The Students Before Profits Award was created to elevate nonprofit colleges and universities offering degrees that put students before profits and education before the bottom line. For our ranking of the 2017 Online Master’s in Health Informatics award winners, we chose online programs from nonprofit colleges and universities, accredited by trusted and independent accreditation boards, with lower than average tuition costs and have ranked them by affordability.
When looking for a Master’s of Health Informatics degree program, many students seek out a program that is available online to allow themselves the flexibility to continue or pursue a current career within the field of healthcare while looking to expand their potential career opportunities. Online Master’s in Health Informatics allows students to continue their education without compromising their current job or career.
As many healthcare organizations move away from paper records towards electronic records, the need for professionals versed in both information technology principles as well as healthcare-related issues has grown immensely. The healthcare industry has an overwhelming demand for those well-versed in health informatics. Health informatics is the interdisciplinary study of the application of information technologies in the field of health care and medicine. Whether that be the implementation and maintenance of a record-keeping system for a dentist office, or the operation and security of an entire hospital system’s patient’s records catalog, health informatics specialists will be tasked with the delivery, management, and security of highly-sensitive and incredibly important medical records. With positions ranging from IT Specialist of a hospital all the way to Chief Medical Information Officer, the health informatics field is ever-expanding and full of opportunity.
Note that tuition rates listed below are based on cost per credit and individual programs may have additional fees.
#1. Dakota State University
With a major emphasis on embracing the landscape of changing educational technologies, Dakota State University strives to be at the forefront of technology innovations in education. All students at Dakota State University are required to use tablets and laptops during their studies at Dakota State University, as well as take an introductory programming course and a computer course as part of their general education requirements. Founded in Madison, South Dakota in 1881 as the Madison Normal School, Dakota State University may have undergone many name changes, it never compromised on its vision of being a forward-thinking, technology-embracing institution, which can be seen in its motto, “Technically, we’re better”. Currently Dakota State University is home to over 3,000 students and offers over 35 different degrees and programs. Dakota State University is a public institution.
Approaching the implementation of this degree program from Dakota State University’s technology-forward perspective, the Master of Science in Health Informatics degree aims to train students in the necessary information technology skills needed to succeed within the healthcare industry. As more and more healthcare organizations move away from paper records towards electronic record keeping, hospitals and other healthcare organizations require employees that can implement, maintain, and secure IT systems designed to meet the needs of patients, doctors, and nurses. By completing this program students will be prepared to enter the field of health informatics with all the necessary IT skills and training to effectively run maintain a health informatics system. A minimum of 33 credits are required to complete this program.
Accreditation: Dakota State University’s Master of Science in Health Informatics program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
#2. University of Massachusetts Lowell
The second-largest public university in the state of Massachusetts, University of Massachusetts Lowell is home to over 17,500 students. Originating all the way back in the 1890s, the University of Massachusetts was formed when Lowell Technological Institute and Lowell State College, two area schools, merged. It was this merger of the two schools in 1975 that created the University of Lowell, which was later incorporated into the University of Massachusetts system in 1991. Today, University of Massachusetts Lowell offers more than 150 fully accredited academic programs across its six colleges and schools. University of Massachusetts Lowell is a public institution.
In 2001, the University of Massachusetts system of higher learning rolled out UMassOnline, the University systems distance education solution. Through UMassOnline, students are able to take over 140 different degree and certificate programs including the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Master of Science in Health Informatics and Management. UMassOnline prides itself in ensuring students are receiving the same quality of education online as well as on-campus. The Master of Science in Health Informatics and Management not only teaches principles of understanding, maintaining, and interpreting health informatics and health informatics, but also education in management to prepare students for positions of leadership within healthcare organizations. It is to note that this program does require visits to campus throughout the degree program and is not offered completely online. A minimum of 36 credits are required to complete this program.
