Online Master’s Programs in Health Informatics

Updated on: 11/24/18

Health informatics ranks high among the most quickly growing career fields in the United States. Due to the constant evolution of informatics platforms and software—combined with the popularity of going “paperless” among medical facilities—skilled professionals who are adept at using the newest technologies are invaluable in today’s job market. With an online master’s degree in health informatics, health information technicians can gain a competitive advantage when applying to entry-level roles or may advance in their careers more quickly.

On this page, we take a look at what an online master’s degree program in health informatics covers. We also pinpoint the highest-ranking online health informatics master’s degree programs. Take a peek to see if this degree would be a great fit for you and find a list of qualified intuitions.

The Best Online Master’s in Health Informatics Programs of 2018

2-Year Colleges

An online master’s degree program in health informatics exposes students to the cutting-edge application of information technology and computer science to healthcare and medical data. This degree allows current informatics professionals to fast-track their medical field careers while not having to quit their day jobs.

In these online programs—which overlap the areas of health information management, biomedical informatics and clinical informatics—students dig deep into technological applications and also touch on the management of health information. They may additionally explore the use of modern technology to analyze biological data.

Check out our rankings list below to see which of the highest-ranking health informatics master’s degree programs would help you to transition into or advance in this career field. For these rankings, we obtained our data from the United States Department of Education, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and the universities’ own published materials. All of the schools in our list are accredited (we have highlighted their accrediting bodies below as well).

Rank University Title Tuition # of Online Programs Expand Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Description
1 Morehead State University $8,496 3 86% 49% 67% Yes Yes Yes

At Morehead State University, online students can complete a Bachelor of Science in Imaging Sciences with a concentration in Leadership in Medical Imaging. You will focus on topics such as fiscal management, program planning, healthcare law and policy and patient evaluation. This is a competitive application process with limited space. Prospective students should already have training and certification in a radiologic sciences field in an accredited program with a 2.5 GPA or higher. You should also have completed at least 15 credit hours of prerequisite courses in computer literacy, speech communications, English and mathematics before applying. MSU graduates typically move on to careers in imaging sciences administration or management positions.

2 Clarion University $7,238 2 94% 51% 41% Yes Yes Yes

Distance learners at Clarion University can earn a Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging Sciences online. This is a 120-credit program that offers two concentrations: radiologic technology or ultrasound. Graduates are proficient in performing all types of imaging exams to meet ARRT requirements. The hybrid version of the program only accepts students who are already credentialed radiologic technologists, sonographers, nuclear medicine technologists, radiation therapists or medical dosimetrists. Clinical requirements must be completed in-person. Most students in this program transfer in 60 credits from another accredited program and complete the remaining major core requirements at Clarion. Applicants must submit their high school GPA and SAT or ACT scores.

3 University of Wisconsin-La Crosse $7,585 3 74% 69% 24% No Yes Yes

Students at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse can earn their Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy in a blended format in approximately 4 years. WIth courses such as Radiation Physics, Pathophysiology, Patient Care and Medical Imagine, UWL will train you to administer radiation therapy and conduct x-rays for a variety of patients. Of the 120 required credits, a minimum of 30 semester hours must be complete in residence at UWL for graduation. Applicants should have at least a 2.75 GPA and 40 hours of observation in a radiation therapy department. Prospective students who need help accessing facilities to complete the observation requirements may contact the department for assistance or to schedule a visit.

4 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill $6,881 1 27% 91% 41% No Yes Yes

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a blended Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science option for distance learners. In this medical imaging-driven program, you will focus on the administration of radiation and x-rays for disease diagnosis and injury evaluation. You will explore several main areas of the practice such as orthopedics, pediatrics and mammography, vascular imaging and computerized tomography. Graduates are prepared to sit for the ARRT national certification exam in radiologic technology. UNC requires a host of general education requirements and radiologic science pre-admission courses. Applicant must also have a 2.5 GPA or higher.

5 Weber State University $4,611 4 - 50% 58% Yes Yes Yes

Weber State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences entirely online. Courses are self-paced and take about 4 weeks to complete, although you may take longer if you wish. As a distance learner, you will receive training in advanced radiologic sciences specialties, sonography, nuclear medicine and radiation therapy. To enroll in this program, students must be certified in medical imaging and/or therapeutic radiation before enrolling. Incoming students must submit their official high school transcripts or GED documentation. ACT and SAT scores are not mandatory and no clinicals are required for graduation. At Weber, distance learners also pay a flat in-state tuition rate.

