With a Master’s in Healthcare Informatics degree, you become a high-end knowledge worker in the clinical and medical fields, using information technology to help people with their health. We live in an information age, with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals depending increasingly on healthcare informaticians to store, retrieve, and process medical data.
Demand for health informatics (HI) professionals is high. The United States government has set 2015 as a deadline by which healthcare facilities must be paperless, in effect handing all medical data over to health informatics professionals. In consequence, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that number of health informatics jobs will increase by more than 20 percent from 2013 to 2020.
A 2012 study by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) found that those with a master’s degree in healthcare informatics make, on average, $20,000 a year more than those with only a bachelor’s degree.
Healthcare informaticians combine skills in healthcare, business intelligence (BI), information technology (IT)/ information systems (IS), and data analytics. Although some background in these areas is desirable, it is usually not a requirement for admission to a Healthcare Informatics Master’s degree program.
Ranking Online Healthcare Informatics Master’s Programs:
We selected the top Master in Health Informatics online degree programs based on program quality, courses offered, awards, rankings, faculty, academic standing, reputation, including the school’s reputation for effectively providing online degree study.
The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) provides curriculum guidance to the programs in the list.
20 Best Online Master’s in Healthcare Informatics
1. University of Cincinnati
Online Master in Health Informatics
Founded in 1819, the University of Cincinnati (UC) has a strong tradition in developing relevant, practical training. UC offered the first bachelor’s degree in nursing and the first Emergency Medicine training program. Today, the University of Cincinnati, a recognized leader in online education, utilizes modern technologies to offer cutting-edge educational experiences.
The online Master in HI program at UC provides a collaboration of the faculty within the College of Allied Health Sciences and the Carl H. Lindner College of Business to achieve a balanced, relevant curriculum built around core competencies established by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).
Students enrolled in the online Health Informatics Master’s degree program take six course hours per semester of the program and complete the program in about two years.
In general, University of Cincinnati enjoys high rankings. In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked UC #3 for Up-and-Coming Schools. The National Science Foundation ranked UC one of America’s top 25 public research institutions and Money Magazine ranked the school #62 among “elite values” in higher education.
2. University of Illinois at Chicago
Online Master of Health Informatics
The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Master of Science in Health Informatics is the first online graduate program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). It’s also the first such program to focus on the organizational and social issues impacting health informatics.
With the largest medical school in the U.S. and all of the health science disciplines on one campus, the University of Illinois at Chicago is a leading authority and educational leader in the fields of health information management and health informatics.
The university offers a suite of programs: the master’s of science and a post-master’s certificate in health informatics; a bachelor’s of science and a post-baccalaureate certificate in health information management.
Students interested in health informatics research may pursue UIC’s well-regarded Master of Science in Health Informatics Research Track.
The online Master in Health Informatics program at UIC, built on a business school model, offers a strong foundation of technical knowledge, real-world experience and leadership skills training. The comprehensive program ranges from the study of collecting healthcare data into electronic health records to how design information technology systems to effectively maintain and distribute this data across organizations.
The 100 percent online curriculum includes clinical trends, government regulations and healthcare management best practices. Based on students’ weekly schedule, they take a total of 45-49 credit hours and may complete the program in as few as two-and-a-half years.
U.S. News & World Report cites UIC as one of the most diverse and affordable universities in the nation and ranks it in the top four percent of 4,000 U.S. colleges and universities. UIC, recurrently listed among the top 50 federally funded research institutions, ranks #3 in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding.
3. University of San Francisco
Online Master in Health Informatics
The University of San Francisco (USF) School of Nursing and Health Professions offers an online master’s-level program in Health Informatics.
The Health Informatics Master’s online degree program at USF targets two groups of students: computer and information system engineers seeking to expand their skills with a focused approach to healthcare information and management as well as health care professionals seeking to add the informatics skill set to their professional portfolio.
Students may participate in the online program on a full-time or part-time basis. They complete 36 course units over one-and-a-half to two years. Students can adapt the flexible curriculum to meet the student’s specialization interests.
USF abounds in academic distinction and rankings. U.S. News & World Report listed USF as a Tier One National University for 2013. Princeton Review included USF in its Best 377 Colleges list for 2013. Washington Monthly included the University of San Francisco in its list of the nation’s top 50 universities.
