Computer Information Systems concentration in Health Informatics, Master’s Degree

The MS in Computer Information Systems (MSCIS) concentration in Health Informatics exposes individuals to health electronic applications and the collection, processing, and storage of data. Graduates of this program will have a solid knowledge of data communication and computer networks as well as biomedical databases. Each of these areas includes data security and privacy components, which are essential for dealing with medical data. In addition, the foundations of health information technology and electronic health records give graduates a solid exposure to the latest medical technologies, as well as to the electronic record systems used in hospitals and other medical organizations. Students also have the opportunity to take a course that will expose them to the modern IT project management tools and techniques.

Students who complete the MSCIS degree concentration in Health Informatics will be able to demonstrate:

  • An understanding of the American health care system, medical terminology, basic human anatomy and physiology, disease processes, diagnostic modalities, and treatments associated with common disease processes.
  • Advanced knowledge of the functionality, technical infrastructure, and best-practice deployment of health care IT, including medical algorithms, electronic health records, privacy and security, and regulations.
  • Proficiency in managing, processing, and analyzing medical data.

Competence sufficient to lead health IT initiatives, to conduct biomedical research, and to design, implement, and manage advanced solutions.

Awards & Accreditations

US News Ranking

#3, Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs, U.S. News & World Report 2016


#6, Best Online Master’s in Healthcare Informatics Degree Programs, TheBestSchools.org

Why Choose BU’s Health Informatics?

  • In 2016, the MSCIS ranked #3 among the Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs (U.S. News & World Report).
  • The Health Informatics degree concentration was ranked #6 in “The 20 Best Online Master’s in Healthcare Informatics Degree Programs” by TheBestSchools.org.
  • The MSCIS program is certified by the Committee on National Security Systems (CNNS) through the National Security Agency’s INFOSEC Education and Training Program.
  • Boston University is recognized by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and Research.
  • Students have access to MET’s Health Informatics Research Lab (HILab), established to contribute to the improvement of health care through collaborative research and development in health informatics, bioinformatics, and clinical research.

Meet Dr. Suresh Kalathur, one of the faculty members you’ll work with in the Computer Information Systems program.

Career Outlook

Computer and Information Systems Managers

15% increase in jobs through 2024

$131,600 median annual pay in 2015

Computer and Information Research Scientists

11% increase in jobs through 2024

$110,620 median annual pay in 2015

Information Security Analysts

18% increase in jobs through 2024

$90,120 median annual pay in 2015

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition

Best Technology Jobs, 2016 U.S. News & World Report 

  • #1 Computer Systems Analyst
  • #2 Software Development
  • #3 Web Developer
  • #4 IT Manager
  • #5 Information Security Analyst
  • #6 Database Administrator
  • #8 Computer Systems Administrator

The demand for health informatics workers is projected to grow at twice the rate of employment overall, but there is strong evidence that the nation already faces a shortage of qualified workers in this field.

Burning Glass Technologies Missed Opportunities? The Labor Market in Health Informatics, 2014



Curriculum

The online Master of Science in Computer Information Systems consists of ten courses (40 credits).

Students pursuing the concentration in Health Informatics must complete the following courses:

Core Courses

(Five courses/20 credits)

METCS625 Business Data Communication and Networks

This course presents the foundations of data communications and takes a bottom-up approach to computer networks. The course concludes with an overview of basic network security and management concepts. Prereq: MET CS 200, or instructor's consent. This course may not be taken in conjunction with MET CS 425 (undergraduate) or MET CS 535. Only one of these courses can be counted towards degree requirements. [4 credits]

METCS669 Database Design and Implementation for Business

Students learn the latest relational and object-relational tools and techniques for persistent data and object modeling and management. Students gain extensive hands- on experience using Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server as they learn the Structured Query Language (SQL) and design and implement databases. Students design and implement a database system as a term project. Restrictions: Only for MS CIS. This course may not be taken in conjunction with MET CS 469 (undergraduate) or MET CS 579. Only one of these courses can be counted towards degree requirements. [4 credits]

METCS682 Information Systems Analysis and Design

Object-oriented methods of information systems analysis and design for organizations with data- processing needs. System feasibility; requirements analysis; database utilization; Unified Modeling Language; software system architecture, design, and implementation, management; project control; and systems-level testing. [4 credits]

