MS in Health Informatics

Offered on the Charles River Campus and online, the MS in Health Informatics exposes students to modern health information technology, including health data collection, processing, storage, and analysis.

Healthcare is a data-intensive industry, and health IT specialists are needed to help transform data into meaningful, usable information and knowledge. Comprising the systematic application of information technology and computer science in medicine, public health, and related disciplines, health informatics is essential for improving the experience of patient care, improving the health of populations, and reducing per capita costs of healthcare—primary aims of the US healthcare system.

Boston University’s Health Informatics master’s degree program offers optional concentrations in:

  • Applied Data Analytics
  • Health Information Management

The Master of Science in Health Informatics is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Completion of a CAHIIM-accredited program is required in order to be eligible to sit for professional certification exams offered through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), such as the Certified Professional in Health Informatics (CPHI™) exam and the Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA®) exams. Along with demonstrating a high standard of proficiency and professionalism sought by employers, AHIMA certification ensures access to valuable networking resources, opens the door to higher earning potential, and paves the way for long-term leadership opportunities in the field.

Mission Statement: The Health Informatics program is designed to prepare IT and healthcare professionals for careers in the management of healthcare information systems. Program courses have been developed and taught by faculty with expertise in biomedicine, computer science, biomedical engineering, and health IT.

The program provides students with an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to healthcare IT, and teaches cutting-edge IT technologies used in the design, implementation, and management of healthcare IT applications. Students are exposed to modern health information technology, including the collection, processing, storage, communication, and use of health data and information. They are also introduced to the American healthcare system, biomedical terminology, knowledge hierarchy, medical algorithms, clinical decisionmaking, data/communication standards, data privacy and security, hospital informatics systems (including electronic health records), the latest developments in healthcare IT, and the management of IT challenges.

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the Master of Science in Health Informatics will be able to:

  • Work on healthcare data, information, and knowledge management and analysis.
  • Identify and address challenges and opportunities as the American healthcare system transforms into a digital, patient-centered system.
  • Understand the process of healthcare information system (HCIS) acquisition, development, implementation, and support.
  • Discuss ethical issues, social and organizational behavior management, and leadership skills.
  • Grasp major healthcare delivery workflows and understand how HCIS changes the workflows, and how to manage that change.
  • Understand common algorithms for health applications and IT components in representative clinical processes.
  • Understand fundamentals of cybersecurity.
  • Understand legal, security, and privacy issues related to health information management.
  • Lead health IT initiatives, conduct biomedical research and design, and implement and manage advanced IT solutions.

Admissions Information

For current admissions information, please visit the Metropolitan College website.

Prerequisites

Applicants to the program are required to have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Those without a background in information technology must complete MET CS 200 Introduction to Computer Information Systems. Those without a background in healthcare must complete a free, self-paced Medical Terminology Pre-Lab (MET HE 100).

Degree Requirements

A total of eight courses (32 credits) is required, as follows:

Core Courses (five courses/20 credits)

  • MET CS 570 Biomedical Sciences and Health IT
  • MET CS 580 Health Informatics
  • MET CS 581 Health Information Systems
  • MET CS 584 Ethical and Legal Issues in Healthcare
  • MET CS 781 Advanced Health Informatics

Required Courses (three courses/12 credits)

  • MET CS 520 Information Structures with Java
    or
    MET CS 521 Information Structures with Python
  • MET CS 595 Cybersecurity Fundamentals
    or MET CS 695 Enterprise Cybersecurity
  • MET CS 625 Business Data Communication and Networks
    or
    MET CS 682 Information Systems Analysis and Design*

*MS in Health Informatics students without business data communication and networks experience are recommended to take the course MET CS 625, the prerequisite for MET CS 695, instead of MET CS 682.

Concentrations

MS in Health Informatics concentrations require the completion of ten courses (40 credits), including the core and required courses plus two concentration requirements.

Students may choose from the following concentrations:

Applied Data Analytics

Students in the MS in Health Informatics program interested in expanding their knowledge of healthcare data processing, analysis, and visualization can take an additional two data analytics courses to get the MS in Health Informatics degree with a concentration in Applied Data Analytics.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates from the concentration in Applied Data Analytics will be able to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of data analytics techniques, skills, and critical thinking, and an understanding of the possibilities and limitations of their applications.
  • Ability to apply various data-processing techniques on healthcare data sets and engage in data analysis and visualization.
  • Knowledge-discovery skills using data-mining techniques and tools over large amounts of data.

Health Information Management

Students in the MS in Health Informatics program interested in expanding their knowledge of health information acquisition, storing, communication, processing, and analysis can take an additional two information systems management courses to get the MS in Health Informatics with a concentration in Health Information Management.

Moreover, program assessment has clearly shown a necessity for healthcare information management and health data analytics expertise in our graduates.

Learning Outcomes

The graduates from the concentration in Health Information Management will be able to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge and skills to perform analysis and provide documentation of requirements for architecture, design, and implementation of computer applications systems in healthcare.
  • Proficiency in software and computing skills as they pertain to the design and healthcare implementation of database systems, data communications, systems analysis, and design.
  • Ability to identify current and emerging information technologies that may have strategic value for healthcare; assess where those technologies have value; and manage the implementation of those technologies in the healthcare institutions.

Second Master’s Degree Option

In appreciation of the converging needs of management and technology, the departments of Actuarial Science, Administrative Sciences, and Computer Science collaborate to offer a unique opportunity to students currently enrolled in their degree programs as well as alumni of those programs. Learn more.