teacher in classroom with students
College of Communication and Information

Health Informatics

Course Delivery
100% online
Total Credits
36
Approximate Tuition Cost
$725 in state
$735 out of state
Time to Completion
Graduate in as few as 24 months
man studying online class at home
Change Lives in Your Nine-to-Five
Kent State University’s online master’s in health informatics prepares you for a rewarding career in this fast-growing interprofessional healthcare specialty that draws on a range of scientific and management disciplines to optimize modern healthcare. Use your analytical skills and the education you’ll receive in our program to change lives for the better.

Because our program is designed for busy working professionals, you can tailor your degree to suit your unique background and goals, including changing fields or advancing in your current career.
Learn From Research Leaders

Small classes and focused 7-week courses in our online health informatics master’s program offer opportunities to develop strong working relationships with your classmates and professors. The faculty have a wealth of expertise in research and management topics and a dedication to improving healthcare through information technology.

Our professors’ research interests span topics including big data, taxonomy, information architecture, knowledge organization, human factors and usability. Collectively, they have led research projects for hospitals, universities, businesses, non-profit organizations and the National Science Foundation.

Professionally connected innovators and thought leaders, our MSHI faculty are widely published and have developed courses on a range of digital health and health informatics topics.

We’re Known for Innovation and Excellence

Our expertise and commitment to student success combine with our inclusive innovation culture to deliver an educational experience that can help you advance your career and improve healthcare delivery.

Long recognized as a leader in library sciences, the top-ranked Kent State University School of Information is leveraging our expertise in information architecture and management to transform healthcare with our online master’s in health informatics.1

Kent State University is a public research university with a rich history of engaged scholarship and innovation, and we began offering online education more than 20 years ago. We’ve applied lessons learned along the way to create a flexible, user-friendly learning experience that fits into your life as a busy working professional.

Military Friendly School '22-23 Gold

MSHI Careers Snapshot

Graduates of our online master’s in health informatics are qualified for roles with healthcare organizations, health equipment manufacturers, insurance providers and government agencies. Salaries and duties vary with the industry. Professionals with the right education and experience can earn comfortable six-figure salaries in this rapidly growing field.

This sample information on average salary and projected job growth through 2030 is from the U.S. Department of Labor’s O*Net, and you can find more information on our careers page.

$100,910
Growth: 15%2
Clinical Data Manager
$131,490
Growth: 15%3
Computer Scientist
$99,270
Growth: 5-10%4
Health Informatics Specialist
A Degree Program That Works for You

Our faculty integrate real-world experiences and case studies from the field, blending theory and practice within the program’s curriculum. Kent State’s online MS in health informatics has three major components:

  • Seven core courses
  • Four elective courses
  • One capstone experience

Depending on your career goals, you may choose an internship, a master’s project, research paper or thesis for your capstone experience. See the Academic FAQs for more on this topic.

Once you enroll, your Admissions Outreach Advisor will help you craft your personalized degree plan, creating a clear course sequence and path to graduation.

The program is intentionally designed to create focused study and encourage collaboration. Each course is seven weeks long, and you can take two courses sequentially each semester, focusing on each subject individually.

Move Forward with Kent State

Earn your MSHI in as little as two years, building your knowledge and skills along with your professional network. Our admissions process is simple, and we have waived the GRE requirement in favor of a holistic evaluation of your background and achievements.

Whatever your life situation or experience, our 100% online master’s in health informatics has been designed to offer flexibility and the individualized attention you need to help you reach your professional goals while handling your other life commitments.

Develop Your Core Competencies

Our online MS in health informatics can help you build an impactful career in patient care, services administration or systems design and implementation. Core courses will give you a solid conceptual grounding in the areas of:

  • Terminology
  • Systems
  • Management
  • Human factors
  • Analytics
  • Law
Tailor the Degree to Your Needs

After completing the core courses, you can then customize your expertise with electives and your capstone experience. Some of the focus areas you can pursue include:

  • Clinical decision support systems
  • Knowledge management
  • Semantic analysis
  • Information architecture
  • Public health informatics
  • Change management
  • Project management

Kent State’s MSHI program also offers opportunities for you to pursue individual investigation of health informatics subjects that interest you.