6 Ohio State University-Main Campus $9,168 1 54% 85% 80% No Yes Yes

Students can pursue 3 specialty areas in a Bachelor of Science Radiologic Science and Therapy degree program at Ohio State University. You can choose from a major in Radiography, Radiation Therapy or Sonography/Vascular Therapy, all of which can be completed in a blended format. In any track, you will be prepared for professional careers in clinical practice, administration, education and research. Whether you are treating diseases with radiation, conducting x-rays and CT scans or diagnosing a medical condition using sonography, OSU teaches you the essential critical thinking and technological skills to make the best evidence-based decisions for patients. Applicants must have a 2.5 GPA or higher and 8 hours of documented patient contact experience.

7 Mitchell Technical Institute $3,488 1 - 70% 26% Yes Yes Yes

Online students at Mitchell Technical Institute can earn certificates in Advanced Medical Imaging (AVI). You may choose from programs in Computer Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging or Advanced Medical Imaging. Each certificate requires 10, 12 or 18 credits to complete, respectively. The AVI certificate is a combination of the Computer Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging tracks. Upon completion of the program, you will be eligible to apply for licensure. This program is only open to ARRT-registered technologists in Radiography, Nuclear Medicine Technology, Nuclear Medicine or Radiation Therapy. Applicants must complete an online or paper application and submit their ACT, Accuplacer, SAT or Compass scores.

8 Armstrong State University $3,886 2 80% 35% 8% Yes Yes Yes

The Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences at Georgia Southern University-Armstrong teaches online learners how to administer radiation, ultrasound, and magnetism to treat diseases and injuries. Students choose between 5 career specialties: Cardiovascular/Interventional Science, Nuclear Medicine, Radiation Therapy, Radiography or Sonography. This is a hybrid program consisting of 5-10 online courses over the course of 5 semesters, depending on chosen specialty. Graduates can sit for the national certification exam. Applicants must have a 2.5 GPA or higher, and should have 50 semester hours of general education requirements completed. Students with lab experience in a radiologic field are more likely to be admitted to this program.

9 Misericordia University $29,150 1 74% 72% 100% Yes Yes Yes

Distance learners can take advantage of Misericordia University's online Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. In this hybrid program, you will complete a curriculum that balances sonography education and liberal arts courses. The core curriculum is on-campus every other weekend with a few courses online. Approximately 110 credits are needed for graduation. All applicants should have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or be in the top half of their high school graduating class. Students should also have taken 3 years of mathematics and 2 years of science before applying. ACT or SAT scores are required. Graduates are prepared to sit for the ARRT Sonography exam.

10 Siena Heights University $24,390 2 72% 53% 99% Yes Yes Yes

Siena Heights University offers distance learners the chance to earn an Associate of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology through its Adrian and Southfield campuses. Students must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours while maintaining a 2.0 GPA. To satisfy graduation requirements, students complete a minimum of 18 credits through SHU. A maximum of 9 credit hours of prior learning credit, including CLEP, Excelsior College Exams, Michigan Occupational Competency Exams and military and police academy certification, can be counted toward the associate degree. SHU subscribes to a rolling admission policy and requires applicants to submit only an online undergraduate application and high school transcripts. Online students pay $530 per tuition credit regardless of their location.

11 St Catherine University $31,042 1 91% 61% 98% Yes Yes Yes
12 Baptist College of Health Sciences $9,864 1 54% 51% 83% Yes Yes Yes
13 Southern Illinois University-Carbondale $8,691 5 77% 46% 74% Yes Yes Yes
14 Minot State University $5,192 1 60% 42% 70% Yes Yes Yes
15 Carolinas College of Health Sciences $11,086 1 31% 33% 25% Yes Yes Yes
16 Bellarmine University $37,850 1 82% 68% 100% Yes Yes Yes
17 University of St Francis $30,520 1 49% 57% 100% Yes Yes Yes
18 Boise State University $4,872 3 82% 44% 41% Yes Yes Yes
19 Ball State University $8,992 1 62% 62% 40% Yes Yes Yes
20 University of Washington-Seattle Campus $9,694 1 45% 86% 38% No Yes Yes
21 Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania $7,238 1 78% 66% 6% Yes Yes Yes
22 University of Vermont $15,096 1 69% 76% 92% No Yes Yes
23 Texas State University $7,234 1 71% 59% 12% Yes Yes Yes
24 University of Missouri $8,286 1 75% 71% 64% No Yes Yes
25 Concordia University-Wisconsin $27,640 1 63% 62% 98% Yes Yes Yes
26 University of Sioux Falls $27,160 2 91% 54% 100% Yes Yes Yes
27 Saint Cloud State University $6,820 1 85% 48% 41% Yes Yes Yes
28 Notre Dame of Maryland University $33,785 1 59% 60% 98% Yes Yes Yes
29 Ferris State University $11,144 1 78% 51% 69% Yes Yes Yes
30 Clarkson College $11,976 5 52% 17% 58% Yes Yes Yes
31 Pennsylvania State University-Worldwide $12,718 1 83% 49% 56% Yes Yes Yes
32 Newman University $26,416 1 58% 47% 100% Yes Yes Yes
33 University of Charleston $20,564 2 52% 37% 94% Yes Yes Yes
34 National University $13,016 1 - 50% 4% Yes Yes Yes
35 Drury University $24,750 2 70% 64% 83% No Yes Yes
36 Missouri Southern State University $5,311 1 94% 39% 69% Yes Yes Yes
37 Lakeshore Technical College $3,910 1 - 58% 6% Yes Yes Yes
38 Washburn University $7,644 2 - 38% 64% Yes Yes Yes
39 Oregon Institute of Technology $8,110 1 73% 50% 60% Yes Yes Yes
40 Northeast Community College $2,700 1 - 48% 40% Yes Yes Yes
41 Briar Cliff University $27,684 1 - 48% 98% Yes Yes Yes
42 Northern Kentucky University $9,000 1 91% 40% 61% Yes Yes Yes
43 Southwestern Oklahoma State University $5,295 1 91% 38% 65% Yes Yes Yes
44 Drexel University $48,660 1 75% 68% 97% Yes Yes Yes
45 University of Hartford $35,036 2 72% 56% 98% Yes Yes Yes
46 Saint Louis University $40,100 2 65% 72% 91% No Yes Yes
47 University of Akron Main Campus $8,618 1 96% 45% 62% Yes Yes Yes
48 Fort Hays State University $3,789 1 91% 44% 73% No Yes Yes
49 Arkansas State University $6,060 2 70% 41% 70% No Yes Yes
50 Emory University $47,300 1 25% 91% 48% No Yes Yes

