Frequently Asked Questions

I live out of state.  Will I have to pay out of state tuition?

With the exception of the last 8 credit hours of our 48 credit-hour program, all out-of-state students may receive in-state tuition. 

What kinds of scholarships are available?

Both UAB and professional organizations within the Health Care IT industry offer scholarships to individuals seeking an advanced degree in the health informatics disciple.  A complete list may be found on theSchool of Health Professions  or the Health Services Administrations websites.

What kind of job am I qualified for when I graduate?

Our alumni are employed in health care organizations across the country as Chief Information Officers, Corporate Vice Presidents of IT and Operations, Directors of Project Management Offices (PMO), consultants, application analysts and practicing clinicians who lead enterprise –wide IT initiatives for their organizations.  The type of job you obtain depends on a number of factors, including years of experience prior to entering the program, willingness to relocate or travel, and motivation.

Is all of my communication with my professors online?
No, our program follows a blended delivery format (all online courses and 2 to 3 residential visits per year), allowing you to meet and interact with MSHI faculty members in person at the beginning and end of most terms.  In addition to interacting with them during your semester course work, all faculty are required to hold weekly office hours where students may call, email, or IM their professor with questions.

How do I find an internship or a project?

The MSHI Program maintains a database of previous internship sites as well as organizations that have expressed an interest in working with our students.  These organizations range from large academic medical centers to health care IT vendors to the CDC.  Students who are interested in completing a project will take two 1-hour planning courses prior their final semester to identify an area of interest to them.  Projects may be completed in the students’ current place of employment, but the subject matter of student’s projects must be outside the realm of their day –to-day professional responsibilities.

Do I have access to library and/or research services?

Yes.  As a UAB student, you will have electronic access to nearly 6,000 journal titles in the health sciences field and over 28,000 journal titles from a variety of disciplines.  An overview of how to access these journals from UAB’s Lister Hill Library is provided at student orientation and is available in each course shell.   The School of Health Professions has its own dedicated librarian at Lister Hill Library to help with access to journals, special publications and training courses.

What kind of tech support can I expect as an online student?

UAB offers a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week tech support hotline for students in online courses.  In addition, all students are trained in how to use the online course management software during their orientation.   Our program also employs two Instructional Design Specialists to ensure that the courses function to their specifications.

What if I need to stop taking classes for a semester?

All of our courses are designed with full time professional students’ work schedules in mind.  Usually, unforeseen events in students’ schedules can be negotiated with their professors.  In the event of a life-changing event mid-semester, the student may elect to receive an incomplete for that course and negotiate with the instructor for a final completion date.  The value of the MSHI Program rests in part with the student cohort model, so if a student voluntarily elects to drop a course readmission to the program may be required.

Are there any prerequisites for the program?

The MSHI Program requires an introductory programming language prior to entering the program.  This may be waived if the student’s undergraduate or current work responsibilities required knowledge of one or more programming languages.

I want to apply to the MSHI Program.  Where do I start?

We encourage all applicants to make an appointment with one of our admissions staff prior to beginning their application.   All admissions to The University of Alabama at Birmingham graduate programs are made through the Graduate School.  You may begin your application by clicking this link:


I am an international applicant.  Am I eligible for your program?

In Fall Semester 2007, the HI Program introduced a blended learning format, combining online learning with two – three campus visits each year. International students coming to the US to study at UAB on an F-1 visa are only allowed to take one online course per semester, but you would need to register for 2 online classes as an HI student. In order to enroll in the HI Program, you would need to stay in your home country and take HI courses online, but also you would need to be able to travel to the U.S. three times a year on a visitor’s visa for program meetings and seminars.

No F1 Visa-holding students could enroll in our program as they’re only allowed to take one on-line class per semester


•         Students from some countries (see Visa Waiver Program link from state department) will be allowed to come to the US for our program’s residency requirements and simply take the classes online from their home country


•         The problem with students from foreign countries that are not on the Visa Waiver Program is that determinations for the type of visa granted to them are made by the US Consulate in each country, with no standard guidelines across all US embassies.


•         Because of the ever-changing rules and regulations on foreign travel and establishing US residency, each prospective student probably will need to counseled on a case-by-case basis.