Best Online Master’s in Health Informatics 2021

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Healthcare informatics degrees prepare students for careers as data and information professionals in clinical and medical fields.

Health informatics uses information technology and data to improve the quality of healthcare services and patient care. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the demand for medical and health services managers will grow 18% between 2018 and 2028.

With a master's degree, health informatics professionals can find work in management positions, including as health economists, bioinformatics specialists, medical technologists, and data analysts. Although salary potential varies by experience and job title, many occupations offer annual salaries above $70,000.

The following ranked list explores the 25 best health informatics degrees online. Other topics in this guide include common courses, admission requirements, concentrations, and career paths.

Top 10 Online Master's in Healthcare Informatics Programs 2021
#1 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
#2 Northwestern University Evanston, IL
#3 Brandeis University Waltham, MA
#4 University of Cincinnati-Main Campus Cincinnati, OH
#5 DePaul University Chicago, IL
#6 Michigan Technological University Houghton, MI
#7 University of Mary Bismarck, ND
#8 Dakota State University Madison, SD
#9 University of Scranton Scranton, PA
#10 East Carolina University Greenville, NC

Featured Online Schools

Best Online Master's in Healthcare Informatics Programs 2021

  1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Chapel Hill, NC



    A public research university, UNC-Chapel Hill enrolled its first class in 1795. Today, the university serves more than 30,000 students each year.

    UNC-Chapel Hill's online master of professional science in biomedical and health informatics teaches students to design and evaluate large-scale health information systems. Students also learn to manage and improve data collection and analysis for biomedical research, public health, and medical practices. 

    The 35-credit program offers a one-year fast track, an 18-month standard track, or a part-time track lasting up to four years. Students may specialize in clinical health informatics or public health informatics. All students must complete a three-credit (400 contact hour) internship.

    Applicants must submit undergraduate transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of purpose. GRE or MCAT scores are not required but will be considered if submitted.

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

  2. Northwestern University

    Evanston, IL

    Northwestern, a private university founded in 1851, serves nearly 21,000 undergraduate and graduate students annually.

    The university's online master of science in health informatics emphasizes emerging opportunities in the field guided by industry thought leaders. Specializations include clinical, health technology, and health administration informatics. All students take courses in the American healthcare system, leadership, and legal, ethical, and social issues surrounding the industry. All students must also complete a thesis or a capstone project.

    Applicants must hold a U.S. bachelor's degree from an approved institution. They must also submit official transcripts, a statement of purpose, a resume, and two recommendation letters. Standardized tests are not specified as required.

    Northwestern University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  3. Brandeis University

    Waltham, MA

    A private research university in the Boston suburbs, Brandeis welcomed its first class in 1948. A nonsectarian institution sponsored by the local Jewish community, Brandeis was named for the first Jewish U.S. Supreme Court justice. Today, the university serves nearly 6,000 students.

    Brandeis offers a fully online master of science in health informatics. The 30-credit part-time program requires seven courses, including project management, legal issues in informatics, and electronic health records. Students also choose three electives in such topics as organizational leadership and decision making.

    Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an approved institution, submit college or university transcripts, one letter of recommendation, a statement of goals, and a resume.

    Brandeis University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

  4. University of Cincinnati-Main Campus

    Cincinnati, OH



    UC, established in 1870, serves more than 44,000 students each year. The university's identity is heavily tied to its urban location.

    UC offers an online masters in health informatics. All students take foundation courses in the public health landscape and information systems and technology. They then move to core courses such as Database Modeling and Design for Healthcare, followed by electives including Leveraging Analytics and Business Intelligence Tools for Healthcare. All students must complete a six-credit practicum in their last semester.

    Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA (GRE/GMAT not required). Students with a 2.75-3.0 GPA might still qualify with GRE/GMAT scores on a conditional basis. Other requirements include transcripts, a letter of intent, two letters of recommendation, and a resume.

    University of Cincinnati is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  5. DePaul University

    Chicago, IL

    Founded in 1898 as a private Catholic university, DePaul serves nearly 22,000 students. Though open to all, the university focuses on recruiting students from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds.

    DePaul offers a fully online master of science in health informatics. The program requires an introductory course in Statistics and Data Analysis plus foundation courses, including Systems Analysis and Database Design for Information Systems. All students then choose from electives in analytics, database processing, enterprise management, or healthcare innovations. Students may complete an internship or independent study project if desired.

