Program Description

Mason’s CAHIIM accredited online Master of Science in Health Informatics, concentration in Health Data Analytics, prepares students in the specialized area of health data analytics, data science, and health information systems design, analysis and use. The program focuses on knowledge and practical skills needed to apply modern analytics tools work with medical, healthcare and health data.

Learning takes place at the intersection of healthcare, technology, and data science through a flexible, multidisciplinary, online curriculum designed for working professionals.

The online MS in Health Informatics is 39 credit hours, with the possibility of waiving two introductory courses depending on the student’s educational background and work experience. The health informatics degree is offered through George Mason University’s College of Health and Human Services.

Prior work experience in the healthcare or in information technology is not required for admission, but is considered as part of the admission process.

For students who are new to Health Informatics or who want to brush up on their skills, George Mason offers a MSHI Bridge course. This one course option is meant to create a successful transition for individuals interested in the Health Informatics field who might not have sufficient background in math, computing, and informatics.

Application Deadline

The MS in Health Informatics online program accepts applications on a rolling basis and is currently accepting applications. Applicants for the online program should apply here, while applicants for the on-campus program should visit the College of Health and Human Services for more information.

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Program Summary

100 Percent Online

Program: Health Informatics (MS)

Degree: MS

College/School: College of Health and Human Services

Credits: 39 total

Who should apply?

The online MS in Health Informatics is designed for data and technology-driven clinicians and health administrators, or IT professionals seeking to pursue a career in the health care industry and its business partners. Graduates of the program are found in health information technology (health IT) firms, health care/service organizations and their business partners, as well as public health entities.

Flexible, online courses, expert faculty, and competitive tuition make this online Master of Science in Health Informatics ideal for many academic and professional backgrounds, including:

  • Clinical or administrative professionals who would like to maintain their healthcare connection while transitioning into IT or data analytics.
  • Data science or IT professionals who seek career advancement in a rewarding leadership role within the healthcare domain.
  • Technology-driven career changers outside of the IT and health industries who wish to pursue new opportunities and leadership in health informatics and data analytics.

Prior healthcare or information technology experience is not required for admission, but is a plus.

Why choose George Mason?

  • One of only a few online programs in the country accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)
  • Mason’s MS in Health Informatics provides an opportunity to build knowledge, technical skills, and direct experience within an immersive, competitively priced curriculum.
  • Online class format gives working students both flexibility and in-depth experience.
  • The online MS in Health Informatics can be completed in as little as 22 to 28 months, allowing students to quickly apply their skills to a growing industry demand for qualified health informaticists and data analysts.
  • Students enrolled in the MS in Health Informatics online program learn from the same on-campus faculty of health informaticians, health services researchers, healthcare and technology experts and innovators, and experts in data science.

Program requirements are subject to change; please refer to the University Catalog for the most up-to-date requirements.

Requirements: 39 total credit hours

Most courses for Mason’s online Master of Science in Health Informatics are offered in convenient, online synchronous and asynchronous formats. Curriculum includes focus on support for the widespread adoption and use of electronic health records.

The online MSHI Bridge course is available upon acceptance into the program.

Required Courses

Course Number and Title

  • HAP 678 Introduction to the U.S. Health System
    • Explores the U.S. healthcare system focusing on health system development, key influences, accessibility, financing, changing components and the effects of the system on patients, providers, financers, government, insurers, and society. The role of population health management and public health is explored, including the impact of social, cultural, economic, and environmental factors on health care systems and practices.
  • HAP 618 Computational Tools in Health Informatics
    • Introduces computational tools used in health informatics. Reviews hardware and software needs and uses. Topics covered include operating systems, virtualization and high performance computing, basic programming in a scripting language, basic data analysis and data integration skills, and use of specialized software. All topics are covered in context of specific solutions used in health information systems.
  • HAP 670 Introduction to Health Informatics
    • Examines applications of information technology in healthcare. Considers a wide range of technology applications – from enterprise application systems to EHR (Electronic Health Records), to current trends in information technology and related regulatory initiatives. Examines how these technologies enable the healthcare industry to manage information and knowledge resources most effectively and deliver superior services to its customers.
  • HAP 672 Health Data: Vocabulary and Standards
    • Explores the challenges and possible solutions to ensure the interoperability between health information systems, representation of health data using standardized vocabulary and standards of communication. Covers topics such as data standards and semantics, policy, and theory and practice of standardization.
  • HAP 671 Health Care Databases
    • Introduces students to design and query of health databases. Provides hands-on experience with design, maintain and make queries of databases. Explores uses of health record systems. Includes review and analysis of databases and database management systems. Examines application of databases to clinical and business transaction.
  • HAP 719 Advanced Statistics in Health Services Research
    • Covers principles and methods of statistical data analysis and inference. Emphasizes the use and application of various data analysis techniques and their assumptions. Computer outputs will be used to demonstrate the application of statistical techniques in analyzing health related data sets.
  • HAP 720 Health Data Integration
    • Students learn to manipulate large databases, create link table queries, write SQL application programs, understand sources of data conflicts, and identify methods of integrating ODBC databases with legacy data. Covers data warehousing, methods of analyzing large databases, including Bayesian belief networks and machine learning in health care context. Features semester long data integration group project.
  • HAP 780 Data Mining in Health Care
    • An introductory course to data mining and knowledge discovery in health care. Methods for mining health care databases and synthesizing task-oriented knowledge from computer data and prior knowledge are emphasized. Topics include fundamental concepts of datamining, data preprocessing, classification and prediction (decision trees, attributional rules, Bayesian networks), constructive induction, cluster and association analysis, knowledge representation and visualization, and an overview of practical tools for discovering knowledge from medical data. These topics are illustrated by examples of practical applications in health care.
  • HAP 725 Statistical Process Control
    • Provides students with hands-on experience with data from electronic health records. Introduces students to causal analysis of observational data, including propensity scoring and stratification. Provides students with access to simulated data from electronic health records. Exposes students to trends that influence the quality management system and drivers for change, including measures used by CMS to strengthen value based payment.
  • HAP 823 Comparative Effectiveness Analysis using Observational Data
    • Applies linear and logistic regression to analysis of comparative cost and effectiveness using massive data in electronic health records. Emphasizes (1) ridge regression and (2) propensity scores. Covers the following topics: (1) counterfactual framework and assumptions, (2) data balancing, (3) matching or weighting, and (4) sensitivity analysis.
  • HAP 752 Advanced Health Information Systems
    • Provides in-depth analyses of heath information systems including Electronic Health Records, Personal Health Records, and Decision Support Systems. Analyzes architectural trends, workflow redesign, and implementation strategies. Describes new trends in computing technologies and infrastructure in health applications. Laboratory time provides learning experience and practical skills in various allied situations.
    • HAP 789 Pre-Capstone Practicum Seminar
      • Provides students with guidance and preparation for engaging in the capstone practicum.
    • HAP 790 Capstone Practicum
      • Field practicum in health systems management where students function as an integral member of an organizational entity to complete a non-thesis project while continuing to build skills in leadership, critical thinking and systematic problem analysis.

