With the highest growth rate of all industries, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the emergence of more than 9 million healthcare jobs by 2024. For those with a background in information technology or healthcare, earning a graduate certificate in health informatics online is a direct path to professional advancement. This guide details how to earn a health informatics certificate and discusses career paths available to graduates, which merge computer science with clinical technology.

What are the best health informatics programs of 2020? Here are our top 10:

Rank School Location
1 University of South Florida Tampa, FL
2 Villanova University Villanova, PA
3 University of West Florida Pensacola, FL
4 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey New Brunswick, NJ
5 Boston University Boston, MA
6 University of North Florida Jacksonville, FL
7 University of Missouri Columbia, MO
8 Regis University Denver, CO
9 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
10 University of Denver Denver, CO

What Will I Learn in an Online Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics?

The following sample curriculum highlights courses common to most graduate certificate in health informatics online programs. While courses vary by program, some topics are integral to health informatics studies. Each of the following courses provides students with skills necessary for careers in health informatics.

  • Electronic health records: Students explore components of electronic health records, including security requirements and application systems integration. Coursework emphasizes the impact of multiple users in settings such as clinics and research facilities. Students are prepared for careers as electronic health records analysts and coordinators.
  • Healthcare informatics: This foundational course familiarizes students with biomedical technology, including information systems and data security, nuclear medicine, and ultrasound imaging. Students explore hospital process modeling and quality assessment to prepare for careers as clinical informaticists and health informatics specialists.
  • Health data management: In addition to program planning and implementation, this course covers database systems and structured query language. Students explore the impact of emerging technology on data quality and prepare for careers as information services project coordinators and clinical research data monitors.

2020 Best Accredited Online Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics Programs

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Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

University of South Florida

Tampa, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 73%

A public university, USF serves many of its nearly 50,000 students in a fully online format. The school's online graduate certificate in health informatics is approved by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and can benefit established professionals and recent graduates.

This 12-credit certificate covers health data management, integrated electronic medical records, and information systems management. USF allows learners to pursue this certificate without committing to a graduate degree or apply their certificate credits toward a relevant degree track.

Eligible students at USF Health may qualify for HIMSS-related benefits, including student membership and a variety of discounts. USF holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

2

Villanova University

Villanova, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 91%

Villanova embraces the Augustinian educational philosophy and offers a large catalog of practical-minded online programs. Students can pursue an online graduate certificate in health informatics that is tailored to meet the needs of working professionals.

This 15-credit certificate takes a year to complete. Covered topics include database systems, software engineering, and healthcare law and ethics. The school allows online master's students majoring in a computing sciences-related discipline to add the certificate to their degree without taking additional classes.

The program requires candidates to hold at least three years of work experience in healthcare, IT, or another related technical field. Applicants must also submit two letters of recommendation. Villanova holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

3

University of West Florida

Pensacola, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 43%

UWF has a 21-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio and a selective admissions process. The school also offers popular programs for distance learners, including a fully online graduate certificate in health informatics.

This 12-credit certificate typically takes a year to complete. Courses include applied data analysis in public health, electronic clinical record systems, and bioinformatics and data science. UWF's health informatics curriculum differs from many others in that it offers a variety of elective options. Learners leave the program with a foundational understanding of health informatics technology and its applications in U.S. healthcare reform.

Applicants must submit transcripts, a resume, a statement of goals, and two letters of recommendation. Students can enroll at three points throughout the year. UWF holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

4

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

New Brunswick, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 80%

With an impressive graduation rate near 80%, Rutgers is a top public research university. The school's growing online catalog includes a graduate certificate in healthcare informatics.

Learners work with advisors to plan six credits of elective courses in accordance with their selected specialization, choosing from options like clinical informatics, bioinformatics, and public health informatics. Elective course topics include clinical trial data management, machine learning techniques, and drug discovery informatics and drug design. This 18-credit certificate can be applied towards a master's in biomedical informatics at Rutgers.

Applicants must have a 3.0 minimum GPA and submit a current CV or resume. Rutgers holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

5

Boston University

Boston, MA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 88%

BU serves about 33,000 learners, roughly 2,500 of whom are enrolled in a fully online program. The university's offerings include an online graduate certificate in health informatics.

The 16-credit certificate typically takes 8-12 months to compete. Learners take four courses covering topics that include health informatics, electronic health records, and biomedical sciences. Graduates can apply certificate credits towards BU's master of science in computer information systems with a concentration in health informatics.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in any subject for consideration. Depending on their academic background, some students may need to complete supplemental coursework in probability and statistics. BU holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education.

6

University of North Florida

Jacksonville, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

Based in Jacksonville, UNF educates many working professionals and traditional learners. The school boasts a 19-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio and offers a variety of programs for distance learners, including an online graduate certificate in health informatics.

This certificate track consists of 12 credits and takes a year to complete. About 30 learners are enrolled at a time. Students take four courses covering topics like data analytics, information technology management, and healthcare delivery management. The program concludes with a capstone project — a data-based study or literature review — related to a contemporary issue in IT and biomedical informatics.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in any subject and a 3.0 minimum GPA for consideration. UNF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

7

University of Missouri

Columbia, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 69%

Mizzou educates about 30,000 learners annually and offers a variety of online and hybrid programs. The university's catalog includes a graduate certificate in health informatics that is suitable for working professionals and traditional learners. Students can choose to complete this certificate through the "executive mode," which combines online distance learning with on-campus weekend meetings.