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree and a minimum 2.5 GPA (transcripts required). Optional materials such as letters of recommendation and resumes will be reviewed if submitted.

    DePaul University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  6. Michigan Technological University

    Houghton, MI



    Founded in 1885, Michigan Tech originally trained engineers to work in the local copper mines. Today, it serves as a research university with a student body of more than 7,000.

    Michigan Tech offers a fully online master of science in health informatics. The highly flexible 30-credit program allows students to choose courses from areas such as medical image processing, healthcare cybersecurity, electronic health records, and mobile applications in health.

    Applicants need a 3.0 minimum GPA, a resume, and three letters of recommendation. GRE scores are not required.

    Michigan Technological University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  7. University of Mary

    Bismarck, ND

    A private Benedictine university founded in 1959, Mary serves nearly 4,000 students, making it the largest university in Bismarck.

    Mary offers an online master of science in nursing and healthcare informatics. Designed for nurses who hold a BSN, the program focuses on information technology in nursing, preparing students for careers such as coordinator of nursing information systems or project director for nursing information.

    The two-year, 38-credit program includes such core courses as Healthcare Across the Population and Resilient Nursing Leadership. Specialty courses include Ethics and Informatics and Professional Domain of Nursing Informatics. All students must complete two seminars and 360 clinical hours, which provide hands-on experience in the field.

    Applicants must hold a BSN in nursing with a 2.75 GPA (transcripts required) and a current RN license.

    University of Mary is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  8. Dakota State University

    Madison, SD



    Founded in 1881 as a teachers' school, DSU today serves more than 3,000 students in education and technology fields.

    DSU offers an online master of science in health informatics and information management that boasts a 100% placement rate. Full-time students can complete the 33-credit program in just four semesters. Part-time students must finish within five years. All students take the same 11 courses, including Health Information Lifecycle Governance, Research Design in Health Informatics, and an independent research project. Students must pass a final comprehensive exam.

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.7 GPA and a minimum 280 GRE composite. Students with a 3.25 GPA, who graduated more than 15 years ago, or have As and Bs in at least nine hours of graduate work do not need to take the GRE. Applicants who do not demonstrate mastery of undergraduate-level statistics, information systems, or healthcare delivery must take additional prerequisite courses.

    Dakota State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  9. University of Scranton

    Scranton, PA

    A private Jesuit university founded in 1888, Scranton today serves more than 5,000 students.

    Scranton offers a 100% online master of science in health informatics with no prior work experience required. In this two-year, 33-credit program, all students take the same courses in information technology, information policy and governance, and industry trends. Students must also pass a final capstone course.

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA, three letters of recommendation, a resume, a personal statement, and background check disclosure and authorization forms.

    University of Scranton is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

  10. East Carolina University

    Greenville, NC



    Founded in 1907 as a teacher training school, ECU serves more than 28,000 students across six campuses, including Italy.

    ECU's online master of science in health informatics and information management caters to health professionals switching to informatics and informatics professionals looking for career advancement. Topics include electronic records and health data structures. Students may choose a thesis or non-thesis option, but all must pass a comprehensive final exam. The program also includes an internship that prepares students as dynamic leaders and decision-makers. 

    Applicants must have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, including grades of at least C in computer programming and statistics. They must also submit GRE or GMAT scores, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of purpose.

    East Carolina University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Best Online Programs

Online Master's in Healthcare Informatics Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

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While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

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The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

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Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

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Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

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What Is an Online Master's in Healthcare Informatics Degree?

Health informatics graduate programs typically use an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating fundamental components of health informatics, health sciences, and information technology alongside business and management principles.

Programs typically include courses in medical information systems security, data architecture and modeling, healthcare information systems, legal issues in health medical informatics, and health data and electronic health records. Some programs also offer specializations, such as clinical informatics or health administration informatics.

Choosing an Online Program

Before enrolling in an online master's in health informatics, consider factors like cost, curriculum, and formatting. Visit the link below for more program selection tips.

What Else Can I Expect From a Master's in Healthcare Informatics Program?

A health informatics online degree develops competencies in electronic data technologies, risk assessment and telehealth, systems analysis and design, and healthcare software. Students also explore epidemiology, law and ethics, and project design. Many programs also require a final research project capstone.

