Schools with Health Informatics Programs: How to Choose

Health informatics programs are offered at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels in traditional and online formats. Doctoral degrees are also available. Read on to find the appropriate health informatics school for you.

Education programs in health informatics are available at 4-year colleges and universities across the U.S. Programs might be part of information technology or health information management/administration departments.

10 Schools with Health Informatics Programs

Here's a list of schools with relevant programs:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition 2015-2016*
University of Texas Health Center at Houston Houston, Texas 4-year, Public Graduate certificate, master's, doctorate In-state $6,851
Out-of-state $26,055
University of Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota 4-year, Public Master's, doctorate In-state $15,844
Out-of-state $24,508
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio 4-year, Public Master's In-state $12,790
Out-of-state $24,532
Northeastern University Boston, Massachusetts 4-year, Private Master's $21,801
University of Massachusetts Boston, Massachusetts 4-year, Public Graduate certificate, master's In-state $2,590
Out-of-state $9,758
Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, New Hampshire 4-year, Private Bachelor's, master's Undergraduate:
$30,386
Graduate:
$18,810
Indiana University-Purdue University - Indianapolis Indianapolis, Indiana 4-year, Public Bachelor's, master's, doctorate Undergraduate:
In-state $9,056
Out-of-state $29,774
Graduate: In-state $8,136
Out-of-state $22,985
Western Governors University Salt Lake City, Utah 4-year, Private Bachelor's $6,070
University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, Illinois 4-year, Public Certificate, bachelor's, master's Undergraduate:
In-state $13,664
Out-of-state $26,520 Graduate:
In-state $13,447
Out-of-state $22,306
Kent State University Kent, Ohio 4-year, Public Certificate, bachelor's, master's, doctorate Undergraduate:
In-state $10,012
Out-of-state $18,212
Graduate: In-state $10,864
Out-of-state $18,380

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Keep the following important considerations in mind when selecting a health informatics school:

  • Choosing an accredited program is important for students who want to pursue careers in health information management or need to take the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification exam. Programs should be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).
  • While the courses will vary depending on the school, there are specific topics that should be covered, including electronic medical records, ePrescribing, telehealth and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  • Among faculty, there should be a strong presence of Registered Health Information Administrators and Certified Professionals in Health Information Technology.
  • A prospective program also should offer field work experience under the supervision of licensed professionals in the field.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Bachelor's degree programs may teach concepts from a variety of subject areas, such as healthcare, computer systems, communications and management. Often, programs are divided into the 2-year pre-professional track - which includes the non-informatics-specific courses - followed the professional health informatics track that encompasses the final two years. Many programs offer simulation labs in which students can practice, as well as preparatory courses for the RHIT exam. Online degree options are very common.

Graduate Certificate Programs

Certificates can be earned in as little as eight months and may be a good alternative for working professionals who do not have the time to pursue a graduate degree. Some programs are tailored to specific job areas, such as security, management and software engineering. Credits from these certificate programs can often be applied toward a master's degree. Some programs require students to complete a practicum.

Master's Degree Programs

Master's degree programs often offer students research tracks and clinical training in conjunction with the college's medical school. Many programs have prerequisite courses that are required before the master's courses can be taken. Depending on a prospective student's undergraduate work, these courses may be waived. Students can choose from thesis and non-thesis program options. Non-thesis programs typically require a capstone project.

Doctoral Programs

Typically, Ph.D. programs in health informatics are interdisciplinary and designed for individuals who wish to conduct research in the field. These programs may also prepare students for leadership roles in health information systems. Concentrations may be available in health informatics, biomedical informatics and other areas. Students are required to complete a dissertation based on original research.

Students should research the accreditation, course topics and faculty backgrounds of a health informatics program before enrolling.


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