Online Master of Science in Health Informatics
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The online Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) at Boston University’s Metropolitan College (MET) is designed to expose you to modern health information technology, including health data collection, processing, storage, and analysis.
As one of the few health informatics programs offered through a computer science department, the primary focus of the BU MET Health Informatics master’s program is on electronic medical data generated and stored in healthcare and public health organizations. As a graduate of the MSHI program, you will have a solid knowledge of healthcare information systems—including electronic health records (EHRs)—and command of the latest medical technologies.
BU’s Health Informatics master’s program offers optional concentrations in two high-demand areas of healthcare IT:
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.
Students who complete BU MET’s 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.
Awards & Accreditations
Certified by the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS)
The Health Informatics accreditor of Boston University’s Metropolitan College is the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). The College’s accreditation for the master’s degree in Computer Information Systems, Health Informatics concentration, has been reaffirmed through 2027. All inquiries about the program’s accreditation status should be directed by mail to CAHIIM, 200 East Randolph Street, Suite 5100, Chicago, IL, 60601; by phone at (312) 235-3255; or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BU MET’s Health Informatics Program by the Numbers
- 92.6% of students enrolled in Health Informatics courses spring 2019 to fall 2020 reported a satisfaction level of 3 or above on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being most satisfied).
- 90% of students graduating summer 2019 through spring 2020 were employed within 6 months.
- 83% of students starting summer 2019 through spring 2020 registered for a subsequent semester and 75% registered for the next academic year.
- 71% of students entering the program in 2015–2016 and 2016–2017 have graduated as of 2019–2020.
Why Choose BU’s Master of Science in Health Informatics?
- In 2023, the MSHI ranked #10 among the Best Online Master’s in Computer Information Technology Programs (U.S. News & World Report).
- The master’s degree in Health Informatics is the first and only health informatics program in New England to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). As a CAHIIM-accredited program, the MSCIS qualifies graduates to sit for certification exams offered through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), such as the Certified Professional in Health Informatics (CPHI™) and the Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA®) exams.
- Boston University is recognized by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Defense and Research.
- BU MET’s information security programs are certified by the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS).
- 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.
- Students benefit from a supportive online network, with courses developed and taught by PhD-level full-time faculty and professionals with hands-on expertise in the industry.
- Small course sections ensure that students get the attention they need, while case studies and real-world projects ensure that they gain in-depth, practical experience with the latest technologies.
Medical and Health Services Managers
32% increase in jobs through 2029
$100,980 median annual pay in 2019
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
8% increase in jobs through 2029
$42,630 median annual pay in 2019
Information Security Analysts
31% increase in jobs through 2029
$99,730 median annual pay in 2019
Computer Systems Analysts
7% increase in jobs through 2029
$90,920 median annual pay in 2019
Computer and Information Systems Managers
10% increase in jobs through 2029
$146,360 median annual pay in 2019
Computer and Information Research Scientists
15% increase in jobs through 2029
$122,840 median annual pay in 2019
10% increase in jobs through 2029
$93,750 median annual pay in 2019
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2020
Best Technology Jobs, 2023 U.S. News & World Report
- #1 Software Developer
- #2 Information Security Analyst
- #3 IT Manager
- #4 Web Developer
- #5 Computer Systems Analyst
- #6 Data Scientist
- #7 Database Administrator
- #8 Computer Network Architect
- #9 Computer Systems Administrator
- #10 Computer Support Specialist
- #11 Computer Programmer
With a forecasted compound annual growth rate of nearly 12.5% from 2021 through 2026, the healthcare IT market is expected to see revenues of more than $192 million by 2026.
Mordor Intelligence Healthcare IT Market— Growth, Trends, Covid-19 Impact and Forecast (2021–2026)
Boston University Metropolitan College (MET) offers competitive tuition rates that meet the needs of part-time students seeking an affordable education. These rates are substantially lower than those of the traditional, full-time residential programs yet provide access to the same high-quality BU education. To learn more about current tuition rates, visit the MET website.
Comprehensive financial assistance services are available at MET, including scholarships, graduate loans, and payment plans. There is no cost to apply for financial assistance, and you may qualify for a student loan regardless of your income. Learn more.
The online Master of Science in Health Informatics consists of eight courses (32 credits).
Students who are not declaring an MSHI concentration must complete five core courses and three required courses.
