Best Online Master’s in Health Informatics Programs

If you’re interested in working in health care and want to take the next step in your career, consider earning an online master’s degree in health informatics. Health informatics is a rapidly growing and interdisciplinary field, and a master’s degree in the subject can prepare you for a range of jobs in health information technology and healthcare management.

Choosing a Program

Will this program help me develop the skills I need?

Health informatics is a two-pronged field: professionals need to have strong tech skills, and they need to be able to apply them in the healthcare industry. A quality health informatics program will prepare you for both objectives. In class, you’ll learn about the current state of health information technology. Courses also cover how physicians and care providers work with existing technology and how future developments could re-shape healthcare delivery.

Will a degree in the field work with my schedule?

Most online students are working professionals who already have considerable work or at-home obligations. Programs in the field are designed to fit a busy schedule: courses are usually taught asynchronously, and often, students can watch lectures or complete assignments at their own pace. Depending on the program and your availability to take classes full time, you may be able to graduate in just a couple of years.

How can I pursue an internship while I’m studying online?

Internships are a critical component at many of the schools offering an online master’s in health informatics. Most departments work hand-in-hand with students to help them find an internship relevant to their career interests. Students studying remotely are encouraged to find an internship near their home.

How do I find the right program for me?

Finding the right program takes a bit of research. No two master’s in health informatics programs are quite alike, and you’ll want to find a school with a curriculum that prepares you to reach your professional goals. Below, we’ve profiled the top 15 online master’s in health informatics programs in the United States. As part of our ranking, we’ve reviewed each school’s academic strengths, and a look at these schools should help you find the right school for your interests.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description

Stanford University

 5/594.6%Stanford, CA


Stanford University offers one of the best online master's in health informatics for students interested in non-academic careers. The MS in Biomedical Informatics is an Honors Cooperative Program (HCP), also known as a professional master's degree. Standards for this degree are the same as those in the academic-oriented program. Rather than complete a research component, students work in a biomedical informatics field. Online students who live close to Stanford may enroll in on-campus classes, though all courses can be taken online.. Students must fulfill several math- and science-based prerequisite requirements before beginning the program.

Distances learners access online courses using the Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD). Instructors often create their own websites within Stanford's coursework system, which includes access to course materials. Classes consist of streaming videos that are posted to the internet two hours after the completion of the live class on campus. Recorded lectures are available until the end of the quarter. Online students are generally held to the same deadlines as students in traditional classes.

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Oregon Health & Science University

 4/5N/APortland, OR


OHSU's Biomedical Informatics Graduate Program has several options for postgrads interested in this rapidly developing field. The Master of Science program has three degree tracks: clinical informatics, bioinformatics & computational biology and health information management. The 52-credit HIM track is offered both wholly online or in a traditional campus-based program. Its curriculum includes the specialized study of information governance, clinical classification and reimbursement systems, biomedical ethics and professional practice management.

A number of educational technology solutions are in use at OHSU. Generally, course content is managed through the Sakai learning management system. With this LMS, instructors deliver course materials, lecture notes, syllabi and assignments. Students use the same interface to complete assignments and group projects, as well as collaborate in chat rooms, discussion threads and blogs. Sakai is supplemented by the use of Adobe Connect, Turnitin and the iClicker audience response system.

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Northeastern University

 4/581.62%Boston, MA


Healthcare administration professionals aspiring to finish a graduate degree while working will find an appealing option in Northeastern's online Master of Science in Health Informatics. The curriculum comprises eight core courses covering healthcare systems, management and information technology, supplemented by two elective courses and a capstone research project. Clinical workflows, business processes and advanced technological skills will all be covered during 33-credit-hour program.

Online courses are delivered via the BlackBoard online learning management system, where syllabi, detailed homework assignments, grading scales and faculty contact information are provided for each course. Course content is delivered via podcasts, videos, PowerPoint or interactive multimedia, while discussion forums and wiki tools are used to facilitate collaboration. Coursework is asynchronous with weekly assignment due-dates.

