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Master of Science in Health Informatics Programs
2014-2016 Student Handbook

Program Description and Goals Master of Science in Health Informatics Admission Process
Transfer Credit Degree Requirements for the Master of Science in Health Informatics
Course of Study for the Master of Science in Health Informatics Practicum

Program Description and Goals

The formal study of informatics at the master’s level is designed as a multi-disciplinary approach to accomplish these important goals:

  1. Understand the scope of the discipline of health informatics;
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the literature of health informatics;
  3. Develop informatics solutions to biomedical problems based on current research; and,
  4. Utilize Electronic Health Records or other health information technologies effectively

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Master of Science in Health Informatics Admission Process

The applicant should present to the Registrar’s Office the following:

  1. Official transcripts from every post-secondary school attended, both in the United States and abroad. Courses taken and degrees received at U.S. schools must be from regionally accredited schools. All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by a professional agency (such as Educational Credential Evaluators or World Education Services) on a course-by-course basis. This evaluation is at the applicants’ expense.
  2. A baccalaureate or higher degree in an appropriate area, e.g., science, medicine, nursing, dentistry, MIS, engineering or computer science
  3. A personal statement detailing the applicant’s interest in the program
  4. A resume or curriculum vitae (as appropriate)
  5. A Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) score
  6. Grade Point Average (GPA) in previous (degrees) coursework
  7. A minimum TOEFL score of 95 is acceptable on the internet based test. A minimum ILETS score is 7.
  8. Three letters of reference from educators and/or employers

Applicant materials will be organized into a portfolio for review by the admissions committee. The admissions committee will consider such areas as:

  • Health, MIS, Computer, or Engineering related degree
  • Health-care work experience
  • Database work experience
  • Informatics work experience
  • Demonstrated expertise in programming
  • GRE or MAT score
  • GPA in previous degree
  • Success in overcoming social, economic or educational disadvantages, race and ethnicity.

Master of Science in Health Informatics application deadlines:

Fall admission - July 15
Spring admission - November 15
Summer admission - March 15

Interview

The second component for admission is a personal interview. Applicants who have been recommended by the admissions committee may be invited to interview with faculty members. The interview is expected to focus on the applicant’s goals and how they can be achieved in the master’s program, communication skills, and understanding of the program.

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Transfer Credit

Transfer credit for equivalent courses taken elsewhere may be awarded and used to meet degree requirements if their equivalency to a SBMI degree program course is approved through a Petition for Equivalency Credit.

The maximum number of transferable semester credit hours is 12 for the master’s program.

Applicants who are presenting coursework from universities or colleges outside the United States to meet admission or graduation requirements are referred to the section on International Applicants in this catalog for a listing of additional requirements.

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Degree Requirements for the Master of Science in Health Informatics

Academic Requirements

Credit hours must total at least 39 semester hours for all courses in the degree plan. Each student follows a degree plan developed with an Advising Committee. A total of 39 semester credit hours must be completed prior to graduation. There are two tracks within the Master’s Program. Students should work with the Office of Academic Affairs and their advisor to assure they are taking courses in their desired focus area.

A full-time student in the Program in Health Informatics has up to four years (12 semesters) from the time of entry to complete the required course work. A part-time student has up to eight years (24 semesters) from the time of entry to complete the required course work. Continuous enrollment is required unless approval from the advising committee is obtained. A maximum of one year of an approved leave of absence will be allowed for continuance in the program. If more than one year of leave occurs, the student must apply for readmission to the program.

Each course with an HI prefix in the Health Informatics degree plan is a graduate-level course and should be passed with a grade of “B” or better. Only one course grade of “C” is allowed. The minimum grade point average (GPA) required for graduation is 3.0 on all courses.

Computer Requirement

Every student is required to have reliable access to a computer that meets the minimum technical requirements. Students are encouraged to purchase a laptop that meets the minimum SBMI requirements.

Computer requirements are listed on the website (https://sbmi.uth.edu/current-students/student-handbook/computer-requirements.htm) and are subject to change.

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Course of Study for the Master of Science in Health Informatics

Traditional Track

The curriculum of the traditional track for the Master of Science degree in Health Informatics includes required didactic courses and a practicum. Didactic courses (lecture/discussion, demonstration and student laboratories) are presented to provide facts, concepts, and theories related to the techniques and procedures of health informatics. The courses include instruction in basic informatics, research, advanced informatics and elective courses. The practicum is designed to give the students the opportunity to apply theory and techniques in the hospital, research, or private laboratory setting.

Each student will develop a degree plan with written approval of their advising committee. A degree plan will be filed that includes the core and required courses as specified below:

  • 6 semester credit hours in foundation courses
  • 12 semester credit hours in required courses
  • 18 semester credit hours in elective courses (see SBMI website for suggested concentration curriculum)
  • 3 semester credit hours in practicum courses.

Changes to the degree plan must be approved in advance in writing by the advisor/advising committee.

Applied Track

The curriculum of the traditional track for the Master of Science degree in Applied Health Informatics includes required didactic courses and a practicum. Didactic courses (lecture/discussion, demonstration and student laboratories) are presented to provide facts, concepts, and theories related to the techniques and procedures of health informatics. The courses include instruction in basic and applied informatics. The practicum is designed to give the students the opportunity to apply theory and techniques in the hospital, research, or private laboratory setting.

Each student will develop a degree plan with written approval of their advising committee. A degree plan will be filed that includes the core and required courses as specified below:

  • 36 semester credit hours in required courses
  • 3 semester credit hours in practicum courses.

Changes to the degree plan must be approved in advance in writing by the advisor/advising committee.

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Practicum

Students in the Master of Science in Health Informatics must select an area of interest in which to apply the knowledge and skill gained during the didactic courses while participating in the required practicum course. Students must complete at least 24 credit hours in their master’s program before participating in the practicum requirement. Students should work with the Practicum Coordinator for any necessary affiliation or program agreements with the practicum site, if agreements are not already in place. A practicum proposal must be submitted by week three of the semester of enrollment to the Practicum Coordinator and it must be approved, in writing, by the student’s Faculty Practicum Advisor. Students can complete all required practicum credit hours during one semester or the course can be repeated for a maximum of 3 semester credit hours (for HI 6000) to meet degree requirements. During the course of the semester(s), student must create weekly logs to chronicle their hours, tasks, and reflections on how the duties of the practicum relate to Health Informatics courses taken. Once the student has logged all 135 clock hours and concluded all practicum projects, she or he must create in a 10 page APA format double spaced capstone report that details the major project they completed during their practicum. This report, along with other deliverables, will be submitted in completion of the practicum. If students have any questions regarding the practicum, they can contact the Practicum Coordinator or the Office of Academic Affairs.

For further curriculum information, please contact:

UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics Office of Academic Affairs
7000 Fannin Street Suite 650
Houston, Texas 77030
Telephone: (713) 500-3591
Email: SBMIAcademics@uth.tmc.edu

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