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Master of Science in Health Care Informatics

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Ready to Learn More About the M.S. In Health Care Informatics?

At a Glance

Prepare for your career in health informatics or healthcare analytics with our HIMSS-approved program. Earn your degree at our San Diego campus or completely online.

24 months
37 Units
$925
January 10
December 2
2-3 years
42 Units
$1,640
January 26
December 2

Customize your Coursework

Take our core health informatics curriculum, or specialize in health data analytics or healthcare leadership.

Online or on-campus

Transforming the Health Care Industry Through Technology, Data and Analytics

Now more than ever, professionals who know how to securely capture, analyze and use health data are in demand. Whether you currently work in healthcare or are new to the industry, USD’s HIMSS-approved M.S. in Health Care Informatics can help you develop the technical, programmatic and analytic skills that employers are looking for.

Designed with working professionals in mind, our practical, flexible program allows you to take classes on campus in the evenings, or 100% online. Both formats provide an experienced cross-disciplinary faculty, exceptional student support, and the option to take specialized coursework in health data analytics and healthcare leadership.

32%

Projected job growth (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

$120,000+

Salaries for high-level health informatics professionals

2 years

Time needed to complete M.S. in Health Care Informatics


Health Care Informatics Program Overview

Why you should consider the University of San Diego’s online Health Care Informatics master’s degree program.

Who should enroll in this program?

You don’t need to have health care experience to enroll in the M.S. in Health Care Informatics program. While some of our students do work in a variety of clinical and non-clinical roles, many of our students are preparing to enter the health care field for the first time. Regardless of your prior professional experience, our program is designed to build from a foundation that will prepare you for future success.

Our student profile includes mostly working professionals from the following roles:

  • Physicians looking to advance into a CMIO role
  • Foreign medical graduates (FMGs) who are not credentialed in the U.S.
  • Nurses and nursing informaticists
  • Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians
  • Other health care professionals
  • Health insurance professionals
  • IT/computer science professionals
  • Medical office managers
  • Health information management professionals (including those working in medical billing/revenue cycle, coding, information governance, data integrity, quality improvement, compliance, privacy and security, etc.)
  • Health care consultants
  • Public health or nonprofit roles

Student Testimonials

I chose this program because of the timeline of completing along with being associated with HIMSS. I also was drawn to the program as it is 100% online which allowed me to navigate my work-school-life balance. The faculty for all my classes were excellent and engaged spectacularly with not just me but all my colleagues online. I would recommend this program to anyone looking to solidify their career in healthcare IT and to become more versed in applying the skills they have already to enhance healthcare staff skills, organizational health technology, and become a more valuable asset for their teams.

The MS-HCI program at USD is a highly ranked master’s degree program. I selected the program because it was the best fit for my working schedule. The uniqueness of the program is due to its cross-disciplinary model with faculty members from healthcare, business, engineering, and computer science, which prepares students for leadership roles in informatics. The program has prepared me to be a part of a team of professionals who are passionate about creating positive change in the healthcare industry. My MSHCI journey at USD has been an incredible journey beyond my expectations and gave me the necessary knowledge to succeed in my future career.

The Master of Science in Health Care Informatics improved my skills and knowledge toward a successful profession. I will continue building up my knowledge and apply what I learned to my future. USD gave me that chance of making a difference in the community. I recommend the MSHCI program at the University of San Diego as it will lead you to accomplish your goals.

Everything I am learning in this program is relevant to my job. I am very happy that I am able to use the knowledge gained from these courses into my work. I have every confidence that this degree will shape me into the best healthcare administrator I can be.

Throughout my 10 plus years in the military. I have learned that having pride in what you do, and commitment to the people you work with are what make great memories and a forever sense of family connection. Not only does the University of San Diego epitomize these values, but the academic team represents them in everything they do. During my time in the program, I experienced staff who placed their students first and apply real world practices for the best learning environment. The staff does whatever it takes to align their vision with the student’s visions and goals on a continuous basis.

I graduated from USD with my Master’s in Healthcare Informatics in 2019. USD’s program provided a strong foundation to build the skills needed for the industry. As I entered the workforce, I felt quite prepared to understand the content and be able to meet client-related needs. I would also like to add that the faculty has been an amazing source of strength and support. Being an online student, I never felt any lack of resources. I will always be grateful to Dr. Jonathan Mack and the team for giving me a solid base to enter the field of healthcare Informatics.