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Brandeis University

 5/590.85%Waltham, MA


The online M.S. in Health & Medical Informatics at Brandeis is a 30 credit-hour graduate program designed to create leaders in healthcare delivery management. The curriculum emphasizes knowledge of regulations, strategic decision-making and familiarity with technological solutions. Six core classes and four electives are required to complete the degree.

Online courses at Brandeis are delivered via the LATTE course management system. LATTE is based on the popular platform, Moodle, and supports multimedia course content in PowerPoint, HTML, QuickTime audio and video, PDF and .doc text files. Students complete assignments via BlackBoard Collaborate, email and discussion forums. Additional support is provided by the university's comprehensive library and technology services.

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Nova Southeastern University

 1/546.11%Fort Lauderdale, FL


NSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine offers aspiring healthcare professionals the opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics exclusively online. This program's 43-hour curriculum places technological and business knowledge within the framework of the healthcare system. Core class work includes the study of information systems in healthcare, information security, database systems, system design and analysis, clinical decision support systems and more. A practicum experience at an approved local facility is required; paid internships may also be available to interested students.

All coursework is administered through the BlackBoard learning management platform, while assignments and group projects are completed using Collaborate software. Classes are mostly asynchronous, though some professors may require an occasional time-sensitive login. Online students at NSU are supported by dedicated assistance in career development, counseling, financial aid and technical support, as well as complete access to the digital content of the Health Professions Division library.

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Regis University

 5/559.05%Denver, CO

The College of Computer and Information Sciences at Regis offers a fully online Master of Science in Health Care Informatics and Information Management geared toward practicing IT professionals. Healthcare administrative professionals interested in career growth within IT may also apply. The curriculum in this 36-hour program explores the technological side of healthcare records management and equips its graduates for leadership roles.

Regis deploys its online courses through the WorldClass distance education platform. All material is asynchronous and delivered in sequential 8-week sessions. Admissions are rolling and students may begin classes at one of three start dates. Average completion time is two years.

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East Carolina University

 2/558.63%Greenville, NC

East Carolina University's Master of Science in Health Informatics and Information Management is offered in either a traditional, wholly online or hybrid format. The 48-credit-hour program culminates with a research thesis or practical internship, depending on a student's study track. Alternatively, students who opt to specialize in registered health information administration take courses to prepare for professional licensure.

Online classes are administered through the BlackBoard learning management system. All coursework is asynchronous, meaning that students access assignments and discussions when it's most convenient. Due dates occur on a weekly basis and some tests may require synchronous logins. The Respondus LockDown browser is used for testing in some classes.

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Drexel University

 5/567.36%Philadelphia, PA

Drexel's College of Computing and Informatics and its College of Nursing and Health Professionals have teamed up to develop the online Master of Science in Health Informatics. Healthcare practitioners and IT specialists alike can further their career growth through this program. Graduates of the 45-hour degree use data and technology to improve patient health outcomes. Students may choose full- or part-time study and have seven years to complete the coursework.

Online courses are deployed on the BlackBoard learning management platform. Recorded lectures are supplemented with multimedia presentations and reading material. Collaboration takes place in email, threaded discussions, blogs and group projects. Classes are entirely asynchronous, allowing students to complete coursework when it is most convenient. Candidates with no prior clinical experience are required to complete an internship; while classes are held online, the internship must be completed at an approved local facility.

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Michigan Technological University

 3/563.63%Houghton, MI

The wholly online Master of Science in Medical Informatics at Michigan Tech is targeted toward healthcare administrators and IT professionals. Students in this multidisciplinary program explore topics like telemedicine, medical ethics, consumer health, healthcare systems, global health informatics, home care and research. The 30 credit-hours can be completed with either a thesis, practicum or supplemental coursework.

Online classes are deployed on the Canvas learning management system, where instructors stream live lectures and post pre-recorded videos. A network of electronic tools allows for virtual completion of assignments. Students in this program also may complete lab work via a virtual laboratory.

