Health Informatics Degrees

The advancement of technology is impacting the ability of healthcare providers to diagnose and treat patients. New medical devices can help monitor symptoms; cutting-edge techniques can offer relief to patients who were once unable to find it, and the data that healthcare providers collect can help improve healthcare delivery to all.

With sophisticated internal pacemakers and wearable external technology, health information is poised to grow the knowledge base of common medical conditions and reduce their pervasive effects.

Examples of these consumer products include glucose monitors that help diabetic patients consistently monitor their blood sugar without skin pricks, and Apple Watches allow people to watch and share their vital signs, noting when blood oxygen levels, pulse, sleep, and physical activity are present. As healthcare data becomes more precise and plentiful, the field of health informatics is predicted to rise to protect consumers and help people and their loved ones manage chronic health conditions with more ease.

A health informatics degree program teaches students how best to collect, store, retrieve, and analyze complex health data to improve patient outcomes and advocate for the best possible treatment protocols. Because healthcare providers are collecting an increasing amount of data from year to year, the need for health informatics professionals is expected to increase over the next decade.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) collects details on the medical records specialists, which correlates closely to those with health informatics degrees. According to the BLS (2022), the need for these types of specialists will increase by 7 percent between 2021 and 2031, adding 12,300 new jobs.

Although it is possible to get an entry-level job in the healthcare informatics field with just an associate degree, the most competitive and best-paying positions will require a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Fortunately, there are many reputable programs available to interested applicants. In addition, both on-campus and online programs are available, making it possible for anyone dedicated to learning to earn their degree and start a career in this growing field.

Read more about this growing data-driven career and on-campus and online health informatics degree and certificate programs.

Health Informatics Degree & Certification Programs

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Grand Canyon University
Rasmussen University - Online
University of Pittsburgh
Southern New Hampshire University
Creighton University

Evaluating health informatics programs can be a challenge because many programs have similar names. Health informatics programs are commonly offered at the bachelor of science (BS) and master of science (MS) levels. Nursing informatics is also a widely offered degree available to those already licensed as registered nurses (RNs).

Associate degree programs with similar curriculums but not the same depth as health informatics programs are typically described as health information management (HIM) or health information technology degrees. While these associate-level programs can undoubtedly lead to fulfilling careers, they do not constitute an education in health informatics.

Applicants should also be advised that a BS in health informatics usually requires a significant internship or practical component, which is necessary to gain the clinical hours to be a certified health information technician.

For students interested in management or more advanced health information technology specialties, a master’s degree program is available from several well-known schools. Although this degree program does not always require an internship, it may only be available for students with significant healthcare experience. Following is a selection of on-campus health informatics programs available to students in the US.


On-Campus Health Informatics Programs

Oregon Health & Science University (Graduate Certificate, MS, PhD in Clinical Informatics)

At Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, students in the Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology can choose from two graduate-level informatics programs. The 24-credit graduate certificate is designed for clinicians and healthcare administration professionals to learn about biomedical informatics and how professionals can apply it to patient health.

The 55-credit master’s program has held accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) since 2012. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of both healthcare professionals who want further training in informatics and non-healthcare professionals who wish to pursue a deeper understanding of how information technology impacts healthcare delivery.

The certificate includes courses such as introduction to biomedical informatics; clinical information systems; and organizational behavior and management. Coursework in the master’s program includes health and clinical informatics; health care; evaluative sciences; organizational behavior and project management; and computer science. The 135-credit PhD program includes courses in clinical research design; core knowledge of biomedical informatics; doctoral symposium; mentored teaching; and advanced research methods.

  • Location: Portland, OR
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU); Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years
  • Estimated Tuition: Oregon Residents (certificate – $20,000; MS, thesis, on-campus – $47,000; MS, non-thesis, on-campus – $45,000); non-residents (certificate – $23,000; MS, thesis, on-campus – $55,000; MS, non-thesis, on-campus – $52,000)

Temple University (MS in Health Informatics)

Temple University, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, offers thorough training in health information management and health informatics. This 36-credit master of science (MS) program in health informatics includes courses such as fundamentals of health informatics; applications of computer programming in health informatics; database administration for health informatics professionals; health data analysis; technology for healthcare financial management; global health informatics; and political and economic aspects of health.

