Health informatics brings together the big-picture concepts of the healthcare system: information technology, healthcare management, and patient care. IVs and bedside manner are not the only things that make a hospital run. Key technologies and databases need to be in place to ensure a smooth operation – literally!
Working in health informatics will get you into the nitty-gritty of patient databases like electronic health records (EHRs), database security, and health information management. This takes an analytical mind and a compassionate heart. If that sounds like you, read on!
What kind of Master’s in Health Informatics should you get?
We’ve selected the top 25 Best Master’s in Health Informatics. So rest assured, the hard work is finished for you. While all of these programs give you a solid foundation in health informatics, you’ll soon find that each have their own flair.
Are you looking for optimal flexibility? Then you should check out the online and hybrid programs at John Hopkins University, Northeastern University, or the University of South Florida.
Are you hoping to include Graduate Certificates to your degree? Indiana University, the University of San Diego, or Marshall University might be a good place to start.
Accredited Online College Programs
Explore our featured online programs and find the right match for you today.
How much money do people make with a Master’s in Health Informatics degree?
Health informatics is at the forefront of the healthcare system. As more and more facilities are going online and digital – based on a 2014 federal mandate to switch to EHRs – there’s a huge need for individuals with the technical skills and healthcare know-how to lend a hand.
For that reason, you’ll find that the demand yields a generous outcome. According to Payscale.com, a Clinical Informatics Manager can make around $91,000 per year. As you specialize, you have the potential to earn even more than that. For example, someone who gets certified in Nursing Informatics will earn up to 7 percent more than the average salary.
Landing a job in this industry is a smart investment in your future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in medical records and health information technologies are predicted to rise by 13 percent in the next ten years. Earn those skills now, and you’ll be ahead of the game!
What can you do with Master’s in Health Informatics degree?
The basic structure of a job in health informatics will be the same. You’ll work with hospital administrators and key healthcare leaders to streamline and optimize database systems. That means you’ll need to not only know the ins-and-outs of health IT, but you’ll also be clued into industry policy and regulations. You are the bridge between the hospital staff and administration. You’ll find a range of positions available to you after graduation. Some of them include:
Clinical Informatics Data Analyst
Medical Coding Specialist
Health Informatics Manager
Even more, depending on whether or not you want to do a thesis-track program or not, you will also prepared for advanced education in health informatics. If you want to earn a doctorate in health informatics, you will have the foundation, knowledge, and research experience to succeed in a competitive academic environment.
What are the requirements for a Master’s in Health Informatics degree?
These aren’t just the best programs for health informatics; these are some of the top schools in the nation. This means you’ll have to work hard to get into these programs, but once you do, you will be hugely rewarded with one of the best academic experiences of your life.
Most application processes prefer that you have some kind of background in either information technology, health sciences, or computer science. These degrees last anywhere from one to two years, with a required 30-45 credit hours. You’ll likely spend the first semester reviewing basic concepts in health IT, and then later branch out into specializations and electives. A number of these programs include capstone projects, which is a great way to synthesize your learnings and create a body of information to present to future employers.
What are the best Master’s in Health Informatics degrees?
Below you’ll find the 25 Best Master’s in Health Informatics degrees. Our data experts at College Choice considered a number of factors in their methodology. First, they took into account the academic quality of each program. Then they assessed affordability and return on investment. Last but not least, they factored in student satisfaction using retention rates and graduation rates.
Beyond our own data nerds, we called on the excellent resources at U.S. News & World Report, and the statistics at Payscale.com. The healthcare systems needs you! What are you waiting for?
Kicking off our list as the #1 graduate program in Health Informatics, the University of Michigan shines above the rest. It is regarded as one of the premiere research universities in the nation. The School of Public Health was founded in 1941. The Public Health Department ranks #4 in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.
The nation’s top MS in Health Informatics comes out of the University of Michigan. This curriculum is expertly divided into four categories: core health informatics, health system and organizational studies, human and social behavior, methods, and information management. Selective classes from these areas include:
Population Health Informatics
Exploratory Data Analysis for Health
Contextual Inquiry and Project Management
Database Management in Health Care
The pinnacle experience of the program at UM is the internship requirement. Students will choose to do a standard internship, an extended internship, or a continuous internship. In essence, you’ll decide to either do a focused amount of time interning after your coursework is complete, or you’ll intern as you move through the entire program.
Baltimore, Maryland is home to Johns Hopkins University, a private research institution that excels in healthcare education. The School of Medicine offers this particular master’s degree in health informatics. Johns Hopkins was recently named as having the 3rd best medical school in the nation.
