making and problem-solving in the field of biomedical science. Students explore various areas within the biomedical information system, including chemical and dental informatics.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Biomedical researcher
Students learn to assess and deliver information required of healthcare professionals and their patients. They develop, implement, manage, and evaluate clinical support systems to keep them current, relevant, and responsive to patient needs. Individuals assess information technology systems and processes to make sure they are secure and reliable.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Clinical informatician
This concentration gives students the opportunity to examine the role of computer science and information technology in creating and sustaining a well-functioning healthcare organization. Students develop the skills needed to build communication networks and pathways specifically designed to address the needs of medical and health organizations.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Healthcare facility director
Public Health Informatics:
Students learn to apply advanced computer science technologies to educate the public about various health topics, including disease prevention, disaster mitigation, and healthy life choices. Students also learn to design, implement, and monitor programs that give the public access to current medical research.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Program administrator for community health services
This concentration focuses student learning on the design, application, and assessment of communication and information technologies that affect various interactions within a social environment. Learners examine research related to organizational behavior, communication patterns, and information science, applying these findings to measure and improve social interactions within a specific context.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Communication specialist
How Long Does It Take to Get a Degree in Healthcare Informatics?
It usually takes two years to graduate from a master's program in healthcare informatics. However, several factors can affect how long it takes to complete a master's program. The number of credits required to earn a degree varies between schools and can impact how long it takes to graduate. Colleges and universities offering online master's in health informatics typically require 36-54 credits.
Programs that deliver seven- or eight-week classes may be accelerated compared to programs that follow regular semester-length schedules. Additionally, some online master's degrees in healthcare informatics require students to attend onsite residencies or complete an internship experience; these degree requirements can prolong a program.
Finally, some schools permit students to progress through programs at their own pace. They may be able to enroll in the next course in the program sequence as soon as they demonstrate mastery of the current subject matter.
Courses in an Online Master's in Healthcare Informatics Program
This course introduces students to an emerging area focused on empowering clients/patients to participate more fully in their own wellness or treatment protocols. Students learn about the evolution of consumer-driven healthcare resulting from technological advances and digital connectivity. They study topics such as access modalities, behavioral management systems, and consumer-oriented healthcare informatics systems.
Global Health and Technology
This course exposes students to the growing importance and expanding role of technology in the global health landscape. Learners examine how technology impacts the quality and delivery of healthcare services. They also learn to leverage technology to prevent the spread of diseases, especially in developing countries and resource-scarce settings.
Healthcare Organizations Operations
In this course, students explore the various information technology needs among various healthcare providers. They examine factors such as ambulatory care, patient access services, facilities and resources management, finance, and human resources. Students also learn to evaluate and maintain information systems to improve the delivery of patient care services.
Information System Information and Lifecycle
Students learn to assess, implement, and integrate new technologies, aiming to improve the delivery of medical and support services and enhance patient experience. This course covers topics such as cost analysis, leasing strategies, purchase agreements and service contracts, and analyzing technology trends in the healthcare industry.
Introduction to Clinical Thinking
This course gives students the chance to explore the clinical care process. It usually covers topics such as fundamental psychophysiology, evidence-based treatment protocols, and basic medical terminology. Students learn to gather relevant information from patients, integrate diagnosis and treatment plans, and maintain and safeguard medical records.
Paying for Your Online Master's in Healthcare Informatics Degree Program
Whether you plan to pursue an on-campus or online master's degree in healthcare informatics, finding a way to finance your education can sometimes prove a challenge. Fortunately, many colleges offering master of healthcare informatics online programs also provide scholarships to qualified students, as do several professional organizations. Begin your search for funding by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, keeping in mind that the Department of Education channels funds only through accredited institutions.
Scholarships for Accounting Students
Who Can Apply: AHIMA offers several scholarship programs based on various criteria, including ethnic, cultural, and gender diversity; residency; and academic achievement. The foundation grants scholarships to qualified students pursuing an associate, bachelor's, or master's program in healthcare at an accredited college or university.
Who Can Apply: CHIME accepts applications from members who show commitment to community service at a rural hospital or health agency and a strong leadership background. The foundation offers tuition assistance and funding to attend professional development programs sponsored by the organization, including the CIO Boot Camp and the CHIME/HIMSS CIO Forum.
Who Can Apply: HIMSS considers applications from full-time undergraduate or graduate students pursuing a program in healthcare informatics or related fields like health administration and bioinformatics. Winners also receive free airfare and accommodations to attend the annual HIMSS Global Health Conference and Exhibition and a $200 honorarium in addition to the scholarship amount.
Who Can Apply: IHS accepts applications from qualified American Indian and Alaska Native healthcare professionals pursuing an accredited program at the undergraduate or graduate level. The program requires scholarship recipients to complete a two-year service commitment in an American Indian or Alaska Native health facility within a designated medically underserved area.
Amount: Tuition, fees, and living expenses
Who Can Apply: MGMA administers several scholarship programs for undergraduate and graduate healthcare students. Most of the scholarship and grant opportunities require applicants to be MGMA student members in good standing pursuing a healthcare degree offered by an accredited institution. Some programs have specific residency and academic requirements.