The 12-credit graduate certificate takes students a year to complete, and graduates can apply their credits towards Mizzou's master of science in health informatics. While the program requires one introductory course in health informatics, the remaining coursework consists of guided electives. Students select three classes from 10 options, including health data analytics, health informatics ethics, and health information technology.

Applicants must have a 3.0 minimum GPA for consideration. The program does not require GRE scores. Mizzou holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

8

Regis University

Denver, CO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 69%

Established by Jesuits in 1877, Regis maintains its commitment to providing quality Catholic education at a reasonable cost through distance education. Among these offerings is the school's online graduate certificate in healthcare informatics.

This online graduate certificate features 12 credits and is best suited for established professionals in healthcare administration. Course topics include design and selection of IT systems in healthcare, workflow change management in adoption of health IT, and managing a secure enterprise. The school allows learners to transfer these certificate credits toward a masters' in healthcare informatics.

Online learners access asynchronous coursework through Blackboard. Applicants must have 2-3 years of management experience for consideration. Regis holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

9

East Carolina University

Greenville, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 65%

One of the largest universities in North Carolina, ECU serves about 30,000 students through on-campus, online, and hybrid programs. ECU's growing catalog includes an online graduate certificate in health informatics.

This 15-credit online graduate certificate can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. The program is tailored to meet the needs of healthcare workers without experience in an IT setting experience and IT workers without experience in a healthcare setting.

The program's curriculum includes three credits of foundational coursework and 12 credits of guided electives. Elective options include database systems in healthcare, decision support in healthcare, and evaluation methods in health informatics.

ECU holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

10

University of Denver

Denver, CO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 77%

DU offers many online programs through its University College branch. Options include a graduate certificate in health data informatics and analytics that prepares learners to pursue positions like clinical informaticists and data analysts.

The curriculum helps students develop a healthcare delivery foundation based on the 4P framework: patients/people, providers, payers, and population. Classes go over topics like healthcare data mining, integration, and interpretation; healthcare ethics and biostatistics; and healthcare data and delivery by perspective. All students also need to complete a zero-credit student success course.

Individuals can earn a four-course certificate or a six-course certificate. Depending on their course load, participants can graduate in 2-4 quarters (6-12 months). Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree earned with a minimum 2.5 GPA and submit a resume and official transcripts.

What Can I Do With a Certificate in Health Informatics?

Graduates with a health informatics certificate pursue a variety of IT careers within the healthcare industry, such as data analysis and network design. With an emphasis on medical computer and network systems, training in health informatics equips students with knowledge of network security and project planning. Most health informatics occupations require strong analytical and communication skills, attention to detail, and ingenuity. Health informatics professionals often work long hours and are on call during nights and weekends.

Medical Computer and Information Systems Managers

Computer and information systems managers direct an organization's computer systems. They assess a medical facility's computer needs, plan the installation of computer hardware and software, and ensure medical files are secure.

Median Annual Salary: $135,800

Projected Growth Rate: 15%

Computer Network Architects

By designing and building data communication networks and predicting future network needs, computer network architects ensure that medical facilities have the connections they need to operate efficiently.

Median Annual Salary: $101,210

Projected Growth Rate: 9%

Healthcare Database Administrators

As confidential patient material is increasingly digitized, the need for network systems protection grows. These professionals serve as intermediaries between stored data and user access. Database administrators prevent unauthorized access to patient files and develop databases to meet the needs of a medical organization's users.

Median Annual Salary: $84,950

Projected Growth Rate: 11%

Information Security Analysts

Information security analysts implement security measures, such as firewalls and data encryption programs, to protect patient data.

Median Annual Salary: $92,600

Projected Growth Rate: 18%

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

These professionals organize, install, and maintain a medical facility's computer systems. They also perform data collection for network optimization and oversee user training and support. Systems administrators often work with network architects to design network models.

Median Annual Salary: $79,700

Projected Growth Rate: 8%

Accreditation for Graduate Certificate Programs

Earning a graduate certificate in health informatics online from an accredited institution guarantees an education that is in line with national standards. Credits from an accredited program transfer more easily, and many employers prefer candidates with a certificate from an accredited school. The two major types of U.S. accreditation are regional and national. More than three-quarters of American colleges are regionally accredited, and many professional licensing organizations require applicants to have a degree from a regionally accredited university. While nationally accredited schools offer lower tuition rates and more lenient admissions requirements, earned credits rarely transfer to regionally accredited schools.

Program-specific accrediting bodies monitor curricula, learning outcomes, and diversity practices. Health informatics certificate programs are accredited by the American Medical Informatics Association and the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. In addition to program-specific accreditation, students pursuing a health informatics certificate online should search for programs accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.

Financing Your Online Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics

Scholarships through colleges, organizations, and private donors are some of the best options for financing a health informatics certificate. Grants and scholarships do not require repayment, and students pursuing their graduate certificate in health informatics have access to a variety of field-specific scholarship opportunities. Students may also apply for federal, state, and private loans. Complete the FAFSA to determine federal loan eligibility.


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