At Johns Hopkins University, you’ll earn MS in Applied Health Sciences Informatics. This is a full-time, 12-month program that models its curriculum off the CDC competency requirements. You’ll take 27 credits in core classes, and then an array of electives that are focused specifically on health informatics. This includes courses like:
Health Systems in Low and Middle Income Countries
Data Management Methods in Health Research Studies
Health Information Systems: Design to Deployment
Health Sciences Informatics: Knowledge Engineering
If you’re more interested in a part-time program, you should check out the online version of this degree. The curriculum requirements are exactly the same, however you’ll have more flexibility in how quickly you move through the program – and the format in which you complete classes.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of the oldest public universities in the United States with a history that reaches all the way back to 1795. It is known as a “Public Ivy.” Its Gillings School of Global Public Health was recently named as the top public health programs among public schools.
UNC at Chapel Hill features an MS in Biomedical and Health Informatics that is flexible and versatile. For one, you can complete it either in 16 months or in a 12-month “fast track” option. You’ll also be able to specialize in either Clinical Informatics or Public Health Informatics. Either way, your core course options will look something like:
Systems Analysis and Design
Consumer Health Informatics
Programming for Information Professionals
Electronic Health Records
One great way to synthesize your classroom knowledge and apply it in a hands-on setting is the required practicum and internship. In the past, students have interned at places like the Laboratory of Applied Informatics Research, UNC Health Care, Northeast Medical Associates, and more.
One of the ten schools in the larger state system, the University of California Davis is a “Public Ivy” that makes high marks in and of itself. The health informatics program is offered via the UC Davis School of Medicine, which was recently named the #6 most competitive school in the nation.
This Master’s in Health Informatics program keeps research at the forefront of the curriculum. This is a thesis-track program with the intent for students to eventually publish. You’ll complete at total of 43 credits, with close to a quarter of the program delegated to research in health informatics. Other coursework includes:
Clinical Data Acquisition and Analysis
Applied Programming in Health Informatics
Computer Security in Health Informatics
Database and Knowledge Management
Lucky for you, UC Davis has a ton of on-campus resources to add to your education. You’ll be pulling information from the UC Davis Center for Health and Technology, networking with the Graduate Group in Health Informatics, and researching alongside professionals in the field.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte is a strong public research university that maintains three core campuses: the main campus, the Center City Campus, and the Charlotte Research Institute Campus. It enrolls over 5,200 graduate students per year.
UNC Charlotte offers both an MS in Health Informatics and a Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics. You’ll have the option to attend full-time or part-time depending on your schedule. The program consists of twelve total classes, or 35 credit hours. Some of those classes are:
Health Information Privacy and Security: Law, Ethics, & Technology
Health Data Integration
Enterprise Health Information Systems
Health Care Data Analysis
One highly useful feature that UNC Charlotte offers is two dual degree programs. By taking just a few more classes, you can earn a Health Administration and Health Informatics MHA/MS dual degree or a Public Health and Health Informatics MPH/MS dual degree. Take advantage of the resources and fast-track your career!
A large research university based in Boston, Massachusetts, Northeastern University is private education at its finest. It features a deeply established cooperative education program, which allows students to gain hands-on work experience while they’re still in school. The schools has been named the #1 “Best School for Internships” two years in a row.
Northeastern University offers a highly unique MS in Health Informatics. The Bouve College of Health Sciences and the College of Computer and Information Science work together to offer students an interdisciplinary curriculum. You’ll take a combination of online and in-person coursework like:
Data Management in Healthcare
Theoretical Foundations in Personal Health Informatics
Quantifying the Value of Informatics
Global Health Information Management
If you’re looking to add that extra touch to your resume, you can look into one of three graduate certificate programs offered through this program: Health Informatics Management and Exchange, Health Informatics Privacy and Security, and Health Informatics Software Engineering.
Long Island is home to SUNY Stony Brook, a public research institution that is part of the State University of New York system. It maintains a number of different campuses: one in Stony Brook, another in Manhattan, and yet another in Southampton.
The Stony Brook School of Health Technology and Management offers a top-of-the-line MS in Applied Health Informatics. This is a 52-credit-hour, 15-month program that you’ll complete at the Southampton campus. The curriculum covers core classes, specialized classes, and a 480-hour practicum. Some highlights include:
Biomedical and Health Informatics Essentials
Regulations, Confidentiality, Privacy, and Security
Health Information Systems and HIT
Database Design and Development for Health Informatics
Once you’ve completed the foundational work in your program, you’ll jump into 12 additional credits in one of three specialization areas: Clinical Informatics, Knowledge Management and Leadership, or Data Analytics. This is a helpful way to narrow your focus in the professional world.