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Loyola University Chicago

 5/573.35%Chicago, IL

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Health Systems Management is an entirely online graduate degree program at Loyola University's Niehoff School of Nursing offering a concentration in healthcare informatics. These students explore clinical decision-making via data, electronic patient records, patient outcome design, resource and care allocation design and outcomes database development.

Loyola uses the Sakai electronic learning platform for its distance courses; content in Sakai is supplemented by Adobe Connect webinars. Most coursework in this 41 credit-hour program is asynchronous; however, a few time-sensitive log-in requirements are not unusual. While all classes are held online, degree candidates must perform a practicum at an approved local facility.

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Northern Kentucky University

 2/536.18%Highland Heights, KY

Northern Kentucky's Master of Science in Health Informatics program is aimed toward healthcare professionals aspiring to advance in the growing field of health IT. The 36 credit-hour program is offered wholly online and can be completed in 24 months. Core courses examine health informatics, management theory and foundations, project management, database management and research methods.

BlackBoard is the university's online education platform of choice. Distance students are granted full access to the university library with dedicated librarian support, career services, a writing center and advising. While all classes are online, students are required to complete a two-semester capstone at an approved local facility.

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The University of Findlay

 1/554.63%Findlay, OH

The Master of Science in Health Informatics at Findlay is offered entirely online. The multidisciplinary curriculum includes courses on computer technology, patient safety, information science, management science, management engineering, healthcare delivery and public health. The 33-credit-hour program is designed to be completed in two years.

Findlay uses BlackBoard Learn and Moodle platforms to administer its online classes. Coursework is asynchronous, allowing for maximum scheduling flexibility. All classes are 8 weeks in length and delivered sequentially.

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Kent State University

 2/555.05%Kent, OH

The Master of Science: Health Informatics degree is a wholly online program from the School of Library and Information Science at Kent State designed to meet the needs of this growing specialty. In the core curriculum, candidates explore health informatics management, health records management, health IT systems and legal issues related to the field. The 36-hour program can be completed in two years.

Kent State uses BlackBoard Learn to manage its distance education offerings. All course content, assignment submission and peer collaboration takes place on this platform. Classes are seven weeks in length and delivered sequentially; generally, students take two courses at a time. Students may choose to complete their program with an online thesis project or an internship at a local facility.

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National University

 3/540%La Jolla, CA

National University is a large private school in southern California dedicated to educating minority students, working adults and alternative learners. Its Master of Science in Health Informatics is an exclusively online degree option drawing on the resources of its Center for Technology & Health Sciences, the School of Health & Human Services, School of Engineering & Technology and School of Business & Management. The 12-course program delivers advanced knowledge in healthcare information systems, technological tools and the use of informatics in decision-making and problem-solving.

Online classes are conducted on the eCollege learning management platform. All syllabi, course outlines, discussion forums, multimedia content, software applications and exams take place within this system. Most classes are structured into accelerated 4-week sessions with asynchronous coursework. All distance learners enjoy 24/7 access to a Student Concierge providing access to admissions, advising and career planning services.

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Stevens-Henager College-Murray

 4/528.77%Murray, UT

Stevens-Henager College is a private career college located in Utah offering an online Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics tailored to the needs of working adults. Aspiring healthcare professionals examine concepts crucial to success in this new field, including data management, socio-legal issues, data security, predictive analysis, outcomes assessment and strategic management. This accelerated 60 credit-hour program can be completed in 15 months.

Distance education is managed by Stevens-Henager's partner institution, Independence University. All courses are delivered on a user-friendly learning management system. Content is asynchronous, allowing the working student to schedule study time when it's most convenient. Electronic textbooks are included with each course, and supplemental texts may be rented from the online bookstore.

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Employment Outlook for Health Informatics Graduates

An online master’s degree in health informatics is perhaps the most efficient way to gain advanced knowledge and experience in an important and lucrative field. With the growing legal and logistical demands for Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and related technological infrastructures as well as the expansion of healthcare programs by initiatives like the Affordable Healthcare Act, the field of health informatics has seen an enormous boon, and this growth is not projected to slow down. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics project that the demand for professionals in this field will grow by roughly 22% through 2022.

