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Top 25 Health Information Management Degree Programs 2017-2018

Healthcare Management Degree Guide - Top Degree Programs 2017
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By HMDG Staff
May 2017

What are the options for students who earn a bachelor of science in health information management?

According to the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), “health information management (HIM) is the practice of acquiring, analyzing, and protecting digital and traditional medical information vital to providing quality patient care.” It combines some essential industries – namely business, technology, and medicine – into one career field.

HIM professionals perform a crucial role in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, and many also find work in education, consulting, and insurance services. Many of those who work in clinical settings even earn a special Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) certification. And the demand for people trained in health information management/technology is increasing. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs for both medical services managers and health information technicians will grow much faster than average between now and 2024.

Finding the 25 Best Health Information Management Programs

All of the schools we considered for this top ranking are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). CAHIIM sets a variety of stringent curriculum requirements for all accredited programs, but perhaps its biggest emphasis is on work-related training. We followed a similar approach in developing this ranking, assessing programs on several factors related to experiential learning and career preparation.

In total, we judged HIM programs in seven categories:

  1. Professional Development, as determined by the number of “Professional Practice Experiences” (PPEs)* the curriculum requires.
  2. Skills Training, as determined by the breadth and depth of PPEs (Do each of these experiences address a different skill set – like technical knowledge/coding or managerial methods?).
  3. Internship Requirement, as determined by whether or not the curriculum requires students to complete an internship**.
  4. Culminating Experience, as determined by the presence of a final synthesis requirement, such as a capstone project or senior seminar.
  5. RHIA Exam Preparation, as determined by the existence of some sort of curriculum-integrated RHIA exam prep, whether as a standalone class or as part of another course.
  6. Research Component, as determined by the number of health-related research, statistics, and/or methodology courses (optional or required) that the curriculum includes.
  7. Net Cost, as determined by the average calculated “net price” for undergraduates (see College Navigator for more information).

*Different programs have different interpretations of what qualifies as a professional practice experience, but for the purposes of this ranking we defined a PPE as any course that primarily consists of hands-on, non-internship (see below) practicum, clinical, or laboratory-training activities.
**For the purposes of this ranking, an internship is distinct from a PPE and is defined as an on-site, real-world experience at an actual business or healthcare facility, usually lasting at least four weeks and taking place either at the end of the program or in the summer before senior year.

Taken together, the first three categories (which account for 50% of the total score) provide a comprehensive assessment of the career-relevant training opportunities that each program provides. The latter four categories assess other curricular strengths as well as its affordability. Each college we ranked received a final score out of 10 points.

Read more about the 25 that earned the highest scores – the overall 25 best HIM programs – below!


LIU Post Best Health Information Management Degrees
As is typical of most health information management programs, LIU’s curriculum prepares graduates to sit for the RHIA national certification exam.

25. LIU Post

Brookville, NY
BS in Health Information Management

Website
Long Island University’s BS in Health Information Management combines practicality and convenience to deliver a career-oriented degree for career-focused students. This accredited HIM program’s 129-credit curriculum provides a solid foundation in essential skills like coding, regulatory compliance, and quality management so that graduates can hit the ground running and immediately succeed in their first job out of college. And LIU makes this transition to the real world even easier by offering all senior-level coursework online. During their final year, seniors also complete two Professional Practice Experiences: a “Coding Virtual Lab” (available at a distance) and a Directed Practicum.
Net Price: $28,576
Score: 3.5

East Carolina University Best Health Information Management Degrees
Thanks to well-developed distance education system, ECU’s top HIM program is available to applicants all across the country.

24. East Carolina University

Greenville, NC
BS Degree in Health Information Management

Website
As the only university with a four-year, CAHIIM accredited healthcare information management degree, ECU already has a leg up on the local competition. But this degree easily competes on a national level as well; in fact, the program’s RHIA exam pass rate in 2016 was an unbeatable 100%! There are likely numerous explanations for the graduates’ high performance, but ECU’s tough classes – which include plenty of group work and a 160-hour internship – certainly deserve much of the credit. Interestingly, these stringent requirements haven’t prevented the department from offering a completely online version of the program. Students simply need to make sure they check their email daily, keep up with assignments, and find an internship site in their hometown.
Net Price: $13,300
Score: 3.75

Indiana University Best Health Information Management Degrees
The hands-on component of this top health information management program consists of a two-part, project-based professional practice experience.

