The field of bioinformatics owes its existence to the accelerating flood of biological data over the past few decades, including advancements in the sequencing of the genome. An M.S. in Bioinformatics or Health Informatics can equip you to manage and interpret this data effectively.
It’s a specialized discipline, focused on producing life scientists with the computational skills to understand complex biological systems. Successful graduates have gone on to careers in biotech and pharmaceutical sectors, academia and medical research.
Bioinformatics degrees are a balanced blend of biology, computer science, and informational technology courses. Some degree programs include an elective internship or master’s thesis; most programs take one to two years to complete.
Typical courses include:
- Applied statistics
- Molecular biology
- Biological modeling
- Sequencing analysis
Admission requirements vary. Many schools require a bachelor’s degree in science (e.g., biology, biochemistry, chemistry, etc.) or the equivalent qualification in mathematics or computer science.
Thanks to the plunging costs and increased speed of gene mapping, whole-gene sequencing has become increasingly common. Medical institutions are implementing genetic screens and personalized treatment plans at a rapid pace.
- In a medical trial involving screening a pregnant woman’s blood for trisomies (chromosomal abnormalities associated with Down syndrome and other disorders), researchers found that cfDNA testing produced only 0.3% false positives, compared to 3.6% for standard screening.
- J. Craig Venter, the man who won the privately funded race against the Human Genome Project, has launched a new company called Human Longevity Inc. The start-up is building the world’s most comprehensive database of human genetic variation in an effort to tackle age-related disease.
Ultimately, these data-focused efforts aim to improve the care that institutions provide – and save time and money.
If you’re interested in digging deeper, check out our coverage of data science opportunities in the Biotech and Health Care industries. And don’t miss the website of Martin Krzywinski, a master of the art of bioinformatics visualization.
Health Data Visualized
We found 77 universities in our directory offering Health Informatics programs.
If you represent a university and would like to contact us about editing any of our listings, or adding new programs, please send an email to info (at) mastersindatascience.org.
Arizona State University
ASU's Master of Advanced Study in Health Informatics, offered online through the College of Health Solutions, offers an innovative approach to combine information technology, computer science and knowledge management to improve health. The Master of Advanced Study in Health Informatics is designed to offer professionals working in the field of health care an opportunity to earn a master's-level degree on the effective use of information technology, data science and knowledge representation to impact health and health care. Professionals in non-health fields can also enhance their skills to transition to careers in this rapidly expanding field. Core courses provide a background in clinical informatics, while electives allow students to specialize in focus areas such as data science or mobile health. The degree prepares graduates for careers in a wide range of health care settings.
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
California State University-Fullerton
University of California-Davis
University of Southern California
District Of Columbia
George Washington University
HealthInformatics@GW is the online M.S. in Management of Health Informatics and Analytics program from the George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health. This rigorous program prepares students with the skills they need in entrepreneurial and business principles, leadership, project management and technology to become innovators in health care. Delivered online in live face-to-face classes taught by distinguished GW faculty members, students stay connected with their peers and engage with faculty no matter their location. Students will also have the opportunity to attend two in-person immersion sessions on the GW campus in the heart of Washington, D.C. Applicants must have at least three years of professional experience in health care and currently be employed in the health care field to apply. GRE/GMAT scores are not required. HealthInformatics@GW has four start dates throughout the year.
Florida International University
Florida State University
The Master of Science in Health Care Informatics offered by Jacksonville University's School of Applied Health Sciences is appropriate for professionals working in the health care or IT field. Students can complete the entire 33-credit program in an online format with no need to visit the Jacksonville campus. The curriculum includes 10 core classes and a capstone requirement, which can be completed as a research project or through an internship. The internship option is only available to Florida residents because of state authorization requirements. Applicants should have work experience or a degree in computer science, engineering, health information management, or one of the health sciences, such as nursing.
Nova Southeastern University
Pasco-Hernando State College
University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida offers a Master of Science in Health Care Informatics that can be completed entirely online with no requirements to attend any meeting on campus. The program is a professional science master's degree that covers the clinical, management and business sides of health informatics. The program requires students to complete 38 credits including a capstone and internship. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a GPA of at least 3.0. The university does not specify desired majors, but applicants with practical experience in a clinical or administrative field are given preference. Standardized test scores are not required. Students without a background in health care may be required to take up to three foundational courses.
