Best Online Master’s in Health Informatics Programs of 2021

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Published on August 13, 2021

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Experienced health professionals looking to advance their careers should consider graduate studies in the thriving field of health informatics. Earning a master's degree in health informatics teaches learners about the healthcare management techniques, tools, and platforms used to handle medical records and improve patient outcomes.

This page includes our ranking of the top accredited programs and information on common coursework, admission requirements, and potential career paths. It also covers some frequently asked questions and looks at similar degree options.

What Are the Best Online Master's in Health Informatics Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:

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#1 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
#2 Northwestern University Evanston, IL
#3 Brandeis University Waltham, MA
#4 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
#5 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
#6 Michigan Technological University Houghton, MI
#7 University of Scranton Scranton, PA
#8 DePaul University Chicago, IL
#9 University of Mary Bismarck, ND
#10 East Carolina University Greenville, NC

An online master's in health informatics can lead to lucrative management careers in high-demand fields, such as clinical informatics and computer and information systems. Computer and information systems managers earned a median annual salary of $142,530 in 2018, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 11% increase in demand for their services from 2018 to 2028.

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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

While employers may hire candidates with a bachelor's degree and related experience, job applicants with an advanced degree may be seen as better qualified for management positions.

2021 Best Accredited Online Master's in Health Informatics Programs

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill View School Profile Chapel Hill, NC

A public university based in North Carolina, UNC-Chapel Hill offers an online master of professional science inbiomedical and health informatics.

Students explore an interdisciplinary curriculum with a 400-hour internship, and they can choose from a fast, full-time, or part-time track. Degree coursework covers topics like database systems, programming applications, visual analytics, and statistical computing. There is no thesis requirement.

The health informatics program prepares students for careers such as a research scientist, nurse informaticist, informatics director, chief information officer, data analyst, clinical informatics specialist, or information analyst.

UNC-Chapel Hill is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Professional Science in Biomedical and Health Informatics
School Status: Public
Tuition:$847 per credit (in-state); $1,716 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 35 credits
Program Length: 1-4 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: GRE/MCAT optional

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Northwestern University View School Profile Evanston, IL

Located in Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern offers an online master of science inhealth informatics. This program prepares students to aid in efficient, patient-centered healthcare delivery. Students choose from three specializations areas: clinical informatics, health technology informatics, and health administration informatics.

Participants complete five core courses and seven classes in their specialization. Faculty deliver classes through 10-week quarters. Individuals entering this program must submit a statement of purpose and letters of recommendation. Graduates can pursue career paths in administrative, financial, and management roles within healthcare and technology.

Northwestern is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Health Informatics Online
School Status: Private
Tuition:$4,690 per course
Credit Requirements: 12 courses
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: GRE optional

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Brandeis University View School Profile Waltham, MA

Located in Massachusetts, Brandeis offers an online master of science in health informatics. The 30-credit, part-time, online program features seven required courses, and students also complete three elective classes. Participants learn about perspectives on health and medical information systems and security, health data and electronic records, and many other critical concepts.

The health informatics program includes courses such as data analytics, clinical business issues, and foundations of project management. Elective options cover topics like organizational leadership and decision-making, population health informatics, and emerging technologies. Program alumni can pursue jobs as project managers, pharmacy technicians, application specialists, hematology specialists, and medical informatics managers.

Brandeis is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Health Informatics
School Status: Private
Tuition: $3,535 per three-credit course
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: Not required

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Drexel University View School Profile Philadelphia, PA

Based in Philadelphia, Drexel offers an online master of science inhealth informatics. The program trains students to solve real-world problems in the realm of healthcare, data analysis, and systems design and development. Students can enroll on a full-time or part-time basis.

Health informatics uses IT to organize and analyze electronic records to improve the health of patients and the public. Students in the program build an interdisciplinary knowledge base in the areas of healthcare, business intelligence, information technology, information systems, and data analytics.

Graduates often explore careers in emerging healthcare areas that require expertise in information systems and data analytics, such as nursing information systems coordinator, medical records director, and health information manager.

Drexel is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Health Informatics
School Status: Private
Tuition: $1,342 per credit
Credit Requirements: 45 quarter credits
Program Length: 2-4 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: GRE recommended

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George Mason University View School Profile Fairfax, VA

A public university in Fairfax, Virginia, Mason offers an online master of science inhealth informatics program with concentrations in health data analytics and health informatics management. The highly specialized discipline bridges technical knowledge with health disciplines. Students learn about important issues and tools related to healthcare technology, including IT tools, data standards, databases, and information systems.

