Health Informatics, M.S.
About the Program
Health Informatics is the intersection of healthcare, information science, and computer science. The M.S. in Health Informatics (MSHI) is an innovative, interdisciplinary, applied graduate degree program that addresses the intersection of healthcare and information technology to develop efficient systems, processes, and uses of health data across the continuum of healthcare delivery to improve patient care and advance individual and population health outcomes. The MSHI is focused on the resources, devices, and methods to optimize healthcare delivery. The program helps students develop the competencies and acquire the practical tools to succeed in today’s digital healthcare environment. Current students include physicians, nurses, therapists, data analysts, and information technology and allied health professionals. The degree is also well suited for individuals with no prior healthcare or information technology experience.
The MSHI is available in an online format that is designed for professionals and individuals located both within and outside the metropolitan Philadelphia region or who travel extensively for professional reasons. Course formats include a mix of asynchronous and synchronous courses with online synchronous sessions meeting via online conferencing and face-to-face tools. The program is offered across two seven-week terms (six weeks in two summer sessions). Students enroll in one course per six- or seven-week term and complete two courses in the length of a traditional semester.
For those interested in studying health informatics who cannot commit to pursuing a master's degree, a graduate certificate in Health Informatics that runs for a shorter course of seven-week terms is also offered by the College of Public Health. Coursework completed for the certificate may later be applied to the MSHI.
Time Limit for Degree Completion: 5 years
Campus Location: Main and Online
Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The degree can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.
Interdisciplinary Study: The degree program is interdisciplinary in nature with a focus on inquiry, insight, and innovation. The program builds an awareness of both clinical and technical challenges in the field.
Accreditation: The curriculum meets the curricular requirements of the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), which is the accrediting body of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
Areas of Specialization: Three concentrations are offered:
- Cybersecurity for Healthcare Professionals
- Healthcare Data Analytics
- Population Health Management
Job Prospects: Graduates of the program obtain positions in a variety of healthcare institutions or vendor settings in a wide range of positions such as electronic health record system implementation specialist, health data analyst, and project manager. A number of external organizations, including AHIMA, the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), conduct annual surveys of job prospects.
Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Non-matriculated students may take a maximum of 9 graduate-level credits. Upon completion of the credits, a student's academic performance is reviewed.
Transfer Credit: Graduate-level credits earned at another accredited institution may be evaluated during the application process. The maximum number of graduate credits a student may transfer is 6.
Financing Opportunities: Students in the MSHI program are generally working professionals. Therefore, funding for assistantships and academic internships is limited.
Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Fall: March 1
Spring: November 1
The application process requires submission through the Centralized Application Service for Public Health (SOPHAS). The system can be accessed at https://sophas.liaisoncas.com/.
Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 3
From Whom: Recommendations should be obtained from faculty and/or professionals familiar with the applicant's academic competence and/or professional work experience.
Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: All applicants must present credentials that are the equivalent of an accredited baccalaureate degree. The minimum acceptable undergraduate GPA is 3.0.
Statement of Goals: Demonstrate your professional writing ability as you describe your interest in obtaining the MSHI degree. Your statement should address the impact of informatics on health and healthcare as well as the effect a graduate degree can have on one's career.
Standardized Test Scores:
GRE: Optional, although applicants who believe GRE scores would complement their application are encouraged to submit scores. If submitted, quantitative and verbal scores are expected to be in the 50th percentile or above. Official GRE scores should be sent to SOPHAS using code 0151.
Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:
- TOEFL iBT: 79 (send officially to SOPHAS using the SOPHAS-specific TOEFL code 5688)
- IELTS Academic: 6.5
- PTE Academic: 53
- Duolingo: 110
Resume: Current resume required.
General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30
|HIM 5101||Fundamentals of Health Informatics||3|
|HIM 5112||Health Information Systems: Design and Decision Making||3|
|HIM 5113||Database Administration for Health Informatics Professionals||3|
|HIM 5127||Privacy and Security: Protecting Healthcare Data||3|
|HIM 5128||Health Data: Standards and Interoperability||3|
|HIM 5129||Health Data Analysis||3|
|HPM 5006||Political and Economic Aspects of Health||3|
|HRPR 5001||Current and Emerging Issues in Public Health and Health Professions 1||0|
|Concentration Electives 2||6|
|HIM 9995||Capstone Project||3|
|Total Credit Hours||30|
This common College Core course is required of all incoming graduate students in the College of Public Health. It is available completely online and designed such that students can complete the modules at their own pace over the course of their degree program.
Two electives are taken in the student's chosen area of concentration. Approved electives are delineated in the grids below:
Cybersecurity for Healthcare Professionals
|MIS 5206||Protection of Information Assets||3|
|MIS 5209||Securing Digital Infrastructure||3|
Healthcare Data Analytics
|HIM 5111||Technology for Healthcare Financial Management||3|
|HIM 5114||Health Informatics Project Management||3|
Population Health Management
|HIM 5106||Technology for Population Health||3|
|HPM 5122||Healthcare Quality and Safety||3|
Minimum Grade to be Earned for All Required Courses: B-
The capstone course (HIM 9995) is the culminating course for students in the MSHI program. Students create strategies and approaches that focus on various disciplines of health informatics, such as electronic health records, health information exchange, and ethical/legal issues. In addition, students analyze systems and evaluate potential decisions from the persona of senior-level healthcare executives.
Program Web Address:
Dept. of Health Services Administration and Policy
Ritter Hall Annex, 9th Floor
1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6005
Submission Address for Application Materials:
CPH Office of Admissions
Bari Dzomba, M.S., Ph.D.
Huanmei Wu, Ph.D.