Health Care Informatics M.S.
The Health Care Informatics master’s program at MTSU, a concentration in Professional Science, emphasizes the skills and experience that will prepare the next generation of professionals to be competitive in the business and healthcare information technology workforce. This interdisciplinary degree is well suited to traditional students as well as working professionals. The M.S. in Professional Science is a groundbreaking master's degree in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines that helps equip students for work in public and private business enterprises and in academia. Health Care Informatics is designed around concentration courses in information systems applications and security, project management, business intelligence/analytics, and healthcare law, and electives in valuable specialty areas like Six Sigma and Lean Productivity Systems. This concentration is supplemented by a core of business courses in accounting, statistics, managerial communication, leadership, and a capstone internship experience. The program supports both part-time and full-time students, and limited graduate assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis.
Degree leads to Community Health Systems position
Kenyia Roberson, a licensed registered respiratory therapist, was hired by Community Health Systems as a team lead for implementing Cerner electronic medical records across the organization. She landed the position just before finishing her master’s degree in the Health Care Informatics program at MTSU. “This has been an amazing experience and unique journey for me,” she says. Roberson gained healthcare IT exposure while working in clinical settings and being a part of multiple hospital conversions such as Meditech, Cerner, and Medhost and then later gained project management experience at CHS. She was considering returning to school when she discovered the MTSU program at a hospital’s education fair. “I enjoyed assisting facilities with their clinical implementations and providing Go-Live support and training to staff,” she says. The Kansas City, Missouri, native has worked across multiple patient populations and has extensive experience as a respiratory therapist in neonatal and critical care units within Middle Tennessee.
RN promoted in healthcare IT at Vanderbilt after master’s
Registered nurse Scott Simms earned a promotion to senior domain specialist in cardiology for Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Health IT division after graduating from the MTSU Health Care Informatics master’s program in 2014. He previously supported the clinical use of computers as a systems support specialist 2 within the Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute. Simms came back to MTSU because of his satisfactory undergraduate experience in Biology and because there are few post-grad Health Care Informatics programs in the Midstate. “The program enlightened me to the industry’s standards and improved my awareness with exposure to legal, managerial, and accounting facets to healthcare,” he says. “This has made me a much more marketable asset for a company as well as given me the tools to perform at a high level.” Simms, who holds an Associate of Nursing degree from TSU, also had worked as an RN-Systems Support Specialist and a registered nurse in the operating room and surgical ICU.
Healthcare informatics and healthcare information technology make up one of Nashville’s most advanced industries today, and graduates in these fields typically secure employment earning salaries around double the national average. Nashville and the Middle Tennessee region also represent the second-fastest growing technology job market and the eighth-fastest growing economy nationwide. As a result, there is currently such surging demand for data scientists in Middle Tennessee that current graduation rates in these fields cannot supply enough qualified professionals, with even larger employment projections in coming years both in Tennessee and nationwide. The M.S. program in Health Care Informatics prepares graduates to enter one of many data science and technology sectors. There is a clear focus on competence, attitude, and job readiness in the MTSU program. Potential professional positions include:
- Clinical and business informatics process lead
- Clinical EMR support specialist
- Clinical informatics manager
- Clinical quality consultant
- Clinical/business analyst
- Director of clinical informatics
- Director of health informatics
- Health information systems project manager
- Informatics analyst
- Informatics consultant
- Informatics specialist
- Information analyst
- Manager of clinical and business informatics
- Population health analyst
- Solutions analyst
Employers of MTSU alumni include
While this M.S. degree prepares students for employment in many sectors of the health care and IT workforces, internship sites and prospective employers include but are not limited to:
- Blue Cross-Blue Shield
- Capella Healthcare
- Centennial Medical Center
- Community Health Systems
- Covenant Health
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Hospital Corporation of America
- Lifepoint Hospitals
- McKesson Corp.
- National Healthcare Corp.
- Saint Thomas Health Services
- Sarah Cannon Research Institute
- Tennessee Department of Health
- United Health Group
- Vanderbilt University Medical Center
The Master of Science (M.S.) with a major in Professional Science includes a business core with specific concentrations in Actuarial Sciences, Biostatistics, Biotechnology, Engineering Management, Geosciences, and Health Care Informatics.
The Professional Science Master's, as it is commonly called, combines the business management skills commonly found in the traditional M.B.A.-type program with advanced learning in specific science fields.
This interdisciplinary program is a partnership among the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, and the Jennings A. Jones College of Business.
Applicants for the Health Care Informatics concentration:
- Must hold an undergraduate or graduate degree in a relevant field including the health
sciences, information technology, allied health professions, business, or statistics
and have a commitment to developing the necessary analytic and program management
skills and expertise required of today's health informatics professional.