Temple University also offers a dual degree program awarding an MS in health informatics (MSHI) and master of public health (MPH), which can be completed in three to four years on-campus, online, or in a hybrid format.

  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools; Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM); Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years
  • Estimated Tuition: Pennsylvania resident ($1,020 per credit); out-of-state ($1,398 per credit)

University of Central Florida (BS in Health Informatics and Information Management)

The University of Central Florida, located in Orlando, is a flexible option for students who want to complete most of their degrees online. However, internships with UCF-affiliated partners are required to graduate from this program. The program’s 60-credit curriculum includes courses such as foundations of HIM; fundamentals of HIT; principles of managed care; medical terminology; health data management; healthcare finance; quality management; management affiliation; and HIM systems.

Combining practical experience with classroom theory, the program will help students learn about systems analysis, business management, computer applications in healthcare, and medical coding and will be able to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world settings.

In the academic year 2020-2021, the graduation rate was 94.3 percent, and 97 percent of graduates found employment within one year of completing the program. In addition, a fully online MS in healthcare informatics program is available.

  • Location: Orlando, FL
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC); Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Four years
  • Estimated Tuition: $105.07 per credit

University of Michigan (MS, Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics)

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is a highly-ranked school that offers a two-year, 52-credit master in health informatics (MHI) program. This MHI program includes an intensive internship portion that gives students the ability to see health informatics in use and apply what they have learned in real-world scenarios.

The curriculum includes courses such as introduction to health informatics; evaluation methods in health informatics and learning systems; managing health informatics; the health services system; organization & management of health advocacy & community-based non-profits; comprehensive healthcare strategies; consumer health informatics; population health informatics; designing consumer health technologies; and applied clinical informatics.

Students enrolled in another graduate program can also complete a 15-credit graduate certificate in health informatics concurrent with their master’s program. In addition, self-initiated dual degree programs are available to students who want to pursue courses of study covering two related health informatics disciplines.

  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: One to two years
  • Estimated Tuition: Resident ($1,790 per credit); non-residents ($3,247 per credit)

University of San Francisco (MS in Digital Health Informatics)

The School of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of San Francisco offers a master of science in digital health informatics. This program emphasizes mobile health, digital therapeutics, telehealth, and advanced analytics for healthcare. Global health is a critical element.

Students in this 36-credit program take courses in global health informatics; perspective health informatics; digital health entrepreneur; consumer health informatics; project in health informatics; epidemiology; healthcare systems leadership; and healthcare policy and ethics. Graduates from this program have a 95 job placement rate.

To get accepted into the program, applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited program, unofficial transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, a grade point average of 3.0, two letters of recommendation, a professional resume, a statement of career goals, and TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores for international students.

  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,250 per credit

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (MS in Health Informatics)

The School of Biomedical Sciences at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas offers a master’s of health informatics geared toward clinicians, IT professionals, and computer and data scientists.

The curriculum follows the ten domains set forth by the American Medical Informatics Association and includes courses in clinical thinking; the U.S. healthcare system; health information technology; evidence-based medicine and clinical decision support; data analytics; biomedical and basic science informatics; workflow process analysis system development, human factors, and usability; health information management; and project management & clinical system life cycle.

Students can complete the program in two years full-time or 2.5 years part-time. In addition, a capstone research experience is required to gain field experience applying academic knowledge to existing problems in healthcare informatics.

