Health Informatics Degrees in California

While only the third largest state in terms of area, California is the most populous state in the nation, a fact that lends itself to plenty of jobs in the healthcare industry, including jobs for graduates with health informatics degrees in California. Health informatics mixes computer science and information technology with healthcare. Just as in any other industry, information is key in the healthcare industry, and today’s technological advances require that information be procured, stored, and accessed in ways that were unheard of even a few decades ago. Graduates with a degree in health informatics are in demand in all areas of healthcare, including alternative medicine.

National University

School of Health and Human Services, Department of Health Sciences

Based in San Diego but with locations in several states other than California, National University is the second largest private nonprofit higher education institution in California and the 12th largest in the nation. The Department of Health Sciences in the School of Health and Human Services prepares students for a variety of careers in the health science field by emphasizing clinical skill development and evidence based research. Graduates are prepared to assist in a variety of medical settings managing health and rehabilitation procedures and working toward identifying, evaluating, and preventing diseases and disorders.

Associate of Science in Health Informatics

For students seeking entry-level positions in a variety healthcare organizations, the Associate of Science in Health Informatics degree can provide the knowledge and skills needed to get started. Students in this degree program are prepared to work as specialists in the organization and management of information systems and technologies within the health care field. Course credits are measured in quarter units at this particular school, with a minimum of 96 quarter units required to achieve this associate degree. These include at least 34.5 quarter units of general education requirements, as well as courses on such subjects as public health information technology, electronic health records, and health information systems. Students achieving this degree will have a thorough understanding of how health data management technologies can be used to improve efficiency, organization, and safety of a given healthcare organization, and will be able to implement and maintain such improvements as necessary in their new jobs.

Master of Science in Health Informatics

The Master of Science in health informatics degree program is much more in-depth than the Associate degree detailed above, drawing knowledge from a cross-section of fields within National University. Information and coursework for this degree is taken from the schools of Health and Human Services, Engineering and Technology, and Business Management. In addition to being able to apply principles of technology and how they can be used to maintain and improve healthcare, students learn to evaluate information systems and technology in order to develop new strategies for advancing the ways that information is used and kept within healthcare organizations. Students seeking this Master of Science degree will complete 12 courses, totaling 54 quarter units, of which 11 courses are core requirements and one course is a chosen elective. In addition, students will apply the knowledge gained to case studies, simulations, and a capstone project prior to graduating, ensuring that graduates have the confidence and experience to take on leadership positions within their chosen healthcare fields.

National University Academic Headquarters
School of Health and Human Services
Department of Health Sciences
11255 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, CA 92037

University of California, Davis

Office of Graduate Studies

The University of California, Davis, is the largest in area of the University of California campuses and ranks eighth in the nation among the top public research universities. With more than 34,000 students enrolled here, this university offers 99 undergraduate major programs and 90 graduate programs, the latter of which are handled through the Office of Graduate Studies. The Office of Graduate Studies prides itself on maintaining a culturally and intellectually diverse environment in which students from around the world and within different disciplines can come together and work to address and try to find solutions for real world problems.

Master of Science in Health Informatics

This Master of Science in Health Informatics degree program is designed for professionals who either want to transition into the health informatics field or who want to enhance their current careers and positions with health informatics knowledge. It is considered an interdisciplinary graduate group program, overseen by a chairperson but encompassing research and collaboration from different but related disciplines and areas of research. For example, the graduate group for health informatics would consist of contributing members from the Schools of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, and Nursing, the College of Engineering, and the Health Sciences Library. A total of 43 units of credit are required for this degree, made up of 15 units in required core courses, 19 in electives, and a minimum of nine in “Research in Health Informatics.” The degree also involves a mandatory research and thesis project.

University of California, Davis
School of Medicine
Health Informatics Program
4610 X Street, Suite 2301
Sacramento, CA 95817

University of California, Los Angeles

Graduate Division, Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science

The University of California, Los Angeles, or UCLA, considers itself fueled by optimism and touts the possibilities inherent in challenging the so-called impossible. This public research university states its main mission as creating, disseminating, preserving, and applying knowledge for the betterment of a global society. In this effort, the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science provides the background for graduate degrees in Bioengineering, encompassing various fields and subfields of study under the umbrella of either the Master of Science or Doctorate of Philosophy degrees in bioengineering. The following degree description falls under the Master of Science degree.

