Online Master's in Health Informatics (HealthInformatics@GW)
The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, based in Washington D.C., offers an online Master of Science (M.S.) in Management of Health Informatics and Analytics program (HealthInformatics@GW).
As healthcare becomes increasingly data-driven, there is a growing demand for leaders skilled in the use of multivariate data to improve patient and community health. The HealthInformatics@GW program combines the fields of health information technology (e.g., software, hardware, data storage, security) and data management (e.g., coding, policies, records, documentation) to create an innovative degree that prepares professionals to prevent and solve health challenges. The program aims to make graduates capable of managing health organizations through strategic and technological means, addressing community health issues effectively, using data to carry out expert decision-making for organizations and patient health, and much more.
Professionals with two or more years of work experience in health care or three or more years in another industry (e.g., data analysis, information technology) can apply. Jobs open to graduates may include positions as IT managers, project managers, systems analysts, health information technology specialists and clinical application support managers, among others.
What to Expect From the HealthInformatics@GW Program
Admission Requirements: Applicants to the George Washington University online M.S in Health Informatics program must hold at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, or an equivalent degree if earned outside the United States, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants must submit an online application and fee, a statement of purpose, official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a resume or CV, and an optional addendum (i.e., anything else an applicant wants to share with the admissions team). Two years of work experience in health care or three years in another industry are required, and applicants should be currently employed in the health care industry. GMAT/GRE scores are not required due to work experience requirements. Applicants will also participate in a live, face-to-face, video interview with an Admissions Counselor.
As prerequisites for HealthInformatics@GW program, applicants must have taken Financial Accounting and Introduction to Statistics and earned a grade of B or better. If applicants have not taken these courses, they can be completed at a local institution of higher learning or through the online StraighterLine program. Courses must be completed by the end of the second module.
International students may need to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores, as well as evaluated transcripts from World Education Services.
Study Plan: Students participate in eight 10-week-long course modules and two immersion experiences held on campus in Washington D.C. There is also a capstone course where students design a solution for a prominent health care issue. Start dates are offered in January, April, July, and October. The program can be completed in two years, but students may take up to four years to complete it.
Curriculum: HealthInformatics@GW consists of 45 credits. The curriculum comprises eight 10-week-long learning modules (42 credits) and two immersion experiences (3 credits). The eight modules are: Healthcare Management and Strategy (5 credits), Medical Informatics and Decision Management (5 credits), Health IT Project Management (5 credits), Population and Community Health Analytics (5 credits), Business Intelligence and the Internet of Medical Things (6 credits), Research and Predictive Analytics (6 credits), Health Law and Policy (5 credits), and Health Innovation and Entrepreneurship (5 credits). Students complete their capstone projects in the final module.
Online Experience: Students earning GW’s online M.S. in Health Informatics degree participate in live, weekly, face-to-face class sessions via videoconferencing, which promotes a feeling of connection and community that cannot be gained through asynchronous classes. The student teacher ratio is 15:1, so students are able to conduct meaningful conversations with professors and fellow students.
Coursework includes weekly preparation for classes in the form of interactive quizzes, multimedia assignments, and videos. The classes are available 24/7 using GW’s mobile app, which also has an offline feature. Other social connection channels, such as a virtual boardroom, are available for faculty, students, and health care professionals to communicate and collaborate. All faculty also have live, online office hours to support students. Additionally, online students have access to Admissions Counselors, library resources, academic guidance, career services, and one-on-one mentoring from GW faculty.
On-Site Requirements: Students in HealthInformatics@GW participate in two in-person immersion experiences on the Washington D.C. campus. Each immersion is worth 1.5 credits. In the first immersion (Leadership and Ethics), students examine ethical principles and practices, take a test to discover their leadership style and learn to practice highly effective leadership and management skills. The second immersion (Health Information Simulation) has a simulation lab, where students can develop solutions to problems with the information they are provided. Both immersion experiences allow students to network with faculty and classmates. Graduates are also welcome to participate in on-campus commencement.
Paying for the HealthInformatics@GW Program
The George Washington University charges $1,710 per credit for the HealthInformatics@GW program. Total tuition is $76,950. Other fees may apply. As tuition changes from year to year, online students should contact the admissions department of the Milken Institute School of Public Health for a total cost estimate.
GW students can apply for federal grants and loans, as well as private loans. GW also offers financial aid in the form of merit-based scholarships and partner organization benefits. Students are encouraged to seek outside resources for help paying for HealthInformatics@GW. For instance, some businesses offer tuition reimbursement programs for employees seeking an advanced degree. Students are advised to speak with their employer about this opportunity.