  • Location: Dallas, TX
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two to 2.5 years
  • Estimated Tuition: Residents ($12,509 per year); non-residents ($19,979 per year)

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List of Health Informatics Schools

Filter by state :
School City State Website grads (2021)
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor Michigan https://umich.edu 55
Temple University Philadelphia Pennsylvania https://www.temple.edu 55
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis Indianapolis Indiana https://www.iupui.edu 52
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Milwaukee Wisconsin https://uwm.edu 51
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus Cincinnati Ohio https://www.uc.edu 43
University of South Alabama Mobile Alabama https://www.southalabama.edu 43
Stony Brook University Stony Brook New York https://www.stonybrook.edu 43
Duke University Durham North Carolina https://duke.edu 37
Adelphi University Garden City New York https://www.adelphi.edu 34
Stanford University Stanford California https://www.stanford.edu 33
University of Utah Salt Lake City Utah https://www.utah.edu 31
Harvard University Cambridge Massachusetts https://www.harvard.edu 31
Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale Florida https://www.nova.edu 28
Kennesaw State University Kennesaw Georgia https://www.kennesaw.edu 26
SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University Brooklyn New York https://www.downstate.edu 25
Northwestern University Evanston Illinois https://www.northwestern.edu 25
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill North Carolina https://www.unc.edu 24
Lipscomb University Nashville Tennessee https://www.lipscomb.edu 23
University of San Francisco San Francisco California https://www.usfca.edu 22
University of Missouri-Columbia Columbia Missouri https://missouri.edu 22
University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte North Carolina https://www.charlotte.edu 21
University of New England Biddeford Maine https://www.une.edu 20
Northern Kentucky University Highland Heights Kentucky https://www.nku.edu 19
Oregon Health & Science University Portland Oregon https://www.ohsu.edu 18
Marshall University Huntington West Virginia https://www.marshall.edu 18
Saint Louis University Saint Louis Missouri https://www.slu.edu 15
Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus Indiana Pennsylvania https://www.iup.edu 15
Hofstra University Hempstead New York https://www.hofstra.edu 14
University of Miami Coral Gables Florida https://welcome.miami.edu 13
Pierce College District Lakewood Washington https://www.pierce.ctc.edu 13
Kent State University at Kent Kent Ohio https://www.kent.edu 12
Harrisburg Area Community College Harrisburg Pennsylvania https://www.hacc.edu 12
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Lubbock Texas https://www.ttuhsc.edu 11
Drexel University Philadelphia Pennsylvania https://drexel.edu 10
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia Pennsylvania https://www.upenn.edu 9
Georgetown University Washington District of Columbia https://www.georgetown.edu 9
University at Buffalo Buffalo New York https://www.buffalo.edu 9
University of Michigan-Dearborn Dearborn Michigan https://umdearborn.edu 8
Columbia State Community College Columbia Tennessee https://www.columbiastate.edu 8
The University of Texas at Tyler Tyler Texas https://www.uttyler.edu 8
CUNY Brooklyn College Brooklyn New York https://www.brooklyn.edu 7
Clemson University Clemson South Carolina https://www.clemson.edu 7
University of California-Davis Davis California https://www.ucdavis.edu 7
New England College Henniker New Hampshire https://www.nec.edu 6
University of Washington-Seattle Campus Seattle Washington https://www.washington.edu 6
Vanderbilt University Nashville Tennessee https://www.vanderbilt.edu 5
Grand Valley State University Allendale Michigan https://www.gvsu.edu 5
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Little Rock Arkansas https://www.uams.edu 4
Rogue Community College Grants Pass Oregon https://www.roguecc.edu 4
Medical University of South Carolina Charleston South Carolina https://web.musc.edu 4
University of Denver Denver Colorado https://www.du.edu 3
Montana Technological University Butte Montana https://www.mtech.edu 3
Bergen Community College Paramus New Jersey https://bergen.edu 2
East Tennessee State University Johnson City Tennessee https://www.etsu.edu/ehome 2
Governors State University University Park Illinois https://www.govst.edu 2
Northeastern University Boston Massachusetts https://www.northeastern.edu 2
Loyola University Chicago Chicago Illinois https://www.luc.edu 2
Bellevue College Bellevue Washington https://www.bellevuecollege.edu 1
Francis Marion University Florence South Carolina https://www.fmarion.edu 1
Idaho State University Pocatello Idaho https://www.isu.edu 1
Metropolitan State University of Denver Denver Colorado https://www.msudenver.edu 1
Mountwest Community and Technical College Huntington West Virginia https://www.mctc.edu 1
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester New York https://www.rit.edu 1
University of Massachusetts-Boston Boston Massachusetts https://www.umb.edu 1
University of Iowa Iowa City Iowa https://uiowa.edu 1
University of Illinois Chicago Chicago Illinois https://www.uic.edu 1
The University of Montana Missoula Montana https://www.umt.edu 1
2020-2021 School Data from IPEDS (Sourced in September, 2023)

