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Medical Informatics MS

Pete Lutz, Graduate Program Director
(585) 475-6162, Peter.Lutz@rit.edu

http://www.ist.rit.edu/

Program overview

Medical informatics, also known as health IT, studies the nature of medical data and the use of information technology to manage health-related information in medical practice, education, and research. With increases in the application and uses of information technology in the medical industry, there is an unprecedented need for professionals who can combine their knowledge of computing and of health care to improve the safety and quality of care delivery, as well as to help control costs.

Medical informatics is an emerging profession that applies the creative power of information technology to the information and data needs of health care. This includes the acquisition, storage, and retrieval of patient data, as well as access to electronically maintained medical knowledge for use in patient care, research, and education. Professionals in the field require computing expertise; an understanding of formal medical terminology, clinical processes, and guidelines; and an understanding of how information and communication systems can be used to successfully deliver patient information in various health care settings.

The program is offered jointly by RIT and the University of Rochester’s School of Medicine and Dentistry. Students choose to matriculate at either university, study jointly, and receive a diploma bearing the seals of both institutions. Courses are scheduled so that students can attend offerings at each university without conflict.

The program is offered on a full- or part-time basis. A full-time student can complete the program in approximately two years. For part-time students, completion may take three to four years.

Curriculum

The program is comprised of ten required core courses, three technical electives chosen by the student, and a course-based capstone experience. Depending upon the student’s background, some of the core courses may be replaced. For example, a physician may be allowed to replace Practice of Health Care with a more beneficial course. Similarly, a database professional may be allowed to replace the foundation database course.

Medical informatics, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
HCIN-600 Research Methods 3
MEDI-701 Introduction to Medical Informatics 3
ISTE-608 Database Design and Implementation 3
MEDI-735 Clinical Information Systems 3
MEDI-704 Practice of Health Care 3
ISTE-760 Design, Development, and Deployment of Applications 3
  Technical Elective 3
Second Year
MEDI-788 Capstone in Medical Informatics* 3
MEDI-707 Clinical Decision Support 3
  Technical Electives 6
ISTE-762 Software Economics 3
MEDI-702 Perspectives of Health Informatics 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 39

* The capstone course is purposely scheduled for the fall semester of the second year since the prerequisites are the first-year courses. Students may complete their capstone work in the following spring term should additional time be needed.

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission into the MS program in medical informatics, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree, a graduate degree, MD, RN, or other professional degree from a regionally accredited institution,
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0,
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work,
  • Submit a professional essay describing relevant employment or other experience and career plans (recent undergraduate students without extensive employment experience should discuss their career plans as well as any courses they have completed that are relevant to medical informatics, health care, or information technology.),
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from individuals who are able to assess the applicant's potential for success in the program,
  • Have completed at least one year of computer programming in a current object-oriented language or have equivalent work experience,*
  • Have knowledge of medical terminology/vocabulary, clinical processes, and information systems that are used to support health care activities and processes,*
  • Have a familiarity with anatomy and physiology, including the major systems of the human body, including the skeletal system, muscle tissue physiology, muscular system, nervous system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, urinary system, and histology,*
  • Have completed the equivalent of one statistics course that covers the fundamental statistical principles necessary to interpret data and present results, including descriptive statistics, random sampling, normal distribution, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing* (This prerequisite may be completed post-admission if necessary.),
  • Submit a current resume, and
  • Complete a graduate application.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Minimum scores of 570 (paper-based) or 88 (Internet-based) are required.

* These competencies may be demonstrated through previous course work, technical certifications, or comparable employment experience. RIT and UR offer courses that may be used to bridge areas where gaps occur in an applicant's background. Prerequisite study must be completed with at least a B grade to continue in the program. Contact the graduate program director for course selection and planning assistance.

Applicants without previous graduate study and with an undergraduate GPA that is less than 3.0 may be considered for admission, but will be required to submit Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. Applicants from international universities are required to submit GRE scores.

An interview with the program’s admissions committee may also be required. The program accepts students for fall semester entry only.

Additional information

Maximum time limit

University policy requires that graduate programs be completed within seven years of the student's initial registration for courses in the program. Bridge courses are excluded.

[arrow] Click to view program requirements in the Quarter Calendar

Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.

Program overview

Medical informatics studies the nature of medical information and the use of information technology to manage health-related records and content in medical practice, education, and research. With increases in the application and uses of information technology to the medical industry, there is an unprecedented need for professionals who can use their knowledge of both information technology and health care to improve the safety and quality of health care delivery, plus help control costs.

Medical informatics is an emerging profession in which the power of information technology is creatively applied to the information needs of health care. This includes the acquisition, storage, and retrieval of patient data, as well as access to electronically maintained medical knowledge for use in patient care, research, and education. This field requires computing expertise; understanding formal medical terminology, clinical processes, and guidelines; and the application of information and communication systems that can successfully delivery patient information in a number of healthcare settings.