4. Northeastern University
Online Master in Health Informatics
Northeastern University’s online Health Informatics Master’s degree is an expanded version of the on-campus program. The school’s online health informatics curriculum combines technological understanding, business processes knowledge, and a familiarity with clinical processes and workflows.
The interdisciplinary program combines the expertise of Northeastern University’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences and the College of Computer and Information Science. The online program’s instructors (senior leaders in the field) bring academic rigor and real-world knowledge to the classroom.
The Health Informatics Master’s degree features 33 total semester hours, including 8 core courses, 2 electives and a capstone project. The student-driven capstone project provides students the opportunity to apply classroom learning to practical work and research in a major area of health informatics. It’s the equivalent of a master’s thesis.
Northeastern University also offers an Advanced Standing Master’s Degree program, requiring two fewer courses than the master’s in health informatics program. They designed the program for experienced clinicians and public health professionals who already hold health-related master’s or doctoral degrees and those with doctoral degrees in related fields who want to become teachers and researchers in health informatics.
Northeastern’s online master’s in health informatics can take 1.5 to 4 years to complete, depending on whether students study full-time or part-time.
Northeastern University, a world-class research university, has substantial experience in delivering high-quality online education.
5. Brandeis University, Graduate Professional Studies
Online Master in Health and Medical Informatics
The online Master’s degree in Health and Medical Informatics at Brandeis University resides in the Division of Graduate Professional Studies. The program provides professionals with organizational leadership abilities, analytical skills and knowledge of health information management systems.
The online program covers IT standards in the healthcare industry, emerging technologies for enhancing healthcare delivery, and working in partnership with data systems developers and healthcare practitioners.
The Master of Health and Medical Informatics curriculum features six required courses and four electives. A flexible course offering allows students to complete the online master’s program in health and medical informatics program from one-year-seven months to five years.
U.S. News & World Report has ranked Brandeis University among the top 35 national universities every year since its inception; the university is #32 in the 2014 rankings. Princeton Review included Brandeis University in its Best 377 Colleges list for 2013. Forbes ranks Brandeis University #51 overall.
6. Boston University
Online Master in Computer Information Systems, Concentration in Health Informatics
Boston University’s (BU) online Master in Computer Information Systems with a Concentration in Health Informatics is one of six CIS programs at BU with specific concentrations.
The online Health Informatics Concentration program prepares students to identify current and emerging information technologies which have strategic value for health informatics; assess those technologies for their applied value and manage the implementation of those technologies for advancing the healthcare system.
Students of the Master in CIS Concentration in Health Informatics gain advanced knowledge of best-practice healthcare IT, acquire proficiency in software and computing skills, and develop an understanding of the American health care system, medical terminology, basic human anatomy and physiology, disease processes, diagnostic and treatment modalities in order to manage, process, and analyze medical data.
The curriculum prepares students to lead health IT initiatives, conduct biomedical research, and to design, implement, and manage advanced solutions.
Students complete six online Master of Science in Computer Information Systems core courses and four required online Concentration in Health Informatics courses for a total of 40 credit hours.
Boston University ranked #2 in the U.S. News & World Report 2014 Online Graduate in Computer Information Technology Programs list. U.S. News & World Report ranked Boston University #41 in its Best Colleges in National Universities 2014 list. Times Higher Education ranked Boston University #50 in its World University Rankings for 2013–2014.
7. Adelphi University
Online Master in Healthcare Informatics
Adelphi University’s (AU) M.S. in Healthcare Informatics blends online learning in healthcare, information technology and leadership practice to prepare students to become developers and managers of health information systems.
The schools solid working relationship with the second largest health system in the nation provides the opportunity to sustain an understanding of current healthcare informatics challenges as well as an inside view of the healthcare industry.
Professionals from diverse backgrounds take the Master in Healthcare Informatics online program. The online students can complete the 39-credit program in as few as 28 months.
The Adelphi University online Master in Healthcare Informatics program focuses on developing a sustainable approach to health informatics. Students learn how to manage a dynamic health informatics environment grounded in technology through integrating project management, analytics, operations, research, design, information security, finance and legal.
The Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics online program prepares students to work on or lead an interdisciplinary team.