Hybrid & Online Health Informatics Programs

Since health informatics is a technology-driven degree, there are many options for students offered entirely online. The availability of online and hybrid programs depends on the level of education being pursued, with master’s level programs being much more common in the online or hybrid format.

Below is a selection of health informatics programs that have been accredited by the CAHIIM, which may be required for specific certifications. The CAHIIM program directory has a list of all online learning programs that are accredited.

Kent State University (MS, Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics)

Kent State Online offers a fully online master’s degree and a graduate certificate in health informatics. Students in these programs learn from award-winning faculty and can complete the certificate program in less than a year.

The 18-credit certificate includes seven-week courses taken in sequence and small class sizes and leads to careers in healthcare, educational services, and technology. The 36-credit master’s program can be completed in as few as 24 months. The GRE is not required for admission to either program.

Admission requirements include a completed online application, a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a current resume. The curriculum includes courses such as health informatics management; legal issues in health informatics; health information systems; health records management; clinical analytics; and human factors and usability in health informatics.

  • Location: Kent, OH
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: MS (24 months); certificate (12 months)
  • Estimated Tuition: Residents ($725 per credit); non-residents ($735 per credit)

Louisiana Tech University (MS in Health Informatics)

Louisiana Tech University in Ruston offers an online master of science in health informatics and information management through its college of applied and natural sciences. Although the school notes that admission is competitive, the GRE is not required for this program. However, students should have completed a bachelor’s degree in health information management or a related field to apply. Graduates from this program have a 100 percent job placement rate within six months of graduation.

Made up of 39 credits, the program includes courses such as healthcare compliance; database architecture; medical vocab and class systems; health informatics advanced statistical methods; project management; evaluation of information systems; consumer health informatics; and EHR infrastructure, among others.

  • Location: Ruston, LA
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM); Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years
  • Estimated Tuition: $714 per credit

Oregon Institute of Technology (BS in Health Informatics)

Oregon Tech, also known as the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT), offers a fully online bachelor of science at two campuses in Klamath Falls and Portland. This program has a 95 percent job placement rate for graduates. Students are prepared to design, implement, and support computer systems in healthcare, including information management, patient monitoring and reporting, and medical education and research.

Students in this 182-credit program take courses in medical terminology; health care management; principles of macro and micro economics; relational database design; business analytics; advanced database app programming; healthcare information systems management; statistical methods in epidemiology; strategic management; data mining; and organizational behavior.

  • Location: Klamath Falls & Portland, OR
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Four years
  • Estimated Tuition: Resident ($212.70 per credit); non-resident ($677.02 per credit)

University of Illinois at Chicago (MS in Health Informatics)

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Public Health, Nursing, and Computer programs are some of the best in the nation. This school is noted for its flexibility, offering a 100 percent online MS option and a hybrid research degree option. The major admission requirements for the program include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, a GPA of 3.0, and registrar-issued transcripts (copies) from all colleges or universities attended.

In addition, this is a CAHIIM-approved program, meaning that graduates are eligible to take the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) exam offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). The 38-credit program offers three concentrations in consumer and mobile health, health data science, and leadership.

The curriculum of the program includes courses such as healthcare data; information sources in biomedical & health information sciences; communication skills in health informatics; ethics & legal issues in health informatics; healthcare information systems; management of healthcare communication systems; and health information systems analysis & design.

Notably, the university also offers a 24-credit post-master’s certificate in health informatics (PMC HI) and several post-baccalaureate certificates in health informatics (PBC HI).