I highly recommend the USD Health Care Informatics online master’s degree. The program was flexible with my full-time work schedule and provided me with an opportunity to learn and improve my skillset in health care. More than just an education, it provided me with a solid foundation for becoming a health care leader.

Earning my MS-HCI degree from the University of San Diego is hands down one of the best things that I have done with my life. It has opened so many doors for me and my professional career. Before enrolling at USD, I was unsure what I wanted to do professionally and I started exploring the possibility of starting something new from scratch. Even before I graduated I had already landed a job in the field after 15 years of feeling stuck in the pharmaceutical industry. I love what I do now and I am glad that I decided to go back to school. I recommend the program to anybody who is looking to switch fields or do something different in healthcare.

I chose USD’s MS-HCI program because of the intimate online class settings, easy-to-use online format, and the wide variety of classes within the informatics field. I was pushed to grow during this program, but it remained manageable as I worked full time. During this program, I found it easy to connect with the professors and staff. Our professors seemed to take a “real-world” approach, meaning that most of the projects we worked on could be applied to future jobs or school programs. Every staff member was extremely helpful and accommodating over the past two years. I really appreciate that Dr. Mack was available at any time during this program. After this degree, I am inspired to pursue my PhD in Nursing utilizing an informatics perspective. I look forward to staying in touch with my classmates and professors.

Completing the Health Care Informatics program at USD was the best career decision I have made. As a Clinical Informaticist, I apply what I learned daily. The promotions and positions I have held since graduation are a direct result of being a graduate of the USD program.


How to apply

Applications are accepted year-round, and new students can start in September, January or May.

Professional Female Smiling at the camera while sitting at her desk

Health Care Informatics Careers

Fueled by technology advancements that are reshaping the medical world, health informatics is among the nation’s fastest-growing job sectors. With high demand for qualified informatics professionals in a wide range of positions, employers are paying top dollar (often six figures and above) to recruit the best talent for these important roles.

Informatics Nurse

Informatics nurses apply both nursing expertise and informatics skills to manage clinical outcomes and improve cost efficiency in hospitals, nursing homes, public health firms and research labs. Nursing degree required.

  • Avg. Salary: $102,000
Health Informatics Director

Health care IT project managers create optimal systems to make medical records easily available to doctors, specialists, nurses and patients with the goal of facilitating improved health care decision making.

  • Avg. Salary: $160,000+
Clinical Analyst

A clinical analyst develops and helps to maintain electronic medical systems, software applications and databases, while also providing support for training, research, reporting and other operational functions.

  • Avg. Salary: $89,000
Director of Clinical Informatics

Directors of clinical informatics oversee IT systems that facilitate health information collection, management and analysis; this includes implementing the latest technological tools and software solutions to fit their employers’ needs.

  • Avg. Salary: $115,000+
Health Care IT Project Manager

Health care IT project managers create optimal systems to make medical records easily available to doctors, specialists, nurses and patients with the goal of facilitating improved health care decision making.

  • Avg. Salary: $102,000
Clinical Informatics Coordinator

A clinical informatics coordinator focuses on the implementation and utilization of information systems used to support patient care initiatives, while also providing support and training to system users.

  • Avg. Salary: $86,000+

*Salary estimates vary and are often adjusted in real time based on changing data. Salary figures listed here are estimates from leading employment sites such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, LinkedIn, Springboard, Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, Indeed and Salary.com.


Course Schedule

Online students receive a course schedule designed to help guide them through each term; on-campus students receive a customized degree plan.


Practical Curriculum

Whether you specialize in Health Data Analytics, Health Care Leadership, or Health Informatics, our curriculum will prepare you with the most in-demand skills sought after by employers.

As a student in the M.S. in Health Care Informatics program, you will develop your technical, programmatic and analytic competencies while addressing contemporary issues in health informatics such as population health analysis, data security, clinical documentation and workflow optimization.

You will also be able to customize your coursework by choosing one of three specialized learning tracks:

Health Care Informatics (HCI) Track

Health Care Analytics (Data Science Track) Track

Health Care Leadership Track (Available only to students starting in the Fall)

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View Specializations


Program Learning Outcomes

The informatics student understands health care delivery systems, nomenclature, and health care data sources.

The informatics student is able to identify how culture, social drivers, economic situations, and gender disparities contribute to health care disparities and the implications disparities have on specific groups.