Accreditation: University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Master of Science in Health Informatics and Management program is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
#3. National University
Founded by former Lieutenant Commander David Chigos of the United States Navy, National University was opened in 1972 to provide working adults with a means to continue their education. Its initial campus in San Diego, California, it is now headquartered in La Jolla, California with campuses in Virginia, Nevada, Georgia, and Florida. In keeping its origins as a school for working professionals in mind, National University offers its classes at night and on the weekends, as well as online. Currently, National University has over 24,000 students enrolled across its 130 degree programs. Due to its size, National University is the 12th largest non-profit, private college in the United States, as well as the second largest in California. National University is a private institution.
With career-oriented goals of advancement to mid-level and leadership positions within the health informatics field in mind, the Master of Science in Health Informatics degree at National University is designed to provide students with the training, knowledge and skills necessary to hit the ground running within their profession. Available entirely online and never requiring any campus visits, this Health Informatics degree synthesizes teachings from National University’s Schools of Business and Management, Engineering and Computing, and Health and Human Services in order to provide students with the technical, medical and business background needed to properly understand the growing field of health informatics. A minimum of 54 quarter units are required to complete this program.
Accreditation: National University’s Master of Science in Health Informatics program is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Schools Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACSWASC)
#4. Southern New Hampshire University
With 3,000+ students housed on its campus between the towns of Manchester and Hooksett, New Hampshire and over 60,000 online students, Southern New Hampshire University is a leader in online education. Opened as the New Hampshire School of Accounting and Secretarial Science in 1932 by Harry and Gertrude Shapiro, the school has grown to offer hundreds of various programs of study to its students. Southern New Hampshire University began to really coalesce into the university as its known today was in 2001 when not only was the school given its current name, but also when the nearby Notre Dame College closed down and five of its programs were transferred to the school. Southern New Hampshire University is a private institution.
To prepare students for the predicted influx of healthcare related jobs, especially those regarding the maintenance of information technology systems employed by healthcare organizations, Southern New Hampshire University has created there Online Master of Science in Health Information Management. Designed for current information technology specialists and health care professionals alike, the program teaches students how to effectively and strategically manage health records and health information systems. A minimum of 36 credits are required to complete this program.
Accreditation: Southern New Hampshire University’s Master of Science in Health Information Management program is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
#5. University of Maryland University College
While potentially vexing to the American ear, the name University of Maryland University College refers back to the traditional meaning of the word college, a school dedicated to professional development. Being associated with a university, the University of Maryland, the University of Maryland University College received it’s name – a school for professional development associated with the University of Maryland. When the University of Maryland University College opened in 1947, it was to provide continuing education to help people develop their professional career. Today, University of Maryland University College is one of the largest distance educators, teaching over 90,000 students worldwide. Offering over 120 different degree programs, the University of Maryland University College affords all students access to a wide catalog of potential areas of study. University of Maryland University College is a public institution.
As one of the world’s largest distance educators, the University of Maryland University College has developed an incredibly robust Master of Science in Health Informatics Administration degree program for its students. The program is designed for both current health care professionals, as well as information technology professionals who are already working within the field of healthcare. By emphasizing health care administration and information sciences, students will learn the necessary skills to succeed in the many careers within the field of health informatics. A minimum of 36 credits are required to complete this program.
Accreditation: University of Maryland University College’ Master of Science in Health Informatics program is accredited by the Commission for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).
#6. University of New England
As the largest private university in the state of Maine, University of New England is also the largest educator healthcare professionals in the state. Dating back all the way to 1831, the University of New England’s first classes were held at Westbrook Seminary, what is now known as the UNE Biddeford Campus. Open initially as an all-boys school, it wasn’t until the year 1967 that the school went coeducational. The University of New England currently is spread across three distinct campuses. Two of the campuses are located along the coast of Maine, one in Biddeford and one in Portland, and the other campus is located in Tangier, Morocco. Focused on health sciences, the University offers more than seventy degree programs to educate future health professionals. University of New England is a private institution.