Princeton Review ranked Adelphi University as a Best College in the Northeast. U.S. News & World Report ranked Adelphi University among the nation’s Best National Universities.
8. University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine
Online Master of Health Informatics
The Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida (USF) is the only medical school in the country offering 100% online graduate programs in health informatics. The online graduate-level programs, a Master of Science in Health Informatics and a Certificate in Health Informatics, focus on the design, implementation and maintenance of information systems supporting the processing of decision-making health data.
The online Master degree in Health Informatics at University of South Florida requires 11 courses, or 32 credit hours, including a project in health informatics. Most Master in Health Informatics programs require 12–15 courses, or 33–45 credit hours, which means USF Health students spend less time completing their degrees. Students can complete their degree in as little as one year but have the option to use up to 22 months.
The “Paper Free Florida” initiative is a partnership with the federal government to recruit and train a workforce in basic health informatics. The initiative establishes continuing education in health informatics for nurses, clinical staff and physicians.
U.S. News & World Report lists USF’s Morsani College of Medicine as one of 2013′s Best Medical Schools. Moreover, U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks the University of South Florida as one of America’s Best Colleges and lists USF among 2013’s Best Online Schools.
9. University of Tennessee, Health Science Center
Online Master of Health Informatics and Information Management
The University of Tennessee (UT) College of Allied Health Sciences houses the Master of Health Informatics and Information Management within its Health Science Center.
UT’s online Master of Health Informatics and Information Management (MHIIM) program strives to instill health care professionals with the strongest competencies for managing information in an increasingly dynamic electronic healthcare environment. As part of the overall mission of The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) the program focuses on providing “an integrated program of education, research, clinical care, and public service.”
Due to offering a minimum of two courses per semester, the online Master’s of Health Informatics and Information Management program allows students to advance in the program and graduate in a timely manner.
UT offers three tracks in Health Informatics. The entry-level online MHIIM program does not require a bachelor degree or experience as a healthcare professional. Its curriculum requires 64 semester hours. The post-graduate online MHIIM program for healthcare professionals with bachelor degrees requires 33 semester hours and requires either a master thesis or non-thesis research project. The Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) accredits both UT’s entry-level and post-graduate programs.
Among graduates of UT’s master’s program, results on CAHIIM’s national certification examination are above the national average.
A third track, the MHIIM certificate, requires nine semester hours but it’s not eligible for the CAHIM credential.
The University of Tennessee consistently ranks among the nation’s top public universities.
10. Rutgers University, School of Health Related Professions
Online Master in Biomedical Informatics
Rutgers University’s School of Health Related Professions (SHRP) offers a 100 percent online Master in Biomedical Informatics program.
The program trains professionals for career opportunities as scientists, specialists, researchers, educators and managers working in hospitals and healthcare facilities, pharmaceutical companies and laboratories, insurance companies, and private and governmental agencies.
The Master’s of Biomedical Informatics online program requires 36 credit hours and 18-24 months to complete. Of the 36 required credit hours, 30 hours are formal courses which include 18 credit hours of core courses, six credit hours in a specialization track, and six credit hours of electives. The program dedicates six credit hours to completing a master thesis or project.
In addition to the master programs, SHRP also offers a Health Care Informatics Certificate with completion of 18 credit hours in the program. Certificate earners can pursue eligibility for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) certification exam administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
Students pursuing the Healthcare Informatics certificate program can also opt to transfer credits and apply for the Master’s in Biomedical Informatics program anytime during the tenure of their certificate program.
Rutgers University has received recognition for its biomedical research, clinical trials, cancer center and patient medical and behavioral healthcare delivery. Through a 2012 merger of its nine schools and affiliated health services, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) is a powerhouse division of academic, health, and patient services.
U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Rutgers University among America’s Top 25 Public National Universities.
11. Drexel University
Online Master in Health Informatics
Drexel University’s Online Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) is an interdisciplinary program offered through the College of Computing and Informatics with curriculum input from the university’s College of Nursing and Health Professions.
Drexel University is a charter member of the American Medical Informatics Association Academic Forum.
The Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) online program targets healthcare professionals looking to enhance their organization’s use of informatics and IT specialists pursuing careers with health organizations.
