Pharm.D./Master of Science in Health Informatics

“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 Pharm.D./Master of Science in Health Informatics (M.S.H.I.) 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 16 credits of pharmacy coursework to satisfy work required under the regular M.S.H.I. curriculum. The McWhorter School of Pharmacy will apply four credits of core informatics coursework to satisfy the didactic elective coursework required under the regular pharmacy curriculum. As a student in this program, you are required to complete 25 credits of informatics coursework and at least 141 credits of pharmacy coursework.

The M.S.H.I. program welcomes and encourages students from all academic backgrounds.

General Policies

On graduation, you can receive both the Pharm.D. and M.S.H.I. degrees in the same semester. In this program, you must complete the M.S.H.I. within five academic years of the original date of admission to the M.S.H.I. 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 M.S.H.I. program to be in good standing.

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 Pharm.D. degree earlier. The School of Public Health will accept shared credit from the pharmacy school upon later readmission to the M.S.H.I. program as long as the student 1) began the joint degree before graduating with the Pharm.D. degree; 2) was in good standing with the School of Public Health; and 3) requests readmission to restart M.S.H.I. classes within one full semester after Pharm.D. graduation.

Admissions Requirements

To be considered for the joint Pharm.D./M.S.H.I. 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 M.S.H.I. 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 (do not fill out the online Banner application); Pharm.D./M.S.H.I. Application
  2. A resume reflecting work experience and other accomplishments. Upload the resume into the application. 
  3. Complete an online interview video.  A link to the video platform will be sent to the applicant upon receipt of the application. 

For questions regarding the application, please contact Marian Carter at mwcarter@samford.edu or 205-726-2611.

Plan of Study

To complete the joint Pharm.D./M.S.H.I. degree, you must complete the following courses through the School of Public Health:

Pharm.D./M.S.H.I. Plan of Study
CourseCourse Credits
M.S.H.I. Core Courses (25 total credits)
HIIM 500# Introduction to Biomedical Informatics and Analytics 3
HIIM 501# Survey of Health Informatics and Analytics Infrastructure 3
HIIM 502# Electronic Health Records in Diverse Practice Settings 4
HIIM 503# Structured/Unstructured Data Design and Analysis 4
HIIM 504 Current Topics in Health/Biomedical Informatics* 2
HIIM 505 Healthcare Information Technology Project Management 3
HIIM 506# Research Methods for Healthcare 3
HIIM 600 Managing the Health Informatics and Analytics Systems 3
Shared Pharm.D. Credits (16 total credits)
PHRX 315 Introduction to Patient Care Systems 2
PHRX 316 Population Health 3
PHRX 415 Financial Management** 3
PHRX 416 Ethics in Christianity & Health Care 2
PHRX 515 Human Resource Management** 3
PHRX 516 Pharmacy Law 3
Capstone Project (3 total credits)***
PHRX 500 Introduction to Capstone 1
PHRX 550 Capstone-1 1
PHRX 600 Capstone-2 1
Total Credits for the M.S.H.I. 44

#Counted as a PHRX didactic elective course.

*HIIM 504 will be completed during the fourth-year of the pharmacy program as PHRX 676 Specialty Pharmacy APPE.  This course will have a duration of 5 weeks.  A faculty member within the School of Public Health will serve as the preceptor. 

**Serve as MSHI electives. 

***Although the Capstone project is shared between both programs, the research project has to have an informatics focus.  The project topic has to be approved by the School of Public Health.