  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC); Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years
  • Estimated Tuition: $750 per credit

University of Maryland Global Campus (MS in Health Information Management Technology)

The University of Maryland Global Campus is an affordable option with local prestige. The online master’s degree in health informatics administration comprises 36 credits that allow students to gain experience in information science and health care administration. Students must have three years of professional healthcare experience or information tech in a healthcare setting to apply.

This program is an approved education partner of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, and graduates are eligible to sit for the CAHIMS/CPHIMS certification exams.

The curriculum includes courses such as introduction to healthcare administration; information technology foundations; foundations of information security and assurance; health informatics and data analytics; health data management; financial management for healthcare organizations; and legal aspects of healthcare administration.

  • Location: Largo, MD
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE); Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years
  • Estimated Tuition: In-state ($524 per credit); out-of-state ($659 per credit)

University of Mississippi Medical Center (BS in Health Informatics and Information Management)

The University of Mississippi Medical Centers offers online delivery for four health informatics and information (HIIM) programs. The bachelor’s programs are divided into traditional and progression. The traditional program allows students new to the health informatics field to earn a bachelor’s degree online. In contrast, the progression program is designed for those who already hold the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential.

Both programs feature online coursework and have been accredited by the CAHIIM. The master’s degree program offers two tracks: health informatics (HI) and health information management (HIM), both of which require 36 credits for graduation. The post-baccalaureate certificate in health informatics can be completed in three semesters and requires 10 hours of courses with a grade of “B” or higher.

The curriculum of the health informatics track includes courses in health care delivery and policy; health information and computer science; data architecture, analytics, & visualization; health informatics; leadership strategies in health informatics; development of electronic health information systems; epidemiology and public health informatics; applied health care statistics; and privacy and security for health informatics.

