Best Graduate Health Informatics Certificate Online Programs for 2024

Gain the highly marketable knowledge and skills needed to launch or advance your career in the rapidly growing health sector by earning an online graduate certificate in health informatics. This guide will show you how.

Health informatics combines the worlds of computers, information technology, and healthcare services to collect, analyze, and apply data to improve patient care delivery quality. It’s also one of the hottest career fields in the expanding health services industry. So, if you’re looking to launch or change your career, earning a health informatics certificate online is an excellent choice.

One of the best ways to get started in this career is by earning a graduate certificate in health informatics through a quality, affordable online program. This guide will introduce you to the best online graduate certificate programs in health informatics available today. Below, you’ll also find lots of great information and advice on how to select the right certificate program based on the career opportunities you can have when you have completed your certificate.

So, if you’re ready, keep reading to discover how to launch your health informatics career through one of the best available online health informatics program graduate certificates in 2024.

College Spotlights: Best Graduate Health Informatics Certificate Online Programs

Many excellent, fully accredited online graduate certificates in health informatics programs are available today from some of the top colleges and universities in the United States. We’ve surveyed the current program field and identified three of the very best, which we’ve spotlighted below.

Our selections were made based on the availability of several important program elements, such as affordability, study convenience and flexibility, access to valuable student support services, and more. These spotlights will give insight into what you can expect from the programs of your choice. They also provide a preview of our full health informatics certificate online program rankings, which will be coming later in 2024.

Boston University

The Health Informatics Graduate Certificate program at the private, prestigious Boston University takes an interdisciplinary approach to its subject encompassing the range of cutting-edge technologies employed in the collection, storage, and use of up-to-date health information. Students are further provided with a comprehensive introduction to the American healthcare system.

The curriculum consists of four courses: Biomedical Sciences and Health IT, Health Informatics, Health Informatics Systems, and Advanced Informatics. Students have the option of completing their coursework fully online, in-person, or in a hybrid format consisting of both online and on-campus courses. The part-time status allows students to complete all requirements in eight to 12 months.

The current total cost of tuition and fees for BU’s 16-credit Health Informatics Graduate Certificate program is $9,940. All students enrolled in the program are automatically considered for a merit scholarship of up to $2,400. Graduates of the certificate program can also use their certificate to earn an MS in Computer Information Systems with a Health Informatics Concentration by additionally earning the Graduate Certificate in Information Technology and completing two additional classes.

Kent State University

Kent State University in Ohio offers its Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Health Informatics completely online, with asynchronous content that allows students to access their coursework at any time. Students must complete the required courses in health informatics management and health information systems along with four elective courses from among the 16 offered. All courses last seven weeks.

Students can take two classes simultaneously, allowing them to complete their entire 18-credit hour certificate program part-time in as little as one year. Students wishing to continue their studies to earn their master’s can transfer 12 credits from the certificate program into Kent State’s Master’s in Health Informatics, which is also available 100% online.

Admission into the Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Health Informatics program requires a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a GPA of 2.75 or higher. No GRE test score is required. The current per-credit tuition rate is $725 for Ohio residents and $735 for out-of-state residents. The program can be joined in either fall or spring.

University of Massachusetts Lowell

The current total tuition cost for the fully online Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics program from the University of Massachusetts Lowell is $7,020, making it one of the most affordable health informatics certificate online programs anywhere. That cost is the same for Massachusetts and out-of-state residents.

The curriculum consists of four courses: two required courses (Health Informatics and Healthcare Information Systems) and two electives (from eight courses offered). All certificate requirements can be completed in as few as nine months. However, the program is self-paced, and students can take up to five years to complete.

Admission is open to applicants with an appropriate bachelor’s degree. GRE scores are not required. Credits earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA in the certificate program can be applied to UM Lowell’s entirely online MS in Health Information Management: Health Informatics Option degree. Students completing their certificate program with a 3.2 or better GPA can waive the master’s program’s GRE requirement, as well.

Top Reasons to Earn a Graduate Health Informatics Online Certificate

Although there are people who think earning a master’s degree in health informatics is the only way to go, programs offering graduate certificates in health informatics have several advantages over master’s degrees. Earning your certificate online offers the following advantages when compared to studying on-campus.

Boost your resume.

A graduate certificate in health informatics offers those currently working in another area of health information management, or as informatics professionals in another field, the opportunity to broaden their skills base and expand their career options without taking on the larger cost of a full master’s degree program.

Get a taste of the health informatics field before committing to a master’s degree program.

Practically all online health informatics graduate certificate programs allow students to apply certificate credits to a full master’s program. That means students can gain exposure to the health informatics field before deciding whether or not to pursue a full health informatics master’s degree.

Benefit from convenience and affordability.