University of South Florida-Main Campus
The Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida offers an online Master of Science in Health Informatics. The program requires students to complete 32 credits, and students who take a full load - defined as one course during the first session and two courses per session after that - can complete the degree in a year. The program is designed for students who have at least a bachelor's degree, especially those with a health care background, such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, mental health workers, and physical therapists. IT professionals considering a career transition are also welcome to apply. Applicants should have an GPA of 3.0 or higher and must submit two recommendations, a resume, and a statement of purpose.
Georgia State University
The curriculum for Elmhurst College's Master in Health Care Informatics is interdisciplinary, with courses covering information systems, public health, business, and project management. Students may pursue a specific area of interest through projects and their capstone. The coursework is offered entirely online, and students typically complete the program in about two and a half years. The curriculum includes nine core classes and an elective, and courses are delivered in eight-week sessions. The program is open to applicants with a bachelor's degree in any field who have several years of experience in health care, business, or software. Recent graduates with degrees in a related field may be admitted with at least a year of professional experience. All applicants will be interviewed before acceptance.
University of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago offers an online IBHE-approved post-master's Certificate in Health Informatics. Applicants to the program must have a master's degree from an accredited school, and an MBA must be from a school accredited by AACSB International. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher on terminal degree work and are required to submit official transcripts from all colleges attended. Additionally, applicants should have at least two years of work experience in a relevant industry. All applicants are interviewed by phone before a decision is made on acceptance. Applicants may be required to take three prerequisite classes. The curriculum for the certificate includes seven courses worth 24 credits.
The University of Illinois at Chicago offers an online Master of Science in Health Informatics with no on-campus requirements. All coursework is offered online, and students can complete the required practicum at a facility near their home. The program is designed for students with a background in areas such as nursing, health care administration, public health, pharmacy, IT, and business. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a GPA of at least 3.0. No particular majors are required, but applicants should have at least two years of work experience in a relevant industry. Applicants do not need to submit standardized test scores. Students typically complete the program in 30 months or less. A research track is also available.
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis
Iowa State University
University of Iowa
University of Kansas
Northern Kentucky University
Louisiana Tech University
Tulane University of Louisiana
University of New Orleans
University of New England
Johns Hopkins University
Eastern Michigan University
Grand Valley State University
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
The College of Saint Scholastica
The College of St. Scholastica offers an online program leading to a Master of Science in Health Informatics that does not require students to attend any on-campus meetings. Applicants to the program must have a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants must submit official transcripts of all college work, an admissions essay, a resume and two references. The college does not ask for standardized test scores. Students who have not taken a course in statistics must complete a four-credit foundational statistics course before beginning coursework for the M.S. program. The curriculum requires 42 credits including a final applied project. Students can enter the program at five points during the year.
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
University of St. Thomas
Saint Louis University-Main Campus
University of Missouri-Columbia
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Rutgers University has introduced an online/hybrid option for its Master of Business & Science (MBS) with a concentration in Drug Discovery and Development. The program is for those applicants who work in clinical or laboratory research, clinical trials, research organizations, regulatory agencies, or pharmaceutical marketing. Most of the coursework is delivered online, but students are required to attend a one-week meeting on campus each year. The curriculum includes 19 credits in business courses and 24 credits in science courses. Applicants should have an undergraduate degree in biology, chemistry, engineering or a health field or at least one year of work experience in those fields. Prerequisites includes two semesters each of biology, chemistry, and organic chemistry plus one course in biochemistry or molecular biology.
The Graduate School at Clarkson University offers a Master of Science in Healthcare Data Analytics that can be completed almost entirely online. Students have to attend two on-campus residency sessions, which each last for three days; one is held at the start of the program and the other at the end. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0. Applicants are required to submit official college transcripts, GRE or GMAT scores, three letters of recommendation, an essay, and a resume. The curriculum requires 12 courses and students can finish the degree in one year. Coursework features a mix of theory and hands-on experience, and instructors include full-time faculty and experts in health care data analytics.
