As the healthcare industry continues to grow, more and more professionals are going back to school for advanced degrees, such as an online health informatics master’s degree. Graduate programs in this area combine healthcare, medicine, computer science, IT, and data analysis, offering a unique combination of skill sets to interested students.
Many working adults apply to online programs in health informatics as a way to kick their careers in healthcare into high gear. Current nurses, technicians, office administrators, and even doctors might earn a graduate degree in this field. After graduation they can take this new education, added to their professional experience in medicine, to find even better jobs in the healthcare sector. Alumni can land competitive jobs as data analysts, hospital administrators, IT contractors, or even Chief Information Officers.
The list below offers a description of the 15 cheapest degrees in health informatics. Even the most expensive school on this list costs less than $15,000 a year, while the most affordable school will set you back less than $9,000 annually! What’s more, many of these low-cost colleges also boast high-quality academics, making it onto top rankings and earning reputable accreditations.
Ranking Cheap Online Health Informatics Master’s Degree Programs 2015
15. Michigan Technological University
Online Medical Informatics MS
Michigan Tech offers an online master’s degree in health informatics, although it is currently only available to domestic students. The program covers health care security, evidence-based medicine, medical decision-making, disease management, and other topics that will make graduates incredibly competitive in the job market. Sitting at the intersection of computer science and medicine, this medical informatics degree features a long list of classes as well as research opportunities and flexible scheduling options. Students can choose between a thesis, coursework, or report option to complete their credits. U.S. News ranks MTU as the 28th top choice for veterans and the 57th best public school nationally.
14. University of Massachusetts Lowell
Online Master’s Degree in Health Informatics and Management: Informatics Concentration
The University of Massachusetts Lowell location has established a division of Online and Continuing Education, geared toward working adults. Current professionals can choose from a range of programs, including the master’s degree in health informatics online. The degree functions as an in-depth focus on the effect data acquisition has on both healthcare and public policy. It also emphasizes management and the financial, clinical, and analytical responsibilities that accompany administrative positions. Classes include Healthcare Finance, Law and Ethics in Healthcare, and Organizational Behavior in Healthcare, plus a Capstone Project. Notably, UMass has earned a Sloan Consortium Award for hosting “The Most Outstanding Online Teaching and Learning Program.”
Tuition: $12,793/yr (In-state) $16,587/yr (Out-of-state)
13. University of South Florida
Online Master of Science in Health Informatics
University of South Florida students benefit from a range of degree options, including a top online master’s degree in health informatics. Offered through the Morsani College of Medicine, this 100% online program combines superior computer science training with the excellence inherent to one of the nation’s top-tier medical schools. USF boasts multiple rankings from U.S. News, and the health informatics program has a reputation for innovation. Plus, it only takes one year to complete for full-time students! Graduates can easily find work as data analysts, IT consultants, or even Chief Information Officers.
Tuition: $8,350/yr (In-state) $19,047/yr (Out-of-state)
12. University of Colorado Anschutz Campus
Online MS in Health Informatics
Students looking to earn an online master’s degree in health informatics through a medical school should also consider the University of Colorado. Unlike some of the other options on this list, this program is housed within the school’s nursing degree. It specifically caters to the needs of current nurses who would like to augment their professional experiences with advanced training in leadership and information technology. The interdisciplinary program covers policy decisions, clinical practice, and administrative roles in the health field, and also allows graduates to take on promotional roles in their community. For all these reasons and more, U.S. News has ranked UC’s program as one of the top 15 for the last seven years running.
Tuition: $6,588/yr (In-state) $20,556/yr (Out-of-state)
11. Louisiana Tech University
Online Master of Health Informatics
Louisiana Tech University’s Department of Health Informatics and Information Management offers a master’s degree in health informatics online that utilizes Moodle, WebMail, and other virtual portals that facilitate experiential learning. The unique format divides classes into four yearly quarters, allowing students to complete courses on their own time while continuing full-time employment. Both the department’s bachelor’s and master’s programs boast full accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), a clear indication of LA Tech’s commitment to quality. The program is open to students outside the health field as long as they complete the required prerequisite courses, and applicants do not need to take the GRE.
Tuition: $6,460/yr (In-state) $17,740/yr (Out-of-state)
10. Walden University
Online MS in Health Informatics
Walden University is a popular online college that increasingly attracts adult learners who want to advance their education on their own time. Walden offers a number of health-oriented degrees, one of which is an accredited online master’s degree in health informatics. The comprehensive curriculum includes classes in Information Systems Management, Quality Assessment and Improvement, Project Management, the U.S. Health System, and more. Students also take on a final scholarly project and complete a practicum as a way to round out their education and demonstrate content mastery. In 2013, Super Scholar ranked Walden the 13th best “Smart Choice” online college for its affordability and quality.
9. New England College
Online Health Informatics MBA
New England College combines the most desirable aspects of business and healthcare training into a single online master’s degree in health informatics. Housed within the MBA degree, this program provides students with a solid foundation in business principles before disseminating specialized healthcare information. Students benefit equally from courses in organizational leadership and change, managerial economics, principles of health informatics, and healthcare technology and systems. The “Best Medical Degrees” online guide listed NEC as the #3 best value degree in health informatics for 2015, placing it in the company of some other schools that also make this list.