Students can take the 100 percent online MSHI program on a full-time or part-time basis, making it especially accessible to those already actively working in the field.
Drexel’s Online Health Informatics Master degree program consists of 15 courses and a minimum of 45 credit hours. Students with no previous experience in healthcare must take Independent Study: Clinical Experience.
The 100 percent online, nine-credit Certificate in Healthcare Informatics program provides an intensive introduction to the field of Medical/Health Informatics.
Drexel University has an exemplary standing in online learning. The university won the 2010 Sloan-C Award for Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Education as well as the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)’s 21st Century Distance Learning Award.
U.S. News & World Report ranks Drexel as one of America’s Best Colleges, with its Master’s in Library and Information Science ranked 11th in the nation and its Specialty in Information Systems ranked 5th in the nation.
12. University of Mississippi Medical Center
Online Master of Health Informatics and Information Management
The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) School of Health Related Professions provides the Master of Health Informatics and Information Management (MHIIM) online degree program. The 100 percent online program prepares students to develop information systems to manage patient care, medical legal issues, reimbursement, research, planning, and evaluation.
Students typically take the 36–42 credit-hours program on a part-time basis. The typical part-time online learning path at UMMC comprises 6–7 credit hours per semester, making completion time about two years.
The program thoroughly reviews health informatics administration, health care data security, strategic and operational IT planning, clinical data analysis, master patient index systems, clinical decision support systems, informatics systems development and implementation.
UMMC offers three tracks for its online Master’s of Health Informatics and Information Management program. Two distinct tracks allow students to specialize in health informatics or health information management. A third track allows students to take an additional six credit hours and pursue eligibility for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) certification exam administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
University of Mississippi Medical Center has a stalwart record of medical research, healthcare professional development and distance learning. In its most recent accreditation report, UMMC’s baccalaureate program in HIIM attained an impressive 100 percent satisfaction rating from both employers and graduates.
13. University of Central Florida
Online Master of Health Care Informatics
The University of Central Florida (UCF) Department of Health Management and Informatics offers the online Professional Science Master’s Program in Health Care Informatics, a program designed to meet the increasing demand for healthcare informatics professionals.
UCF’s Master in Health Care Informatics program focuses on providing students a comprehensive foundation in the business, clinical, management and clinical aspects of the health informatics field.
The MHCI program at UCF, a 36-credit hours program, includes a capstone project and an internship. There are no prerequisites; however, students lacking the minimal professional or educational experience are required to take three foundational courses in health services administration, health information management, and medical terminology.
UCF ranks among the top 50 Best Values in Public Colleges in the U.S. according to Kiplinger 2012. In 2013 Princeton Review selected a UCF education as one of the best academic buys in the country. The 2013 U.S. News & World Report ranks UCF’s College of Engineering and Computer Science among the top 100 U.S. public universities.
14. Regis University, Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions
Online Master in Health Care Informatics and Information Management
Regis University is one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S. and the only one in the Rocky Mountain West.
The online Master’s in Health Care Informatics and Information Management (MS-HIIM) program at Regis University’s Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions is designed for current healthcare professionals seeking advanced knowledge of work flow design, systems planning and implementation, security management, and electronic healthcare information management.
Beyond IT, the program also includes curriculum focused on project management, leadership development, ethics, and managing digital information with a health care application. Students without healthcare experience must satisfy two graduate-level prerequisites.
Classes run for 8 weeks in the 100 percent online program; the program has 24/7 flexibility. Most students enrolled in the Master’s in Health Care Informatics and Information Management program complete the program within 18 months.
U.S. News & World Report ranked Regis University as a Top University in the West for 18 consecutive years. U.S. News & World Report recognized Regis University in its 2012 Top Online Education Program Rankings.
15. University of Maryland University College
Online Master of Science in Health Administration Informatics
University of Maryland University College’s (UMUC) online Master of Science in Health Administration Informatics (MSHAI) degree at the University of Maryland University College has a dual focus: Healthcare administration and informatics (information science) as applied to the healthcare industry.
The program prepares students for positions such as Health Informatics/Data Analyst, Health Administration Informatics Products Vendor, Healthcare Information Services Manager, Health Administration Informatics Consultant and CIO of Health Informatics.
