Best Online Master’s in Health Informatics Programs of 2022

Healthcare organizations need professionals who can use healthcare data to maximize efficiencies and patient care. Review the best master's in health informatics programs.

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by Bethanny Parker

Published on January 26, 2022 · Updated on April 25, 2022

Edited by Rebecca Long
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Master's programs in health focus on teaching students to use data and information technology to improve healthcare outcomes. Over the course of roughly two years, health informatics students master the devices and resources used to store and retrieve medical data.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average cost of tuition and mandatory fees for a graduate degree was $19,314 per year in 2018-2019. The price of higher education rises every year, so the current cost of tuition is likely higher. Online programs sometimes charge lower rates than on-campus courses.

Most master's degree programs take about two years to complete. However, some schools offer accelerated programs that can be completed more quickly.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that jobs for medical records and health information specialists will grow 9% between 2020 and 2030, or about as fast as average. These professionals earned a median income of $45,240 per year in May 2020. However, according to Payscale, individuals with a master of health informatics earned an average base salary of $72,000 per year in December 2021.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Health Informatics Program?

Even though health informatics professionals spend a lot of time working with data, people skills are still important. These workers should also possess problem-solving skills, programming knowledge, and an understanding of common health data systems.

In a master's program in health informatics, students develop these skills. The graduate program that takes about two years to complete. Students must fulfill 30-45 credit hours, depending on the school. Some programs offer concentrations, such as health technology, clinical informatics, health administration, healthcare information security and privacy, and imaging informatics.

Many master's in health informatics programs also require students to complete a thesis or capstone project. However, others, like the Carolina Health Informatics Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have no thesis requirement.

Most online master's programs in health informatics confer master of science (MS) degrees, which focus heavily on the technical aspects of the subject. The Carolina Health Informatics Program offers a master of professional science (MPS) degree. An MPS degree includes specialized skills that you can put to use right away in your industry after graduation.

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Popular Online Master's in Health Informatics Programs

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

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Health Informatics Program?

Health Data Analytics

This course helps graduate students familiarize themselves with electronic health records, databases, and patient data. Students learn how to use data to improve patient care. They practice analyzing data and converting it into actionable information.

Health Informatics

In this course, students learn the fundamental concepts, principles, and technological elements of health informatics. They examine the characteristics of information, data, and knowledge as well as common algorithms used in healthcare.

Electronic Health Records

This course provides students with a foundation in information technology as it applies to healthcare. Students learn how to access and use electronic health records in order to provide healthcare services. They also learn about the laws that regulate electronic health records.

Health Information Privacy and Security

In this course, students learn about different types of healthcare data. They also become familiar with regulations regarding the privacy and security of healthcare data. Students gain exposure to the language of healthcare data and learn how to maintain data privacy.

Health Data Structures

Students in this course examine data types and structures as they relate to the healthcare industry. Learners become familiar with core algorithms and how to analyze them. They study trees, linked structures, priority queues, sorting, and graphs.

What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Master's in Health Informatics Program?

While each school has its own admission requirements, most online master's in health informatics programs ask applicants to submit the same information. A school's admission requirements are often the same whether you attend online or on campus.

Before you enroll in a master's in health informatics program, you must have a bachelor's degree. Some schools may prefer applicants to possess a certain type of bachelor's degree or Otherwise, prospective students may be asked to fulfill prerequisites before enrolling. For example, East Carolina University requires applicants to earn a grade of C or higher in a statistics course within five years of submitting an application.

Application

Although undergraduate students can apply to multiple schools at once using college application systems like the Common App, this is generally not the case for graduate school candidates. Instead, you must visit each school's website and find their online application. Some schools require you to create an account in order to apply, and most require an application fee.

Test Scores

Graduate schools often require prospective students to submit GRE or GMAT scores. They may require a certain minimum score for admission or require students who do not score at a high enough level to complete additional prerequisites. However, not all schools require test scores. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many more institutions have also suspended the requirement.

Letters of Recommendation

Most graduate schools require two or three letters of recommendation. If you are going straight from a bachelor's program to a master's program, you may be able to get letters of recommendation from your college professors. However, if you have entered the workforce, these letters should come from managers or supervisors who are familiar with your work.

Resume and Work Experience

You may also need to submit a resume or CV that includes your work experience. A resume typically focuses on your work experience, while a CV describes your education in more detail. Some programs may require prospective students to possess a certain amount of work experience before you can be accepted into the program.

