Best Online Master’s in Health Informatics Degrees

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Why Earn a Master’s in Health Informatics?

Organized and tech-savvy individuals often succeed in the health informatics field. Healthcare professionals often pursue a master’s in health informatics after gaining 2-3 years of entry-level experience. Graduates often become data analysts, medical software developers, and clinical services directors. Earning potential varies based on industry and position, but individuals with a master’s in health informatics earn an average of $72,000 per year, according to data from PayScale.

Students can earn a master’s in health informatics in two years, but learners who work full time while studying often need about four years to graduate. Individuals who choose an accelerated online program can earn their master’s in 1.5 years. This page includes information about the best online master’s in health informatics programs, along with scholarship opportunities and career options for graduates.

FAQ

Questions Answers
What is health informatics? The field of health informatics centers on technology that professionals use for the management and analysis of patient data. Health informatics professionals work to improve health outcomes by inputting data from nurses’ and doctors’ reports into complex computer programs.
What jobs can you get with a health informatics degree? This versatile degree qualifies graduates for various healthcare roles. Individuals with a master’s in the field can become medical and health services managers and health informatics specialists. Other graduates work as engineers who design healthcare software.
How does health informatics compare to health information management? Health informatics deals with computer technology and its role in the advancement of medicine. Health information management professionals handle personal health information for patients.

Top 10 Online Master’s in Health Informatics Degrees for 2020

Rank School Location
1 Logan University Chesterfield, MO
2 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
3 George Washington University Washington, DC
4 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
5 Stanford University Stanford, CA
6 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
7 University of South Florida Tampa, FL
8 Boston University Boston, MA
9 National University La Jolla, CA
10 Augusta University Augusta, GA
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Accreditation for Health Informatics Programs

When considering colleges and universities, learners should understand each prospective school’s accreditation status. To earn accreditation, institutions must undergo regular evaluations by a third-party agency. The U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation oversee accrediting bodies in the United States.

The two main types of accreditation in the U.S. are regional and national. Institutions and employers typically view regional accreditation as the more prestigious type. Many scholarships are only available to learners attending regionally accredited schools, and doctoral programs often require applicants to hold a degree from a regionally accredited institution.

In addition to institutional accreditation, students can look for programmatic accreditation. The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education awards accreditation to programs in the health informatics field.

2020 Best Online Master’s in Health Informatics Degrees

Finding the best online master’s in health informatics program for your needs requires research. In addition to each program’s accreditation status and cost, learners should consider each option’s curriculum, format, pace, and admission requirements. The below includes the best online master’s in health informatics degrees to help you find the option that fits your goals and lifestyle.

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Logan University
    Location

    Chesterfield, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Logan University

    Logan University began as a chiropractic college in 1935 with an initial enrollment of seven men and women. Today, the university serves over 1,600 students and offers online and on-campus programs across several healthcare fields.

    Students who enroll in the online master's in health informatics at Logan University can choose from three tracks: healthcare leadership, data analytics, and applied informatics. The program comprises 36 credits, including 24 credits of core courses and 12 credits of track-specific courses. The industry-driven curriculum includes coursework in systems analysis and design, legal and ethical issues in health informatics, information systems management, and business and financial skills for health informatics professionals.

    The master of science program follows a 15-week delivery schedule with three terms per year. Students can earn the degree without any campus visits. The degree qualifies graduates to take the Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) examination.

    Logan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  2. Nova Southeastern University
    Location

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Nova Southeastern University

    The merging of Nova University of Advanced Technology (founded 1964) and Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine (founded 1981) resulted in Nova Southeastern University. More 20,000 students currently attend the university, which comprises 18 academic schools and colleges.

    Students can pursue an online master's in biomedical informatics at the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine. The master of science program comprises 32 credits and maintains three focus areas: business and management of health information technologies, clinical informatics (applications and evaluations), and computer science with a medical informatics emphasis. The skills-based curriculum includes coursework in systems analysis and design for healthcare, computational informatics, information security in healthcare, and telecommunications and computer networking in healthcare.

    The college offers the MS program entirely online. Students must complete a practicum project that involves hands-on work in an approved health information technology setting.

    Nova Southeastern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  3. George Washington University
    Location

    Washington, DC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    George Washington University

    Chartered in 1821 and currently enrolling more than 26,000 students, George Washington University is the largest institution of higher education in the District of Columbia. It comprises 14 colleges and schools offering over 70 programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.

    The university offers an online master's in biomedical informatics that can be completed without any campus visits. The master of science in health sciences degree comprises 36 credits that students can complete in 24 months. Classes follow asynchronous delivery schedules, and online students can access a variety of resources including tutors, career services, libraries, and the writing center.