The University of South Florida is a large, public research university in Tampa that brings top-ranked education to over 42,800 students each year. USF is among the fastest growing research institutions in the country. Even more, its public health programs are listed among the top five in the United States.
Covering a curriculum of eleven classes (or 32 credit hours), the MS in Health Informatics at USF is an online program. Your classes will cover essential health data information, along with issues in data warehousing, mining, and analytical processing. A sampling of some specific classes includes:
Integrated Electronic Medical Records
Health Data Management
Case Studies in Health Information Management
You can be sure that USF is a highly respectable school when it comes to the healthcare field. For one, USF Health is a certified HIMSS Approved Education Partner for its health IT education. Even more, the Morsani College of Medicine is consistently listed among the top programs in the country.
An enormous public university system with over 110,000 students in total, Indiana University contains the state’s largest enrollment numbers. IU Online, the school’s distance learning branch, offers over 120 online programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
Indiana University sets you off on one of two tracks through its Master of Science in Health Informatics. You’ll either do the project track or the thesis track. The names essentially speak for themselves; though either way, you’ll be completing these classes online. Some overlap classes include:
Clinical Information Systems
Security and Privacy Policies
Foundations of Health Informatics
Clinical Decision Support Systems
Within the Health Informatics Department, you have a number of chances to add a graduate certificate to your degree. For instance, you can earn a certificate in Clinical Informatics, Public Health Professionals, Health Information Security, and more.
Located in a mecca of the west coast – Seattle, Washington – the University of Washington is a touchstone educational institution of the region. It is not only one of the oldest schools in the area, but also one of the largest and most decorated in terms of rankings. UW is known as a “Public Ivy.”
You’ll move through UW’s Master of Health Informatics & Health Information Management with a cohort. Over the span of 18 months, you’ll take the 18 required courses, which includes a final capstone project. Some of the stand-out courses in this diverse curriculum include:
Health Information Systems & Leadership
Health Care Databases & Applications
Epidemiology/Critical Evidence Appraisal
Consumer Health Informatics
For your capstone project, you’ll bring together all of your technical and theoretical skills to address a real-life problem in the health care community. Some past student projects have covered Immunization Standards Compliance Analysis, Physician Practice Online Staff Training Program, and more.
Located in a college-town favorite – Lawrence, Kansas – the University of Kansas is a public research university with a number of locations throughout the state. The Medical Center at the University of Kansas houses three schools. One of those is the School of Health Professions, which is where you’ll find a number of health-related graduate programs.
The MS in Health Informatics splits its curriculum into three core areas: informatics, leadership, and research. As you proceed through the coursework, you’ll define an area of focus within the degree. This could be clinical, health policy & management, or public health. You’ll attend primarily online, taking classes like:
Knowledge Management in Health Care
The Social Context for Healthcare Policy
Global Perspectives and Diversity in Health Care
Managing Information Systems and Technology
In addition to a fantastic curriculum, you’ll have access to the KU Center for Health Informatics. This means you’ll be interacting with faculty members and students in your field to network, research, and investigate all there is to know about health informatics. Since it is housed in the KU Medical Center, you’ll be right in the middle of the action.
A private, Roman Catholic university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Saint Joseph’s University is one of the oldest Jesuit universities in the United States. Regionally, the graduate programs at SJU are ranked #6 in the nation among other private universities in the North.
Taking a slightly broader approach, Saint Joseph’s University delivers an MS in Health Administration, which you can attend online or in person. Once you’re in the program, however, you can choose to specialize in Health Informatics. You’ll tackle health policy, information systems, and organizational development with classes like:
Health Informatics Management Systems
Computer-Based Patient Record
Health Care and the Internet
Health Care Informatics
This degree caters to students who are already familiar with the healthcare system. In fact, the average student in this program has up to seven years of work experience in the industry. You’ll move through the degree with a cohort of around twenty other students.
Boston University stands out an academic presence in Massachusetts’ state capital. This private research university has satellite campuses all over the globe. The Metropolitan College delivers programs primarily to working adults through online or blended programs.
Boston University takes a more technical approach through its MS in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in Health Informatics. You’ll gain foundational knowledge in computer networks as well as specialized training in health databases and electronic health records. Some of your classes would look like this:
Database Design and Implementation
Information Structures with Python
Electronic Health Records
Biomedical Sciences and Health IT
The rest of the country has taken notice of this program – for good reason! According to U.S. News & World Report, it was ranked the #6 “Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology” program.
A “Public Ivy” school in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is the oldest and largest school in the state system. It not only is a nationally-ranked school, it also ranks on a global scale. U.S. News & World Report listed it as 38th among “Best Global Universities.”