  • Location: Jackson, MS
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC); Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 1.5 to four years
  • Estimated Tuition: Graduate (resident – $525 per credit; non-resident $675 per credit); Undergraduate (resident – $400 per credit; non-resident $550 per credit)
School City State Website grads (2021)
Capella University Minneapolis Minnesota https://www.capella.edu 205
University of South Florida Tampa Florida https://www.usf.edu 82
George Mason University Fairfax Virginia https://www.gmu.edu 62
University of San Diego San Diego California https://www.sandiego.edu 56
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor Michigan https://umich.edu 55
Temple University Philadelphia Pennsylvania https://www.temple.edu 55
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Houston Texas https://www.uth.edu 54
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis Indianapolis Indiana https://www.iupui.edu 52
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Milwaukee Wisconsin https://uwm.edu 51
Rutgers University-New Brunswick New Brunswick New Jersey https://newbrunswick.rutgers.edu 50
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus Cincinnati Ohio https://www.uc.edu 43
Northeastern University Professional Programs Boston Massachusetts https://www.northeastern.edu 36
Stanford University Stanford California https://www.stanford.edu 33
University of Utah Salt Lake City Utah https://www.utah.edu 31
Sacred Heart University Fairfield Connecticut https://www.sacredheart.edu 27
Northwestern University Evanston Illinois https://www.northwestern.edu 25
University of South Carolina-Upstate Spartanburg South Carolina https://www.uscupstate.edu 24
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill North Carolina https://www.unc.edu 24
DePaul University Chicago Illinois https://www.depaul.edu 23
Texas Woman's University Denton Texas https://twu.edu 23
University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte North Carolina https://www.charlotte.edu 21
The University of Findlay Findlay Ohio https://www.findlay.edu 20
Harrisburg University of Science and Technology Harrisburg Pennsylvania https://www.harrisburgu.edu 20
East Carolina University Greenville North Carolina https://www.ecu.edu 20
University of New England Biddeford Maine https://www.une.edu 20
Northern Kentucky University Highland Heights Kentucky https://www.nku.edu 19
Florida International University Miami Florida https://www.fiu.edu 19
Marshall University Huntington West Virginia https://www.marshall.edu 18
Oregon Health & Science University Portland Oregon https://www.ohsu.edu 18
National University La Jolla California https://www.nu.edu 17
University of South Carolina-Columbia Columbia South Carolina https://www.sc.edu 16
SUNY College at Oswego Oswego New York https://ww1.oswego.edu 14
Tennessee Technological University Cookeville Tennessee https://www.tntech.edu 13
Brandeis University Waltham Massachusetts https://www.brandeis.edu 13
Walden University Minneapolis Minnesota https://www.waldenu.edu 12
University of North Georgia Dahlonega Georgia https://ung.edu 12
Kent State University at Kent Kent Ohio https://www.kent.edu 12
University of Southern Indiana Evansville Indiana https://www.usi.edu 12
St Catherine University Saint Paul Minnesota https://www.stkate.edu 11
The College of Saint Scholastica Duluth Minnesota https://www.css.edu 11
Regis University Denver Colorado https://www.regis.edu 10
Drexel University Philadelphia Pennsylvania https://drexel.edu 10
Community College of Baltimore County Baltimore Maryland https://www.ccbcmd.edu 9
Western Michigan University Kalamazoo Michigan https://wmich.edu 9
Michigan Technological University Houghton Michigan https://www.mtu.edu 9
Loma Linda University Loma Linda California https://llu.edu 8
Tufts University Medford Massachusetts https://www.tufts.edu 7
University of Scranton Scranton Pennsylvania https://www.scranton.edu 6
Samford University Birmingham Alabama https://www.samford.edu 6
King University Bristol Tennessee https://www.king.edu 6
Western Kentucky University Bowling Green Kentucky https://www.wku.edu 5
Ohio University-Main Campus Athens Ohio https://www.ohio.edu 4
University of Kansas Lawrence Kansas https://ku.edu 3
Montana Technological University Butte Montana https://www.mtech.edu 3
University of Mary Bismarck North Dakota https://www.umary.edu 3
University of North Florida Jacksonville Florida https://www.unf.edu 2
Roane State Community College Harriman Tennessee https://www.roanestate.edu 2
Logan University Chesterfield Missouri https://www.logan.edu 2
University of the Sciences Philadelphia Pennsylvania https://www.sju.edu 2
Franklin University Columbus Ohio https://www.franklin.edu 2
Excelsior College Albany New York https://www.excelsior.edu 2
Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences Lancaster Pennsylvania https://www.pacollege.edu 1
Ohio State University-Main Campus Columbus Ohio https://www.osu.edu 1
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester New York https://www.rit.edu 1
Idaho State University Pocatello Idaho https://www.isu.edu 1
Georgia Southwestern State University Americus Georgia https://www.gsw.edu 1
West Coast University-Dallas Dallas Texas https://westcoastuniversity.edu 1
West Coast University-Orange County Anaheim California https://westcoastuniversity.edu 1
Cleveland State Community College Cleveland Tennessee https://www.clevelandstatecc.edu 1
Xavier University Cincinnati Ohio https://www.xavier.edu 1
2020-2021 School Data from IPEDS (Sourced in September, 2023)

Health Informatics Core & Elective Courses

Besides core courses like English, math, and science, each health informatics program has vital components.

  • Health data management – Students learn the structure and use of health information and advanced healthcare record management in this course. Topics covered include electronic health record-keeping, documentation guidelines, and regulatory compliance. Essential data collection tools and methodologies will also be discussed.
  • Health information communication technology – Students in this course will learn the function of computer systems for healthcare operations and medical vocabulary, and the infrastructure of the National Healthcare Information System.
  • Health information systems – This course teaches students the many clinical, administrative, and specialty options available to Healthcare Informatics Specialists, including bioinformatics, organizational informatics, and clinical informatics. Students will apply data mining concepts and techniques, learn data storage and retrieval strategies, and overcome common data security problems.
  • Quality management & performance improvement – In this course, students gain an advanced understanding of applying quality improvement tools and evaluating documentation to ensure that it meets quality standards. This course will also cover risk management for medical information, credentialing, and how to create facility-wide quality assurance programs.
  • Capstone or practicum – A practicum, capstone, or internship is vital for many program requirements. This may mean a research paper or a set of replacement courses for online programs, while for on-campus programs, the practicum element may require up to 400 hours of professional, on-site clinical work.