    Students enroll in classes that cover subjects like principles of medical informatics, epidemiology for clinical and translational research, medical decision-making and decision support systems, and high-performance computing. The program requires students to complete a practicum experience in an approved professional setting. Students must also complete a capstone project prior to graduation.

    George Washington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Location

    Chapel Hill, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Founded as the Charlotte Center of the University of North Carolina in 1946, UNC-Chapel Hill enrolled just 278 students during its first year. Today, the university serves a population of approximately 30,000 students, and the nine colleges comprising the university offer degrees at the bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and professional levels.

    Students can pursue an online master's in health informatics through the master of professional science program. Comprising 35 credits, the MPS degree offers two tracks in clinical informatics and public health informatics. Most students can complete the program after 16 months of full-time enrollment; however, there is also a one-year fast-track option available.

    The curriculum covers subjects such as visual analytics, systems analysis and design, leadership in science-based organizations, and applied project management (framework, principles, and techniques). Students must complete at least 400 hours of practicum or internship experience prior to graduation. Online enrollees can fulfill this requirement in their home community with the approval of the program director.

    The University of North Carolina at Charlotte is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  5. Stanford University
    Location

    Stanford, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Stanford University

    Founded in 1885 and now a leading institution of higher education in the region, Stanford University currently enrolls more than 16,000 students. It offers bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and professional degrees across seven schools.

    Students can enroll in an online master's in biomedical informatics through the Stanford School of Engineering. The master of science program comprises 45 quarter credits (930 semester credits) and can typically be completed within three years. The school gives students five years from the time of their initial enrollment to graduate from the program.

    Students can complete all required coursework for the degree online, although some classes may have onsite components. The curriculum includes courses in translational bioinformatics; representations and algorithms for computational molecular biology; economics of health and medical care; and analysis of costs, risks, and benefits of healthcare.

    Stanford University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

  6. University of Illinois at Chicago
    Location

    Chicago, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    University of Illinois at Chicago

    The University of Illinois at Chicago emerged from the consolidation of three private health colleges. Established in 1890, the university currently enrolls more than 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students and consists of 15 schools and colleges.

    The College of Applied Health Sciences at UIC offers an online master's in health informatics comprising 38 credits. Students can choose to pursue a thesis, project, or coursework-only track. Regardless of the track a student selects, they must complete nine core foundation classes, including ethics and legal issues in health informatics, management of healthcare communication systems, healthcare data, and health information systems analysis and design.

    The program does not require the submission of GMAT or GRE scores. However, applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and at least a 3.0 GPA for the last 60 credits of undergraduate enrollment. Students pursuing the thesis or project track must also show completion of a graduate-level statistics course taken within five years of applying to the program.

    The University of Illinois at Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  7. University of South Florida
    Location

    Tampa, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    University of South Florida

    The University of South Florida began in 1956 near the site of a former World War II airstrip. Today, USF occupies nearly 2,000 acres in Tampa, Florida, and enrolls close to 44,000 students. It encompasses 14 schools and colleges and offers more than 200 bachelor's, master's, specialist, and doctoral degrees.

    Students can enroll in an online master's in health informatics program at the Morsani College of Medicine at USF. The master of science degree comprises 32 credits broken down into 29 credits of required coursework and a three-credit elective. The curriculum covers subjects such as e-medicine business models, legal aspects of health information management, foundations in management information systems, and medical terminology for health informatics professionals.

    The program requires students to complete a semester-long internship experience prior to graduation. Online students can meet this requirement in their home community with the approval of the program head.

    The University of South Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  8. Boston University
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Boston University

    Boston University can trace its origins to 1839 with the establishment of the Newbury Biblical Institute. BU currently enrolls over 35,000 students from all over the United States and more than 130 countries. The 17 colleges and schools that make up the university offer over 300 programs of study at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.

    The Metropolitan College at BU offers an online master's in health informatics through the computer information systems program. The master of science degree comprises 40 credits (10 courses) divided evenly between IT foundation classes and concentration coursework. The health informatics concentration includes the following courses: biomedical sciences and health IT, electronic health records, health informatics, enterprise cybersecurity, and advanced health informatics.

    The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM). Several certification exams administered through the American Health Information Management Association require test-takers to hold a degree from a CAHIIM-accredited program. Students who graduate from this program can sit for the Certified Professional in Health Informatics exam.

    Boston University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

  9. National University
    Location

    La Jolla, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    National University

    From its founding in 1971 to this day, National University continues to focus on providing for the educational needs of working professionals. It serves a student population of nearly 17,000 and offers more than 75 programs at the certificate, bachelor's, and master's levels across three colleges, a language institute, and a division of extended learning.

