MS in Health Informatics and Bioinformatics

Degree Requirements

The residential MS in Health Informatics (MSHI) curriculum requires 36 credit hours of course work, which include foundational coursework in health information technology as well as health services management.  Prior coursework in computer science is not required.  Residential MSHI students have the option to complete a 12-week internship during the summer following their first year, although it is not required for the degree.*  HMI's executive-in-residence will work with HI students who wish to complete an internship to find an appropriate placement.  For a list of recent internship placements, please see

The MSHI curriculum integrates learning across computer science, health informatics, and health services management, and also develops students’ research interests.  Those with excellent academic records are encouraged to pursue a PhD degree in Informatics.  Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative MU graduate grade point average to earn the Master's degree.  Individuals with three or more years of professional experience are encouraged to apply for admission to the Executive MSHI cohort (please see information below).

Required Courses
HMI 7410Introduction to the US Health Care System3
HMI 7430Introduction to Health Informatics3
HMI 7440Health Information Technology3
HMI 8435Information Security, Evaluation and Policy3
HMI 8437Data Warehousing and Data/Text Mining for Health Care3
HMI 8441Biomedical and Health Vocabularies and Ontologies3
HMI 8443Enterprise Information Architecture for Knowledge Driven Healthcare Systems3
HMI 8571Decision Support in Health Care Systems3
HMI 8550Health Data Analytics3
HMI 8610Consumer Health Informatics3
HMI 8870Knowledge Representation in Biology and Medicine3
HMI 8090Thesis Research in Health Management and Informatics3

If a student chooses to complete an internship, s/he must register for HMI 8689 Field Experience in Health Management and Informatics and must abide by all internship program requirements.

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Sample Plan of Study

First Year
HMI 74103HMI 84413
HMI 85443HMI 84433
HMI 74303HMI 85713
 HMI 85503
 9 12
Second Year
HMI 84353HMI 88703
HMI 84373HMI 80903
HMI 86103 
 9 6
Total Credits: 36

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Thesis/Non-Thesis Requirement

Residential MSHI students have the option to complete a formal Master's thesis, which must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies.  Students who choose not to complete a thesis must complete a substantial independent research project.  All MSHI students must present their thesis or independent research during their oral comprehensive examination in their final semester.

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Financial Aid

Applicants to the Residential MSHI cohort who wish to be considered for financial assistance from the HMI Department should apply by March 1, the priority deadline.  Those who apply by the deadline and meet academic requirements (see Admissions Requirements section below) will be considered for available scholarships and assistantship positions.  All financial assistance is awarded on the basis of merit, availability of funding, and alignment of student and faculty research interests and skills.  Further information about costs, financial aid, and external scholarship opportunities is available on the HMI Department's website at:

Executive students who are not Columbia, MO residents and who apply for financial aid through MU's Office of Student Financial Aid are eligible for travel budgets to help offset travel costs for on-campus weekends.  Students who are MU employees are eligible for a tuition reduction through MU's Educational Assistance program.

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Executive MSHI Program

In addition to the residential (on-campus) mode, the MSHI degree is offered in an alternative format for professionals who have significant experience in health informatics.  HMI accepts an Executive MSHI cohort to begin in January of each year.  The executive MSHI combines three on-campus weekend sessions per semester with independent study and online interaction in an innovative two-year course of study, and requires 33 credit hours of health informatics coursework.  Students must complete a substantial independent research project, which they present during their oral comprehensive examination in their final semester.  For additional information about the Executive MSHI degree, including a sample plan of study, please visit or call the Student Recruitment Specialist at (573) 884-0698.

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Admissions Requirements

Deadline for Fall entrance: Rolling; Priority deadline March 1

A minimum of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution

Undergraduate GPA: 3.0 during the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work and any subsequent graduate course work

Minimum TOEFL scores:

Internet-based test (iBT) Paper-based test (PBT)
100 603
  • Minimum Academic IELTS scores:
Item Score

Minimum GRE scores:

When did you take the GRE? Verbal + Quantitative
Prior to August 1, 2011 50th percentile
On or After August 1, 2011 50th percentile
  • In lieu of GRE, minimum GMAT score: 50th percentile.  HMI also accepts LSAT and MCAT scores.  GRE scores are not required for applicants to the Executive cohort.

The Health Management and Informatics Department recruits and accepts qualified applicants regardless of race, sex, age, physical ability, or national origin.

Required Application Materials

Master's program applicants should apply online through the Office of Graduate Studies application system. When completing the online application, you will have an opportunity to upload/attach additional documents. Please include the following documents:

  • an updated résumé or curriculum vitae;
  • personal essay that:
    • outlines your professional plans and career objectives;
    • explains how you became interested in health services management/health informatics and how your prior training and experience would help your career;
    • includes specific issues and problems in health care you consider challenging and why;
    • indicates if you intend to apply to the traditional (residential) on-campus degree program or the distance education (executive) format.

Depending upon your situation, you will also be required to submit other documentation and in some cases complete prerequisite courses. Below is a checklist to help make sure your application is complete:

  • Admissions Criteria (make sure you meet all minimum requirements)
  • Request to re-enroll form (for previously admitted students only)
  • Official transcripts of all coursework from all colleges, technical schools and/or universities attended
  • Three letters of recommendation (submitted through the Graduate School application system)
  • Letter of support from your employer. (Executive Students only)
  • Official GRE/GMAT score report (Residential Students only)
  • Official TOEFL report (for international applicants only - have official results sent to us: institution code is 6875, our department code is 25 - minimum score of 100 on the Internet-based exam required)
  • Prerequisites - Links to information about prerequisites for each degree program are available at

Admissions Contact for MSHI Degree

Veronica Lemme, Student Recruitment Specialist
CE740 CS&E Building, DC006.00
One Hospital Drive
Columbia, MO 65212
(573) 884-0698

PhD in Informatics

MU also offers a PhD in Informatics through the MU Informatics Institute.