    Practicum:

    After finishing coursework for the online MS in Health Informatics, students will enroll in the Capstone Practicum (one semester to complete).

    Practicum – 6 credit hours
    HAP 789 – Pre-Capstone Professional Development Seminar guides and prepares students for successful engagement in the capstone practicum.

    HAP 790 – Capstone field Practicum in Health Systems Management allows students to function as an integral member of an organizational entity to build skills in leadership, critical thinking and systematic problem analysis while completing a non-thesis project.

Tuition & Fees (2019-2020):
Tuition is $900 per credit hour.  An additional charge of $35 per credit hour applies for a Distance Learning fee.

Financial Aid:
For information on loans and scholarships, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid. For information regarding grants, tuition waivers and other merit aid, please inquire with your graduate department.

Health informatics is a fast-growing, in-demand healthcare career. From trauma centers to teaching clinics, public sector agencies to private sector firms, insurance companies to research institutes; trained data analysts and health informaticists play a crucial management role across the health and science spectrum.

Graduates of Mason’s online MS in Health Informatics program typically do data analytics for healthcare providers, software vendors, and local as well as federal government.

Innovative programs, like the online MS in Health Informatics, prepare future U.S. and global healthcare leaders to successfully manage public and private healthcare organizations, think tanks, and research facilities.

If you are unable to find the answers to your questions, submit a Request Information form or contact our admissions representative via the contact information below.

Phone: 703-348-5006
Email: online2@gmu.edu

How do I apply?
All admission applications for the MS in Health Informatics are handled online. If you have more questions, please see FAQs below.

Click here to download the full application checklist for this program.

ADMISSIONS FAQs

What is health informatics?
Health informatics is a field that concerns the generation, processing, storage, and use of health-related data, information, and knowledge. It is an interdisciplinary field that spans medicine, health administration and management on one side, and computer science, information science and technology on the other side.

What distinguishes health informatics vs. health information technology (IT) and bioinformatics?
Health Informatics plays a critical role in the push toward national healthcare reform. The field focuses on managing, acquiring, storing, retrieving and using of healthcare information to foster better collaboration among a patient’s various healthcare providers.

Health information technology (IT), in contrast to health infomatics, develops and supports the specific data-gathering tools that health informaticists rely on. This evolving, specialized field, links information technology, communications, and healthcare to improve the quality and safety of patient care in support of greater information analysis.

Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field focused on a particular type of data. Specifically, it combines computer science, statistics, mathematics, and engineering to analyze and interpret biological data crucial to health data analytics.

Do I need to have an IT background?
Prior healthcare or information technology (IT) background is not required for admission, but is considered. Students without IT background need to work harder in their first course that cover computing concepts they will need to master.

What are the admission criteria?
Applicants must hold a BA or BS degree or equivalent from an accredited university or college with a GPA of at least 3.25.

Although your current field or past major is not a criterion for admission, applicants are expected to have taken basic-level computer science/technology, mathematics, and statistics, and be familiar with these fields. Students who do not meet these requirements may be required to take additional prerequisite courses.

Can I complete the program entirely online?
The MS in Health Informatics can be completed entirely online. Classes are offered on a part-time or full-time schedule and students have the option to take a master’s thesis or in-person practicum.

What accreditations do George Mason and this program have?
George Mason University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

The MS in Health Informatics is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). CAHIIM is an independent accrediting organization whose mission is to serve the public interest by establishing and enforcing quality accreditation standards for health informatics and health information management educational programs. Learn more about our accreditation.

How long does it take to complete the program?
The online MS in Health Informatics is 39 credit hours and can be completed in as little as 22 to 28 months.

Can I transfer credits from another University?
Graduate students may transfer up to 12 semester hours in courses that directly correspond to those in the online MS in Health Informatics from another accredited college or university. Transfer credit policies are included in the University Catalog.

When are classes offered?
Courses for the MS in Health Informatics online program are offered online in synchronous and asynchronous sessions.

Where can I find course descriptions?
All department course descriptions and course syllabi for the MS in Health Informatics are included here.

What tuition assistance is available?
Mason’s Office of Student Financial Aid provides information on potential scholarships and aid packages for the online MS in Health Informatics.

How do I receive additional Information?
Perspective students of the online Health Informatics Master’s program can complete a request for information form or call us directly at 844-851-0923.

How much does it cost to apply?
While there is a $75 application fee, there are multiple times throughout the year that the fee may be waived.