- Should possess intermediate proficiency with multiple computer programs, including
but not limited to word processing, data management/presentation, and statistical
analysis packages commonly used in business and healthcare industries. Familiarity
with these programs is required and serves as the foundation upon which other skill
sets are developed.
- May be conditionally admitted to the program with backgrounds and experience outside of the common student profiles described above or without a relevant degree or work experience. Contact the program coordinator for details or for more information.
For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above.
Professional Science, Health Care Informatics Concentration, M.S.
Saeed Foroudastan, Director
Master of Science in Professional Science Program
For more information about the Health Care Informatics concentration, contact:
Carey Snowden, Graduate Coordinator
Master of Science in Professional Science Program
Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.
Admission to the Master of Science in Professional Science with a concentration in Health Care Informatics requires
- an undergraduate or graduate degree in a relevant field including the health sciences, information technology, allied health professions, business, or statistics, and a commitment to developing the necessary analytic and program management skills and expertise required of today's health informatics professional. Contact the program coordinator if you have questions about the relevance of your degree.
- applicants possessing intermediate proficiency with multiple computer programs, including but not limited to word processing, data management/presentation, and statistical analysis packages commonly used in business and healthcare industries. Familiarity with these programs is required and serves as the foundation upon which other skill sets are developed.
NOTE: Applicants with backgrounds and experience outside of the common student profiles described above, or without a relevant degree or work experience, may be conditionally admitted to our program, with the expectation that the admitted student complete appropriate prerequisite coursework. Contact the program coordinator for details or for more information.
Once accepted into the College of Graduate Studies, students interested in the Master of Science in Professional Science program may enroll for one semester before being fully admitted to the program.
All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.
- submit application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php);
- submit official transcripts from all collegiate institutions attended;
- submit three letters of reference from mentors/colleagues able to speak to your ability to succeed at graduate study in health care informatics.
Once admitted to the program, each candidate must complete a minimum of 36 semester hours of graduate credit (see specifics in Curriculum section below).
Curriculum: Professional Science, Health Care Informatics
Candidate must complete 36 hours in the following course of study:
Core Courses (15 hours)
- ACTG 6100 - Accounting and Legal Issues for Managers 3 credit hours
ACTG 6100 - Accounting and Legal Issues for Managers
Surveys accounting skills and legal perspectives necessary for managers without undergraduate business degrees to enter the businessworld. Will not meet the requirements for the M.S. in Information Systems, M.Acc. in Accounting, or the M.B.A. degree programs.
- BCED 6820 - Managerial Communication 3 credit hours
BCED 6820 - Managerial Communication
Analysis of communication theory and communication processes with emphasis on development of executive communication skills essential for understanding organizational processes from a holistic perspective. Covers organizational theory, behavior, and interpersonal communication from both a domestic and global perspective.
- BCED 6910 - Internship Program 3 credit hours
BCED 6910 - Internship Program
A supervised program of related work experience. Provides experiential opportunities for the application of the theoretical concepts learned.
- MGMT 6740 - Leadership and Motivation 3 credit hours
MGMT 6740 - Leadership and Motivation
Issues in leadership and motivation in business organizations. An examination of the theoretical framework for leadership and motivation processes serves as foundation. Emphasis on practical issues and applications of leadership development and motivation.
- STAT 5140 - Probabilistic and Statistical Reasoning 3 credit hours
STAT 5140 - Probabilistic and Statistical Reasoning
Prerequisite: Must be enrolled in the Master of Science in Professional Sciences program; graduate level. Focuses on probability and statistics concepts. Topics include binomial and normal probabilistic modeling; important statistical concepts such as confounding, randomization, sampling variability and significance; statistical testing of significant differences and associations; and design experiments to test research hypotheses.
Concentration Courses (21 hours)
- BLAW 6500 - Legal Aspects of Healthcare 3 credit hours
BLAW 6500 - Legal Aspects of Healthcare
The U.S. health care system; its major stakeholders; and the laws and regulations that apply to health care institutions, professionals, and suppliers including Medicare, electronic health records, health care fraud and abuse, compliance planning, certificates of need, health care business associations, federal tax exemption, liability and licensing issues, and ethics in decision making.
- ET 6300 - PMI Project Management 3 credit hours
ET 6300 - PMI Project Management
Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Project management processes and knowledge areas as sanctioned by the International Project Management Institute (PMI). Successful completion of the course will earn 23 contact hours/professional development units (PDUs) issued by PMI.