Career Outcomes
doctor at machine

Our online master’s in health informatics can help you optimize digital healthcare technology and data management to improve health outcomes. Leverage your skill set at the individual, systems or population level across economic sectors, including:

  • Healthcare
  • Educational services
  • Scientific/other professional services
  • Technology
  • Government

Typical Job Titles

A sampling of relevant job titles include:

  • Medical Records Director
  • Clinical Informatics Manager
  • Clinical Informatics Nurse
  • Nursing Information Systems Coordinator
  • Clinical Informatics Systems Analyst
  • Clinical Applications Specialist

Kent State University gate
Make Career Connections Here
Professors for our master of science in health informatics are active in several leading industry organizations, and can help you make the career connections that lead to long-term success. Faculty professional affiliations include:
  • Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)
  • Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine
  • Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI)
  • LeadingAge Center for Healthcare Technologies (CAST)
  • Human Factors and Ergonomic Society (HFES)
  • American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA)
Tuition and Financial Aid

The Kent State online MSHI costs a fraction of the amount you could earn in annual salary with the skills you would gain from getting your degree. The degree has the same prestige as a degree earned on campus, and the flexible online format makes it easier to work full-time while studying.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that nationally, professionals with a master’s degree earn an average of 18% more than those with a bachelor’s degree and enjoy greater job security, making the effort very worthwhile.5

The online Master of Science in Health Informatics consists of 36 credits.

Ohio ResidentsOut of State
Per Credit Hour$725$735
Approximate Program Cost $26,100$26,460

An additional distance learning fee for all students enrolled in a distance learning course is $15 per credit hour. Program tuition and costs are estimated and subject to change. For a complete listing of tuition rates for approved online programs, please contact Kent State’s Financial, Billing & Enrollment Center at 330-672-6000 or via our website Contact Us link.

We recognize that pursuing a graduate degree is a significant investment. Your Admissions Outreach Advisor can answer your questions on program costs, discuss how a Kent State degree compares to others and connect you with financial aid representatives when you are ready to discuss your financial options.

Please contact an Admissions Outreach Advisor for more information on tuition and fees by email at online@kent.edu.

Courses

Complete your online master’s in health informatics in as little as two years, taking two 7-week courses sequentially each semester. The 36 credits required for graduation are distributed as follows:

  • Required courses - 21 credits
  • Elective courses - 12 credits
  • Capstone experience - 3 to 6 credits
Required Courses
21 credits

HI 60401 HEALTH INFORMATICS MANAGEMENT (3 CREDITS)

Covers the areas encompassing health informatics management including the planning, selection, deployment and management of electronic medical records (EMR), management decision-support and tracking systems (DSS), and other health information technologies (HIT).

HI 60402 LEGAL ISSUES IN HEALTH INFORMATICS (3 CREDITS)

Prerequisite: HI 60401

Introduction to the fundamentals of law for health informatics and information management. Elements of the course include general legal principles and healthcare; legal electronic medical records (EMR); Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy rules and security rules; access, requests and disclosure of health information; required reporting and mandatory disclosure laws; risk management and quality improvement; compliance; workforce overview; and related ethics and social issues.

HI 60403 HEALTH INFORMATION SYSTEMS (3 CREDITS)

Prerequisite: HI 60401

Introduction to information systems and their applications in healthcare used for managerial and clinical support. Study the fundamentals of information systems, including electronic medical records (EMR), and information security. Understand the role of standardized codes, vocabularies and terminologies used in health information systems. Analyze management and enterprise systems, and identify the key elements to manage information resources effectively and the trends affecting the development of health information systems and networks.

HI 60410 HEALTH RECORDS MANAGEMENT (3 CREDITS)

Prerequisite: HI 60401

Conceptual foundations and practicum for health records management, including the planning, implementation and operation of electronic medical records (EMR); the management of EMR in management and enterprise systems; identifying, selecting and evaluating EMR and health information systems, applications and repositories; and issues of data quality, integrity, migration and interoperability.