Essays

Your grad school essay, also referred to as a personal statement, should be at least 500 words. Usually, your personal statement explains why you want to enroll in the program and how you feel the program will help advance your career. The object is to convince the admissions team that you are a good fit.

Official Transcripts

You'll need to submit your official college transcripts, and perhaps your high school transcripts, as well. If you are transferring from another school, your new school will evaluate your transcripts for transfer credit. If any of the courses you've already taken are substantially similar to those required for your master's degree, you may earn credit.

What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Health Informatics Degree?

Career Outlook

The BLS projects that jobs for medical records and health information specialists will grow roughly 9% over the next ten years. Jobs for health information technologists, medical registrars, surgical assistants, and healthcare practitioners and technical workers are expected to grow 11%.

According to Payscale, graduates with an MS in health informatics earned an average base salary of $72,000 per year in December 2021. Comparatively, graduates with any type of master's degree earned an annual salary of $78,000 in December 2021.

Medical records and health information specialists typically work in general medical and surgical hospitals. They can also work in outpatient care centers, physicians' offices, administrative and support services, or in government.

See where a master's in health informatics can take you. Learn more about health informatics careers.

Career Paths

Health Information Specialists

Health information specialists ensure the accuracy of patients' health information, including symptoms, medical history, and test results. They review patient records to check for completeness and accuracy. They categorize patient data for insurance companies and maintain databases of patient health information.

Median Annual Salary (May 2020): $45,240

Informatics Nurse

If your bachelor's degree was a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), you're probably already an RN, which is one of the requirements needed to be an informatics nurse. Informatics nurses work with patient health software applications to ensure that patients' records are accurate and up to date. They troubleshoot problems, perform system upgrades, and customize software to suit their organization.

Average Annual Salary (December 2021): $79,460

Clinical Data Analyst

Clinical data analysts manage and analyze clinical data for healthcare organizations. They report data and help determine the metrics to use to ensure that data is useful. They plan out data projects, deciding on milestones and timelines. They coordinate with their supervisors and other relevant departments as needed.

Average Annual Salary (December 2021): $69,200

Health Information Management Director

Health information management directors oversee the medical records and coding departments of healthcare organizations. Depending on the size of the organization, they may manage a large number of employees. They ensure that their organizations comply with all regulations and guidelines regarding the way information is stored and accessed.

Average Annual Salary (December 2021): $75,220

Clinical Informatics Specialist

Clinical informatics specialists plan and coordinate the integration of healthcare data management systems. They work in medical facilities that have a lot of data to manage. These professionals troubleshoot hardware and software problems to ensure that data is accessible for the healthcare team. They may also help manage the transition to electronic records by entering written records into online systems.

Average Annual Salary (December 2021): $78,560

Health Informatics Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Information Systems Careers Health Services Careers Nursing Careers

Continuing Education

People with a master's in health informatics who want to pursue a doctoral degree can choose from a Ph.D. in health informatics or a doctorate in health informatics. Nurses with a master of science in nursing (MSN) may opt for a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) with a specialization in nursing informatics or informatics leadership.

According to Payscale, individuals with a Ph.D. in health informatics earned an average salary of $117,000 per year in May 2021. Common job titles include health informatics specialist, data scientist, machine learning engineer, senior software engineer, and software engineer.

How Do I Choose an Online Master's in Health Informatics Program?

Cost

According to NCES, the average base cost of a master's program was $19,314 per year during the 2018-2019 academic year. The true cost, which includes living expenses, travel, and other fees, is often much higher. Students can often save money by choosing a public school in their home state or by finding a school that charges online students in-state rates.

Program Format

Consider the format of the program when choosing a school. Choosing an asynchronous rather than synchronous program allows you more control over your schedule. If you're working, you might want to consider a part-time program. On the other hand, if you're able to devote a lot of time to school, you might want to look for an accelerated program that will allow you to graduate faster.

Location

If your program is 100% online, a school's location probably doesn't matter. However, some institutions have in-person requirements for their online programs. Check with the admissions officer to make sure there are no in-person labs, clinicals, practicums, or other activities before enrolling in an online master's in health informatics.

Accreditation

First, you should check to make sure your school is regionally accredited. This means that a third-party accrediting organization has reviewed the school's programs and found them to meet its standards. If you need to transfer credits from one school to another, you'll find it much easier if the school you're transferring from is regionally accredited. In addition, many health informatics programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.