23. Indiana University

Bloomington, IN
Health Information Management Bachelor of Science

Website
Indiana University’s School of Informatics and Computing is entirely devoted to providing high-tech programs that meet the demands of the nation’s fastest-growing industries. So it’s no wonder that an affordable bachelor of science in health information management is on the school’s list of degree options. The technological foundations of the program are easily visible in the curriculum, too. Students begin taking classes in data management, database design, and even human-computer interaction as early as freshman year, then progress to more targeted upper-level courses like “Quantitative Analysis of Health Information” and “Clinical Information Systems.”
Net Price: $13,289
Score: 4.25

Illinois State University Best Health Information Management Degrees
Majors in this HIM program benefit from the assistance of a designated academic advisor and internship coordinator.

22. Illinois State University

Normal, IL
BS in Health Information Management

Website
Every aspect of Illinois State University’s HIM degree is geared toward helping students be successful in their future careers. The curriculum, for example, doesn’t just offer a solid foundation of coursework in health science information/management; it also includes several general IT classes – like “Hardware and Software Concepts” and “Computer Application Programming” to ensure that undergraduates will leave with a toolbox of skills that are marketable in multiple industries. But the program goes even further to prove its status as one of the best health information management degrees by offering a special senior seminar that prepares students for “initial employment and the RHIA examination.”
Net Price: $17,509
Score: 4.5

University of Saint Mary Best Health Information Management Degrees
Individuals pursuing their bachelor of science in health information management at USM will participate in a PPE and an internship before graduating.

21. University of Saint Mary

Leavenworth, KS
Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management

Website
Program directors at the University of Saint Mary seem to know exactly what it takes to prepare undergraduates for rewarding careers in healthcare technology. And the thoughtfully-designed curriculum merges four distinct areas of study – management, IT, research, and classification systems – to do just that. USM has even put forth extra effort to ensure that it maintains an affordable health information management program for all students. Most significantly, it has developed 2+2 agreements with multiple community colleges in the area, extending the accessibility of its coursework while also lowering the total cost over four years.
Net Price: $17,568
Score: 4.5

Coppin State University Best Health Information Management Degrees
CSU offers one of the most affordable health information management programs on this list.

20. Coppin State University

Baltimore, MD
Bachelor’s Degree in Health Information Management

Website
With an average net price of just over $9,000 a year, Coppin State University’s affordable health information management program is a bit more limited in its amenities and resources (multiple degree tracks, senior seminars, etc.) than what more expensive programs can offer. And yet, maintaining affordable costs has done little to detract from the overall quality of this HIM degree. In fact, CSU boasts an excellent track record of student success. In addition to employer and graduate surveys that report levels of satisfaction with the program at nearly 100%, CSU’s combined graduate employment and graduate school acceptance rates push well into the high nineties.
Net Price: $9,043
Score: 4.75

The College of Saint Scholastica Best Health Information Management Degrees
Saint Scholastica offers one of the only four-year accredited bachelor of science in health information management degrees in Minnesota.

19. The College of Saint Scholastica

Duluth, MN
B.S. in Health Information Management

Website
As the first college in the entire country to offer both undergraduate and graduate programs in health information management, the College of Saint Scholastica has attracted attention for its unusual commitment to the field. In fact, the school actually offers two options at the undergrad level: a traditional B.S. and an accelerated online version. But no matter where they are located, all HIM majors will participate in a two-week PPE at a clinical site (advisors can help students find a geographically convenient option). And just as one would expect from a top health information administration degree program, TCSS reports a 100% satisfaction rate from employers who hire HIM grads.
Net Price: $22,719
Score: 5

University of Louisiana Lafayette Best Health Information Management Degrees
To boost the appeal of their health information management degree, ULL offers a supplementary minor in health informatics.

18. University of Louisiana-Lafayette

Lafayette, LA
BS in Health Information Management

Website
When it comes to career readiness, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette will give even the very best health information administration degree programs a run for their money. And at ULL, there is no better way to prepare students for the professional world than to overload them with hands-on experience. In addition to completing two PPEs in their senior year, HIM majors in their final semester at Lafayette will participate in a four-week managerial internship to ease their transition into the job market. What’s more, HIM undergrads have access to a dedicated computer lab equipped with state-of-the-art software – including the AHIMA’s internet-based, practical work environment (known as Virtual Lab or VLab).
Net Price: $9,065
Score: 5.25

University of Illinois at Chicago Best Health Information Management Degrees
Before graduating from this accredited health information management program, UIC students complete a practicum and final seminar course.