What to Know About Online Master’s in Health Informatics Coursework

An online master’s degree program in health informatics teaches students how to properly acquire, store, analyze, retrieve and use healthcare information to drive improved collaboration among patients’ medical care providers, such as nurses and doctors. The online program covers a variety of topics, such as electronic health records, informatics-related legal issues, medical information systems, data architecture/ modeling and the security of healthcare information systems.

Online program students can expect to receive the same type of instruction and to experience the same learning outcomes as they would in a traditional health informatics program.

What’s the Difference Between a Master’s in Health Informatics and an MBA in Health Informatics?

A health informatics MBA program typically offers more business-related concentration areas (for example, human resources, finance, marketing or economics). An MBA in health informatics is generally more focused on business administration concepts than a master’s degree in health informatics is.

What Common Courses are Offered in a Master’s in Health Informatics Program?

Check out these five sample courses that you may have to take as part of an online health informatics master’s degree program.

Health Care Administration

In this course, students learn about the organization and framework of the healthcare management system. They also explore some of the system’s common problems.

American Health Care

This course teaches students about the complicated and continuously changing healthcare system in the United States. In this course, students study the system’s history, its current functions and how it might change even more in the years ahead.

Health Informatics Fundamental Concepts

This course provides a glimpse at both the practical and the theoretical concepts that form the foundation of this field. Through this course, students will come to understand the “why” and “how” of information and communication systems associated with informatics.

Law, Ethics & Society in Health Informatics

This course covers the ethical, legal and social issues linked to the field of health informatics. In the course, students can expect to examine case studies and learn what is legally required when it comes to handling patient data. They also learn about ethical decision-making in the complex field of analytics.

Health Care Databases: Design, Development & Clinical Application

This course exposes students to the development, design and implementation of database systems in healthcare. Students learn about the important role that database applications play in regulatory compliance and quality improvement.

What Specializations are Available in a Master’s in Health Informatics Program?

Some online master’s degree programs in health informatics allow students to select specializations. These specializations may include, for example, health administration informatics, clinical informatics and health technology informatics.

Take a look at a few common master’s degree in health informatics specializations below.

Health Administration Informatics

This specialization is an ideal choice for students interested in management, administrative or business roles in healthcare, including in medical facilities, insurance companies, the government or technology firms. Students delve into subjects such as medical organization operations, consumer eHealth and critical thinking in healthcare.

Clinical Informatics

With this specialization, students focus on mastering content that the American Medical Informatics Association has approved. Students explore topics such as health information technology standards, healthcare decision-making, telecommunications networks, and data and analytics.

Health Technology Informatics

This specialization is designed for students who are interested in information technology concepts such as Web development and information system coordination, even beyond the medical field. Students who choose this specialization learn about analytics techniques, information systems–related project management and the design and implementation of database systems.

What Exams or Projects Should I Expect?

