Master of Science in Health Informatics

The Art and Science of Health Data Analytics

USF’s Master of Science in Health Informatics program (MSHI) is focused on training the next generation of informaticists in the art and science of health data analytics. Healthcare and technical professionals learn everything from the basics of programming to cutting-edge statistical and machine learning methods in interprofessional, project-based classrooms.

Health Informatics uses mathematical, scientific, technological, heuristic and cognitive methods for modeling and solving complex and heterogeneous problems. Students proceeding through the Health Informatics program will develop an understanding of the ways in which information (meaningful data) is converted into knowledge (justified belief) and be able to develop theories that further biomedical research and improve healthcare delivery systems.

Video: The opportunities and challenges in Health Informatics in the current healthcare industry

Program Features and Highlights

The Curriculum consists of 36 units and can be completed in as little as one (1) year by full time graduate students. Candidates with a demanding career and personal commitments may complete the program at their own pace, typically between two to three years.
  • Real-world problems in the classroom: Classroom projects engage interdisciplinary teams of students to tackle real-world problems from faculty research or industry partners. Health Informatics operates the intersection of healthcare and computer science and is a great fit for students with a variety professional and academic backgrounds to apply their knowledge in the rapidly evolving health care economy.
  • Programming and Data Analytics Skills: A strong data science foundation within a clinical and healthcare is woven through all of our core courses. All students, regardless of background, learn programming skills in the context of working with healthcare data.
  • Entrepreneurial Perspective and Innovation: Located in the epicenter of the global digital revolution, our program engages with the Silicon Valley startup community. While this is not a business program, we are at the heart of the world innovations. Hence, all accepted students must be prepared to do some innovation, entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial work as part of their health economics and consumer health courses. Interested students are given startup mentoring opportunities.
  • Internship and Practicum Opportunities: Students are required to complete a Capstone Experience consisting of original research, substantial project in health and biomedical informatics, or an internship with industry partner. We provide support for students in finding their internships and projects. Our graduates have an impressive job placement rate of over 95% and have found challenging opportunities in the healthcare sector.
  • Advanced Clinical Training: Clinically trained students are able to take graduate level nursing courses that fully count toward an advanced nursing degree including Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) at USF. In addition, as a board-certified subspecialty in the US, our program will be invaluable to pre-medical/pre-health students applying to medical school and hoping to stand out with graduate training in health informatics.
  • International Students: International Students may be eligible to work for 36 months in the U.S. after completion of the Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) program via the OPT program and STEM extension.
  • The School of Nursing and Health Professions is focused on developing students who can positively influence health care environments by promoting health, wellness, holistic, patient-centered care, patient advocacy, a spirit of inquiry and evidence-based practice, balanced with a humanistic approach, professional and ethical decision making, increased access to care, especially for vulnerable populations, an effective health infrastructure and lifelong learning.

Ideal candidates, Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI), School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFIdeal candidates for Health Informatics

The Master of Science of Health Informatics is an interdisciplinary program that studies the design, development and adoption of IT based innovations in healthcare. Health Informatics operates at intersection of clinical-biomedical, statistical and computational sciences and offers a variety of specializations to a broad range of candidates with backgrounds from nursing, medicine, other clinical specialties, biomedical sciences or computational and statistical sciences. Regardless of background, students may choose to focus on quantitative aspects of informatics such as health data analytics, biosignal and image processing or statistical computing, or they may choose to emphasize clinical, managerial or consumer health entrepreneurship.

Candidate Requirements

All of our candidates must have strong academic backgrounds, quantitative aptitude, interest in multidisciplinary research and the passion and desire to improve healthcare through the application of data science. Additionally, our students may come from one or more of the following academic and professional backgrounds:

  • Clinical background (e.g., MD, RN, DPT, PsyD, PharmD, Allied Health, other post-baccalaureate clinical degree, or equivalents)
  • Pre-medical and pre-health undergraduate background with a desire for deep immersion in biomedical informatics and the intricacies of technical skills for analyzing health data, and preparation for leadership positions in the rapidly growing field of health data science. Students have found our program to be a valuable stepping-stone to PhD programs, Medical School, or graduate healthcare fields.
  • Science or engineering background with an interest in healthcare
  • Healthcare executives, health IT leaders, and others involved in healthcare that wish to gain broad and deep knowledge in health informatics

Learning Outcomes

Graduates with a Master of Science in Health Informatics are prepared to:

  • Lead the development and application of emerging information technologies to improve all aspects of health care delivery.
  • Utilize health information technology for decision support, knowledge management, strategic planning, and outcomes assessment.
  • Master the "language" of health care, navigate the rules around using medical data, and utilize relevant information to assess changes in the health care system.
  • Assure that health care information technology advances patient information security and confidentiality and promote ethical health care decisions.
  • Effectively interface between the technology developers and the clinical user community.

Career Outcomes

The demand for Health Informatics workers is projected to grow at twice the rate compared to the overall employment rate. The need for health informatics specialists is prominent in both government and private enterprises to standardize and optimize the collection and sharing of data among electronic health recording systems, ensure data security and integrate care to share information, coordinate care and provide efficient effective services to patients. Our graduates are well-prepared for current and future challenges in the field. They're equipped with a deep understanding of the healthcare industry and the technical skills to work with computer scientists, programmers, doctors, nurses, psychologists and other healthcare professionals. Additionally, our program emphasizes building strong entrepreneurs and advocates for Health Informatics through various curriculum offerings.

  • Our graduates have an impressive aggregate job placement rate of 95% and have found exciting and challenging opportunities in large hospitals, medical centers research institutions, startups, government health agencies and global health organizations.
  • Positions have included Clinical Data Analyst, Director of Clinical Informatics Research, Statistical Analyst, Senior Programmer Analyst and Advanced Research or Clinical training (MD, DNP, PhD in Biomedical Informatics).
  • International Students - International Students may be eligible to work for 36 months in the U.S. after completion of the Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) program via the OPT program and STEM extension.

More about our graduates

Video Introduction: 
The rapidly emerging field of Health Informatics

USF professor helps predicting autism in infants with greater than 95% accuracy

The MSHI program's Associate Professor Dr. Bosl together with his colleagues at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital, have released a new study that predicts occurrences of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) with greater than 95% accuracy.

Read the press release

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Contact Info

School of Nursing & Health Professions

Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

2130 Fulton St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 422-2806