The University of Pittsburgh Online MS in Health Informatics (MSHI)

The University of Pittsburgh’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences offers an online MS in Health Informatics (MSHI) with four tracks: General Health Informatics (HI), Data Science (DS), Health Care Supervision Management (HSM), and Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA). This program offers 100 percent online coursework with a local capstone internship experience. No campus visits are required and the program can be completed in 16 to 24 months.

The General Health Informatics (HI) track prepares students to analyze, evaluate, design, and manage health information systems. Graduates are also prepared to conduct data analytics projects to improve the quality of health care and reduce health care costs.

The Data Science (DS) track is designed for those who wish to present extracted and analyzed data to those in the health care community including health care providers and executives. The purpose of this communication is to convey assessment of quality measures, financial responsibility and performance, and improvement of patient outcomes. Key concepts include risk assessment, hypothesis testing, pattern identification, and prediction.

The Health Care Supervision Management (HSM) track focuses on preparing professionals for leadership positions and supervisory roles in health care organizations. These may include hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and long-term care facilities. Topics covered may include digital health, leadership and project management, research and evaluation, financial management, ethics in health IT, and organizational leadership.

Finally, the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) track is designed for those who wish to become certified through the RHIA exam. This track is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Skill sets for this track include creation and management of databases, leadership of organizational data, management of privacy, security, and documentation, and the interdisciplinary skills necessary to work in varied teams of professionals.

Learning outcomes for all tracks may include:

  • Effective communication with healthcare entities including providers, patients, administrators, government bodies or regulators, researchers, insurance companies, and suppliers
  • Proactively identify needs and opportunities through a variety of techniques related to access, care, clinical outcomes, cost, patient satisfaction and engagement, and quality in the health care system
  • The use of technical knowledge to promote best practices and creative technology-based solutions to improve patient care
  • Supporting clinical decision-making through the use of data analytics skills
  • Effective leadership, flexibility, and adaptation to the changing healthcare landscape

Applicants may have a bachelor’s degree in any field, however, students pursuing an MSHI typically have experience in the health field including rehabilitation sciences, computer science, health information management, biology, nursing, or other health-related fields. No prior work experience or graduate exams are required for this program. Courses are delivered through a blend of live virtual sessions and independent coursework.

Graduates may work in a variety of settings related to healthcare including hospitals, information system vendors, research centers, insurance companies, tech companies, and ambulatory care centers. Graduates may go on to pursue a position in the health informatics space, such as product manager, systems analyst, data analyst, statistical analyst, manager of data and analytics, data scientist, healthcare consultant, quality improvement director, health informatics business analyst, and project manager.

What to Expect from the University of Pittsburgh Online MS in Health Informatics

Admission Requirements: Applicants to the MS in health informatics program must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0. No work experience is required and applicants do not need a degree in computer science to apply. The GRE and GMAT are not required.

All students must complete one course in medical terminology if that has not been completed during their prior education. Applicants to the DS and RHIA tracks must demonstrate the necessary body of knowledge in statistics, math, and computer programming. As well, RHIA applicants must have completed anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology. These courses can be taken before or concurrent with earning the MSHI degree and are in addition to the 36 required credits for the program.

Admissions materials include an online application, resume or CV, unofficial transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and an essay. International applicants must provide proof of English language proficiency and have an academic credential evaluation.

Study Plan: The University of Pittsburgh’s online MSHI can be completed in 16 to 24 months on a full-time or part-time basis. Start dates land in the fall, spring, and summer. Admissions are rolling with priority deadlines. Courses are 100 percent online and no campus visits are required. There is a capstone/internship course required which may include internship hours at an approved local facility. Note that not all courses are offered each semester, so an individual plan will be worked out with an advisor.

MS in Health Informatics Curriculum: The MS in health informatics comprises 36 credits. Core courses for all tracks include health information and the healthcare system; foundations of health informatics; health vocabulary, terminology, and classification systems; and health informatics capstone/internship.

The General Health Informatics track also includes database design and big data analytics plus 21 credits from the following courses: security, privacy, legal, and ethical issues in health IT; digital health; leadership and project management; data science in health informatics; talent management and human resources; data analytics and machine learning and health science; practical research and evaluation methods; practical statistics and programming using Python and R; financial management and health care reimbursement; and anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and medical terminology.

The Data Science track includes practical statistics and programming using Python and R; security, privacy, legal, and ethical issues in health IT; digital health; database design and big data analytics; data science in health informatics; leadership and project management; practical research and evaluation methods; and data analytics and machine learning in health science.

The Healthcare Supervision and Management track includes security, privacy, legal, and ethical issues in health IT; digital Health; talent management and Human Resources; leadership and project management; practical research and evaluation methods; and financial management and healthcare reimbursement. Six credits of electives are also chosen from a set of options including health informatics, health and rehabilitation science, and law courses.

The RHIA track includes anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and medical terminology; practical statistics and programming using Python and R; security, privacy, legal and ethical issues in health IT; database design and big data analytics; talent management and human resources; digital health; leadership and project management; and financial management in healthcare reimbursement.

Online Experience: The University of Pittsburgh delivers health informatics classes online through the Canvas platform. About one hour of synchronous, live class time occurs during the week in the evenings, including lab sessions, presentations, breakout discussion groups, and debates. Students complete assignments, assessments, readings, projects, and other items throughout the week.

Online students have access to academic advising, library services, discounted software, virtual faculty office hours, technical support, and career counseling and resources through the Office of Academic and Career Development. Disability resources and technical support are also offered.

On-Site Requirements: There are no on-site requirements for the University of Pittsburgh online MS in health informatics program. There is an internship experience to be completed local to the student.

Paying for the University of Pittsburgh Online MS in Health Informatics

The University of Pittsburgh charges $1,122 per credit plus fees for the online MSHI. Interested students should contact the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences for current tuition information as tuition typically changes each year.

The University of Pittsburgh may offer financial aid including scholarships, grants, and federal student aid through unsubsidized student loans. Alumni may be eligible for $2,500 to $5,000 scholarships through the Pitt2Pitt program. In addition, students should ask their employers about the possibility of a tuition reimbursement program. Finally, graduate students may seek outside opportunities for funding such as scholarships or grants through community organizations.

University of Pittsburgh Master of Science in Health Informatics

Program Essentials
Degree Level Master's Degree
Program Start Dates Fall, Spring, Summer
Credits Needed to Graduate 36
Time to Complete? Graduate in as little as 16 months.
100% Online? Yes, plus capstone/internship
Program Accreditation The Health Information Management accreditor of the University of Pittsburgh is the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). The College’s accreditation for a Master’s degree in Health Informatics with an RHIA track has been reaffirmed through 2022-2023. 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 info@cahiim.org.
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Bachelor's degree or higher
GRE or GMAT Required? No GRE required
Work Experience Required? None
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 36
Cost Per Credit Hour $1,122
Estimated Program Tuition * $40,392.00

* Tuition is calculated based on credits, at the currently published tuition rate. For programs with variable tuition rates, we use the out of state, part-time student rate. Tuition number represents the cost of tuition for the entire program, not per semester or year. Total cost of tuition does not include additional fees.

Sara Navratil
Sara Navratil
Writer

Sara Navratil is a freelance writer and a Certified Canfield Success Principles Trainer. She's the owner of Sara Liza Life, a company dedicated to helping people rewrite their lives. She enjoys researching and writing about healthcare-related topics, including information on online MHA programs. When not working she likes to read, bake, and spend time with her family.