(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 Health Information Systems
Health Information Systems are comprehensive application systems that automate the activities of healthcare delivery including clinical care using electronic health records (EHRs), coordination of care across providers, telehealth, management of the business of healthcare such as revenue cycle management, and population health management. The course covers the functionality of these systems, the underlying information technology they require and their successful operations. It addresses challenges in this rapidly changing field such as complex data, security, interoperability, mobile technology and distributed users. The course emphasizes applied use of health information systems through case studies, current articles, and exercises. [4 credits]
METCS584 Ethical and Legal Issues in Healthcare Informatics
Laws, regulations, and ethics guide the practice of health information management (HIM) and health informatics (HI). This course introduces students to the workings of the American legal system and concepts and theories of ethics, examines the legal, ethical, and regulatory issues that impact the protection of confidentiality and integrity of patient information, and, on the other hand, the improvement of accessibility of patient information to enable healthcare providers to make informed decision based on complete patient data. We will cover laws and regulations that are central to the HIM and HI professions, including Privacy Act of 1974, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), the 21st Century Cures Act, and the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records Regulations, and more. The goal is to enable HIM and HI practitioners to make effective and informed decisions that prompt patient safety and care quality improvement. [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]
(Three courses/12 credits)
This course introduces fundamental concepts, principles of cybersecurity and their use in the development of security mechanisms and policies. Topics include basic risk assessment and management; basic legal and ethics issues, various cyber attacks, defense methods and tools; security principles, models and components; different crypto protocols, techniques and tools, including symmetric and asymmetric encryption algorithms, hashing, public key infrastructure, and how they can be used; security threats and defense to hardware, operating systems, networks and applications in modern computing environments. Hands-on labs using current tools are provided and required. Prerequisite: METCS535 or METCS625 or instructor's consent. [4 credits]
Plus one chosen from the following pair:
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. For undergraduate students: This course may not be taken in conjunction with METCS232. Only one of these courses can be counted towards degree requirements. [4 credits]
METCS521 Information Structures with Python
This course covers the concepts of the object-oriented approach to software design and development using Python. 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 able to apply software engineering principles to design and implement Python applications that can be used in with analytics and big data. Effective Fall 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Quantitative Reasoning II, Creativity/Innovation, Critical Thinking.
Prerequisite: Programming experience in any language. Or Instructor's consent. [4 credits]
And one more from the following*:
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]
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. Prerequisite: Basic programming knowledge or instructor's consent. [4 credits]
*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.
Admission & Prerequisite Information
MET prioritizes the review and admission of applications submitted earlier in the rolling admission process. You are encouraged to submit your application as soon as possible and no later than the priority application deadlines for each term.
Applicants must have an earned bachelor’s degree, in any field of study, from a regionally accredited college/university (or the international equivalent) prior to enrollment at Metropolitan College. The following materials are required for a complete application:
- Completed Application for Graduate Admission and application fee
- All college transcripts
- Personal statement
- Two letters of recommendation
- Official English proficiency exam results (International students)
Applicants are not required to have a degree in computer science for entry to a program within the Department of Computer Science. Upon review of your application, the department will determine if the completion of prerequisite coursework will be required, based on your academic and professional background.
Those without a background in healthcare must complete the free, self-paced Medical Terminology Pre-Lab (MET HE 100). The pre-lab provides the basic understanding of medical terminology necessary to advance in the study of Health Informatics. This laboratory will help ensure that students from non-medical backgrounds have the fundamental knowledge of human anatomy, pathologies associated with it, and medical terminology.
Those without a background in information technology must complete the following prerequisite:
METCS200 Introduction to Computer Information Systems
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]
A maximum of two graduate-level courses (8 credits) taken at Metropolitan College before acceptance into the program may be applied towards the degree.
Assistant Professor, Computer Science; Coordinator, Health Informatics
PhD, MEng, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; BS, Luoyang Institute of Technology
Senior Lecturer, Computer Science
MS, Boston University; BS, Merrimack College
Associate Professor and Director of Digital Learning, Computer Science
PhD, Columbia University; MS, University of Miami; MS, University of Illinois; BS, University of Natal (South Africa)
Associate Dean, Academic Affairs; Associate Professor, Computer Science; Director, Health Informatics and Health Sciences
PhD, Boston University; MS, Medical College of Virginia; MS, BS, University of Belgrade
Associate Professor of the Practice, Computer Science; Coordinator, Software Development
PhD, Columbia University; BA, Harvard University
Assistant Professor, Computer Science; Director, Analytics
PhD, Brandeis University; MS, Indian Institute of Technology; BS, Regional Engineering College (Warangal, India)
Vijay Kanabar, PMP
Associate Professor, Computer Science and Administrative Sciences; Director, Project Management
PhD, University of Manitoba; MS, Florida Institute of Technology; MBA, Webber College; BS, University of Madras, India; PMP (Project Management Professional), Project Management Institute
Assistant Professor, Computer Science; Coordinator, Programming Languages
PhD, Freie Universität Berlin; MS, BS, Berlin University of Technology (TU-Berlin)
Assistant Professor, Computer Science
PhD, Penn State University; BS, Tongji University (Shanghai, China)
Assistant Professor, Computer Science; Coordinator, Information Security
PhD, Boston University; MS, BS University of Science and Technology Beijing
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.