HI 60411 CLINICAL ANALYTICS (3 CREDITS)

Prerequisite: HI 60401 or MIS 64936

The use of well-defined and well-integrated clinical analytics throughout the healthcare value chain can be transformative. Through careful implementation of health analytics, hospitals can transform unwieldy amalgamations of data into information that can improve patient outcomes, increase safety, enhance operational efficiency and support public health. Given the immense size of the data challenge, the distinctness and geographic spread of many healthcare-related activities, and the fact that so many healthcare activities are conducted by different entities which must interact with each other, there is really no other way to provide operations management tools necessary to deliver personalized medicine and to control spiraling costs. Since clinical analytics is an immature discipline, we carefully examine the practices of those institutions who are standard setters in the industry.

HI 60414 HUMAN FACTORS AND USABILITY IN HEALTH INFORMATICS (3 CREDITS)

Prerequisite: HI 60401, with a minimum grade of C

Provides students with the foundational principles of usability and human factors as applied to safety and quality in health informatics technology. Course readings and materials review the concepts of human factors, usability and the cognitive consequences of health information technology on clinical performance and decision making. Attention is given to the role of mobile computing in healthcare, as well as information visualization.

HI 60636 STANDARDIZED TERMINOLOGIES IN HEALTHCARE (3 CREDITS)

Introduce various types of standardized healthcare terminologies (controlled vocabularies) used in electronic health records (EHR) and the Health Information Exchange (HIE). Presents the benefits of using standardized terminologies, as well as the interoperability and meaningful use (MU) requirements and standards. Explain the purposes, structures, components and application of the most widely implemented standardized terminologies such as ICD, CPT, SNOMED CT, LOINC, RxNorm, ICNP and UMLS.

Electives
12 credits (choose from the following courses)

EMAT 51510 PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND TEAM DYNAMICS (3 CREDITS)

(Slashed with EMAT 41510) This course introduces students to the basic elements of project management as it relates to software development and the corporate environment. Although not formally endorsed by The Project Management Institute (www.PMI.org), the course will align with the project management lifecycle approach endorsed in The Project Management Book of Knowledge.

HI 60412 CLINICAL DECISION SUPPORT (3 CREDITS)

Prerequisite: HI 60401

Provides a practical survey of clinical decision support systems that collect clinical data and enable the transition to clinical knowledge in real world applications intended to improve quality and safety of patient care. Students become familiar with the basic requirements for clinical decision support systems and the challenges associated with the development and deployment of new applications within the healthcare setting.

HI 60413 CHANGE MANAGEMENT IN HEALTH INFORMATICS (3 CREDITS)

Prerequisite: HI 60401

Designed to cover the process of change management in large healthcare organizations in light of current trends. Topics related to technology requirements, technology implementations, risk assessment and buy-in are among those covered.

HI 60415 HEALTH INFORMATICS INQUIRY AND ASSESSMENT (3 CREDITS)

Prerequisite: HI 60401, with a minimum grade of C

Provides a foundation for understanding research in health informatics with a focus on user and experience design research. Through lectures, readings, discussions and assignments, students review user research methods, data collection techniques and communication strategies within the healthcare context. Students then apply this knowledge to creating a research plan for assessing health information technology and communicating results to key organizational stakeholders.

HI 60416 ETHICS, POLITICS AND POLICY IN HEALTH INFORMATICS (3 CREDITS)

This course uses a policy analysis lens to critically examine issues related to the use of information technology in healthcare from an ethical, political and regulatory perspective. The primary focus will be on the United States, but international approaches will also be discussed. Legislation affecting the health information technology area will be examined including the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, HITECH section; the Affordable Care Act; and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. Topics and issues related to health informatics including the structure of health administrative and delivery systems, the assessment of population health, models of health care delivery, access and quality of care will also be discussed.

HI 60417 PUBLIC HEALTH INFORMATICS (3 CREDITS)

Public health informatics (PHI) is an emergent, interdisciplinary field that focuses on the systematic management and dynamic application of information resources to enhance public health practice, education and research. As an emerging subset of health informatics, PHI is practiced by individuals, government agencies and nongovernmental organizations at the international, national, regional, state and local levels. PHI deals with the collection and analysis of vital statistics data through surveillance; information creation; information storage and retrieval; visualization and graphics; dissemination; and the use of information for policy, decision-making and trend tracking. The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introductory overview of the vast and dynamic field of PHI, including definitions, approaches, competencies, applications and informatics principles applied in public health settings.