Offered through University of New England’s “fourth campus”, UNE Online, students are able to enroll Master of Science in Health Informatics class entirely online; never once requiring a visit to any of the University of New England campuses. Students are prepared for the field of health informatics through interdisciplinary study of the implementation and maintenance of information technologies and how to best apply them to the delivery of healthcare services. The course is designed to be completed in two years, when a full load of two courses is taken each semester. A minimum of 36 credits are required to complete this program.
Accreditation: University of New England’s Master of Science in Health Informatics program is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
#7. University of Missouri
When state legislature passed the Geyer Act in 1839, the University of Missouri became the first public university west of the Mississippi River. As the first public university located in the Louisiana Purchase, the University of Missouri began its lasting legacy of providing education to those in the midwest. Founded on the ideals of public education set forth by Thomas Jefferson, the school has grown to become the largest school in the state. With nearly 33,000 students enrolled, the University of Missouri offers over 300 different degree programs. It is the flagship school of the University of Missouri System and is still located in the city of Columbia. University of Missouri is also home to the most powerful research reactor at any university in the world. While those who have not attended University of Missouri might refer to the school by its proper name, its affectionately known as Mizzou by its alumni. The University of Missouri is a public institution.
Created to serve self-motivated professionals currently working in the information technology and health care fields, the University of Missouri’s Executive Master of Science in Health Informatics is designed with both types of professionals in mind. No matter what the starting perspective is, healthcare or information technology related, students will be prepared to navigate the current and future issues that health informatics professionals will face. The course is delivered primarily online but does require students to visit campus three times a semester. A minimum of 33 credits are required to complete this program.
Accreditation: University of Missouri’s Executive Master of Science in Health Informatics program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management and education. (CAHME)
#8. Michigan Technological University
Overlooking the Portage lake in Houghton, Michigan, Michigan Technological University is one of Michigan’s premier research universities. Opened initially in 1885 to train mining engineers to properly operate the copper mines in the area, the school became the first post-secondary institution in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. For decades, the school was renamed as its focus expanded beyond just mining education. Undergoing name changes from Michigan Mining School, Michigan Colleges of Mines, Michigan College of Mining and Technology, to its eventual name of Michigan Technological University, the school now served various degrees of study to its student population. Now, the school is home to nearly 7,500 students studying from one or more of the over 130 degree programs offered. Michigan Technological University is a public institution.
According to Michigan Technological University, medical informatics is where the studies of information science, computer science, and healthcare meet. With this in mind, Michigan Technological University’s Master of Science in Medical Informatics degree familiarizes students with the security threats that face healthcare, the proper methods of disease management, and evidence-based medicine; all skills necessary for the proper understanding of health informatics. This program is designed to be taken entirely online in order to allow current working professionals to continue their educational pursuits without interfering with current work commitments. A minimum of 30 credits are required to complete this program.
Accreditation: Michigan Technical University’s Master of Science in Medical Informatics is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
#9. Stevens-Henager College
Opening its doors in September, 1891, Stevens-Henager College (then known as the Intermountain Business College) was founded to prepare students for commercial subjects in order to place students into careers. Stevens-Henager College has undergone several name changes throughout the years, existing as West Haven Business College, Moench University of Business, and the Smithsonian Business College. Its isn’t until 1959 that the school had been named Stevens-Henager College. Now, Stevens-Henager College has seven campuses, its main campus still residing in Ogden, Utah, the school’s original home. Specializing in the delivery of education quickly via both on-campus and online learning experiences, Steven-Henager College has always been a school of practicality; getting students ready for the workforce as quickly and affordably as possible. Stevens-Henager College is a private institution.
Available entirely online, Stevens-Henager College’s Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics program is designed to be completed in just fifteen months when taken full-time. To help meet the current demand that hospitals and other health services organizations have for professionals versed in the various skills and disciplines of health informatics, Stevens-Henager College designed a program to teach a balanced blend of the information technology skills needed with the medical health expertise required to succeed within the field. Students who complete this program will be prepared for jobs such as director of IT for a hospital or Chief Information Officer of a healthcare provider. With emphasis on security and analytics, students will become well-rounded in their understanding of health informatics. A minimum of 60 credits are required to complete this program.