METCS782 IT Strategy and Management

This course describes and compares contemporary and emerging information technology and its management. Students learn how to identify information technologies of strategic value to their organizations and how to manage their implementation. The course highlights the application of I.T. to business needs. CS 782 is at the advanced Masters (700) level, and it assumes that students understand IT systems at the level of CS 682 Systems Analysis and Design. Students who haven't completed CS 682 should contact their instructor to determine if they are adequately prepared. Prereq: MET CS 682, or instructor's consent. [4 credits]

And one of the following*:

METCS520 Information Structures with Java

This course covers the concepts of object-oriented approach to software design and development using the Java programming language. It includes a detailed discussion of programming concepts starting with the fundamentals of data types, control structures methods, classes, applets, arrays and strings, and proceeding to advanced topics such as inheritance and polymorphism, interfaces, creating user interfaces, exceptions, and streams. Upon completion of this course the students will be able to apply software engineering criteria to design and implement Java applications that are secure, robust, and scalable. Prereq: MET CS 200 or MET CS 300 or Instructor's Consent. Not recommended for students without a programming background. [4 credits]

METCS521 Information Structures with Python

This course covers the concepts of the object-oriented approach to software design and development using the Python programming language. It includes a detailed discussion of programming concepts starting with the fundamentals of data types, control structures methods, classes, arrays and strings, and proceeding to advanced topics such as inheritance and polymorphism, creating user interfaces, exceptions and streams. Upon completion of this course students will be capable of applying software engineering principles to design and implement Python applications that can be used in conjunction with analytics and big data. Prerequisite: MET CS 200 Fundamentals of Information Technology or MET CS 300 Foundations of Modern Computing or instructor's Consent. Not recommended for students without a programming background. [4 credits]

*If a student chooses to take both MET CS 520 and MET CS 521, the first course completed will fulfill the core requirement and the second course completed will count as an elective.

Students who have completed courses on core curriculum subjects as part of their undergraduate degree program or have relevant work-related experience may request permission from the Department of Computer Science to replace the corresponding core courses with graduate-level computer information systems electives. Please refer to the MET CS Academic Policies Manual for further details.

Concentration Requirements

(Five courses/20 credits)

METCS570 Biomedical Sciences and Health IT

This course is designed for IT professionals, and those training to be IT professionals, who are preparing for careers in healthcare-related IT (Health Informatics). This course provides a high-level introduction into basic concepts of biomedicine and familiarizes students with the structure and organization of American healthcare system and the roles played by IT in that system. The course introduces medical terminology, human anatomy and physiology, disease processes, diagnostic modalities, and treatments associated with common disease processes. IT case studies demonstrate the key roles of health informatics and how IT tools and resources help medical professionals integrate multiple sources of information to make diagnostic and therapeutic decisions. [4 credits]

METCS580 Health Informatics

This course presents the technological fundamentals and integrated clinical applications of modern Biomedical IT. The first part of the course covers the technological fundamentals and the scientific concepts behind modern medical technologies, such as digital radiography, CT, nuclear medicine, ultrasound imaging, etc. It also presents various medical data and patient records, and focuses on various techniques for processing medical images. This part also covers medical computer networks and systems and data security and protection. The second part of the course focuses on actual medical applications that are used in health care and biomedical research. [4 credits]

METCS581 Electronic Health Records

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are application systems that automate the activities of healthcare clinicians including physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and healthcare administrative staff. Use of EHRs is increasing rapidly due to the systems' benefits and federal government programs to deploy EHRs. This increased use of EHRs has many challenges including complex data, high security requirements, integration to multiple application systems, a distributed user base, and broad impact on how these users work. [4 credits]

METCS695 Enterprise Information Security

The course provides an in-depth presentation of security issues in computer systems, networks, and applications. Formal security models are presented and illustrated on operating system security aspects, more specifically memory protection, access control and authentication, file system security, backup and recovery management, intrusion and virus protection mechanisms. Application level security focuses on language level security and various security policies; conventional and public keys encryption, authentication, message digest and digital signatures. Internet and intranet topics include security in IP, routers, proxy servers, and firewalls, application- level gateways, Web servers, file and mail servers. Discussion of remote access issues, such as dial-up servers, modems, VPN gateways and clients. Prereq: MET CS 625; or instructor's consent. [4 credits]