17. University of Illinois at Chicago

Chicago, IL
Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management

Website
The University of Illinois at Chicago advertises its HIM degree as a two or three year program for full- and part-time students, respectively. However, this doesn’t mean that undergrads should expect to earn their bachelor’s in half the traditional timeframe. Because UIC organizes its curriculum solely around upper-level, major-specific coursework, sophomores at the university can apply directly to the HIM program only after they have completed all of the prerequisites (a common format for accredited health information administration degree programs). Undergrads then spend their junior and senior years concentrating exclusively on HIM topics like “Coding and Reimbursement Systems,” “Health Data Structures and Management,” and “Alternative Health Records.”
Net Price: $11,494
Score: 5.5

Rutgers University New Brunswick Best Health Information Management Degrees
Rutgers has one of the best HIM programs for those who want to concentrate their studies on a particular subfield or career interest.

16. Rutgers University-New Brunswick

New Brunswick, NJ
BS in Health Information Management

Website
Like UIC, Rutgers University offers its affordable health information administration degree program in two stages. Undergrads can apply to the School of Health Professions directly from Rutgers or an affiliate school (the list for which includes more than half a dozen other colleges in New Jersey). Once accepted, students embark on a five semester (including one summer) course plan that leans heavily on bioinformatics topics like disease pathology, coding, and performance improvement. Uniquely, Rutgers also organizes its electives into pseudo-concentration areas, enabling HIM majors to acquire specialized knowledge in one of five areas: Health Information Leadership, Healthcare Compliance, Healthcare Informatics, Information Analytics, or Medical Coding.
Net Price: $15,869
Score: 5.5

Temple University Best Health Information Management Degrees
Temple rounds out its top health information management degree curriculum with a writing-intensive seminar that emphasizes critical thinking skills.

15. Temple University

Philadelphia, PA
Health Information Management (BS)

Website
A recent outcomes assessment showed that 100% of graduates expressed satisfaction with the quality of Temple’s HIM program, while 100% of employers gave positive performance reviews to those graduates. These statistics should easily convince readers that Temple has one of the best bachelor of science in health information management degrees in the country. But what keeps students – and employers – so satisfied? One factor is surely the career-oriented curriculum, which requires majors to complete a “Professional Practice Internship,” which focuses on the logistics of healthcare (such as reimbursement systems and patient care registries), as well as a “Management Internship,” which puts greater emphasis on the administrative aspects of healthcare.
Net Price: $20,236
Score: 6

University of Washington Seattle Best Health Information Management Degrees
UWS’s health information administration degree program sets itself apart from the rest with professional mentorships for every student.

14. University of Washington-Seattle

Seattle, WA
Bachelor’s Degree in Health Informatics & Health Information Management

Website
Ranked 6th in the nation by US News, the University of Washington’s School of Public Health is home to one of the best health information administration degree programs money can buy. This program combines a rigorous curriculum with ample practical experience opportunities and flexible scheduling. UWS’s required capstone project, in particular, is a great way for students to gain experience in the field as they pursue independent research in a local hospital or clinic. UWS also features a unique mentorship program, which pairs HIM undergraduates with experienced HIM professionals who provide them with insight and guidance.
Net Price: $9,744
Score: 6.25

Ohio State University Best Health Information Management Degrees
OSU’s Wexner Medical Center provides numerous opportunities for students in the health information management program to acquire hands-on experience.

13. Ohio State University

Columbus, OH
Undergraduate Degree in Health Information and Management Systems

Website
For the past two years, graduates of Ohio State University’s top health information management program have reported a 100% RHIA exam pass rate. What’s more, the HIM program also boasts a 100% five-year completion rate. Part of what makes this program so effective is its multidisciplinary curriculum, which spans “management principles, information systems, finance and reimbursement knowledge and ethical considerations” to prepare students for the myriad challenges of this continually evolving field. But an OSU education isn’t limited to the classroom; from the OSU Wexner Medical Center to numerous affiliated clinics off-campus, there are many opportunities for HIM undergraduates to gain practical training as well.
Net Price: $18,502
Score: 6.25

Chicago State University Best Health Information Management Degrees
CSU’s HIM program comes in two phases to ensure that students build their professional experience on top of a strong theoretical foundation.