Accreditation: Stevens-Henager College’s Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics program is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges(ACCSC).
#10. Nova Southeastern University
Through its engagements as a research university, Nova Southeastern University has achieved high rankings through the Carnegie Foundation for its endeavors. Nova Southeastern University was first established in 1964 on an old Naval Outlying Landing Field dating back to World War II. With an inaugural class of just seventeen students, Nova Southeastern University offered only graduate programs in both physical and social sciences. Having outgrown its initial campus in Fort Lauderdale, the school moved to Davie, Florida and expanded its operations to several other branches including one in Dania Beach, North Miami, as well as one in Puerto Rico. The school currently offers its nearly 25,000 students over 175 programs of study. Nova Southeastern University is a private institution.
To avoid potential career disruption, Nova Southeastern University designed their Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics degree program to be taken entirely online. The program focuses on three major areas of study: computer science with a focus in medical informatics, a concentration in the application and evaluation of clinical informatics, and how to properly manage health information technologies. Nova Southeastern University also offers paid internships at their own clinics to act as a student’s practicum to complete the degree. A minimum of 43 credits are required to complete this program.
Accreditation: Nova Southeastern University’s Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics program is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association(AOA).
#11. Troy University
Located in the small southern city of Troy, Alabama, Troy University is the flagship of the Troy University System of schools. Named Troy State Normal School when it was founded in 1887, the school has remained a beacon for higher-learning in the state of Alabama. Over time the school had opened various satellite campuses throughout the state that were later merged into one system of schools to better reflect the overall mission statement of the Troy University System. Now the school serves nearly 20,000 students across its four different campuses. With over 100,000 various alumni representing the almost seventy different degrees of study offered at the university, Troy University is recognized nationally as well as internationally as a leader in higher-education. Troy University is a public institution.
Offered entirely online and through the Montgomery, Troy and Phenix City campuses, the Master of Science in Nursing Informatics degree allows students to develop the necessary skills needed to lead in the field of nursing. The Nursing Informatics track allows those studying nursing to further their education and learn the skills needed to understand and engage within the field of health informatics. This program is offered in both a full-time and part-time program. A minimum of 43 credits are required to complete this program.
Accreditation: Troy University’s Master of Science in Nursing Informatics program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
#12. Louisiana Tech University
Lauded as one of Louisiana’s preeminent research universities, Louisiana Tech University maintains R3 research activity according to Carnegie Institute and currently engages in research projects funded by the Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Defense, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation. Opened in 1894 at the height of the Second Industrial Revolution as the Industrial Institute and College of Louisiana, the school’s mission was to educate Louisianan’s in order to help during the post-Reconstruction era. Today, Louisiana Tech University still resides in the rural college town of Ruston, Louisiana serving its student body of over 12,000. Louisiana Tech University is a public institution.
Offered through Louisiana Tech University’s Global_Campus initiative, the Master of Health Informatics degree’s mission is to prepare students with the confidence, and innovation needed to navigate the various information systems employed in the field of public health currently and in the future. The program is designed to be flexible as to allow current working professionals to continue their work while advancing their educations as a means to progress further in or to enter the job market of health informatics. The online program uses various forms of communication such as asynchronous and synchronous online lectures, as well as on online discussion boards to facilitate class collaboration and discourse. A minimum of 45 credits are required to complete this program.
Accreditation: Louisiana Tech University’s Master in Health Informatics program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).