Below are three career options in the health informatics field. These examples are designed to aid those interested in the field to see how the skills learned in a master’s program can be applied towards multifarious ends. The median salary, based on projected data, for each position are also listed.

EHR Implementation Specialist ($62,062) – Implantation specialists offer technical support during the creation of health management and record systems in a variety of clinical settings. Their tasks include implementing project plans and hardware; configuring and maintaining software to meet service requirements; and acting as liaison between the hospital and vendor staff. While the skills required of a specialist may vary depending on the system being implemented, a solid background in clinical technology and health information management are usually compulsory.

Clinical Informatics Coordinator ($84,058) – Coordinators are charged with planning, implementing, and evaluating the information systems used in a particular hospital or healthcare facility. As the title suggests, they often manage a network of professionals who work to optimize storage and retrieval of information in order to guarantee that medical personnel have effective access to patient data. They also work to improve on existing health information systems and therefore must stay on the forefront of related news and innovations.

Information Security Manager ($73,962) – Security managers work to ensure that information within a healthcare organization, whether it be an individual patient or the facility’s entire business, are kept safe and available in accordance with the organization’s security policies and procedures. Knowledge of information security and access procedures as well as federal and state security, privacy, and regulatory law are often required.

The examples above are just a small sample of careers available to students earning their master’s in health informatics online. With the growing need for easily-accessible health information by the national government as well as private organizations, healthcare facilities will continue to hire skilled professionals who can help them control costs and reduce medical errors through the creation and management of online systems. Now is a great time to join this in-demand field and an online master’s in health informatics program offers a flexible and cost-efficient way to do so.

Professional Organizations

American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) – A national program that connects health informatics professionals and students, AMIA offers individual and professional memberships. The organization holds yearly conferences and offers fellowship opportunities as well as online courses on a variety of topics.

American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) – This organization is recognized nationally as the premier hub for professional education and training. AHIMA offers impressive in-depth information on certification and career options.

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) – An international organization with a branch in North America, HIMSS works to provide training and professional development for members interested in its many non-profit partnerships and endeavors.

Public Health Informatics Institute (PHII) – A non-profit organization associated with Emory University, PHII collaborates with and provides services to practitioners and associations interested in improving their health information systems. They also manage and distribute an Informatics Academy designed to offer educational workshops and downloadable resources.

International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) – Akin to AMIA, IMIA connects professionals and students interested in the field through membership-based conferences, publications, and other resources.

Financing Your Online Degree

Despite the relative affordability of online programs, the need for financial aid is still a reality for most students. But rest assured, loans aren’t your only option.

An Overview of Financial Aid

Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options savvy students can use to reduce the total costs of their education.

Understanding the FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first and most crucial step for any student seeking financial aid. Follow our step-by-step guide for answers to frequently asked questions.

Financial Aid for Online College Students

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place and funding opportunities for online students.

Scholarships for Single Parents

Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for single parents looking for a more secure financial future for their children. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships for these hard-working parents.

Financial Aid for Veterans and Active Military

Millions in education benefits are available for veterans and active members of the military. Unfortunately, much of this goes unused. Find out if you’re entitled to help with college and start planning for your future.

Best Online Master's in Health Informatics Programs of 2015
Rank Name Location
1 Brandeis University Waltham, MA
2 Northeastern University Boston, MA
3 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
4 The College of Saint Scholastica Duluth, MN
5 Michigan Technological University Houghton, MI
6 Regis University Denver, CO
7 University of Findlay Findlay, OH
8 Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL
9 Northern Kentucky University Highland Heights, KY
10 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
11 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
12 Kent State University Kent, OH
13 National University La Jolla, CA
14 Stevens-Henager College-Murray Murray, UT
15 Oregon Health & Science University Portland, OR