Classes take eight weeks to complete, and students take one course at a time. Coursework emphasizes the importance of widespread implementation for electronic health records in academics, healthcare institutions, and private practice. Prior healthcare or information technology experience can boost an applicant's chances of gaining admission.

Mason is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Health Informatics
School Status: Public
Tuition: $800 per credit
Credit Requirements: 39 credits
Program Length: 22-28 months
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

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Michigan Technological University View School Profile Houghton, MI

Located in Michigan's upper peninsula, MTU offers an online master of science inhealth informatics. Students can specialize in one of three areas: healthcare information security and privacy, healthcare data informatics and visualization, or imaging informatics.

Students learn about medical ethics, data privacy, disease management, and consumer health informatics and applications. Learners also have the option to complete a thesis, a report, or additional coursework to round out their studies. Students who complete certain electives can qualify for an additional data science certification.

Faculty in the program are experts in cybersecurity, medical diagnosis systems, healthcare systems analysis, and informational design. The program prepares graduates to pursue jobs like emergency physician or information officer.

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

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Health Informatics
School Status: Public
Tuition: $1,131 per credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

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University of Scranton View School Profile Scranton, PA

A Jesuit university in Pennsylvania, Scranton offers a master of science in health informatics online. Students learn about database management, public policy, and population health. The program is well-suited for students currently working in a healthcare setting, and many participants are employed as clinicians, technologists, or business professionals.

Students complete 11 courses in total, including a health informatics capstone class at the end of the program. Graduates who earn this degree and accrue three years of experience in a healthcare setting are eligible to sit for the Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems exam.

Scranton is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Health Informatics
School Status: Private
Tuition: $757 per credit
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

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DePaul University View School Profile Chicago, IL

A private university in Chicago, DePaul offers an online master of science inhealth informatics for students interested in the healthcare industry and information technology. Housed within the College of Computing and Digital Media, the program accepts students on a rolling basis and offers a variety of electives and areas of emphasis.

Enrolled students gain knowledge about health information management, information processing and exchange, and best practices related to information storage and security methods. Additionally, DePaul's Wellness and Health Enhancement Engineering Lab conducts exploratory research and experimental fieldwork regarding human interaction with computers and technology systems.

DePaul is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Health Informatics
School Status: Private
Tuition: $865 per credit
Credit Requirements: 52 quarter credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

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University of Mary View School Profile Bismarck, ND

A Catholic school in North Dakota, Mary offers an online MSN in nursing and healthcare informatics. Career pathways for graduates include roles as a nursing informatics specialist, coordinator of nursing information systems, clinical informatics officer, or project director.

As part of their graduate coursework, all students complete 360 clinical hours. Students also work to master information science concepts as they relate to nursing while designing and implementing informatics solutions, data structures, and mechanisms — all to ensure quality patient care. Applicants must have an RN license.

Mary is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Its master of science in nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing: Nursing and Healthcare Informatics
School Status: Private
Tuition: $450 per credit
Credit Requirements: 38 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

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East Carolina University View School Profile Greenville, NC

A public school in Greenville, North Carolina, ECU oversees an online master of science inhealth informatics and information management program.

The core curriculum features 30 credits of core courses, including electronic health records, evaluation methods, healthcare database systems, and information privacy and security. Participants learn about topics like health data structures, social and organizational issues, quality management, and project design.

As a capstone, students can choose to pursue either a thesis option or a health informatics internship option. Students must also pass a comprehensive examination at the end of the program.

ECU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Health Informatics and Information Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $233 per credit (in-state); $877 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 39 credits
Program Length: 2-2.5 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT required

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University of Cincinnati View School Profile Cincinnati, OH

UC offers an onlinemaster of health informatics program for students interested in health information systems and health data analytics.

Participants learn about healthcare efficiency, quality, and equity; patient care; and public health. They also learn how to use informatics and research tools for various applications. The online curriculum uses an interdisciplinary approach, focusing on leadership development alongside data analytics and information technology.

The program includes a practicum that provides relevant experience in healthcare, IT, analytics, leadership, and/or management. Students may also opt to earn a health information security certificate by completing nine additional elective credits.