METCS781 Advanced Health Informatics

This course presents the details of information processing in hospitals, hospital information systems (HIS), and more broadly health information systems. It presents the architecture, design, and user requirements of information systems in health care environment. It focuses on Information Technology aspects of Health Informatics specifically addressing the design, development, operation, and management of HIS. The first part of this course covers the introductory concepts including information processing needs, and information management in health care environment. The second part covers detailed description of HIS including hospital process modeling, architecture, quality assessment, and applicable tools. The final part of the course covers management of HIS and related issues and extension of this topic to other health care organizations. The course will have a term project providing students a hands-on experience in design and research of HIS. Prereq: MET CS 580; or instructor's consent. [4 credits]

Applicants to the program are required to have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and proficiency equivalent to the following areas:

METCS200 Fundamentals of Information Technology

This course is a technically-oriented introductory survey of information technology. Students learn about basic computer information, different types of business systems and basic systems analysis, design and development. Students also study basic mathematics, software development and create simple Java programs. [4 credits]

If college-level credit courses are not in evidence, the department will determine what prerequisite courses must be completed in addition to graduate degree requirements. Students claiming equivalent proficiency in the prerequisite courses from non-academic sources must take an examination to demonstrate such proficiency.

Faculty

Dr. Eric Braude

Eric Braude

Associate Professor of Computer Science
PhD, Columbia University; MS, University of Miami; MS, University of Illinois; BS, University of Natal (South Africa)

Dr. Lou Chitkushev

Lou Chitkushev

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Computer Science; Director of Health Informatics and Health Sciences Programs
PhD, Boston University; MS, Medical College of Virginia; MS, BS, University of Belgrade

John Day

John Day

Lecturer in Computer Science
MSEE, BSEE, University of Illinois

Stu Jacobs

Stu Jacobs

Lecturer in Computer Science

MS, Southern Connecticut State University; BS, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Dr. Suresh Kalathur

Suresh Kalathur

Assistant Professor of Computer Science; Director of Analytics Programs
PhD, Brandeis University; MS, Indian Institute of Technology; BS, Regional Engineering College (Warangal, India)

Dr. Vijay Kanabar

Vijay Kanabar, PMP

Associate Professor of Computer Science; Director of Project Management Programs
PhD, University of Manitoba (Canada); MS, Florida Institute of Technology; MBA, Webber College; BS, University of Madras (India)

Dr. Jae Young Lee

Jae Young Lee

Assistant Professor of Computer Science
PhD, MS, University of Texas at Arlington; BS, Seoul National University (Korea)

Dr. Robert Schudy

Robert Schudy

Associate Professor of Computer Science; Director of the Online MS in Computer Information Systems
PhD, MS, University of Rochester; BA, University of California San Diego

Dr. Victor Shtern

Victor Shtern

Associate Professor Emeritus of Computer Science
PhD, Leningrad Aluminum Institute (Russia); MS, Leningrad Institute of Technology; MBA, Boston University

Dr. Anatoly Temkin

Anatoly Temkin

Assistant Professor and Chair of Computer Science
PhD, Kazan University (Russia); MS, Moscow University 

Dr. Guanglan Zhang

Guanglan Zhang

Assistant Professor of Computer Science; Faculty Coordinator for Health Informatics Programs
PhD, MEng, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; BS, Luoyang Institute of Technology

Dr. Yuting Zhang

Yuting Zhang

Assistant Professor of Computer Science
PhD, Boston University; MS, BS University of Science and Technology Beijing

Dr. Tanya Zlateva

Tanya Zlateva

Dean of Metropolitan College and Professor of the Practice of Computer Science and Education; Director of Security Programs
PhD, Dresden University of Technology (Germany); MS, Dresden University of Technology; BS, Dresden University of Technology

Getting Started

To learn more or to contact an enrollment advisor before you get started, request information using the button below and tell us a little about yourself. Someone will be in touch to answer any questions you may have about the program and detail the next steps in earning your degree. You can also start your application or register for a course at Metropolitan College.