Student Support

Most colleges and universities offer student support services. These may include career services, internship placement, tutoring, mentorship programs, and alumni networks. Some schools have student services specifically for online students. Consider which services you might need before choosing a school. If you struggle with writing, for example, you might want to choose a school with a strong writing center.

2022 Best Accredited Online Master's in Health Informatics Programs

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

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#1 Online College in Indiana

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

School Information
Location Indianapolis, Indiana
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 50%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $384

Out of State | $577

Credits to Graduate

36

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education

IUPUI's master of science in health informatics prepares data experts to design and integrate electronic health record systems. The 36-credit degree explores health informatics standards and terminology. Students develop informatics project management skills and learn how to use clinical decision support systems in clinical practice.

Enrollees can use elective credits to develop biomedical analytics or software development management expertise. Students culminate the master's in health informatics with a thesis or project. Admission requires a bachelor's degree, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and a background in computer science, engineering, or a related field.

#2 Online College in Maine

University of New England

School Information
Location Biddeford, Maine
Admission Rate 84%
Graduation Rate 68%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $750

Out of State | $750

Credits to Graduate

36

Located in Maine, UNE offers an online master of science in health informatics with several specialization options. Students can complete the program's 36 credits in as few as 18 months. The master's in health informatics provides training in areas, such as health informatics, project management, and the use of advanced computing systems.

Participants can choose one of four optional focus areas: healthcare leadership, health data analytics, training and development, or an individualized option. Students develop hands-on expertise during a field practicum. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and a minimum 2.75 GPA.

#3 Online College in North Carolina

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Information
Location Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Admission Rate 23%
Graduation Rate 91%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $933

Out of State | $1,949

Credits to Graduate

35

UNC-Chapel Hill offers a flexible master of professional science in biomedical and health informatics. Students complete the 35-credit degree on campus or online. Enrollees learn how to effectively manage clinical and public health information systems. 

Students examine how to use health informatics to inform clinical decision-making and improve healthcare quality. Enrollees must complete a 400-hour internship as part of the master's in health informatics program. The degree requires no culminating thesis. 

UNC-Chapel Hill's program offers flexibility with three tracks: one year (fast track), 1.5 years (standard track), and 2-4 years (part-time track). Admission requires a bachelor's degree and no GRE/MCAT scores.

#4 Online College in Massachusetts

Brandeis University

School Information
Location Waltham, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 30%
Graduation Rate 87%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 7% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $1,178

Out of State | $1,178

Credits to Graduate

30

The master of science in health informatics at Brandeis enrolls working professionals from various backgrounds, such as nurses and computer programmers. The degree allows students to juggle busy schedules by completing coursework asynchronously online on a part-time basis.

The curriculum's 30 credits explore topics in health data and electronic health records and health/medical information systems security. All students learn project management skills and examine legal issues in the field. 

Elective courses provide training, such as population health informatics. Admission to the master's in health informatics requires a bachelor's degree and all school transcripts.

#5 Online College in Illinois

DePaul University

School Information
Location Chicago, Illinois
Admission Rate 68%
Graduation Rate 74%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $882

Out of State | $882

Credits to Graduate

52

Students can earn a master of science in health informatics from one of the nation's largest Catholic colleges. Enrollees develop the technical and managerial skills to design and implement IT solutions within healthcare organizations. The 52-credit curriculum explores foundational topics, such as systems analysis and health sector management. 

Participants use elective credits to build analytics, database processing, and/or enterprise management skills. Enrollees receive on-the-job training during an internship at a local employer. Admission to the master's in health informatics requires a bachelor's degree and a minimum 2.5 GPA.

#6 Online College in Illinois

Northwestern University

School Information
Location Evanston, Illinois
Admission Rate 9%
Graduation Rate 94%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 2% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $1,595

Out of State | $1,595

Credits to Graduate

36

Northwestern's schools of medicine and professional studies partner to deliver the master of science in health informatics. Students complete a general core that explores the American healthcare system and introduces health informatics. Enrollees develop strategies for an effective health analytics leadership practice.

Students choose one of three specializations: clinical, health technology, or health administration. Participants put their knowledge into practice with a culminating health informatics project or thesis research. Admission to the master's in health informatics requires a bachelor's degree but no GRE scores.

#7 Online College in Ohio

The University of Findlay

School Information
Location Findlay, Ohio
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 65%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online or Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $815

Out of State | $815

Credits to Graduate

33

A Christian college in Ohio, Findlay offers a master of science in health informatics with fully online and hybrid formats. Hybrid learners complete some classes at the Findlay campus. The curriculum explores the use of data mining in decision-making and statistical methods for business analytics.