Online informatics certificate programs offer tremendous study flexibility and convenience when compared to on-campus programs, making them a great choice for working professionals and others with schedules. Online programs also save students money on such things as the cost of transportation to and from campus to attend classes.

What You’ll Learn in Graduate Health Informatics Certificate Online Programs

Online graduate certificates in health informatics programs provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the current IT-based technologies used throughout the healthcare services industry in the collection, storage, retrieval, and safeguarding of information. Curriculums, therefore, combine foundational courses in health informatics and health information systems with additional courses (sometimes offered as electives) in closely related subjects such as data analytics, biomedical IT, and informatics security.

The vast majority of online health informatics graduate certificate programs do not include any form of practicum or other culminating project. One exception is the blended-formatted Certificate in Health Informatics program at the University of Michigan’s School of Nursing, which is open to nursing and non-nursing grad students.

Popular Courses

Health Informatics

Overview of the technological fundamentals and clinical applications of informatics in health information management. Specific topics covered include clinical research informatics, consumer health informatics, population informatics, bioinformatics, decision-making, and medical data and patient records. Also included is a discussion of scientific concepts underlying several medical technologies (nuclear medicine, CT, digital radiology, ultrasound, etc.). The first of two foundational courses for all health informatics graduate certificate students.

Healthcare Information Systems

The second foundational course for all health informatics graduate certificate students offers a survey of currently employed healthcare information systems and their functionality and applications in healthcare management and clinical support. Subjects include electronic medical records (EMRs), coordination of care with providers, interoperability, systems security, telehealth and mobile technology, and more.

Healthcare Project Management

A comprehensive examination of the project management process as it applies to health informatics in the full range of care-related settings. Students are introduced to project management theory and concepts, as well as the tools used in the scoping, planning, and execution of health informatics and healthcare services projects.

Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Informatics

Introduction to the legal and regulatory issues relevant to health informatics and health information management. Areas addressed include, among others, general legal principles of healthcare practice, mandatory disclosure laws and reporting requirements, electronic medical records legal issues, and HIPAA security and privacy rules. Also included is a discussion of information technology practices from an ethical perspective.

Public Health Informatics

Overview of the interdisciplinary field of public health informatics. The course begins with an introduction to PHI-related definitions, theory, and concepts, and continues with a discussion of informatics principles and competencies, and their applications to public health information management and practices.

What are Some Healthcare Informatics Certificate Specializations I Can Earn?

Unlike many HI master’s degree programs, there are only a small number of graduate certificates in health informatics online programs available in specialized areas of the larger health informatics field. You may, however, be able to tailor your certificate studies to focus on a specialized area through your choice of elective courses. Three subfields in health informatics you may want to specialize in include:

Clinical Informatics

Clinical informatics certificates are designed primarily for clinicians (doctors, dentists, nurses, etc.) and health specialists (including health information managers and librarians) seeking to add health informatics to their current practice skills, as well as programmers and software engineers interested in health informatics principles. An example of an online graduate certificate in clinical informatics program is the Clinical Informatics Certificate from Ohio University.

Health Information Security and Privacy

Certificates in this specialization provide students with the knowledge and skills in security and privacy theory and applications, medical compliance, and more to protect against intentional and accidental disruption to health information systems. One program example is the Online Security and Privacy in Healthcare Certificate from Michigan Tech.

Public Health Informatics

Graduate certificates in public health informatics help prepare current and prospective public and community health professionals to competently apply relevant IT technologies and resources that are an ever-increasing part of their practices. One such certificate program is the online Graduate Certificate in Informatics for Public Health offered by the University of Missouri School of Medicine.

What Can You Do with a Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics?

The graduate certificate in health informatics prepares its holders for entry-, mid-, and senior-level health informatics positions with facilities, systems, and services providers throughout the healthcare industry. Graduates are also prepared to begin their careers in health informatics while considering whether to pursue a full health informatics master’s degree program. Below is just a sample of potential career titles for healthcare informatics graduate certificate holders, along with recent job growth and wage figures from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Career Job Growth (2020-2030) Annual Mean Wage (2021)

Computer and Information Systems Managers

10.9%

$159,010

Computer Systems Analyst

7.0%

$99,270

Database Administrators and Architects

7.9%

$101,000

Information Security Analyst

32.1%

$102,600

Medical and Health Services Managers

32.5%

$101,340

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Projections Central

Accreditation for Graduate Health Informatics Certificate Online Programs

Postsecondary accreditation is the process used to vet college degree and certificate programs – and the schools that offer them – to ensure that they meet important standards of academic quality. Accreditation is your way of knowing that the program you enroll in is worth your valuable time and money. There are two basic forms of postsecondary accreditation: institutional and programmatic.

