Health Informatics, MS

The master of science in health informatics is in Candidacy Status, pending accreditation review by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

The master of science in health informatics is offered through the Department of Health Administration and Policy in the College of Health and Human Services. This degree prepares students with highly specialized knowledge and skills needed to support the adoption and use of health information systems and data analytic applications for a variety of clinical, administrative, and research purposes.

The program prepares students to become health information systems specialists, health data analysts, health care managers, and consultants. Graduates of the program may be employed in health information technology (health IT) firms, health care/service organizations and their business partners, as well as public health entities. Students learn about emerging technologies likely to impact delivery of health services in the future.

Have more questions about the field of health informatics? Read our FAQ.

Mission

The mission of the Master of Science in Health Informatics at George Mason University is to provide students with a graduate education that will further their careers as leaders and innovators in health informatics. The program combines healthcare, medical and information technology domains, and places particular emphasis on the interdisciplinary collaboration between these fields. We prepare health informatics professionals with knowledge of healthcare industry and technology solutions, in conjunctions with practical skills needed in this dynamically evolving field. The program’s goal is to prepare graduates to be able to effectively analyze complex health data, manage evolving health information systems (ranging from evaluation of information needs to design, development, acquisition, implementation, operation and improvement) and support the increased adoption and use of electronic health records.

Curriculum Information

Most courses are taught in the evening on the Fairfax Campus, and some courses are taught online. Although not all coursework can be completed online, the number of courses available online increases every year.

The program curriculum, including short descriptions of the required courses, is available from George Mason University's Catalog. Course syllabi from previous semesters are available.

Effective fall 2017, the curriculum will be updated as follows:

The 33-39 credit program curriculum includes core courses taken by all students. The program consists of three concentrations: Health Data Analytics, Health Informatics Management, and Population Health Informatics. Students coming from Health Informatics undergraduate programs may request substitution of selected courses with more advanced ones if they received at least a B+ in equivalent undergraduate courses.

Health Data Analytics

This concentration provides students with a deep understanding of health data, analytic methods, and data mining, as well as data science skills applied to clinical, administrative, and consumer-generated health data.

Health Information Management

This concentration provides students with knowledge and skills needed to manage evolving health information systems (ranging from evaluation of information needs to design, development, acquisition, implementation, operation, and improvement) and support the increased adoption and use of electronic health records.

Population Health Informatics

This concentration provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to collect, analyze, and manage population level data, as well as understand electronic tools used in population health. Managing the health of populations requires the involvement of both organizations and individuals within a community and is viewed as a promising model to not only improve health outcomes, but also reduce cost. The concentration content starts by addressing traditional public health information needs, and then moves on to sophisticated business analytics and data governance to support the goals of accountable care organizations, integrated care networks, and value-based purchasing programs.

After completing course work, and with permission of the advisor, students can choose between a Capstone Practicum (4 credits) or a Master’s Thesis (6 credits). Both options require two semesters to complete.

For examples of our students’ practicum projects, read summaries of the spring 2016 (pdf) and summer 2016 (pdf) capstone presentations.

Course Sequence

Most courses should be taken in order. Examples of both full- and part-time course sequences are available. Students are not required to strictly follow one of these sequences as long as course prerequisites are satisfied. Students can complete their degree at their own pace provided that they do so within six years of starting the program. Some required courses are available only in the spring or fall semesters. All students are assigned graduate advisors who are also faculty in the program. Your advisor will help select the best courses to benefit your future career, and will help plan the most optimal sequence of courses.

International Students

The Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code for the MS in Health Informatics is 51.2706, listed as Medical Informatics. It is considered a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) field. International students who wish to apply to Curricular Practical Training or Optional Practical Training (CPT/OPT) opportunities when graduating from the program should contact George Mason's Office of International Programs and Services.

Questions?

Please visit our department’s Health Informatics FAQs for questions about the program and Admissions FAQs for information about the admissions process. For questions about the graduate admissions process, including transcripts, required documents and tests, and admissions forms, please contact the CHHS Office of Graduate Admissions at chhsgrad@gmu.edu or 703-993-1736.

For questions specifically related to the health informatics program, including academics, or to talk with faculty and decide if the program is appropriate for you, please email us hap@gmu.edu or contact the program coordinator.

Janusz Wojtusiak

Janusz Wojtusiak
Associate Professor
Chief, Informatics Program
Email