The informatics student understands the application and management of computer hardware, software, and clinical technology systems.

The informatics student understands the role and tools of the informatics to assist the clinical team to solve clinical problems by identifying, analyzing and managing health care data.

The informatics student understands health care regulations governing health care systems, data, and patient privacy.

The informatics student understands and applies tools to design, manage and evaluate health care, technology, and clinical information systems.

The informatics student understands principles of leadership, human systems management, and techniques to evaluate those principles.

companies our graduates work at


Accreditation

Each of the University of San Diego’s high-quality academic programs is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Schools. Accreditation is an important quality indicator for college and university degree programs, and regional accreditation is generally regarded as the gold standard that assures you will receive a rigorous education and be able to apply for federal financial aid.


Health Care Informatics Faculty

Our expert faculty instructors have professional experience working in health care, and the informatics field in particular. Their expertise, experience and insight about this emerging industry provide students with relevant information and expectations about the health care informatics field.

Jonathan Mack, PhD, RN-BC, NP
Director of Health Care and Nursing Informatics and Health Systems Leadership Director of Innovative
Dorothy O’Hagan, MA
Senior Director, Clinical and Health Information Systems, Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego
Tony Rosales
Tony Rosales, DNP, FNP-BC
Academic Coordinator, M.S. in Health Care Informatics Program

Praise From HIMSS

As a HIMSS Approved Education Partner (AEP), we congratulate the administration of the University of San Diego for creating an online M.S. in Health Care Informatics that provides an intensive curriculum exposing students to MBA-type courses in many different topics so critical to the health informatics. We are pleased to see topics like financial management, strategic planning and leadership, systems analysis and design, data hygiene/cyber security and others. Further, we applaud the design of the 37-unit program that provides students with the opportunity to take two 7-week courses…

JoAnn W. Klinedinst, M.Ed., CPHIMS, PMP, DES, FHIMSS, FACHE
Vice President of Professional Development, HIMSS


Tuition Estimator

The tuition cost varies by degree program. For a more detailed breakdown of tuition costs, use our helpful tuition estimator to determine the total tuition for your program of interest.

We currently are unable to enroll students from your state due to regulations from the Department of Education specific to online education. This varies per program, please visit the state authorization status page for more details.

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Tuition amounts shown on this website, or in other university publications or web pages, represent tuition and fees as currently approved. However, University of San Diego reserves the right to increase or modify tuition and fees without prior notice and to make such modifications applicable to students enrolled at USD at that time as well as to incoming students. In addition, all tuition amounts and fees are subject to change at any time for correction of errors.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Health Care Informatics?

The health informatics field resides at the intersection of computer science, information management, and healthcare. Its purpose is the automation, management and improvement of health information in the support of health care delivery. The field has been growing rapidly due to advancemets in electronic medical records and cloud computing. You can learn more about the field as well as the career potential, by reading this blog post: What is Health Informatics? [Definition + Jobs and Salary Information]

Another good resource is this post: Opportunities in Health Informatics are Vast for Those with a Master’s Degree.

What’s the Difference Between Health Informatics and Nursing Informatics?

Nursing informatics is a subspecialty of nursing and falls under the broader health informatics umbrella. Nursing informatics deals directly with patient care and is geared toward nurses who want to improve patient safety through the use of computer science, information technology and nursing science. You can read more details about the program differences in this blog post.

If you’re a nurse, you can choose whether to advance your studies with an MSN in Nursing Informatics, or an MS in Health Care Informatics. If you plan to continue working in a patient-facing role, you might find that the MSN provides more growth opportunities with your current employer (and even a bump in pay, depending on your union contract). If you are moving away from a clinical role and find that you enjoy functions such as data analytics and information technology, you may find that the MS in Health Care Informatics will serve you quite well. One important note: at University of San Diego, the MSN program is only offered in the traditional campus-based format, whereas the MS program is offered both online and on campus.

What does this degree program prepare me to do?

Our M.S. in Health Care Informatics program was designed with input from health system employers who recognized the need for professionals to help implement and optimize electronic medical records, secure patient data, train staff members on the use of EHRs, and help improve patient outcomes and enhance the patient experience by leveraging robust data analysis skills. Employers were looking for health informaticists who understood the unique challenges of working with healthcare data, and who could take a leadership role in developing and improving systems and processes. Read the blog post What Skills Do You Need for a Successful Career in Health Care Informatics? to get a clearer picture of the knowledge and skills you’ll need to work in the field, and take a look at our Program Curriculum for an inside look into what you’ll be learning as a student in the M.S. in Health Care Informatics program.