The program is offered jointly by RIT and the University of Rochester’s School of Medicine and Dentistry. Students choose to matriculate at one of the universities, where they will earn their degree and receive a diploma bearing the seals of both institutions. Students take courses at both universities. The University of Rochester has an academic calendar based upon 15-week semesters, while RIT has 10-week academic quarters. However, all courses are scheduled so that students can attend courses offered by at each university without conflict.

The program is offered on a full- or part-time basis. The full-time program may be completed in approximately two years. For part-time students, competition may take three to four years.

Curriculum

The medical informatics degree is comprised of nine required core courses, a three-course concentration, plus a two-course capstone experience. Students may choose from a set of pre-approved concentrations or, with the pre-approval of the faculty, define a specialized concentration. Depending upon the student’s background, some of the program’s core courses may be replaced. For example, a physician may be allowed to replace a course such as The Practice of Health Care (4006-704/MFI 404) with one that will be more beneficial. Similarly, a database professional may be allowed to replace the foundation database course.

Concentrations

All students complete a three-course concentration for depth. The six pre-approved concentration options are: electronic health record development*, database systems†, clinical systems integration†, Web applications for medicine†, management†, or public health‡. With the approval of the faculty, the student may create a customized concentration by selecting courses from the existing concentrations or from related areas, such as bioinformatics or computer systems security.

* Courses for this concentration are available at both RIT and UR.

† Courses for this concentration are available at RIT only.

‡ Courses for this concentration are available at UR only.

Capstone

The capstone is a two-course experience, for a total of four academic credits, and is completed in two consecutive academic terms.

Medical informatics, MS degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

CourseQtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
4002-726 Research Methods 4
4006-701 Introduction to Medical Informatics 4
4006-735 Clinical Information Systems (EHR) 4
4006-702 Perspectives of Health Informatics 4
4006-704 Practice of Health Care 4
4006-707 Clinical Decision Support 4
4002-720 Data Modeling and Database Implementation 4
4006-780 Design, Development, and Deployment of Applications 4
4002-820 Economics of Software Development 4
  Concentration Course 1, 2, 3 12
4006-887 Capstone in Medical Informatics I 2
4006-888 Capstone in Medical Informatics II 2
Total Quarter Credit Hours 48

Courses

RIT Course #UR Course #Course Title
4002-726 MFI 406 Research Methods†
4006-701 MFI 400 Introduction to Medical Informatics‡
4006-735 MFI 403 Clinical Information Systems (EHR)†
4006-702 MFI 402 Perspectives of Health Informatics‡
4006-704 MFI 404 Practice of Health Care‡
4006-707 MFI 407 Clinical Decision Support‡
4002-720 MFI 430 Data Modeling and Database Implementation†
4006-780 MFI 405 Design, Development, and Deployment of Applications†
4002-820 MFI 401 Economics of Software Development†
4006-887 MIF 408A Capstone in Medical Informatics I†
4006-888 MIF 408B Capstone in Medical Informatics II†

† Course offered at RIT.

‡ Course offered at UR.

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission into the MS in medical informatics, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution (with a minimum GPA of 3.0), a graduate degree, MD, RN, or other professional degree,
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work,
  • Submit a professional essay describing relevant employment or other experience and career plans. Recent undergraduate students without extensive employment experience should discuss their career plans as well as any courses they have completed that are relevant to medical informatics, health care, or information technology.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from individuals who are able to assess the applicant's potential for success in the program,
  • Have completed at least one year of computer programming in a current object-oriented language or equivalent work experience,*
  • Have knowledge of the medical terminology/vocabulary, clinical processes, and information systems that are used to support health care activities and processes,*
  • Have a familiarity with anatomy and physiology, including the major systems of the human body, including: the skeletal system, muscle tissue physiology, muscular system, nervous system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, urinary system, and histology,*
  • Have completed the equivalent of one statistics course that covers the fundamental statistical principles necessary to interpret data and present results, including descriptive statistics, random sampling, normal distribution, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. (This prerequisite may be completed post-admission if necessary.)*
  • Submit a current resume.
  • Complete a graduate application.
  • International applicants, whose native language is not English, must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Minimum scores of 570 (paper-based) or 88 (Internet-based) are required.

* These competencies may be demonstrated through previous course work, technical certifications, or comparable employment experience. RIT and UR offer courses that may be used to bridge areas where gaps occur in an applicant's background. Prerequisite study must be completed with at least a B grade to continue in the program. Contact the graduate coordinator for assistance.

Applicants without previous graduate study and with an undergraduate GPA that is less than 3.0 may be considered for admission, but will be required to submit Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. Applicants from international universities are required to submit GRE scores.

An interview with the program’s admissions committee may also be required. This program may be started in fall terms only.

Additional information

Maximum time limit

University policy requires that graduate programs be completed within seven years of the student's initial registration for courses in the program. Bridge courses are excluded.