12. Chicago State University

Chicago, IL
Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Information Administration

Website
Chicago State University divides the curriculum for its accredited bachelor of science in health information management into two parts: a pre-professional (freshman and sophomore years) and professional (junior and senior years) phase. In the first two years of the program, undergraduates complete a core curriculum in the liberal arts and take a number of science/medical classes in order to lay the groundwork for more advanced study. In this second half of the program, coursework directly related to the field accompanies both Technical and Management Professional Practical Experience (PPE) courses.
Net Price: $10,793
Score: 6.5

Dakota State University Best Health Information Management Degrees
DSU’s health information management degree program prioritizes management training over technical expertise.

11. Dakota State University

Madison, SD
Health Information Administration (BS)

Website
Unlike most of the other schools on this list, Dakota State University doesn’t specifically offer an accredited HIM program; instead, it offers an accredited BS in Health Information Administration (HIA). While the difference between the two titles is largely cosmetic, it does speak to DSU’s emphasis on administrative rather than technical training. Students still learn about information systems and healthcare technology, but the bulk of the hands-on experience at DSU consists of management preparation via “Supervised Professional Practice” course modules. HIA majors also have the opportunity to network with classmates, colleagues, and alumni through DSU’s Health Information Management Club.
Net Price: $13,953
Score: 6.75

Texas State University Best Health Information Management Degrees
At TSU, there are many ways to earn a health information management degree.

10. Texas State University

San Marcos, TX
BS Degree in Health Information Management

Website
Texas State University offers a number of opportunities for students of various professional and educational backgrounds to earn a top health information management degree. In addition to a traditional residential BSHIM degree, TSU’s College of Health Professions supports an online BSHIM, an HIT progression program (for those who have already completed their associate’s degree), and a post-baccalaureate option (for students with an undergraduate degree in another field). But despite their differences in delivery and course requirements, all these options feature the same key components: management seminars, professional practicums, and leadership training.
Net Price: $12,728
Score: 7

Texas Southern University Best Health Information Management Degrees
Texas Southern’s HIM program delivers a broad curriculum using a variety of dynamic and engaging teaching methods.

9. Texas Southern University

Houston, TX
BS in Health Information Management

Website
Texas Southern University’s BSHIM curriculum provides a comprehensive introduction to this high-tech and high-stakes profession. In a given semester, HIM majors at Texas Southern can expect to take courses in topics that span business, IT, law, and even medical terminology—and that’s even after completing their general education requirements. And while those subjects aren’t exactly rare among top health information management programs, what’s more unique to Texas Southern is the combination of delivery methods it utilizes. Combining lectures, labs, seminars, group projects, independent research, internships, and more, Texas Southern’s dynamic program keeps students engaged while covering an impressive range of academic and professional material.
Net Price: $14,440
Score: 7.25

University of Pittsburgh Best Health Information Management Degrees
Pittsburgh’s four semesters of required internships make its HIM program one of the most rigorous in the country.

8. University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA
Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management

Website
With an average net price of $24,000 a year, the University of Pittsburgh doesn’t exactly have the most affordable health information management program on this list. However, applicants can offset the relatively high cost of attendance with a number of merit scholarships available through PHIMA, AHIMA, and the HIMSS Foundation. And the high-quality education at Pittsburgh makes a strong case for its own value. For one thing, Pittsburgh has some of the strictest internship requirements of any HIM program, devoting four entire semesters to experiential learning. And thanks to the schools wide network of affiliates, students can choose from over 200 organizations and centers nationwide to complete their hands-on training.
Net Price: $24,311
Score: 7.75

Southern University at New Orleans Best Health Information Management Degrees
SUNO’s affordable health information management degree is every bit as practical as its more expensive counterparts.

7. Southern University at New Orleans

New Orleans, LA
Health Information Management Systems Program

Website
At the other end of the price spectrum is Southern University at New Orleans, which sports an annual net price of just $7,600 – making its top health information management degree one of the cheapest available. But just as with all the other schools on this ranking, there is much more to this program than its price tag. In fact, SUNO offers many of the same resources and learning opportunities available at much more expensive colleges, including research classes, required internships, and RHIA exam preparation. SUNO matches them in rigor, as well; HIM majors aren’t eligible for graduation until they score at least 70% on a mock RHIA exam.
Net Price: $7,685
Score: 8

Missouri Western State University Best Health Information Management Degrees
Top graduate success rates and low costs makes MWSU’s HIM program one of the best on this list.

