Samford's online Master of Science in Health Informatics and Analytics (M.S.H.I.A.) prepares information systems professionals, health care managers, health care support personnel, pharmacists and other clinicians to use health information, effectively analyze, interpret and present health care data to improve quality and patient safety, outcomes, and cost-effectiveness of health care delivery.

Health informatics and analytics is where vision and results meet. Health care has become increasingly data rich and because of this, there is growing need for individuals who understand organizational systems and the dynamics in this profession with a health informatics and analytics background. Those with the knowledge, skills and abilities to easily capture, analyze and act on health information are critical to an organization's success. 

Admission Requirements

Apply to Samford's School of Public Health at graduateadmission.samford.edu/apply.

Applicants must:

  • Possess a baccalaureate degree in any field from a  college or university with intuitional accreditation.
  • Submit official transcripts.
  • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale overall or in the last 60 hours of course work.
  • The GRE is only required for an applicant who does not meet the minimum GPA requirement. The GRE must be within the last five years, with a combined Verbal and Quantitative score of 300 and Analytical 4.0.
  • Three years of work experience in a relevant field can substitute for GRE with department chair approval.
  • Have completed undergraduate level statistics from a  college or university with institutional accreditation with grade of B or higher.
  • Submit three letters of reference through the application system. At least one must be from a work supervisor or manager and one from a current or previous professor.  The references should provide a knowledgeable testament regarding character, ethics, responsibility, potential for success, and other attributes that predict an applicant's favorable performance in the program.
  • Submit a resume highlighting work experience, strengths, and other accomplishments.
  • Submit an essay on reason for seeking the M.S.H.I.A. and a career goal statement.
  • Submit a video interview.
  • International applicants or American citizens who learned English as a second language must score at least 550 (paper), 213 (computer) or 80 (Internet) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or 6.5 International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Score.

Students who do not meet one or more admission requirement(s) may be admitted on a conditional status, based upon evaluation by the program faculty.  To be considered for a joint degree, students must apply and be accepted to both programs based on their admission criteria.  Students admitted conditionally must address the unmet admission requirements to progress in the program. All conditions are clearly spelled out in the admission letter.

We use a portfolio approach to evaluate applicants and the portfolio consists of reference letters, previous professional experience, essay, interview, grade point average and academic performance in undergraduate and previous graduate work (if applicable), and standardized test scores (if applicable).  The portfolio approach allows us to take a holistic review when there is a lower GPA and evidence of experience in or motivation for a healthcare career, and strong letters of recommendation.  

Exceptions to any admission requirements will be handled on an individual basis. 

If accepted, a non-refundable fee of $500 is required to secure admission into the program. The fee is applied to the first semester's tuition.

Program Objectives

When you’ve completed your Master of Science in Health Informatics & Analytics , you will have shown mastery of the following skills:

  • Lead the development and application of emerging information technologies to improve all aspects of health care delivery.
  • Understand and apply the technology used in health informatics, including computing devices, networks, databases, software, security protocols, document analysis and sharing, image capture and analysis, and all other uses of Informatics technologies.
  • Utilize health information technology for decision support, knowledge management, strategic planning, and outcomes assessment.
  • Effectively interface between technology developers and the clinical user community.
  • Know all applicable legal, social, regulatory and ethical factors involved in health informatics.
  • Demonstrate data management skills that target opportunities to improve patient safety.
  • Analyze, understand, abstract and model a specific health informatics problem in terms of data, information and knowledge components. Using this analysis, generate design solutions.
  • Work effectively with partners within and across disciplines. Communicate effectively to these partners in persuasive oral and written form.
  • Apply relationship-building values and the principles of team dynamics to perform effectively in different team roles to plan and deliver patient/population-centered care that is safe, timely, efficient, effective and equitable.

Curriculum

Samford's M.S.H.I.A. is a five-semester fully online program that provides a unique interprofessional curriculum of health information management, analytics and business skills. You will build a vast community networking with a diverse group of professionals that will enrich you personally and professionally. The online learning format also allows for daily interactions with faculty and staff, as needed.

*A part‐time schedule can be created on an as‐needed basis.

For detailed information about the M.S.H.I.A. program, including policies, course names and course descriptions, visit Samford's graduate catalog.

Career Pathways

Samford's Master of Science in Health Informatics and Analytics is designed to prepare graduates for diverse career opportunities that exist in multiple settings throughout the health care industry, including:

  • Hospitals and health systems
  • Physician practice groups
  • Government agencies
  • Insurances companies
  • Health product vendors
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Consulting firms
  • Sports and athletics
  • And many more

Emerging roles in health care include chief medical information officer, health information exchange manager, security manager, data analyst, heath analyst, population health coordinator, sport injury prevention analyst and more.

Career Map from AHIMA

Career Outlook

  • The role of data scientist has a 31% growth expected through 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • The role of information system manager has a 11% growth expected through 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Accolades and Alumni

Program Accolade

Alumni Careers

Samford’s healthcare informatics and analytics alumni have graduated and begun careers with: 

  • Community Health Systems (CHS) in Franklin, Tennessee
  • Advanced Medical Informatics Postdoctoral Fellowship, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Postdoctoral Veteran Affairs Quality Scholars (VAQS) Fellow, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Oschner Health System in Covington, Louisiana
  • Protective Life in Birmingham, Alabama
  • Publix Pharmacy in Birmingham, Alabama
  • DCH Health System in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Sweetwater Hospital Association in Sweetwater, Tennessee

Mission, Vision and Values

Mission Statement

The shared mission of the B.S. and M.S. in Health Informatics and Analytics is to prepare health informatics and analytics professionals in a Christ-centered environment through an innovative, interprofessional curriculum focused on critical thinking and data driven decision making to improve outcomes and promote health equity.

Vision Statement

We aspire to prepare influential and visionary healthcare professionals who make a positive impact on their communities.

Core Values

  • Christian-Based Education: We are committed to integrating our Christian faith and beliefs in our delivery of healthcare administration education.
  • Excellence: We pursue excellence within the department through opportunities for achievement in scholarship, service and research.
  • Practice-Ready: We are committed to preparing students who are ready to practice upon graduation.
  • Respect for diversity: We are committed to respecting the differences in others by learning to appreciate the different cultures of the populations that we serve.
  • Integrity: We are committed to operating in an environment that values honesty, fairness and the highest ethical standards to sustain a community of trust.
  • Empowerment: We encourage personal accountability for success through shared governance in academic pursuits.

The Master of Science in Health Informatics and Analytics is a degree offered by the School of Public Health's Department of Healthcare Administration and Informatics.  Read its mission statement here.