Students develop competencies in healthcare project management and data visualization and predictive analytics. They also gather data and complete projects at healthcare facilities in the area. Students culminate the online master's in health informatics with a research project. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA.

#8 Online College in Pennsylvania

University of Scranton

School Information
Location Scranton, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 76%
Graduation Rate 83%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $757

Out of State | $757

Credits to Graduate

33

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education

Scranton is a Catholic and Jesuit college located in Pennsylvania. The master of science in health informatics enrolls students with no healthcare experience. The online master's in health informatics blends coursework and hands-on learning. Students complete health informatics, database management, and computer science and software development courses. 

Enrollees explore health information policy and trends in health informatics. Students can choose an optional data analytics specialization. Learners culminate the degree by applying lessons learned to produce an applied health informatics project. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

#9 Online College in Pennsylvania

Drexel University

School Information
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 69%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $1,355

Out of State | $1,355

Credits to Graduate

45

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education

Drexel's master of science in health informatics continues the school's tradition of experiential learning. The 45-credit program attracts both healthcare and IT professionals. The online curriculum provides a foundation in database management, data analytics, and health informatics. 

Enrollees use elective credits to learn in-demand data mining and/or social network analytics skills. Students can use elective credits to tailor the degree towards healthcare, life sciences, and pharmaceutical industries.

Students complete a health informatics experience that provides professional experience. Admission to the master's in health informatics requires a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

#10 Online College in Virginia

George Mason University

School Information
Location Fairfax, Virginia
Admission Rate 87%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $800

Out of State | $800

Credits to Graduate

39

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)

Mason offers one of the nation's select CAHIIM-accredited online master's in health informatics programs. The master of science in health informatics (MSHI) attracts clinicians and other professionals interested in data and technology-driven healthcare.

The 39-credit curriculum blends technical skills and direct experience. Students learn how to develop healthcare databases and use computational tools in health informatics. Enrollees can pursue a concentration in health data analytics or health informatics management. A required capstone focuses on health systems management. 

Students new to health informatics can complete a free MSHI bridge course. Admission to the MSHI requires a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Health Informatics Programs

Is a master's in health informatics worth it? true

Whether a master's in health informatics is worth it or not depends on two factors: the cost of the degree and the amount you expect to earn after graduation. When deciding whether to go to graduate school, you must consider both of these factors carefully. If you choose a fairly inexpensive school and expect to earn much more than your current salary after graduating, a master's in health informatics is likely worthwhile.

If, however, you choose a very expensive school and have to take on a massive amount of student loan debt to finance your education, it may not be worth it.

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

A master's program in health informatics can help students become familiar with healthcare systems and information technology. Therefore, graduates have quite a few options when it comes to careers. Healthcare-related occupations for health informatics graduates include health informatics specialist, clinical informatics specialist, clinical systems analyst, clinical data analyst, and health information management supervisor.

On the IT side, you might be able to get a job as a data analyst, systems analyst, program analyst, information technology consultant, or quality analyst.

Are health informatics majors in demand? true

The BLS projects a 9-11% job growth rate for medical records and health information specialists between 2020 and 2030, depending on the exact position. This growth rate is comparable to the average across all occupations over the next decade. Health informatics may also seek jobs in IT fields. The BLS projects jobs for computer systems analysts will grow 7% during the same time period.

How much money can I make with a master's in health informatics?

According to Payscale, the average base salary for people with a master's in health informatics was $72,000 per year in December 2021. Salaries vary depending on a person's job title, level of experience, and location. Common job titles for those with a master's in health informatics include health information specialist, clinical informatics specialist, data analyst, systems analyst, and clinical systems analyst.

Payscale reports that the average base salary for a health informatics specialist was about $64,410 per year in December 2021. Entry-level health informatics specialists earned an average of $52,000 per year, and the amount steadily increases with experience. Health informatics specialists with 20 years of experience or more earned an average of $97,000 per year.

What are the highest paying jobs with a master's in health informatics?

Some of the highest-paying jobs for those with a master's in health informatics are informatics nurses, clinical informatics specialists, and health information management directors. Informatics nurses make the most, but these professionals must possess a BSN degree. These professionals are RNs who work with patient data records in an electronic patient information system. According to Payscale, they earned an average annual salary of $79,460 in December 2021.

Clinical informatics specialists earned an average salary of $78,560, and health information management directors earned an average salary of $75,220 during the same month.

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