Beginning in fall 2019, students may pursue the master of professional science in biomedical and health informatics (BMHI) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in a new way: online.
Dr. Leah Townsend, director of Graduate School Professional Programs at UNC-Chapel Hill, said the online version of the program is in response to the evolving needs of today’s graduate students. Both the online and residential versions of the BMHI degree’s coursework will also offer part-time and fast-track options, giving students the flexibility they need, program leaders said.
“With strong backing from UNC-Chapel Hill and our industry partner United Health Foundation, we are happy to offer the new online master’s degree in biomedical and health informatics,” said Dr. Javed Mostafa, director of the Carolina Health Informatics Program. “Our hope is that the addition of the online option will offer our current and new students a powerful medium to engage with the Carolina Health Informatics Program and complete the BMHI master’s degree in the most flexible and effective manner.”
The Professional Science Master’s (PSM) program in biomedical and health informatics is a highly interdisciplinary program designed to prepare the next generation of health informatics leaders, program leaders said. Students receive advanced training in technical skills and business fundamentals from faculty of several top-ranked professional schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, including the School of Information and Library Science, Gillings School of Global Public Health, School of Nursing, School of Medicine, Eshelman School of Pharmacy and School of Dentistry. Students further their knowledge and gain practical experience by completing an internship in a clinical or public health setting.
The PSM program in biomedical and health informatics prepares students to:
• Manage large-scale projects related to clinical and public health information systems.
• Develop and evaluate health information systems that influence clinical decision-making and health-care quality.
• Analyze and manage health data for enhancements to clinical practice, biomedical research and public health services.
Recent graduates of the program have gained employment in diverse positions at companies such as IQVIA, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, CapTech and Clover Health.
Biomedical and health informatics will be the second PSM program at UNC-Chapel Hill to be offered completely online, with digital curation and management being the first.
The PSM initiative at UNC-Chapel Hill, now including three programs, was designed to prepare graduate students for the workforce by providing training in business skills such as project management and communication alongside technical domain knowledge and expertise.
UNC-Chapel Hill’s first two PSM programs – in biomedical and health informatics and in toxicology – began in 2014 after years of collaborative planning among The Graduate School, UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and external board members with significant industry experience. UNC-Chapel Hill added its third program, completely online, in digital curation and management in 2017.