Master's in Healthcare Informatics Curriculum

Healthcare Statistics

Students in this course explore the practical applications of descriptive and inferential statistics as they are used in healthcare settings. Learners analyze data to formulate a data procurement plan. Students also learn how to distribute published health research data and apply new knowledge within the industry.

Infectious Disease Epidemiology

In this course, students learn about infectious diseases and epidemiology's scope and practice. Topics include epidemiological history and vocabulary, disease surveillance strategies, laboratory diagnosis, molecular epidemiology, and assessment of vaccine field effectiveness.

Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Information

This course emphasizes privacy, data security, and the confidentiality of health information. Students focus on information technology and management, including topics like information security, risk management, and data integrity and validity.

Healthcare Informatics Certifications and Licenses

Professionals with a master's degree in health informatics may earn the registered health informatics administrator (RHIA) certification. Offered by the American Health Information Management Association, this certification provides health informatics professionals with a recognized stamp of excellence, which can help in pursuing or advancing their careers.

Healthcare Informatics Careers

An online master's in health informatics prepares graduates for advanced careers in the healthcare field. They may find work in clinical settings or as healthcare administrators or information research scientists. Graduates can also find work at government agencies, nonprofits, and private insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

Medical and Health Services Managers
Median Salary (2019): $100,980 Projected Job Growth (2019-2029): 18%

Medical and health services managers, also known as healthcare administrators, help plan, direct, and coordinate health services. Administrators may oversee an entire medical facility or a specific clinical department. Tasks include developing goals and objectives, recruiting and training staff, managing finances, and ensuring compliance with laws and regulations. At minimum, a bachelor's degree is required to enter this field, although master's degrees are common. Employers often prefer candidates with prior work experience in a healthcare facility.

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
Median Salary (2019): $40,350 Projected Job Growth (2019-2029): 11%

Medical records and health information technicians organize and manage electronic and hardcopy health information data, ensuring accuracy, accessibility, and security. Tasks include reviewing patient records, using classification software to assign clinical codes, and maintaining data for clinical databases.

Entry-level health information technicians need a postsecondary certificate or associate degree. Employers may require additional certification, such as a registered health information technician credential. With a bachelor's or master's degree in health informatics, technicians may advance to managerial positions.

Computer and Information Research Scientists
Median Salary (2019): $122,840 Projected Job Growth (2019-2029): 16%

Computer and information research scientists invent, design, and implement innovative uses for computing technology, solving complex problems in science and medicine. Tasks include developing theories to address fundamental issues; creating new computing languages, tools, and methods; and executing experiments to test new software systems.

These professionals typically hold a master's degree in computer science or a related field. A health informatics master's degree prepares graduates to tackle the specialized technology challenges found in the healthcare field.

Healthcare Informatics Professional Organizations

Professional organizations are a great way for health informatics professionals to network with each other, read the latest research, access career opportunities, and take continuing education courses.

Founded in 1928, AHIMA serves approximately 103,000 health information professionals. The organization offers professional certifications, courses, webinars, conferences, and a virtual lab for experiential learning. Student members can get help planning their education and their job searches. With the goal of improving the health informatics field through practice, education, and science, AMIA works in five domains: translational bioinformatics, clinical research informatics, clinical informatics, consumer health informatics, and public health informatics. Members have access to an online community, webinars, events, and a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Made up of more than 3,000 nurses and other health informatics professionals, ANIA integrates nursing practice with information science. Members can access an annual conference, regular educational webinars, the Journal of Informatics Nursing, and review courses for certification exams.

Frequently Asked Questions

true How Long Does It Take to Complete a Master's in Healthcare Informatics Program?

Completing a health informatics degree online typically takes around 30 months. Accelerated programs may offer completion times as brief as 18 months.

What Can I Do With a Master's in Healthcare Informatics?

Graduates can find work as informatics analysts, specialists, consultants, and managers in clinical settings, public health agencies, and insurance companies.

What Are Examples of Health Informatics?

Health informatics involves the acquisition, storage, and use of healthcare information to improve service quality. Examples include electronic medical records systems and clinical decision support systems.

What Do Health Informatics Professionals Do?

Health informatics professionals use technology to track patient information, linking patient care with the latest databasing technology. They manage, store, and analyze data to help facilitate healthcare decisions and ensure patients are receiving proper care.

Is Health Informatics Hard?

Health informatics is an evolving, interdisciplinary field. Successful professionals must be skilled and knowledgeable in data management, information technology, and healthcare terminology.

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