Columbia University in the City of New York
New York University
University of Rochester
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati offers an online Master of Science in Health Informatics that is designed for professionals with a background in health care or IT. The degree can be completed entirely online. The program is interdisciplinary, with some classes offered through the College of Allied Health Sciences and others through the Lindner College of Business. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree and must submit transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a letter of intent, and a resume. Standardized test scores are not required. The program begins with two foundation classes. Students then take 10 core courses before finishing with two practicum capstone courses, which may be completed at an organization the student selects. Students can earn the degree in as little as two years.
Kent State University at Kent
Ohio State University-Main Campus
Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Southwestern Oklahoma State University offers an online program leading to a Master of Science in Health Care Informatics and Information Management. Students in the 36-credit program have the option of researching and writing a thesis or of completing a capstone project and professional practice experience sequence. Applicants to the program must submit official transcripts from their bachelor's degree and any other college credit earned, a resume, and two recommendations. Applicants are not required to submit GRE or GMAT scores. After being accepted, all students must meet with the director of HIM Graduate Programs to create a suggested plan of study before they enroll in any classes.
Oregon Health & Science University
OHSU offers campus and online programs designed to train future professionals in clinical informatics for jobs in health care organizations, industry, and academia. As the institution is on the academic quarter system, the Graduate Certificate program can be done in as little as 3 quarters, while the master's programs can be done in as little as 6 quarters. Prerequisites for the master's programs include a course in computer science and in anatomy and physiology.
Drexel University's College of Computing and Informatics offers an online Certificate in Health Care Informatics that is designed for information professionals, clinical personnel and health care support staff. Students who complete the program will have an understanding of health information technology and will be better able to serve as a liaison to between health care professionals and information professionals. Applicants to the program must have a bachelor's degree and must submit a statement of purpose explaining how the certificate will help them to achieve their professional goals. The curriculum includes three graduate-level classes that are delivered fully online.
Drexel University's Master of Science in Health Informatics is an interdisciplinary program that is designed both for health care professionals who want to improve the use of informatics in health and for IT professionals who want to work for health care or biomedical organizations. The program is offered in a completely online format, and students may attend on a full-time or part-time basis. The curriculum includes 45 credits, with 30 credits in core informatics coursework. The rest of the credits are in restricted electives. Students without a health-related background must take at least three health-related courses and complete a one-term clinical experience. Students with a health-related background take additional technical classes. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree and a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Misericordia University offers a Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics that is designed for mid-career health professionals who want to gain skills in health care information. The program is delivered online and is aimed at applicants who already work in the informatics area of health care. The program requires students to complete 18 credits, with five required three-credit courses and an additional course that students select from two options: project management or health care systems analysis and design. The program can be completed in as little as one year. Students who complete the program may be eligible to use the credits towards Misericordia's master's program in health informatics
Students who enter the Master of Science in Health Informatics program offered online by Misericordia University have the option of an academic track or a professional track. The academic track requires students to complete a thesis, while the professional track requires a professional contribution, which can be met by writing and presenting a paper at a professional meeting or completing a real-world informatics project for a health care organization. Classes are delivered online in a 7.5-week format, and the curriculum requires 12 courses. Misericordia's M.S. in Health Informatics is designed for experienced health care or IT professionals who want to want be leaders in managing health care information. All faculty members are current practitioners in the field of health care informatics.
Saint Joseph's University
Saint Joseph's University offers an online Master's in Health Administration with a concentration in Informatics that has no requirements for on-campus meetings. Applicants should have a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.5 or higher, but no specific major is required and liberal arts graduates are welcome. Applicants are not required to submit standardized test scores, although students with a low GPA may submit them to strengthen their case for admission. Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation. The program offers six entry points each year. The curriculum includes 10 core courses and four courses in the concentration for a total of 42 credits, including a capstone project. Online classes are offered in eight-week sessions and students can complete the degree in two years.
University of Pittsburgh-Bradford
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus
Medical University of South Carolina
Students enrolled in the online Master of Science in Health Informatics program at the Medical University of South Carolina must attend a four-day-weekend session on campus each semester. These sessions are typically scheduled in September, January and June. MUSC's program is designed for working professionals in various health care fields who want to specialize in information systems, data management, and analytics. The program has a thesis option for students who want to conduct health informatics research. Full-time students can complete the degree in four semesters and part-time students can complete it in six semesters. Applicants should have a bachelor's degree with a GPA of at least 3.0, although GRE or GMAT scores may be submitted if a student has a lower GPA.