Institutional accreditation concerns the academic quality of colleges and universities overall. Institutional accreditation of postsecondary schools in the United States is administered by several dependent regional and national agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Programmatic accreditation focuses on the vetting of specific academic programs. There are currently no agencies that specifically accredit graduate certificates in health informatics programs in the United States. However, most certificate programs include the same courses offered by their school’s health informatics master’s programs which are themselves programmatically accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

Costs and Financial Aid for Online Graduate Certificate – Health Informatics

Affordability is a major plus when you compare the cost of earning an online graduate certificate in health informatics with that of a full health informatics master’s program. Nevertheless, taking on any health informatics certificate program requires a substantial financial commitment, especially since graduate certificate programs do not qualify for federal student aid. So you must develop a plan for how you will pay for your certificate before you enroll in any health informatics program.

The good news is that most other forms of financial aid are available, including scholarships and grants, tuition assistance programs, work study programs, employer tuition assistance programs, and even student loans from private lenders.

Online graduate certificates in health informatics programs are eager to assist you in finding help to fund your studies, so be sure to contact the financial aid offices at each of the colleges you’re considering. And for more on funding your certificate program, be sure to check out OMD’s financial aid page.

What Your Health Informatics Graduate Certificate Online Program Could Cost

Per-credit tuition rates and total program costs vary substantially from program to program. We’ve listed below the current per-credit and total tuition costs for three graduate certificates in health informatics online programs. They will, along with the cost figures provided in the spotlights above, give you some idea of what you might expect to pay for your certificate. Just remember that your total program cost will be greater once you factor in additional program fees and costs of such things as books and supplies.

School Name No. of Credits Cost/Credit Est. Total Tuition Cost

9

$1,396.00

$12,564

9

$1,053

$9,477

18

$444.44

$7,999.92

Frequently Asked Questions About Graduate Health Informatics Online Certificates

What is the Difference Between a Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics and a Master’s Degree?

We touched on a few of the advantages of pursuing a health informatics graduate certificate over a full master’s degree program. Before signing onto either program type, however, it’s important to understand some of the important differences between the two beyond those of time and cost. For example, students coming from an entirely different field seeking to launch their careers in health informatics will likely need the more comprehensive knowledge and skill set provided by a full master’s degree curriculum.

On the other hand, if you have some professional experience in the broader informatics field and you’re simply looking to add specialized skills in health informatics to grow your career opportunities, you should be able to do so by earning a health informatics graduate certificate.

To learn more about the requirements and benefits of a full health informatics master’s program, visit OMD’s guide to the Best Online Master’s Degrees in Health Informatics.

What Are the Admissions Requirements for Online Graduate Health Informatics Certificate Programs?

The admissions requirements for most online graduate certificate programs in health informatics are very similar. There are subtle differences, though, so be sure to review the most common requirements carefully before starting the application process.

  • Bachelor’s degree: All health informatics graduate certificate programs require a previously earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university (or equivalent for international students). Programs evaluate applicant qualifications on a holistic basis, meaning that they consider the applicant’s entire background in making their student selections. In most cases, applicants without an educational background in informatics are required to complete one or more prerequisite courses before admission into the certificate program.
  • Minimum GPA: Almost all health informatics graduate certificate programs require students to have met a stated minimum grade point average for their bachelor’s degree coursework. Minimums vary by program, but 3.0 is the most common requirement.
  • GRE/GMAT score(s): Standardized graduate admission exam scores are not required for admission by most health informatics certificate programs. However, certificate students continuing with their studies to earn their master’s degree may be required to submit exam scores for admission into the master’s program.
  • Additional requirements: Other potential application requirements include a current resume or CV, personal statement or essay, and letters of recommendation. International students are typically required to provide proof of English proficiency.

How Long Will It Take to Finish My Health Informatics Graduate Certificate Online?

Quick completion times are a major benefit of graduate certificate programs when compared to full master’s programs in the same major. However, certificate program lengths themselves vary substantially from program to program. There are two main reasons for this. First, the total number of courses required varies from as few as three to as many as six, with most programs requiring four courses to earn the certificate. Second, graduate certificates in health informatics programs, particularly those online, are typically self-paced, with some allowing students as long as five years to complete all program requirements. Bearing all of this in mind, most online health informatics graduate certificate students earn their certificates with one to 1 ½ years of part-time study.

Can I Earn My Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics 100% Online, or Do I Need to Take Classes on Campus?

The simple answer is yes. You’ll find that the majority of graduate certificates in health informatics online programs today are delivered 100% online with, in most cases, no campus visits of any kind required. Many fully online programs feature entirely asynchronous content, meaning that you can access and complete your coursework anytime that works for your busy schedule. For those who prefer some in-person interaction, some online certificate programs offer their students the option of completing a portion of their program requirements on campus.