How Long Does It Take to Obtain a Degree in Health Informatics?

How long does it take to get a health informatics degree? Well, it depends. Health informatics, the field of study that deals with the technology side of health care, is pretty broad and involves the study of many different sub-specialties. Students have a lot to learn, and that will take time. There are many factors that affect the completion time for a health informatics degree, and it will ultimately depend on the choices that an individual makes.

Duration Is Dependent on the Program Type

Health Informatics programs typically come in three different flavors: associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, or master’s degrees. Each degree type has a unique length requirement. An associate’s degree in health informatics will generally take two years of full-time study to complete. A bachelor’s degree in health informatics will commonly require four years of study as a full-time student. A master’s degree in health informatics will likely take two years of full-time study. Whichever degree program you decide to take will affect your time in school.

Schools Also Determine the Length of Their Health Informatics Degree Programs

Every school sets different requirements in place for completing a degree in health informatics. One of those is a credit requirement. Students must take at least a certain number of credits to be eligible for graduation. For instance, the Master of Science in Medical Informatics degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee School of Engineering is a total of 54 credit hours long, according to Information Week. Considering that a full-time student takes an average of 15 credits per semester, that particular program would take nearly four semesters, or two school years, to finish. That’s if everything goes as planned. The New England College MBA in Health Informatics is 40 credit hours long, according to the same source. That would likely take three semesters as a full-time student. Northeastern University’s MS in Health Informatics degree is 33 credit hours long, or just about one year of full-time study. Notice that the programs mentioned are all master’s level programs since health informatics is most commonly a graduate degree program. Bachelor’s and associate’s degree programs will have their own credit requirements.

Students Will Complete Programs at Their Own Pace

The health informatics discipline is one that’s suited for individuals who are comfortable with computers and technology in general. Some people are simply more naturally talented at doing certain things than others. Students also absorb and process new material at different speeds. There are those who read very fast and pick up important bits of data the first time around, and there are also those who need to review the information multiple times before fully comprehending it. All of these factors and more influence the time it will take to complete a health informatics degree. It all boils down to the skills and abilities of the individual.

Health informatics professionals are crucial to the everyday operations of hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Their expertise with using computers and other technologies for the collection, storage, and retrieval of data ensures that doctors and other medical professionals get the information they need when they need it. Becoming a health informatics professional requires completing an accredited degree program, but programs vary greatly in total length depending on the type, school attended, and individual ability. If you’re truly interested in the discipline, you wouldn’t be too concerned with how long does it take to get a health informatics degree because what matters more is getting accepted into the program of your choice.