The MS in Health Informatics at UM-Twin Cities caters to everyone. If you’re already a health professional, you’ll go through the Plan A track. If you are a non-health professional, you’ll complete the Plan B track, which catches you up on some core classes. Either way, the curriculum covers 36 credit hours and can be completed in two years. Some classes include:
Health Data Analytics and Data Science
Consumer Health Informatics
Applied Health Care Databases
If you’re interested in research, UM-Twin Cities might be the perfect fit for you. The Institute of Health Informatics was established in 2005 to create a space for students to push the limits of the field. It encourages students to approach informatics as a science.
Found in Denton, Texas, the University of North Texas is a public research institution that began as a teacher’s college. The College of Information, which houses this informatics degree, is a relatively new academic college that was created in 2008.
At UNT, you’ll earn an MS in Information Science and Health Informatics. In the course of 12 classes, you’ll cover topics like e-science, clinical decision support, and of course health information management. A sampling of your curriculum might look like this:
Community-Based Health Information
Information Retrieval Design
Graduate students in the Information Science Department have the opportunity to participate in research assistantships and teaching fellowships. If you’re hoping to make some money and add a valuable skill to your resume, being a teaching assistant might be the perfect solution.
The first public institution that settled west of the Mississippi River, the University of Missouri is also the state’s largest university. The school also runs the University of Missouri Health Care system, which is used as a teaching school as well as a regional hospital. Around 7,000 postgraduates attend.
The University of Missouri has a program that has been a leader in the field of health informatics since the 1960s. The MS in Health Informatics program is a 2-year degree that integrates health management with computer science. Over the 36 total credits, you’ll take hard-hitting classes like:
Health Information Technology
Enterprise Information Architecture
Information Security, Evaluation, and Policy
Data Warehousing and Mining for Health Care
Between your first and second years in this program, you have the option of fulfilling an internship experience. This is a 3-credit summer course that lets you get in on the action in a healthcare setting. Students have reported it as being an invaluable experience and a great resume builder.
The flagship university of the state system, the University of Iowa is known for its excellence in healthcare education. The College of Public Health was ranked #17 in the nation last year by U.S. News & World Report. As an overall school, it ranks 82nd among other national universities.
The University of Iowa houses both a Master of Science in Health Informatics and a PhD program. Your options, then, include a thesis-track degree if your intend to go on to a doctorate program in health informatics. You can, of course, also choose the non-thesis track. Some overlapping courses in this 32-credit-hour program include:
Advanced Database Management & Big Data
Public Health Informatics
This program is a branch of the Iowa Informatics Initiative. Essentially, it brings together a number of disciplines with the common goal of linking informatics study and research throughout the university. This is a fantastic resource for you to not only deepen your network in the healthcare world, but also branch out to other disciplines in informatics.
A Roman Catholic university with a faith-based center to its teachings, Regis University “walks the talk.” Its Center for Service Learning and Institute on the Common Good work to engage the community with acts of kindness and service. Based in Denver, Colorado, Regis University is consistently named one of the top schools in the western region.
The MS in Health Care Informatics & Information Management at Regis University prepares you for the working world. It offers two specialized tracks: Information Technology and Health Care Services. You’ll take a series of core classes and then choose which of the two specialties fits your interests. Some classes you’ll take are:
Workflow and Change Management in Adoption of Health IT
Design and Selection of IT Systems in Health Care
Management of e-HIM and Information Governance
Managing a Secure Enterprise
Regis University works to make education affordable and available. It has a number of tuition benefits for active duty military, veterans, or even military family members. Even more, the College of Computer and Information Sciences (which houses this degree) offers a number of online classes.
A large university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Temple University found its start in 1884. It has since expanded to sister campuses in Tokyo and Rome. The College of Public Health at Temple University is one of the largest in the nation.
You’ve got options at Temple University. The two-year Master of Science in Health Informatics can be completed full-time or part-time, and in a range of different formats: either online or at the Center City Campus in Philadelphia. In total you’ll take 30 credit hours of coursework in topics like:
Health Data: Standards and Interoperability
Health Data Analysis
Database Administration for Health Informatics Professionals
Privacy and Security: Protecting Healthcare Data
You can take this degree one step further in selecting an area of concentration. Temple University offers three concentrations: Cybersecurity for Healthcare Professionals, Healthcare Data Analytics, and Population Health Management. This consists of two additional classes in your area of choice.
One of the oldest schools of medicine in the South, the Medical University of South Carolina is a small institution with big opportunities. The school also operates the MUSC Health Medical Center, which serves as a teaching hospital. Around 3,000 students attend in total.