- MBAI 6835 - IT Applications for Decision Making 2 credit hours
MBAI 6835 - IT Applications for Decision Making
(Same as INFS 6835.) Focuses on application development using electronic spreadsheets to improve decision making efficiency and effectiveness. Uses a hands-on approach to develop skills in electronic spreadsheets and modeling applied to a variety of business situations. Not acceptable for credit toward the degree requirements for the M.S. in Information Systems but may be required as a prerequisite at the discretion of the program coordinator.
- MBAI 6905 - Applied Business Analytics 3 credit hours
MBAI 6905 - Applied Business Analytics
(Same as BIA 6905.) Prerequisites: BIA 6000 and MBAI 6835 or BIA 2610 and BIA 3620. An applied approach to the understanding, development, and application of prescriptive and data analytic tools to model and analyze business data. A hands-on focus utilized with both commonly-used spreadsheet software and specialized business intelligence software for the student to develop skills for self-service business analytics.
- INFS 6300 - Management of Security Operations 3 credit hours
INFS 6300 - Management of Security Operations
Management of the information systems security function which includes understanding policy, governance, risk, and the application of appropriate solutions required to protect and enhance an organization's security posture. Topics include threats to security, risk assessment, application and data hardening, network security, fundamentals of encryption and authentication systems, and the application of appropriate response and recovery techniques necessary for business continuity.
- HCI 6420 - Topics in Contemporary Health Care Informatics 1 credit hours
HCI 6420 - Topics in Contemporary Health Care Informatics
Introductory seminar that covers the current issues surrounding technology and health care and the drive to produce better patient outcomes. Topics include the current health care informatics market, the current technological landscape and its limitations, and the role of data and informatics in improving patient outcomes.
- Applied Health Care Data Management 2 credit hours
One course from:
- BIA 6910 - Business Intelligence 3 credit hours
BIA 6910 - Business Intelligence
Prerequisite: BIA 6905 or QM 6770 or equivalent. A more advanced look at the application of business intelligence tools to solving business problems. Coverage will include the development and deployment of sophisticated reporting and dashboard systems to monitor and manage operations. Industry-standard business intelligence software utilized.
- ET 6190 - Six Sigma 3 credit hours
ET 6190 - Six Sigma
Prerequisite: MATH 1530 or equivalent or consent of instructor. The Six Sigma methodology is defined as a comprehensive and flexible system for achieving, sustaining, and maximizing business success. Through class instruction, simulations, and hands-on projects, students will be able to identify and focus on customers' critical-to-quality (CTQ) characteristics and solve problems using the define, measure, analyze, improve, and control (DMAIC) process and its associated tools. A Green Belt certification will be awarded upon successful completion of an industry/business Green Belt project.
- ET 6010 - Safety Planning 3 credit hours
ET 6010 - Safety Planning
Advanced study of planning in occupational safety and health management, including program planning and development methods and techniques as well as various systems approaches to hazard control.
- ET 6390 - Productivity Strategies/Lean Systems 3 credit hours
ET 6390 - Productivity Strategies/Lean Systems
Prerequisites: Graduate standing and ET 3910 or consent of instructor. Topics include the human element (supervisory and teamwork skills), the theoretical aspect (laws and science covering service and production systems), and the practical aspect (tools for lean operational systems implementation). Theoretical and practical methods needed to complete a required industry/business project and obtain a certification in Lean Manufacturing.
- ET 6870 - Engineering Management Systems 3 credit hours
ET 6870 - Engineering Management Systems
Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Advanced topics related to engineering management systems with a focus on innovation implementation for technical products, technical processes, and for business models in a technical environment. Implementation strategies integrating current and emerging technologies into manufacturing, health care and service industries. Components needed for the construction of new venture business plans to create new technology businesses and jobs.
- file a degree plan in the College of Graduate Studies prior to admission into the program;
- file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the term in which candidate intends to graduate.
Graduate assistantships are available on a competitive basis to full-time students in the Health Care Informatics program. In addition to a monthly stipend, the university also pays all tuition and most fees for assistantship holders. Non-Tennessee residents who are awarded graduate assistantships are not required to pay out-of-state fees. To learn more about the types of graduate assistantships and to download an application, visit the Graduate Studies Assistantship page.
The College of Graduate Studies also awards a limited number of scholarships. For additional information and applications, visit the Graduate Studies Finance page.
In addition to assistantships and scholarships, MTSU's Office of Financial Aid assists graduate students seeking other forms of financial support while in school.
Contact and Student Information
Dr. Yating Hu, Health Care Informatics Coordinator
Phone | 615-898-2097
Saeed Foroudastan, Associate Dean
College of Basic and Applied Sciences
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 83
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
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