6. Missouri Western State University

Saint Joseph, MO
BS in Health Information Management

Website
Missouri Western State University’s low net price and abundant opportunities for hands-on training both contribute to its reputation as one of the best places to earn an accredited health information management degree. For just under $10,000 a year (on average), HIM majors at MWSU gain access to a rigorous curriculum that spans information technology, communications, management, and medicine. Program members also have the opportunity to complete two professional practice experiences. Although practicums typically take place during regular work hours, MWSU also provides flexible scheduling through hybrid/online course delivery. And as if all that weren’t enough, it’s worth mentioning that last year’s program graduates reported an impressive 100% RHIA exam pass rate.
Net Price: $9,933
Score: 8.25

Tennessee State University Best Health Information Management Degrees
TSU is home to Tennessee’s only accredited bachelor of science in health information management program.

5. Tennessee State University

Nashville, TN
BS in Health Information Management

Website
With the only accredited bachelor of science in health information management program in the state, Tennessee State University is the default choice for local residents interested in finding a career in the field. But it’s also a viable option in its own right; TSU’s $9,600 annual net price and PPE requirements are evidence enough of that. But that’s not all, of course. TSU’s curriculum also requires HIM majors to complete not one, but two distinct capstone projects in “Health Care Finance” and “Health Care Research.” To top it all off, students have the option of earning a degree specialization in General Business to extend their management skills beyond the healthcare field.
Net Price: $9,604
Score: 9.25

University of Central Florida Best Health Information Management Degrees
UCF’s HIM program provides numerous educational opportunities in and out of the classroom.

4. University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL
Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics and Information Management

Website
The University of Central Florida’s affordable health information administration degree program establishes a delicate balance between coursework and hands-on experience. Before HIM majors at UCF can even secure their first internship, they must first complete a host of classes in coding, management, and information systems, plus participate in two PPE courses. By implementing this strict sequence of requirements, UCF ensures that HIM majors continuously integrate theory and practice as they work their way through the program. And the design certainly seems to be paying off; UCF graduates in 2013 and 2014 reported 100% RHIA exam pass rates.
Net Price: $14,366
Score: 9.25

Florida A M University Best Health Information Management Degrees
FAMU’s health information management program features a four-week, full-time internship requirement.

3. Florida A & M University

Tallahassee, FL
BS in Health Informatics and Information Management

Website
With a two-part curriculum and a number of practical experience requirements, Florida A&M University’s affordable health information management program is among the best in the country. FAMU delineates its HIM curriculum into pre-professional and professional programs, where the former contains foundational science, humanities, and communications courses and the latter consists primarily of laboratory and supervised clinical work. After HIM majors complete the two required PPE courses in the professional part of the curriculum, they can choose from a number of local clinics at which to conduct the four-week internship that serves as the capstone for their degree.
Net Price: $11,112
Score: 9.5

Arkansas Tech University Best Health Information Management Degrees
ATU’s affordable HIM program combines a liberal arts core with rigorous professional training.

2. Arkansas Tech University

Russellville, AR
Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Information Management

Website
With a net price of under $10,000 a year, there are few schools with more affordable HIM programs than Arkansas Tech University. At the same time, just as few can match ATU in terms of research courses, internship opportunities, and PPE requirements, either. ATU’s curriculum combines a substantial liberal arts and sciences core with an abundance of professional coursework that ranges from coding and information technology to management and communications. Outside of the classroom, students can also engage with alumni, faculty, and HIM professionals nationwide through ATU’s Student Health Information Management Association (SHIMA).
Net Price: $9,684
Score: 9.75

Indiana University Northwest Best Health Information Management Degrees
IUN offers the best HIM program for the best price.

1. Indiana University-Northwest

Gary, IN
Bachelor of Science in Health Information Administration

Website
Indiana University-Northwest’s net price of less than $7,000 makes it far and away the most affordable HIM program on this list. Of course, that factor alone wouldn’t necessarily make it the best option for every student. By the same token, having a curriculum that includes both PPE and clinical capstone requirements – or boasting a 100% RHIA exam pass rate for the recent graduating class – wouldn’t definitively qualify IUN’s program for the top spot. Fortunately, there’s no need for speculation – this program offers all of these advantages and more. In fact, IUN sets itself even further apart from the competition by conveniently providing all third- and fourth-year HIM coursework completely online.
Net Price: $6,992
Score: 10

Which one of these accredited HIM programs would you like to attend? Let us know in the comments!