Health Care Informatics

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Health Care Informatics, M.S.

Rolling Admissions
Health Care Informatics, M.S.
School/College: College of Health Sciences

Department Links: Degrees Conferred:
  • M.S. in Health Care Informatics
The Department of Health Informatics and Administration in the College of Health Sciences offers the Master of Science in Health Care Informatics degree. Health care informatics focuses on the use of information technologies, data analytics and automation to improve health care. Professional expertise in health care informatics is needed by hospitals and other health care providers, medical centers and facilities, medical software companies, pharmaceutical companies, public health organizations, health insurance companies and medical research institutions. The master’s program is designed to meet the demand for highly trained health care informatics professionals. The curriculum covers several areas including: systems analysis and design, database design and management, clinical decision support and computer programming. Students also get exposed to cutting-edge research in areas such as big data, predictive analytics, natural language processing, medical knowledge representation and information retrieval, which are rapidly becoming indispensable for improving health care.

The program is designed for both full-time and part-time students. Courses are offered both face-to-face and online. Mid-career professionals can use the fully online option for completing the degree.

Graduate Faculty

Cisler, Ron Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Associate Professors
Kate, Rohit, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
Nambisam, Priya, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Patrick, Timothy, Ph.D. University of Missouri-Columbia
Trinh, Hanh, Ph.D. Virginia Commonwealth University
Wu, Min, Ph.D. University of North Carolina

Assistant Professors
Fink, Jennifer, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Luo, Jake, Ph.D., Queen’s University, Belfast, UK

Master of Science in Health Care Informatics

An applicant must meet Graduate School requirements and submit GRE scores taken within the past five years (GRE requirement will be waived for applicants who already hold another master’s degree or Ph.D., or the equivalent). No specific undergraduate major is necessary for admission. A typical applicant will have background in a health-related field or in an information/computer related field, but applicants from other academic or professional backgrounds are welcome to apply who will be considered on a case-by-case basis

Major Professor as Advisor
A student must have a major professor to advise and supervise the student’s studies as specified in Graduate School regulations. Initially the director of the HCI Program advises and supervises newly admitted students. Students are then assigned faculty advisors according to faculty advising loads.

Credits and Courses

The Master of Science in Health Care Informatics degree will be awarded upon completion of appropriate 32 credits (non-thesis option) or 35 credits (thesis option) of prescribed graduate study; 23 credits of core courses and 6 credits of electives are required, plus either 3 credit HCA 891 or 6 credits HCA 890.

Core required courses
HCA 700 Introduction to HealthCare Informatics (2 credits)
HCA 741 Essential Programming for Health Informatics (3 credits)
HCA 760 Biomedical Terminology and Ontology (3 credits)
HCA 723 Health Care Systems Applications—Administrative & Clinical (3 credits)
HCA 541 Healthcare Information Systems Analysis & Design (3 credits)
HCA 722 Legal, Ethical and Social Issues in Health Care Informatics (3 credits)
HCA 542 Healthcare Database Design & Management (3 credits)
HCA-742 Computational Intelligence in Health Informatics (3 credits)

Electives other than those listed below are to be approved by the student’s major professor.
HCA 721 Health Information Technology Procurement (3 credits)
HCA 743 Predictive Analytics in Healthcare (3 credits)
HCA 744 Text Retrieval and Its Applications in Biomedicine (3 credits)
HCA 745 Health Big Data Processing Platforms (3 credits)
HCA 776 Biomedical Natural Language Processing (3 credits)
HCA 789 Biomedical Information Extraction (3 credits)
HCA 909 Guided Teaching Experience in Health Sciences (3 credits)
HS 917 Seminar in Health Outcomes Assessment

Project or Thesis
HCA 891 Health Care Informatics Professional Project (3 credits)
or HCA 890 Health Care Informatics Research and Thesis (1-6 credits)

Thesis/Project Options

Option A: Project Option
The Project option requires students to apply health informatics research and theory to a professional situation. The project must be undertaken in compliance with program requirements under the supervision of a HIA major professor. Students who choose this option count 3 credits of HCA 891 toward the required 32-graduate-credit minimum.

