Touch display of health information technology

Health Informatics (M.S., Certificate)

Graduate
  • Certificate
  • Master's

About this Program

Health informatics is a dynamic and emerging field that uses information technology to collect, analyze and safeguard healthcare data.

Program Overview

Tuition & Fees
Download Health Informatics Brochure

Under the Department of Computer Science and Information Technology, our health informatics hybrid master’s program will provide you with highly specialized skills related to data science and health information systems. You will be equipped with the knowledge to pursue roles in clinical and administrative settings as well as careers in research and development.  

By connecting people, technology and data, health informatics professionals are an essential part of the patient-physician relationship and are instrumental in improving healthcare outcomes and safety. Our 30-credit master’s program is aligned with standards from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). 

Combining coursework in computer science, statistics, management and healthcare, the cross-disciplinary framework of our health informatics program appeals to anyone seeking a career in nursing, clinical health, public health, data science, health education and more. We also offer a 12-credit health informatics certificate.

*Active duty Fort Detrick soldiers are eligible for a full tuition waiver for this program or any other graduate certificate and masters program at Hood College per our special Hood/Fort Detrick MOU.

Click here to listen to the recorded webinar 'Current Trends in Health Informatics' presented by Dr. Tim Coffin, Health Informatics Program Director.

Applicants to the health informatics M.S. program must have earned:

  • B.A. or B.S. in a life science, health science, computer science or information technology with a GPA of 2.75 or higher; or 
  • The health informatics certificate from Hood College (or demonstrating sufficient progress toward the certificate) with a GPA of 3.0 or higher; or  
  • M.A. or M.S in a health, computer science or information technology-related field with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. 
  • Personal Statement of Intent (250 words): How will learning health informatics help you achieve your future goals? 
  • Please respond to one of the following prompts (no more than 600 words) to guide your placement in the appropriate foundational courses: 
    • From your perspective in computer, health or information sciences, what are the main challenges and opportunities for health informatics in the era of big data and artificial intelligence? How can health informatics leverage these technologies to enhance healthcare delivery and innovation? 
    • If your background does not include health, computer science or information technology, describe the education and experiences that have prepared you to study health informatics. 

The 30-credit M.S. in health informatics includes a 3-credit capstone project. All of the classes are taught in the evening or online by experts in the field, who interact personally with their students. The degree includes a required “gateway” foundational course that differs according to the student’s background in either biology or computer science.

Foundation Courses

The foundation coursework represents background knowledge and skills necessary for successful completion of degree requirements. The foundation course may be waived by the program director, based upon an analysis of the student’s previous work. A student holding a baccalaureate degree in computer science will normally be granted exemption from, but not receive graduate credit for, the foundation course. Any foundation course required is in addition to the 30 credits required for program completion.

If exemption is not granted, students must complete one of the following foundation courses:

CourseCredits
CSIT 512 Elements of Computer Programming3
BIFX 502 Foundations in Computer Science3

Core Requirements

Students in the health informatics M.S. program must complete the following core requirements:

CourseCredits
HIFX 500 Fundamentals of Health Informatics3
HIFX 501 Health Information System and Data Standards3
HIFX 502 Introduction to U.S. Healthcare Systems and Economics3
BIFX 503 Biostatistics in R3
BIFX 530/IT 530 Applied Database Systems3
BIFX 551 Advanced Programming for Bioinformatics3
HIFX 579 Health Informatics Capstone3
Total Credits21

Electives

Students in the health informatics M.S. program must complete an additional 9 credits of electives:

CourseCredits
BIFX 545 Leading Reproducible Research3
BIFX 546 Machine Learning for Bioinformatics3
BIFX 548 Data Visualization for Bioinformatics3
BIFX 552 Bioinformatics Data Skills3
BMS 542 Ethics in Science3
CS 527/CS 427 Data Science3
CS 528/CS 428 Artificial Intelligence3
CS 543/CS 443 Machine Learning3
HIFX 575 Independent Study1-6
HIFX 597 Curricular Practical Training in HIFX1-6
HIFX 599 Special Topics3

 

Applicants to the health informatics certificate program must have earned: 

  • B.A. or B.S. in a life science, health science, computer science or information technology with a GPA of 2.75 or higher; or 
  • M.A. or M.S in a health, computer science or information technology-related field with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. 
  • Personal Statement of Intent (250 words): How will learning health informatics help you achieve your future goals? 
  • Please respond to one of the following prompts (no more than 600 words) to guide your placement in the appropriate foundational courses: 
    •  From your perspective in computer, health or information sciences, what are the main challenges and opportunities for health informatics in the era of big data and artificial intelligence? How can health informatics leverage these technologies to enhance healthcare delivery and innovation? 
    • If your background does not include health, computer science or information technology, describe the education and experiences that have prepared you to study health informatics.

Application Requirements 

An information technology or healthcare background is not required but is a plus on admission. Students with a relevant information technology or healthcare background are encouraged to apply and discuss possible course waivers and substitutions with their assigned adviser. 

Students planning to change their careers are encouraged to contact a health informatics adviser to discuss the program and its requirements. For these students, it is also particularly important to describe in the goals statement how they envision themselves in the health informatics field. 

Foundation Course

The foundation coursework represents background knowledge and skills necessary for successful completion of degree requirements. The foundation course may be waived by the program director, based upon an analysis of the student’s previous work. A student holding a baccalaureate degree in computer science will normally be granted exemption from but not receive graduate credit for the foundation course. Any foundation course required is in addition to the 12 credits required for program completion.

If exemption is not granted, students must complete one of the following foundation courses:

CourseCredits
CSIT 512 Elements of Computer Programming3
BIFX 502 Foundations in Computer Science3

Core Courses

Students in the health informatics certificate program must complete the following core requirements:

CourseCredits
HIFX 500 Fundamentals of Health Informatics3
HIFX 501 Health Information System and Data Standards 3
HIFX 502 Introduction to U.S. Healthcare Systems and Economics3
ITMG 516 Introduction to Data Analytics and Business Data Mining*3
Total Credits12

*ITMG 516 cannot be applied to the health informatics M.S. program; however, the nine other credits earned in the certificate are applicable toward the M.S.

Program Contact

Tim Coffin

Program Director

Phone
301-696-3649
Vanessa Solis

Assistant Director of Graduate Admission

Phone
301-696-3604

Health Informatics Highlight Stories

Tim Coffin

Graduate Faculty Focus | Timothy Coffin

Timothy Coffin, Ph.D. Faculty Graduate School Graduate Student

"I decided to teach at Hood College because I was impressed by the College's vision and commitment to provide quality education in the field of health informatics. Hood is one of the few institutions that recognized the need and potential of this emerging discipline, which combines information technology, healthcare and data science to improve health outcomes and reduce costs."

  • Academics
  • Math & Computer Sciences