UC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Health Informatics
School Status: Public
Tuition: $754 per credit (in-state); $769 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT (if GPA is 2.75-2.99)

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Regis University View School Profile Denver, CO

A private university based in Denver, Colorado, Regis hosts an online master of science inhealth informatics program.

Courses take eight weeks to complete. The core curriculum consists of six classes that cover topics such as information systems concepts, workflow and change management, and IT system design and selection. Students can either complete four guided elective classes or a 12-credit data science specialization. Participants must also undertake a six-credit practicum experience.

Graduates can explore various career opportunities, including roles as health services managers, clinical informaticists, informatics managers, and medical data managers.

Regis is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Health Informatics
School Status: Private
Tuition: $845 per credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

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Dakota State University View School Profile Madison, SD

DSU — a public school in Madison, South Dakota — offers an online master of science inhealth informatics and information management for students planning to pursue healthcare and IT careers.

Students take a total of 11 classes, covering topics like data analytics in healthcare and health information lifecycle governance. They must also complete a capstone project and pass a comprehensive exam. Alumni can find careers in many settings, including hospitals, clinics, and healthcare centers.

Applicants should have a familiarity with information systems, healthcare, and statistics prior to applying for the program. DSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Health Informatics and Information Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $466 per credit (in-state); $575 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.7 minimum required
Standardized Tests: GRE required

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The University of Findlay View School Profile Findlay, OH

Findlay offers an online master of science inhealth informatics. The program graduates professionals who can help bridge the gap between clinical and information technology work in healthcare settings.

Coursework covers topics like ethics and legal issues, clinical information systems, database systems, and quality management. While completing their capstone requirement, students have a chance to cover emerging issues and ideas related to healthcare reform. Learners also engage in a professional practice experience, working at a local healthcare facility.

Graduates can pursue careers in fields related to biomedical and pharmaceutical informatics, genomics, and public health informatics.

Findlay is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Health Informatics
School Status: Private
Tuition: $815 per credit
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

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University of New England View School Profile Biddeford, ME

UNE, located in Biddeford, Maine, provides graduate students with an opportunity to studyhealth informatics. The program curriculum allows participants to choose an optional emphasis in one of four focus areas: healthcare leadership, health data analytics, training and development, or an individualized focus.

All students complete a practicum and two practical courses where they apply health informatics concepts and ideas to real-world experiences. Online learners have access to academic support, career services, and IT support.

UNE is regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Health Informatics
School Status: Private
Tuition: $730 per credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

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Online Master's in Health Informatics Program Overview

Online master's in health informatics programs provide the knowledge needed to anticipate and assess emerging healthcare data needs from technical, clinical, financial, and operational perspectives. Professionals should be able to analyze information and suggest strategies that can lead to improved patient-centered care. A master's degree in health informatics also prepares students to navigate legal, privacy, regulatory, and ethical challenges within the field.

While employers typically consider a combination of education and experience when interviewing candidates, applicants with a master's in health informatics can qualify for mid-level or executive positions. Earning a doctorate can also create additional opportunities in this field.

Common Master's in Health Informatics Degree Courses

Legal, Ethical, and Social Issues

In this course, students explore legal, ethical, and social aspects related to the management of patient data. Students learn to identify and address data privacy and confidentiality issues and prevent fraud and abuse. This course also emphasizes regulatory concerns relevant to information management systems and healthcare data.

HIT Standards and Interoperability

This class looks at practical examples and theories of healthcare standard terminologies, health information exchanges, and messaging standards. Students also learn about information architecture and application programming interfaces.

Introduction to Clinical Thinking

Here, learners gain an overview of the clinical care process, which includes gathering patient data, examining patient history, ordering tests, identifying diagnoses, and developing treatment plans. In general, students do not need previous clinical experiences to take this course.

Data Management Principles - User Perspective

Modern information systems rely heavily on database systems. Students explore principles of data extraction and data management. Key concepts include modeling, database design, and implementation concepts. This course also emphasizes different forms of data, such as those contained in SQL and NoSQL databases.

Consumer Digital

Also referred to as consumer e-health, this type of class covers the use of technology to improve patient-to-caregiver communication. Topics may include new data access modalities, consumer-focused health and wellness platforms, digiceutical and PHR behavioral management solutions, and HIPPA-compliant services.