Option B: Thesis Option
The thesis option requires students to plan, design, execute and report results of original applied or basic research. Students who choose the thesis option are responsible for identifying a HIA major professor and a thesis committee. The thesis committee should consist of the major professor and at least two other graduate faculty. The student must pass a comprehensive oral examination in defense of the completed thesis. Students who choose this option count 6 credits of HCA 890 toward the required 35-graduate-credit minimum.

Program Completion Time Limit
The student must complete all degree requirements within five years of initial enrollment.

Master of Science in Health Care Informatics/Master of Library and Information Science

The College of Health Sciences and School of Information Studies collaboratively offer a program designed to provide students with theoretical and practical exposure to the evolving field of healthcare informatics as practiced in hospitals, clinics, professional offices, corporations, the government, the insurance industry, and higher education.

Students are admitted to both graduate programs separately and admission requirements are consistent with those specified by the UWM Graduate School, the Department of Healthcare Informatics, and the MLIS program of the School of Information Studies.

Credit and Courses

Students accepted into this M.S./MLIS program complete the following courses:

Healthcare Informatics

Introduction to Healthcare Informatics: 2 credits
HCA 700 Introduction to HealthCare Informatics

Programming, 3 credits (choose one):
BA 740 Information Technology Management Concepts and Languages
BA 813 Object-Oriented & Visual

Systems Analysis and Design, 3 credits (choose one):
BA 747 Service-Oriented Analysis and Design
HCA 541 Healthcare Systems A & D

Database Management, 3 credits (choose one):
BA 749 Data Management Systems
CS 557 Introduction to Database Systems
CS 757 Data Base Organization and File Structure
HCA 542 Healthcare Database Design & Mgt

Project Management, 3 credits:
BA 748 Information Technology Project Management

Decision Support Systems, 3 credits (choose one):
BA 741 Decision Support Systems and Groupware
BA 814 Enterprise Knowledge & Semantic Management
CS 720 Computational Models of Decision Making
HCA 744 Text Retrieval & Its Application in Biomedicine (pending)

Network Design/Telecommunications, 3 credits (choose one):
BA 893 Infrastructure for Electronic Business
CS 520 Computer Networks
L&I SCI 710 Electronic Networking and Information Services

Technology Procurement, 3 credits:
HCA 721 Health Information Technology Procurement

Clinical Applications, 3 credits:
HCA 723 Healthcare Systems Applications – Clinical, Administrative & Research

Project or Thesis, 3 credits (choose one):
HCA 890 Healthcare Informatics Research and Thesis
HCA 891 Healthcare Informatics Master’s Project

Minimum Credits for M.S.: 29

Library and Information Science

L&I SCI 501 Foundations of Library and Information Science; 3 credits
L&I SCI 511 Organization of Information; 3 credits
L&I SCI 571 Information Access and Retrieval; 3 credits
L&I SCI 591 Research in Library and Information Science; 3 credits

Electives (15 credits), including at least 4 of the following 5
L&I SCI 510 Introduction to Reference Services and Resources
L&I SCI 661 Ethics and the Information Society; 3 credits
L&I SCI 714 Metadata; 3 credits
L&I SCI 791 Information Architecture; 3 credits
L&I SCI 835 Information Sources and Services—Health Sciences; 3 credits

Other elective; 3 credits

Students also must pass a comprehensive examination, or submit and successfully defend a thesis. The thesis option requires additional credits.

Minimum MLIS Credits: 27

Minimum Total Credits for the Program: 56

The credits for the coordinated program would typically be completed in both programs at the same time, rather than one program after the other. A student not completing the requirements for the coordinated degree program would need to complete all requirements for an individual program in order to receive a degree.

Time Limit
Students in the coordinated M.S./MLIS degree program must complete all degree requirements within seven years of the first enrollment semester as a degree student.

Schedule of Classes

The Schedule of Classes is a list of classes offered by term.


Descriptions of required and elective courses offered at UWM as part of the M.S. in Health Care Informatics can be found under the respective curricular areas (see below).