Where do graduates typically find employment upon graduation?

Graduates of our program are employed with hospitals, clinics, medical devices companies, health insurance companies and data/analytic companies. They are employed as clinical analysts, data management professionals, clinical information systems specialists, EHR implementation managers, in managerial roles and in marketing and sales for medical device companies.

After program completion, is there a certification available?

Graduates of our program are prepared to sit for certification by HIMSS. Nurse informaticists can also seek accreditation through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Read more about the different certifications offered for professionals working in health informatics.

Can I work while completing this program?

Yes, both our on-campus and online programs were designed to be completed while working full time. For online students, the flexible one-class-at-a-time format allows you to do your coursework and participate in the discussion topics from wherever you are, at whatever time works best for you. Read more about things you should consider before earning your degree online. Students in the campus-based program can choose to attend class two or three days a week, and most classes are held in the evenings.

How much time do I need to spend studying each week?

Study time will vary based on the course and your comfort level with the material being presented. Most online and part-time campus students say they spend about 20 hours per week completing their coursework and participating in discussion boards. For full-time, campus students, the time investment is greater.

What is unique about the program at the University of San Diego (USD)?

Our approach to graduate-level health informatics curriculum is unique for several reasons.

  • Choose from three specializations that allow you to develop your health care leadership, programmatic and analytic competencies while addressing contemporary issues in informatics such as population health analysis, clinical documentation, and workflow optimization.
  • Our advisory board of industry experts guides the development and continual refinement of our curriculum, ensuring that we are preparing students with the skills they need to be successful in the workforce.
  • You can choose to attend classes in person, or earn your degree 100% online
  • Our curriculum has been approved by HIMSS and prepares students to sit for certification. You’ll learn practical, up-to-date skills and knowledge that are aligned with the needs of employers.
  • USD is a regionally accredited, top 100 university. Regional accreditation is considered the gold standard in assessing the quality and consistency of a higher education program.

What if my GPA is slightly below the minimum? Do I still have a chance to get accepted?

Absolutely! We understand that you are more than your undergraduate GPA . Your undergraduate GPA may potentially be offset by work experience, an admission essay, or fulfillment of a graduate-level course to show readiness for success in your graduate degree. During your admission interview, our Academic Director will explore your career goals and identify any ways our team might be able to better support you through your graduate studies. Ultimately, our goal is your success. We want to ensure that the students who are admitted to our program have the experience, tools and resources they need to graduate from the program and pursue their career goals.

Is a degree or work experience in health care required for admission?

Your bachelor’s degree can be in any discipline, and health care experience is not required. If you have not worked in health care, you will be required to complete an online medical terminology course which is not part of the degree curriculum. This will help give you a foundational understanding of the terms and concepts discussed throughout the program.

What is the difference between the on-campus and the online degree programs?

Whether you attend online or on-campus, you’ll find the faculty and curriculum substantially the same. Below is a list of the primary differences:

  • The online program is 37 units; the on-campus program is 42 units
  • The cost per unit also varies: $935/unit online vs. $1,580/unit on-campus
  • Campus-based students also have additional fees associated with being on campus (health services, parking, etc)
  • Online students take one accelerated class at a time, and each class lasts just 7 weeks. On-campus students take 2-3 classes concurrently and follow a more traditional semester pace.
  • On-campus students attend a seminar course which isn’t required for online students
  • New students may start the online program in Fall, Spring or Summer, but the on-campus program only accepts new students in the Fall and Spring.
  • Minor differences in coursework exist for each track.

Please refer to the specialization pages for more information about specific courses included in each track.

Is this a STEM program?

Healthcare Informatics is a STEM designated degree. However, the University of San Diego does not provide Optional Practical Training (OPT) or scholarships for international students. If you plan to study at the University of San Diego in F-1 or J-1 international student status, and are in need of the F-1 or J-1 Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20 or Form DS-2019) from the University, you will be required to submit documentation showing that you have the minimum amount of expenses estimated for your program available in cash assets.

Exploring Your Future in Health Informatics?

Download free Career Guide: “A Career in Health Care Informatics: How Big Data & Technology Are Creating New Opportunities to Work in Health Care”