In an online master’s degree in health informatics, students might be required to take part in brief on-campus seminars or sessions. In addition, students in some programs may have to complete internships or practicums, during which they undergo hands-on training under expert supervision. Students may furthermore be expected to complete a capstone project or master’s thesis that allows them to demonstrate all that they have absorbed in the program. For instance, in a project, they may be required to solve a potential health informatics issue using their skills related to risk management, project management and data acquisition.

How Can I Choose a Quality Online Master’s in Health Informatics Program?

With so many health informatics programs available, deciding the best one for you can understandably be a challenge. Students who want to increase their employment opportunities should choose a program that is regionally or nationally accredited. However, some programs are also accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Attending a CAHIIM-accredited program makes students eligible for the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Registered Health Informatics Administrator, or RHIA, certification. Earning this certification demonstrates that a student has met the AHIMA’s stringent professional standards. The best health informatics programs provide students with a comprehensive education that highlights a variety of aspects of the field, as this qualifies them for a wide range of roles in the industry.

Career Opportunities with a Master’s in Health Informatics Degree

An online master’s degree in health informatics will provide you with the skills you need to thrive in a wide range of job positions in this industry. Here are a few of them.

Clinical Informatics Manager

This professional is charged with planning and administering a company’s program in clinical informatics. This includes turning clinical data into information that medical care professionals can access.

Median Salary: $98,350 per year

Currently Employed: 352,200

Expected Job Growth in next 10 years: 20%

Clinical Systems Analyst

This individual is responsible for regulating and improving clinical standards and practices within their organizations. Part of their job involves optimizing their organizations’ clinical information systems and workflow.

Median Salary: $88,270 per year

Currently Employed: 600,500

Expected Job Growth in next 10 years: 9%

Registered Health Information Technician

This professional processes medical records and sends medical records, such as charts, when necessary. A registered health information technician also checks records for completion and accuracy and also organizes medical records to produce patient abstracts.

Median Salary: $39,180 per year

Currently Employed: 206,300

Expected Job Growth in next 10 years: 13%

Information Security Manager

This high-ranking professional is responsible for maintaining their organizations’ security protocols. This individual creates strategies for increasing Internet and network security associated with various projects.

Median Salary: $ 95,510per year

Currently Employed: 100,000

Expected Job Growth in next 10 years: 28%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018

What’s the Expected Job Outlook for Health Informatics Careers?

As indicated above, the health informatics sector will remain in high demand over the next 10 years. A main reason for this is that the aging population in the United States will demand more healthcare services, which means that organizations will increasingly depend on health informatics professionals to organize these patients’ medical information in electronic health records. In addition, in the area of information security, health organizations will increasingly rely on highly skilled security professionals to guard them against cyberattacks, an increasing problem for companies.

Professional Organizations for Careers in Health Informatics

In addition to completing an online master’s degree in health informatics, students may benefit from joining professional organizations for networking purposes. Here are a few that are worth considering.

  • American Nursing Informatics Association

    This organization, also known as the ANIA, is the home of the Journal of Informatics Nursing. This quarterly publication made its debut in 2016. The ANIA has 18 regional chapters throughout the United States and hosts a yearly conference for all of its members.

  • American Health Information Management Association

    Both professionals and seeking AHIMA certification can access study guides and practice tests by joining this association. They can also take advantage of online workshops and discussion groups.

  • Healthcare Information & Management Systems Society

    This society, established in 1961, currently represents around 70,000 individual members as well as over 450 nonprofits. Also called HIMSS, this society provides e-courses, recorded conference sessions and digital publications in addition to offering two certifications.

How to Pay for a Master’s in Health Informatics Degree

For many students, graduate school can present a financial burden. Those interested in completing a master’s degree program in health informatics can certainly seek federal government loans to help them to cover the cost of college. However, scholarships are another excellent source of financial aid. Here are several scholarship options for graduate students studying health informatics.

Professional Scholarships

Many organizations offer health informatics scholarships to prospective students. For example, the Charlotte Stockton Memorial Scholarship is available annually and is for $1,500. Students who are studying health informatics at the graduate level and at a program approved by the CAHIIM are eligible to apply. They must have a grade point average of 3.0, live in Florida and demonstrate financial need. The Evelyn Freeman Scholarship Fund. is available through the Tennessee Health Information Management Association. A total of $1,000 is given annually to a student. A student who is in his or her final year of a master’s degree is eligible to receive it as long as he or she is a Tennessee resident and attends a Tennessee school that is accredited by the CAHIIM. And the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Scholarships sponsors a $5,000 scholarship for a master’s degree student who is studying health information management or health informatics full time. To be eligible for this scholarship, students must be members of the society and attend an accredited school in the United States.

School Scholarships

Many schools offer scholarships to students enrolled in their health informatics programs. For example, Duke University offers a scholarship to eligible students who are earning their master of science in health informatics. Prospective students should ask each university what scholarship options are available.