Related Master's in Health Informatics Degree Concentrations

Clinical Informatics

Clinical informatics refers to the use of technology to deliver patient care. The American Medical Informatics Association creates the boundaries of the clinical informatics discipline and mandates program requirements for individuals seeking board certification in medical informatics.

Health Technology Informatics

Health technology informatics focuses on information technology and associated roles in the healthcare sector, such as web developers, technology suppliers, information system coordinators, administrators, and IT project managers. Courses may include decision support systems and healthcare organization operations.

Health Administration Informatics

This concentration examines the evaluation and implementation of information technology systems and the acquisition of patient data. Students who pursue this concentration typically work as employees or consultants for insurers, government departments, and technology firms.

Public Health Informatics

Public health informatics strives to support improved health outcomes through the promotion of healthy behaviors, monitoring, preparedness, and disease prevention. This field utilizes mathematics, information science, engineering, and relevant social sciences to examine public health concerns. Students also explore modern challenges, including data quality and data compatibility issues.

Health Data Analytics

Health data analytics uses electronic health records to uncover insights from patient data. This concentration emphasizes the challenges of population health management, including the expanding patient base under the Affordable Care Act. Programs may cover the Healthcare Analytics Adoption Model, which outlines steps for improving efficiency.

Online Master's in Health Informatics Admission Requirements

Students applying to a master's in health informatics program typically must provide official transcripts from any prior college-level coursework. Applicants without sufficient undergraduate credits may need to take additional prerequisite classes before they are officially accepted.

Colleges and universities typically require up to three letters of recommendation from reputable sources, such as former teachers and/or academic counselors. Recommendations should provide detailed information about an applicant's academic capabilities and character. Students with professional experience may also ask their employers to write them a letter.

While some universities design their curriculum to accommodate students without prior experience, other schools may offer a level of rigor that requires students to have earned one or more years of professional experience before they apply. Professional experience may include full-time or part-time employment. However, students may also include internships.

Many universities require students to take the GRE. However, these test results may not be required, and some universities allow students to choose whether or not to submit their scores. Additionally, institutions may provisionally accept applicants who do not meet minimum undergraduate GPA requirements if they earned excellent GRE scores.

International students attending college in the U.S. may need to complete the TOFEL exam. This four-hour exam evaluates a student's mastery of the English language and their ability to study at the postsecondary level. This exam contains four sections, including speaking, listening, reading, and writing.


Online Master's in Health Informatics Career Paths

Earning a master's in health informatics can lead to lucrative career opportunities. For instance, graduates can become health information management directors who manage all medical records and coding departments. They can also qualify for clinical analyst positions, regulating and improving clinical practices, optimizing workflows, interpreting data, and developing solutions.

Chief information officer positions are among the most lucrative career options for degree-holders. These professionals construct, manage, and improve an organization's information technology framework. All of these roles require advanced education and experience.


Related Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with a master's in health informatics?

A master's in health informatics allows graduates to pursue a variety of administrative career options, most of which involve managing groups of employees. Graduates may choose to work for organizations or take on consultant roles. Professionals interested in academia typically go on to earn a doctorate in health informatics or a related field.

What jobs are available with a master's in health informatics?

Health informatics offers diverse professional opportunities. Potential roles include computer and information systems managers, clinical analysts, clinical informaticists, health informatics consultants, and healthcare IT project managers. Students should note that employer requirements vary by company. Some organizations may require a certain level of professional experience, as well.

Is there a difference between health informatics and medical informatics?

The Healthcare Information Management Systems Society, Inc. defines healthcare informatics as "the integration of healthcare sciences, computer science, information science, and cognitive science to assist in the management of healthcare information." Medical informatics stands as a sub-discipline of health informatics that considers relationships between physicians and patients through technology and data collection.

How long does it take to earn a master's in health informatics?

Full-time students can earn a master's in health informatics in two years, on average. Students attending part time can expect to follow a four-year timeline. Some programs may take longer than others depending on the program type or concentration selected. Additionally, online programs may offer accelerated options.

What is the salary for someone with a master's in health informatics?

Individuals working in the field of health informatics can find job openings at hospitals and in government departments. Professionals may also work independently as consultants. Additionally, graduates who enjoy managing others may take on administrative roles. A worker's specific role influences their earning potential. Therefore, students should identify their preferred career options to determine their earning potential.

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