#13. Northwestern University
To serve what was once the Northwest Territory, Northwestern University was conceived back in 1850 when nine prominent Chicagoans convened to found the school. When chartered by the Illinois General Assembly one year later, the school became the first of its kind – the first chartered school in the state of Illinois. While founded by Methodists, Northwestern University was committed to being non-sectarian as the founders believed that the developing territory needed a school that could serve all people. Initially having opened its doors in Evanston, Illinois the school has grown to include campuses in Chicago, San Francisco, and an international campus in Doha, Qatar. Currently, Northwestern University offers its nearly 21,000 students over 260 different degree programs from which to choose. Northwestern University is a private institution.
Offered in partnership with the Feinberg School of Medicine, the Online Master in Health Informatics is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the Northwestern University campus. The course is offered in three specializations: Health Administration Informatics, Clinical Informatics, and Health Technology Informatics. Within all specializations students will learn how to anticipate and assess health informatics needs, create plan for the use of health information to provide quality, patient-centered health care, and nurture the necessary leadership skills to engage ethically in the field of health informatics. Students are required to declare their area of specialization at the time of application to the program. A minimum of 36 credits are required to complete this program.
Accreditation: Northwestern University’s Online Master in Medical Informatics program is accredited by the American Medical Informatics Associations (AMIA).
#14. Drexel University
Anthony J. Drexel, notable nineteenth century banker and founding partner of Drexel, Morgan & Co. (now J. P. Morgan & Co.), established Drexel University in the year 1891 with the forward-thinking goal of providing educational opportunity to both men and women of all backgrounds. Opening its doors in the great city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, over time the university grew to add an additional two campuses in the city as well as create a fourth campus across the country in Sacramento, California. Now, Drexel University offer its students over 170 degree programs across its undergraduate, master’s, doctors, and professional programs. With 26,000 students enrolled, Drexel also offers a unique cooperative education program that allows students to work full-time work experiences pertaining to their field of study while also gaining credits towards their degree program. Drexel University is a private institution.
Housed within Drexel University Online, the Master of Science in Health Informatics degree is designed to be taken entirely online, never requiring students to attend courses on any of the Drexel campuses. Part of the College of Computing and Informatics with support from the College of Nursing and Health Professions, this degree of study bridges the gap between healthcare and information systems. Through the collaboration of the two colleges this program attracts medical students looking to learn how to bring understanding of information systems into their organizations as well as information technology specialists looking to gain a greater understanding of the biomedical field. Students will learn how to use and manipulate data to demonstrate and solve healthcare issues, as well as learn how to implement and maintain complex information systems dedicated to the storage of medical records, all while gaining an understanding of the relevant ethical and security concerns related to the storage and maintenance of health information. A minimum of 45 credits are required to complete this program.
Accreditation: Drexel University’s Master of Science in Health Informatics program is accredited by the American Medical Informatics Associations (AMIA).
#15. University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Part of the University of Tennessee public school system, an institution that predates Tennessee’s entrance into the union, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center was founded in the year 1911. Now, the Health Science Center currently teaches over 3,000 students and has 1,300 residents. With its main campus in Memphis, Tennessee and three additional satellite campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Nashville, on-campus students are able to enjoy the southern metropolitan experience of Tennessee’s largest city. Currently, the Health Science Center offers its students over forty different degree programs offered across its six different colleges. Encompassing dentistry, nursing, medicine, and more, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center provides Tennesseans a fantastic option to pursue higher education in the field of health. The University of Tennessee Health Science Center is a public institution.
Designed around the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s core mission to “bring the benefits of the health sciences to the achievement of and maintenance of human health”, the Master of Health Informatics and Information Management degree program teaches students the necessary skills to manage the increasing complications of the electronic health environment. The program is designed to be completed entirely online and does not require any visits to campus. The Health Informatics degree teach students how to properly manage patient data and maintain data integrity in an effort to reduce medical costs and medical errors. Through this degree students will learn how to maintain electronic records, perform various analyses of health-related data, as well as an understanding of the various HIPAA privacy, security, and ethical concerns when approaching health-related data. A minimum of 33 credits are required to complete this program.
Accreditation: University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s Master of Health Informatics program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).