“Pharmacy informatics is the scientific field that focuses on medication-related data and knowledge within the continuum of health care systems—including its acquisition, storage, analysis, use and dissemination—in the delivery of optimal medication-related patient care and health outcomes. (HIMSS October 2006)” http://www.himss.org/library/pharmacy-informatics

Data gathering and analysis are an essential component of the health care process to make evidence-based decisions and provide optimal patient care. Pharmacists significantly contribute to this process by being an expert in the usage of health information and data.  

The PharmD/Master of Science in Health Informatics and Analytics (MSHIA) degree is a joint program between Samford’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy and School of Public Health within the university’s College of Health Sciences. Through credit sharing, you can earn two degrees in a reduced time. The School of Public Health will apply 11 credits of pharmacy course work to satisfy work required under the regular MSHIA curriculum. McWhorter School of Pharmacy will apply four credits of core informatics course work to satisfy the didactic elective course work required under the regular pharmacy curriculum. As a student in this program, you are required to complete 30 credits of MSHIA course work and 142 credits of pharmacy course work. The MSHIA courses are offered online and met Quality Matters standards.

Students do not need to have a bachelor’s degree to be admitted to this joint degree program, but the bachelor’s degree must be earned to complete more than 12 credit hours of the master’s program.

The MSHIA program welcomes and encourages students from all academic backgrounds.

General Policies

On graduation, you can receive both the PharmD and MSHIA degrees in the same semester. In this program, you must complete the MSHIA within five academic years of the original date of admission to the MSHIA program.

You will have two separate grade point averages, one for informatics and one for pharmacy. Pharmacy school ranking and percentiles will be based on the pharmacy-only GPA. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in the MSHIA program to be in good standing. Pharmacy students no longer interested in completing the MSHIA program must communicate with the McWhorter School of Pharmacy Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Students may register for a maximum of 21 credits per full semester. If desired, you may petition the associate dean of academic affairs to exceed this maximum course load.

You may choose to drop the joint degree in order to earn the PharmD degree earlier. The School of Public Health will accept shared credit from the pharmacy school upon later readmission to the MSHIA program as long as the student:

  1.  Began the joint degree before graduating with the PharmD
  2.  Was in good standing with the School of Public Health
  3.  Requests readmission to restart MSHIA classes within one full semester after PharmD graduation

Admissions Requirements

To be considered for the joint PharmD/MSHIA program, you must first be accepted to both McWhorter School of Pharmacy and School of Public Health. For detailed information on applying to McWhorter School of Pharmacy, visit our admission page for details on the process and required documentation. To be considered for the MSHIA portion of the degree program, submit the following materials to the School of Public Health:

  1. A completed School of Public Health joint degree application form
  2. A resume reflecting work experience and other accomplishments. Upload the resume into the application. 

The application deadline is April 1.

For questions regarding the application, please contact Amber Kustos, director of graduate and undergraduate student services for the School of Public Health, at akustos@samford.edu or 205-726-4691. 

Plan of Study