HI 60691 SEMINAR IN HEALTH INFORMATICS (3 CREDITS)

(Repeatable for credit) Advanced research by students who are qualified to examine problems of certain special areas related to concentrations of study in health informatics.

HI 60792 ELECTIVE INTERNSHIP IN HEALTH INFORMATICS (FOR STUDENTS WITH NO HEALTHCARE BACKGROUND) (2-3 CREDITS)

Supervised work experience in health informatics of a professional nature of not less than 100 clock hours (for 2 credit hours) or 150 clock hours (for 3 credit hours) with directed preparation of a reflection paper. In-progress (IP) mark permissible. Satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) graded.

HI 61095 SPECIAL TOPICS COURSES IN HEALTH INFORMATICS (3 CREDITS)

(Repeatable for credit). Offered irregularly as resources and/or opportunities permit. Topics could include current or emerging issues in health informatics. Specific topics are announced in the Schedule of Classes.

HI 61096 INDIVIDUAL INVESTIGATION IN HEALTH INFORMATICS (3 CREDITS)

(Repeatable for credit). Research or individual investigation in areas not covered by the existing curriculum for master’s level students. A maximum of six credit hours may be applied to the Master of Science in Health Informatics degree. In-progress (IP) mark permissible.

KM 60301 FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLES OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT (3 CREDITS)

This course covers an introduction to: historical roots for knowledge and knowledge management; theories/definitions of knowledge; theories, applications tools and practices of KM; knowledge management life-cycle framework and models; significant issues in KM—best practices, culture, economics, strategy, intellectual capital, sustainable innovation.

KM 60311 BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT (3 CREDITS)

Introduction to business process management and workflow management. BPM will describe how organizational business processes (internal, external, manual and automated) can be transformed and managed to increase efficiency and effectiveness and positively affect performance. Topics include the discovery, analysis, modeling and automation of workflow processes.

KM 60370 SEMANTIC ANALYSIS METHODS AND TECHNOLOGIES (3 CREDITS)

Introduces students to the practical contexts, methods and tools associated with semantic analysis. Focuses on early life cycle aspects of semantics, including identification and modeling of semantic problems, design of semantic solutions, and the identification and implementation of appropriate semantic technologies. Covers natural language processing, rule-based and grammar-based concept extraction, rule-based and dynamic classification, and automated summarization. Students work with a variety of semantic technologies.

UXD 60101 INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE (3 CREDITS)

Introduction to the fundamental concepts and practices of information architecture (IA). Students develop practical skills for comparing, analyzing, critiquing and designing information architectures. Major topics include organization, navigation, labeling, search and other core IA concepts. Students learn to create blueprints, wireframes, process flows and other documents used to communicate an information architecture design.

UXD 60104 USABILITY I (3 CREDITS)

Prerequisite: UXD 60001 and UXD 60002; and graduate standing.

Provides a conceptual and practical overview of the processes and methods of usability testing, such as Think Aloud protocols, performance measurements and eye-tracking analysis. Actual usability testing is performed, using quantitative and qualitative methods and employing current and emerging software tools to facilitate data collection and analysis.

Capstone Experience Requirement
3-6 credits

HI 66092 MASTER’S INTERNSHIP IN HEALTH INFORMATICS (3 CREDITS)

Supervised work experience of an advanced professional nature that concentrates on developing skills in areas of health informatics and integrates students’ knowledge from all HI courses and experiences. Satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) graded. In-progress (IP) mark permissible. Students must have completed a minimum of 30 credit hours toward the health informatics major within the master of science degree.

HI 66099 MASTER’S PROJECT IN HEALTH INFORMATICS (3 CREDITS)

Provides a means for the application of the knowledge, research and competencies learned through study in health informatics to the development of an information system, product, setting or service. Students must have completed a minimum 30 credit hours toward the MS-HI program prior to registration. Satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) graded.

HI 66198 MASTER’S RESEARCH PAPER IN HEALTH INFORMATICS (3 CREDITS)

Under the advisement of a faculty member, students will complete a research paper that serves as a capstone experience for the MS-HI degree. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required prior to enrolling in the course.

Satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) graded. Students must have completed a minimum of 30 credit hours toward the MS-HI program prior to registration.