    Students can enroll in an online master's in health informatics at the College of Professional Studies. The master of science degree requires 54 quarter credits, or 36 semester credits, comprising mostly core courses. The curriculum covers subjects such as biostatistics, public health research methods, system management and planning, and information systems strategies. Students must complete a capstone course prior to graduation.

    The program allows students to transfer up to 13.5 quarter credits (nine semester credits) earned at another accredited institution as long as the credits have not been applied toward the completion of another graduate degree.

    National University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

  10. Augusta University
    Location

    Augusta, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Augusta University

    Augusta University began in 1828 as the Medical Academy of Georgia. It now belongs to the University System of Georgia and enrolls approximately 8,400 students. The 11 schools and colleges that make up the university offer programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.

    The online master of public health program at Augusta University maintains four concentration areas, including one in health informatics. Students must complete 45 credits to graduate: 15 credits each of public health core subjects and health informatics courses, nine credits of research and practice, and six credits of electives.

    The health informatics curriculum includes the following courses: public health informatics; computerized health information systems; healthcare data management and knowledge discovery; health information systems analysis and management; and healthcare content, standards, and structure. Students must complete an internship experience and capstone course prior to graduation.

    Augusta University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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Career and Salary Outlook for Health Informatics Graduates

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical records and health information technicians earned a median annual salary of $40,350 in 2019. The BLS projects employment for this career to grow 11% from 2018 to 2028. Individuals with an advanced degree can also qualify for roles with higher earning potential. For example, medical and health services managers earned a median annual salary of $100,980 in 2019, and the BLS projects this career to grow 18% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.

According to PayScale, health informatics specialists make an average of $63,932 per year, and professionals with a master’s in health informatics earn an average annual salary of $72,000. Earning potential varies based on factors including geographic location and experience level. Higher levels of education and experience tend to correlate with higher salaries.

Courses in Health Informatics Programs

Students earning a master’s in health informatics degree gain foundational knowledge and prepare to manage information in large healthcare organizations. Before enrolling in a program, students should review course descriptions to ensure the curriculum aligns with their career goals. Some programs offer specialization options that help students tailor the curriculum to their professional aspirations. Specialization options in health informatics programs may explore technology or legal restrictions.

Program requirements and class titles vary by school. However, the courses below are common to many health informatics programs.

Medical Terminology for Health Information Management

Professionals who handle records for medical facilities must understand medical terminology. This course explores common words that doctors and nurses use to describe medical conditions. Students expand their pharmacology vocabulary and learn how to apply medical terminology to careers in health informatics.

Healthcare Data Management

Learners in this course examine various data storage systems that protect patient information. Students learn how to use software to transfer data between applications. Students also learn how to input patient information into integrated computer systems.

Methods in Biomedical and Health Informatics

This class covers the methods, terminology, and technology that health informatics professionals apply to their daily work. Learners explore challenges and opportunities related to the field and prepare to use tools to benefit healthcare organizations. Coursework also examines recent research and its applications to the practice of health informatics.

Communication Skills in Health Informatics

Students in this class learn how to communicate effectively as a healthcare informatics professional. Learners practice written and verbal communication, and they review and evaluate health informatics records. The course also explores the role of communication in maintaining patients’ privacy.

Ethics and Legal Issues in Health Informatics

Students in this class explore the laws and regulations that shape the health informatics field. Coursework covers the importance of data security and methods for avoiding nondisclosure agreement violations. Students analyze case studies that include ethical dilemmas, and they determine the ideal course of action for each situation.

Scholarships for Health Informatics Students

Scholarships can help ease the financial burden for students pursuing an online master’s in health informatics. Scholarship application requirements often include an essay, so students should begin preparing applications well in advance. Many organizations offer scholarships specifically for learners studying health informatics.

Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Minority students pursuing a graduate degree in the healthcare management field can apply for this award. Candidates must demonstrate financial need and must be completing their final year of study.
Amount: $5,000

Bachrach Family Scholarship for Excellence in Healthcare Administration

Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports learners pursuing residential graduate programs in healthcare administration. Applicants must submit a 1,200-word essay about why they wish to work in the field. Candidates must also provide a resume and letter of recommendation.
Amount: $5,000

Foster G. McGaw Graduate Student Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Full-time graduate students pursuing a degree related to healthcare management can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must be beginning their final year of studies and must not have received the Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship.
Amount: $5,000

Healthcare Information Management Systems Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Healthcare Information Management Systems organization awards this scholarship to one graduate student each year. Applicants must be studying healthcare information or management systems. The scholarship winner also receives funding to cover all expenses for attending the organization’s banquet.
Amount: $5,000

National Association of Health Services Executives Scholarships

Who Can Apply: These scholarships support African American graduate students completing a degree in the healthcare management field. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and must demonstrate financial need. Candidates must submit an application essay.
Amount: $5,000

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