Health Informatics Program Accreditation - CAHIIM

To obtain a job as a health informatics specialist, it is not necessary to complete a program accredited explicitly by a programmatic accrediting body. However, most mid-level and top-level positions will be filled by those credentialed by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

To receive the individual AHIMA credential of Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) or Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT), students will need to complete a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

CAHIIM accredits health information manager (HIM) and health informatics (HI) programs, including undergraduate and graduate-level programs. The process is specific to each level of education, although the targeted primary program outcomes are the same. Programs that CAHIIM has approved focus on a curriculum that appropriately teaches the information systems, social-technical aspects of information-sharing, and the technology involved in managing healthcare information.

In addition to curriculum overview, all approved health informatics degree programs must undergo several on-site evaluations to ensure that the educators, curriculum, and technology components are up to national standards. The CAHIIM also provides that each program element will successfully prepare students to sit for the AHIMA exams.

Not only must a college be accredited by CAHIIM, but a regional or national accrediting body must also accredit it. For example, distance education courses should be accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). In addition, on-campus programs must be accredited by an organization approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Career Outlook

The career outlook for healthcare information specialists is good – growing steadily at the national average rate of growth of all occupations in the U.S. Healthcare informatics jobs are projected to increase by 7 percent between 2021 and 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2022).

One of the primary reasons for this increased need for healthcare information specialists is the rising complexity of caring for and managing medical records. In addition, as the healthcare industry gets closer to adopting ICD-10 and increased insurance regulations lead to more specified healthcare information, informatics is becoming a very unwieldy system that requires specialization.

In addition, there will be more need for healthcare services of all kinds over the next decade, mainly due to the rising aging population. The Baby Boomer generation, one of the largest demographics in America, requires more and more healthcare services. This means that all healthcare careers will be invaluable over the coming years.

Education is a massive element of the potential earning power of a health informatics degree. Entry-level positions may only require an associate degree but usually require an additional post-secondary certificate or a bachelor’s degree. The degree earned significantly impacts the earnings a professional in this field can make.

Students who complete a post-graduate certificate or Master’s Degree in Healthcare Informatics Administration or Research can potentially earn more. Specialists, such as Bioinformatics Specialists, Public Health Informatics Specialists, and Clinical Informatics Specialists can also expect to see higher-than-average pay.

Career Facts Health Informatics
Related CareersComputer and Information Systems Manager, Nursing Information Systems Coordinator
Common Job TitlesClinical Informatics Director, Clinical Informatics Strategist, Director of Health Information Management, Director of Health Information Technology, Health Information Director
Technology & EquipmentMedical Imaging Database Systems, Medical Software, Medical Picture Archiving Systems, Computers
Sourced from BLS, October 2022

Health Informatics Licensing & Certification

Although it is not strictly required to be licensed or certified to become a healthcare informatics specialist, students who complete certification requirements will be much more competitive in the field.

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is the most prestigious and well-known licensing body for healthcare informatics professionals. They provide students with a standardized test to demonstrate their mastery of the field.

The Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential requires that students pass an exam to earn the designation of Registered Health Information Technician. Students must complete a qualifying program from a school accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) to sit for this exam. Usually, this means at least a two-year investment towards a healthcare informatics degree, either at a US college or a foreign school that meets the CAHIIM reciprocity agreement.

For students who pursue a bachelor’s degree in health informatics, there is a higher level of certification available through AHIMA. These students are eligible to sit for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) exam, which is necessary for top-level management positions. This certification is also only available to those who have completed programs approved by CAHIIM.

Jocelyn Blore
Jocelyn Blore Managing Editor

Jocelyn Blore has interviewed dozens of medical technology and healthcare professionals, and edited hundreds of articles related to this field since 2015. After graduating from UC Berkeley, Jocelyn traveled the world for five years as freelance writer and English teacher. After stints in Japan, Brazil, Nepal, and Argentina, she took an 11-month road trip across the US, finally settling into lovely Eugene, OR. When Jocelyn isn’t writing about college programs or interviewing professors, she satirizes global politics and other absurdities at Blore’s Razor (Instagram: @bloresrazor). Thank you for being so interested.