HI 66199 THESIS I (2-6 CREDITS)

Thesis students must register for a total of 6 hours, either in a single semester or distributed over several semesters with a minimum of 2 hours per semester, if desired. Satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) graded. Students must have completed a minimum 30 credit hours toward the MS-HI program

Academics FAQs

Is the health informatics program accredited by an outside organization?

Kent State University is an affiliate of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association. (https://www.kent.edu/tusc/accreditation). While neither certification nor external accreditation are required to successfully work in health informatics, we are in the process of pursuing CAHIIM accreditation for the HI program and plan to apply in academic year 2022-2023. Students may also pursue certification after graduation; for more information about HIMSS certification, please visit: www.himss.org/health-it-certification.

What do you mean when you talk about the capstone experience?

The capstone experience is a course taken after completing at least 30 hours in the program. It is the final opportunity to meld together everything that you learned in the classroom and apply it in practice. You may take this course alone, or along with another final elective course.

Please explain the difference between a project, a research paper and an internship.

A project is an independent or dependent activity completed to operationalize some aspect of HI. You may propose a project on your own, have a project assigned to you by your employer, or work on a project with a faculty member. A research paper is simply research on some aspect of HI that is of interest to you. You must have a thesis statement and the paper should prove or disprove the thesis through research. You may or may not be using human subjects. A research paper can also be a comprehensive and integrated literature review of a particular aspect of HI. An internship places you in an organization where you will receive education and training in the role of the HI specialist. You will be assigned a preceptor and will complete activities that help you integrate the concepts you learned in class. You will be eased into the role of the HI specialist.

All of the options require a log of completed hours (minimum 150) to be turned in at the end of the term and a 30-50-page paper summarizing the experiences, answering the research questions and explaining project deliverables. You will have a preceptor for each of the options. In some cases, you may have an on-site preceptor as well as a supervising faculty member.

Do I have to sit for the certification exam upon graduation or is it optional?

It is optional. It is not required to obtain a position unless it is specified in the job description.

Do I have to take all electives in HI or do I have some flexibility of choice?

Depending upon what your final goal is, you may take electives from any area that is related to HI. You must have the approval of your academic advisor before registering for any elective not on the approved list.

Do I have to complete the capstone experience at Kent or can I do it where I live?

It is not required to complete the capstone experience at Kent and we encourage you to do your capstone experience where you live or hope to live. If you wish us to arrange this for you, you need to make your academic advisor aware of this the semester prior to doing the capstone experience. With out-of-town capstone experiences, it may take up to two months to make arrangements.

Admissions Requirements
  • Completed online application
  • Complete bachelor’s degree, with a GPA of 2.75 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), from an accredited university
  • Three letters of recommendation from professors and/or employers
  • Application fee: $45
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Goal statement
  • Resume/CV
  • No GRE required for admission
Important Dates
Dec
1
Application Deadline
Spring 2024 Term
Jan
16
First Day of Classes
Spring 2024 Term
May
1
Application Deadline
Summer 2024 Term
The application process is simple and we’re here to guide you through it.

Our Admissions Outreach Advisors are available to answer your questions regarding admissions requirements for the program. If you have questions, please email us at online@kent.edu or call us 330-672-8671

Application FAQs

Create an account in the online application system to save your work and track the progress of materials submitted via the application system.

I am a U.S. citizen. Where should I send my application materials?

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident, all required application materials should be sent to the Division of Graduate Studies at gradapps@kent.edu or by mail to:

Division of Graduate Studies
Kent State University
Cartwright Hall
P.O. Box 5190
Kent, OH 44242

Please be sure to include your full name and Kent State ID (9-digit number starting with 8) on all submitted documents. For questions, contact Graduate Admissions at +1 330-672-2661 or gradapps@kent.edu.

I am not a U.S. citizen. Where should I send my application materials?

If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident, all required documents should be submitted to the Office of Global Education at intladm@kent.edu or by mail to:

Office of Global Education
Kent State University
106 Van Campen Hall
625 Loop Rd.
Kent, OH 44242
USA

For questions, contact International Admissions at +1 330-672-7970 or intladm@kent.edu.

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Important Admissions and Application Deadlines
Dec
1
Application Deadline
Spring 2024 Term
Jan
16
First Day of Classes
Spring 2024 Term
May
1
Application Deadline
Summer 2024 Term