Master of Science in Bioengineering

Within UCLA, the student seeking a graduate degree in medical imaging informatics would seek to enter a program for a Master of Science in Bioengineering, specializing in the field of Imaging, Informatics, and Systems Engineering (IIS), subfield Medical Imaging Informatics (MII). Students seeking this degree should have a Bachelor degree or its equivalent in engineering, life science, or physical science. Studies on this path will involve coursework from across the disciplines of engineering, computer science, information sciences, and biomedicine, as this is a fairly new and ever evolving area of health informatics that combines biomedical informatics with developments in healthcare imaging. Graduates with this degree will not only work with the process of imaging itself, but will also integrate associated data to help understand the context of the imaging data and ultimately reach new conclusions about the disease or course of medical problems being studied.

UCLA Graduate Division
1237 Murphy Hall
Box 951419
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1419

University of California, San Francisco

Graduate Division

The University of California in San Francisco, or UC San Francisco, is a public research university focused exclusively on health and health-related careers. The Graduate Division oversees all post baccalaureate work in the four professional schools and the Global Health Sciences division, providing broad interdisciplinary education at the highest levels of collaboration and research. The overall mission of this university is to advance health on a global scale, and the Graduate Division prides itself on producing graduates ready for leadership positions across health fields. While graduate studies encompass both master and doctoral levels of study, certain fields offer degrees in only one or the other. The following is one such degree.

Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Biological and Medical Informatics

This degree provides students with skills and knowledge across the disciplines of applied mathematics, statistics, physics, chemistry, biology, informatics, and computer science. Students learn to gather, store, analyze, predict, and disseminate complex information related to biological composition, structure, function, and evolution from molecular to system levels. Graduates are prepared for high-level careers in areas of biotechnology and computer systems, as well as academia. This field is considered an essential part of the healthcare industry, providing quantitative analysis of the ever-growing and massive amount of biological data being generated as the fields of medicine continue to advance. Currently, this doctoral program offers a bioinformatics curriculum pathway that offers in turn two areas of emphasis, Computational Biology and Bioinformatics and Complex Biological Systems. A second pathway in Clinical and Translational Informatics has been offered in the past but is not currently accepting applications.

UCSF Graduate Division
1675 Owens Street, Suite 310
San Francisco, CA 94143-0523

University of San Diego

Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science

The University of San Diego is a nationally ranked Catholic University that is nonetheless dedicated to providing quality education and degrees to people of all faiths. The emphasis here is on producing leaders who are ethical, compassionate, and inspired to engineer social change on a global scale. The Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science is ranked among the top ten percent of graduate nursing programs by U.S. News and World Report. Programs offered include those at both Master’s and Doctoral levels, as well as international programs, and include not only advanced nursing programs but also degrees in health informatics and an entry-level program into nursing for students who have not yet attained their Registered Nurse (RN) degree.

Master of Science in Health Care Informatics

The Master of Science degree in health care informatics involves a minimum of 33 academic units completed, combining computer science and information systems with healthcare to provide more streamlined day-to-day patient care by maintaining all relevant information in one central place and accessible by relevant healthcare professionals. Coursework covers such subjects as introductory course in health care information systems and health care delivery systems, systems analysis, design, database design, and knowledge management, and courses in financial systems management and healthcare leadership and social justice. The degree program also involves a capstone project in the last semester of study. Admission to this program involves the standard basic coursework in medical terminology and statistics, the undergraduate degree from an accredited university and basic computer information management skills and basic understanding of Microsoft Office products. However, applicants must also have completed a minimum of 50 verifiable volunteer hours in an acute care center.

Master of Science in Nursing in Health Care Informatics

This graduate degree is similar to the Master of Science in Health Care Informatics described above, with the exception of the admission requirement that the applicant already have their Registered Nurse (RN) license and degree. This is in place of the required volunteer hours listed under the other degree. In addition, while this degree also requires a minimum of 33 academic units for completion, some coursework is less introductory and more evidence-based, as it is geared toward students already working in the nursing field who wish to advance and broaden their health care and nursing skills or to transition into more of an information management role within the healthcare system. In the final semester of this degree, the capstone project involves a residency in healthcare informatics. Other required courses are the same as those for the above degree, including topics such as financial management in health care systems and systems analysis, database design, and applied statistics.

University of San Diego
Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110

Regardless of where you choose to pursue an advanced degree in healthcare informatics, this is a field that is fairly new and continuously growing, providing the potential for plenty of opportunities both now and into the future. Seeking health informatics degrees in California can put you on the path to a rewarding and lucrative future in healthcare with plenty of job stability and room for growth.

For more information on obtaining your Health Informatics degree, please see 20 Most Affordable Master’s in Health Informatics Degree Programs.