Online Ph.D. In Health Informatics

Updated April 10, 2023

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Doctorate in health informatics programs train graduates for leadership roles in the field, like medical and health services manager. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical and health services managers make a median annual salary of more than $100,000. The BLS projects jobs for these professionals to grow 32% between 2019-2029.

Our list ranks the top health informatics Ph.D. programs for 2021. Prospective students can use the rankings to find the best fit for their budget and career goals. This article also introduces common courses and scholarship opportunities for health informatics students.

Health Informatics Ph.D. Students Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What jobs can you get with health informatics?

A health informatics degree prepares graduates for careers in clinical informatics, data analysis, and healthcare data science. A doctorate leads to opportunities like chief medical information officer and director of clinical informatics.

Q. How much does a health informatics specialist make?

Health informatics specialists earn an average salary of more than $67,000 per year, according to PayScale's March 2021 data.

Q. What exactly is health informatics?

Health informatics involves the collection, analysis, and interpretation of healthcare data. Health informatics professionals analyze health data to improve patient outcomes and educate healthcare decision-makers.

Q. What does a health informatics specialist do?

Health informatics specialists use technology to store and analyze healthcare data, including patient records. They maintain the security of patient data and healthcare information systems. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Why Get a Degree in Health Informatics?

Health informatics blends technology with healthcare. A degree in health informatics strengthens analytical skills through coursework on topics like data analytics, health data visualization, and patient quality informatics. Graduates with a Ph.D. in health informatics can pursue roles like chief medical information officer, clinical data analyst, and healthcare IT consultant. Graduates can also pursue careers in academia and research.

An online doctorate in health informatics gives students the flexibility to balance their studies with professional and personal obligations.

How Much Does a Health Informatics Degree Cost?

The cost of a doctoral degree in health informatics varies by factors like school, enrollment status, and delivery format. In general, public universities charge lower tuition rates than private universities. Most public universities also offer tuition discounts to state residents. For example, the University of Minnesota charges $1,465 per credit for in-state students and $2,267 per credit for out-of-state students.

Graduate programs typically charge higher tuition rates than undergraduate programs. However, graduate students often qualify for additional forms of financial aid, including fellowships and assistantships.

The online learning format can also help degree-seekers save money. For instance, online students often save on many of the expenses that on-campus students incur, such as housing and commuting costs.

Calculating the Cost of a College Degree

Our affordability calculator considers your income, expenses, and expected financial aid to determine how much you can afford to pay for college. You can use the calculator to figure out tuition rates and monthly payments that work for your budget.

Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

How Much Do Health Informatics Major Make?

Health informatics Ph.D. programs prepare graduates for top careers in the field, like health information manager and healthcare data scientist. Health information managers maintain patient records, while healthcare data scientists analyze information to improve patient outcomes. A doctorate also meets the education requirement for many academic and research positions, including college professor.

Medical and health services managers benefit from above-average salaries and much faster-than-average projected job growth, according to BLS data. The top-paid medical and health services managers earn over $189,000 per year.

However, salaries vary by factors like location, role, and experience. For instance, medical and health services managers who work for the government or in hospitals typically earn higher salaries than those working at doctors' offices and outpatient care centers.

Courses in Health Informatics

Health informatics Ph.D. programs build strong data analysis and research skills. Learners study topics like data analysis, health data visualization, and clinical informatics. Many doctoral programs offer specializations in areas such as clinical informatics, data science, and bioinformatics. In addition to coursework, doctoral students typically complete a dissertation.

Courses vary by school, but this section introduces courses commonly found in Ph.D. in health informatics programs.

Advanced Health Informatics

In this course, students learn how to improve health outcomes with informatics and data analysis. Learners study topics like healthcare technology tools, data privacy and cybersecurity, and the healthcare information infrastructure. The class prepares doctoral students for advanced coursework.

Data Analysis and Healthcare Quality

This class explores strategic data analysis for the purpose of improving healthcare quality. Topics include healthcare quality standards, quality improvement methodologies, and interpreting healthcare data. Students may also learn how to improve data reliability.

Health Data Visualization

In this course, students learn how to analyze and visualize large data sets. Learners explore different approaches for visually communicating health data, including software tools like Tableau. The course incorporates hands-on projects that help students explain and communicate health data.

Certifications and Licensure for Health Informatics

Most health informatics specialists do not need a license to practice. However, voluntary professional certifications can help graduates stand out in the job market and demonstrate specialized skills. These certifications typically set educational and experience requirements, which a doctorate usually meets.

The CPHIMS credential recognizes expertise in healthcare information and management systems. Candidates need a graduate degree from an accredited institution and three years of experience. They must also pass an exam. The RHIA credential recognizes management-level professionals who work with health information. A doctorate in health information meets the educational requirement for certification. Candidates must also pass a four-hour, 200-question exam. The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) is in the process of launching a new certification for health informatics professionals. The credential will recognize advanced-level informatics specialists working outside of the clinical informatics specialty. The AMIA will release more information about the process in 2021.

Scholarships for Health Informatics

Health informatics doctoral students can pursue financial aid opportunities to help offset the cost of their degree. Unlike loans, scholarships do not require repayment, making them ideal forms of financial aid. In addition to the following scholarship opportunities, students can research scholarships based on factors like their state and career path.

Harry J. Harwick Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports graduate students pursuing a degree in health informatics or a related field. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Amount: $3,000

Leaders Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Sponsored by several organizations affiliated with the American College of Medical Practice Executives, this scholarship supports graduate students pursuing a degree related to medical practice management. The scholarship offers a second place award of $2,500.

Amount: $5,000

MGMA Section Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The Medical Group Management Association offers multiple scholarships for health informatics graduate students residing in different regional sections, including the West, Midwest, and South.

Amount: $2,500

Ph.D. in Health Informatics 2021

Portrait of Genevieve Carlton

Genevieve Carlton

Genevieve Carlton holds a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University and earned tenure as a history professor at the University of Louisville. An award-winning historian and writer, Genevieve has published multiple scholarly articles and a book with the University of Chicago Press. She currently works as a freelance writer and consultant.

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