8. College of St. Scholastica
Online MS in Health Informatics
The College of St. Scholastica’s online master’s degree in health informatics offers an entirely virtual program that is designed to take two years from start to finish. At just $610 per credit, the 42-credit program is within financial reach of even the tightest budgets. Classes include Systems Design and Software Development, Healthcare Data Analytics, Human Factors and Usability, and Project Management. Interestingly, St. Scholastica is the verified pioneer in HIM education, founding the very first health informatics program in higher education – way back in 1935! In addition, the university ensures that all coursework aligns closely with Benedictine values, including respect, stewardship, and community.
7. Anna Maria College
Online Health Informatics MBA Specialization
Anna Maria College is another online solid choice for students seeking a healthcare program grounded in business administration principles. AMC’s degree differs somewhat from traditional online master’s degrees in health informatics in that several of the classes cover general business and management principles. In addition to these foundation courses, AMC students also explore computer science, healthcare administration, information science, data analysis, and more. Classes also explore a number of associated topics, from law and ethics to pharmaceuticals and insurance. As of 2013, Anna Maria was listed among the top 25 Massachusetts institutions with the best return on investment.
6. University of Mississippi Medical Center
Online Master of Health Informatics and Health Management
The University of Mississippi Medical Center boasts one of the best online master’s degrees in health informatics in the nation, and currently, holds the #1 spot on Best Medical Degree’s list of best value online graduate degrees for health informatics/management. The goal of the program is not just to prepare professionals for technical roles in the healthcare industry, but in fact to arm them with the skills to develop information systems themselves. Students can choose from the traditional track or an alternate concentration with a focus on management. UMMC even offers elective classes that can make graduates eligible for RHIA certification.
Tuition: $6,996/yr (In-state) $13,992yr (Out-of-state)
5. East Carolina University
Online Master’s Degree in Health Informatics and Information Management
The MS in Health Informatics and Informatics Management at East Carolina University is currently in “candidacy status,” which means that the prestigious Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIM) is reviewing its curriculum for approval. Defined as a “transdisciplinary” program, this affordable online master’s degree in health informatics covers everything from computer science and information technology to health services and management. ECU also offers a certificate in health informatics that graduates can use to supplement other degrees and make them even more attractive to prospective employers.
Tuition: $4,223/yr (In-state) $16,540/yr (Out-of-state)
4. Regis University
Online MS in Health Informatics and Information Management
Regis University’s top online master’s degree in health informatics and management is available in an accelerated format, enabling ambitious students to finish all their requirements in just two years. Although classes only last eight weeks, the asynchronous teaching method allows online learners to log in whenever they have time to complete assignments. There are no on-campus sessions and no live online classes. Regis aims this program at current health professionals, offering them the advanced training in workflow design, systems implementation, and electronic health information management that they need to boost their careers. Regis stands out as the 9th best college for veterans in the country, as ranked by U.S. News.
3. University of Maryland University College
Online Master of Science in Health Informatics Information
The University of Maryland University College appeals to online learners for a number of reasons. The Commission for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIM) accredits the curriculum, and the Best Medical Degrees website names it the 2nd best online program of its kind in the nation. As a top online master’s degree in health informatics, UMUC truly proves its value by keeping tuition rates astoundingly low. In fact, federal employees and military members can enjoy discounts even if they live out of state. Classes include Research Methods for Healthcare Managers, Acquisitions Management, Legal Aspects of Healthcare Administration, and Health Data Management.
Tuition: $8,224/yr (In-state) $11,862/yr (Out-of-state)
2. Kaplan University
Online Master of Health Informatics
Kaplan University is a well-established online college offering degree options across a range of disciplines and levels. The cheap online master’s degree in health informatics, which costs just $441 per credit (less for military members and international students), covers topics in statistics, information systems, terminologies, data analysis, public health, biology, law and ethics, and much more. Most classes at Kaplan are worth more than three credits, so online learners can complete the entire 48-credit program with just 12 classes. Graduates often walk away wielding their diploma after only two years, investing a total of approximately $20,000 for a degree that can substantially improve their careers.
1. American Sentinel University
Online Master of Healthcare Informatics
American Sentinel University’s program in Healthcare Informatics covers an impressive breadth of topics in just 36 credit hours. Using real-world tools and engaging online modules, students learn how to collect and analyze data, offer insight and generate predictions, present information to team members at various levels of knowledge, and make effective decisions. American Sentinel already boasts the #1 spot as the least expensive program available, but pushes its affordability even higher through flexible financing and aid options. Apart from contemporary, modern classes, students also enjoy American Sentinel’s online master’s degree in health informatics for its interactive faculty and action-oriented projects.
About the Author:
Iris Stone began her writing career when she started working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates’ careers. Her interests actually span far beyond writing, and she is currently studying to be a physicist! Check out her Google+ Profile.
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This concludes our ranking of cheap online health informatics master’s degree programs.