Offered as a hybrid degree (both online and in-person), the Medical University of South Carolina delivers a focused MS in Health Informatics. You’ll complete 36 credits in areas like data management, health records security, and more. If you’re hoping to go into informatics research, you can select the thesis option. A few classes you’ll take include:
Data Mining and Analytics
Applied Health Informatics
Reimbursement Methods for Health Care Organizations
Informatics and Data Management for Clinical Research
Since MUSC is a self-contained medical school, you have amazing access to both facilities and faculty that are completely rooted in the healthcare industry. You’ll learn from researchers conducting studies on the benefits of health IT, working professionals in the health informatics field, and more.
There’s more to the University of San Diego than just its sunny location. This private university is affiliated with the Roman Catholic church and its curriculum is steeped in religious themes. It has a strong sense of campus pride, and was recently ranked #2 in the nation for “Best Campus Environment” by the Princeton Review.
You’ve got options with the University of San Diego. For one, there are two formats for the MS in Health Care Informatics. One is online and one is delivered in person. Regardless, you’ll earn 36 credits over the span of two years (with one summer term between). Some of your future classes will include:
Management of Health Care System Quality Outcomes
Database Design and Knowledge Management
Systems Analysis and Design for Health Care Informatics
Even more options are available outside of this specific master’s degree. For instance, you can earn a Graduate Certificate in Health Care Informatics. Or, if you want to get more specific with your career plan, check out the Master of Science in Nursing Health Care Informatics.
A leading research public research university in Arlington, Virginia, George Mason University has a legacy of innovative healthcare research . It maintains one of the largest student enrollments in the state with around 34,900. This particular degree is delivered via the Department of Health Administration and Policy.
At George Mason University, you can specialize in one of three concentrations: Health Data Analytics, Health Informatics Management, and Population Health Informatics. This MS in Health Informatics can be completed with either a capstone project or a master’s thesis. In total, you’ll take up to 39 credits in classes like:
Computational Tools in Health Informatics
Health Care Databases
Health Data: Vocabulary and Standards
Data Mining in Health Care
Faculty members in this department are constantly conducting research. If this interests you, research could be a core component of your degree. Current research projects include work in electronic health records, ontology-based data integration, consumer health informatics and patient-generated data, and more.
Marshall University, named after the nation’s fourth Supreme Court Justice John Marshall, is a public institution based in Huntington, West Virginia. Its student body totals around 13,600, with about a quarter of them being graduate students. This size is perfect for an intimate student to faculty ratio of 19 to 1.
This MS in Health Informatics program cultivated its curriculum around three interlinked concepts: information systems, informatics, and information technology. You can either complete the standard degree, or enroll in the accelerated degree program. Either way, you’ll take a blend of classes in health, business, and IT like:
Health Care Communications Technology and Telematics
Research Methods and Data Analytics for Health Informatics
Health Quality and Safety
The Role of EHR and PHR
Marshall University offers two Graduate Certificates in addition to your master’s degree. Both are offered online. You can complete the Nursing Informatics certificate or the Data Analytics certificate. These components are often advantageous for graduates once they reach the working world.
Affiliated with the Churches of Christ, Lipscomb University is a private institution in Nashville, Tennessee. It maintains a relatively small student body of around 4,600 undergraduates and graduates. Despite its small size, Lipscomb University has a strong student life program as well as a solid study abroad program.
Lipscomb University’s MS in Health Care Informatics draws upon the connection between health, information technology, and people skills. You’ll take 42 hours of upper-level courses in those three areas. This interdisciplinary degree will help you see the “big picture” of the healthcare system by offering classes like:
Health Care IT Vendor
Operations in Health Care Organizations
Decision Support Systems
Predictive Analytics and Data Mining
Lipscomb University holds its own when it comes to being recognized on a national scale. In fact, U.S. News & World Report recently named it the #18 school in its list of “Regional Universities (South).”
Located in Greenville, North Carolina, and known as one of the largest universities in the state, East Carolina University maintains a number of research institutes and centers. The College of Allied Health Sciences is one of nine academic colleges at ECU, and has been around since 1967.
Graduate students can take one of two tracks in this MS in Health Informatics and Information Management degree. You can go the clinical route with the Health Informatics option, or the research route with the thesis track. Some of the stand-out core classes for both options include:
Database Systems in Health Care
Health Informatics Project Design and Management
Health Data Structures
Foundations of Health Information Technologies
East Carolina University is in a league of its own when it comes to health informatics. In fact, it’s the only master’s program in the state that is accredited by the Commission for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. You’ll also be well supported by student organizations like the Health Informatics and Information Management Association.
Online College Resources
Helping you prepare and gain the most out of your educational experience.