Candidates for the MSHAI program should have at least three years of information technology experience in a healthcare setting or professional work experience in a healthcare setting.
The curriculum requires 36 credits of coursework, two integrative healthcare administration informatics courses, one of which is a capstone, five technology courses, four healthcare administration courses and a research methods course. University of Maryland University College also offers a 15 semester-hours certificate in Informatics. The certificate in informatics features a foundation in information technology and an introduction to current informatics issues.
UMUC is considered a leader in distance learning. In FY 2013, UMUC had over 261,000 online course enrollments and offered 970 distinct courses online. UMUC has received five Sloan Consortium Excellence Awards for its distance learning programs.
The Commission for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM) accredits UMUC’s Master of Science in Health Administration Informatics degree.
16. Grand Canyon University
Online Master of Science in Health Care Informatics
Grand Canyon University (GCU) designed the online Health Care Informatics Master’s degree program for people interested in using information technology for improved decision-making and patient outcomes.
Students in the program are prepared to integrate information technology with healthcare to sustain patient-care systems, quality assessment, system operations and healthcare project management.
Depending on areas of experience and specialization, graduates might work as project designers and managers, systems analysts, researchers, or administrators in a variety of settings, e.g. hospitals, primary care facilities, insurance companies, doctors? offices, technology suppliers and consulting firms.
Designed around monthly classes, the 48 credit hours online Health Care Informatics Master’s degree program generally takes 23 months to complete.
GCU has established a solid reputation in online learning.
17. Walden University
Online Master in Health Informatics
Walden’s School of Health Sciences offers the online Master in Health Informatics program designed to help its graduates increase patient access to healthcare, reduce healthcare costs, and improve the diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes of disease through better collection, processing and analysis of healthcare data.
The program covers subjects such as information systems management; legal, regulatory and ethical issues; project management; research methods and quantitative analysis; healthcare information technology business and finance, and more.
Students in the online Master in Health Informatics program complete 33–36 total semester credits: 30 semester credits in courses, a capstone project (3 credits) and an optional practicum (3 credits).
18. Kaplan University
Online Master of Health Informatics
Kaplan University’s Health Sciences division offers the 100 percent online Master in Health Informatics degree program. The program prepares health informatics professionals to work with the processes and resources used to record, store, and analyze healthcare information and to communicate with healthcare providers and IT professionals.
The Master’s in Health Informatics degree focuses on the relationship between information technology, people, health information systems, healthcare data analysis and epidemiology. The program also covers evaluating public policy and healthcare procedures and policies to support informatics innovation across systems.
The interdisciplinary curriculum features a total of 48 credit hours and takes on average 18 months to complete. In addition to the flexibility of online learning, Kaplan University offers multiple start dates.
19. Southern New Hampshire University
Online Master in Information Technology-Healthcare Informatics
Southern New Hampshire University offers an online Master in Information Technology-Healthcare Informatics degree. The program covers how the healthcare industry utilizes information; electronic medical records and radiology systems to provide access to medical information as well as improve patient care. The online Master in Information Technology-Healthcare Informatics program reviews strategies for implementing healthcare information technologies and IT project management in a healthcare environment.
Students in the program complete 12 courses including nine core MS in Information Technology courses and three IT concentration courses for a total of 36 credits. Students can take classes 100 percent online, on campus or a combination of both.
In March 2014, for the 7th consecutive year, New Hampshire Business Review named Southern New Hampshire University Best Online Degree Program in its 2014 Best of Business Reader’s Poll.
20. Anna Maria College
Online MBA with a Health Informatics Specialization
Anna Maria College (AMC), a small, private Catholic college in Paxton, Massachusetts, offers an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Health Informatics Specialization.
The program is a combination of graduate-level learning: Information science, computer science and healthcare administration. The online MBA with a Health Informatics Specialization degree program prepare students for management and analytical roles in the fast-growing area of healthcare informatics.
The program covers incorporating health data into strategic decision making in order to improve the business performance of healthcare organizations. The program also covers the legal and ethical issues associated with electronic healthcare data.
The curriculum includes 12 specialization courses in Healthcare Informatics, 21 credit hours in core courses and a capstone project for a total of 36 credit hours. Students can usually complete the online MBA with a Health Informatics Specialization degree program in one to one-and-a-half years.