Health Informatics and Information Systems

Health Informatics and Information Management Department

The major in Health Information Management (HIM) is housed in the Department of Health Informatics and Information Management. It provides students with the professional knowledge necessary to assume management responsibility for health data and health information systems in a variety of health-related settings, including hospitals, clinics, long-term care settings, consulting firms, government agencies, insurance companies and software vendors. It is ideal for the person who likes the healthcare environment but does not want direct patient contact.

In 1935 The College of St. Scholastica became the first college in the U.S. to offer a major in this field. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Graduates are eligible to sit for the American Health Information Management Association's (AHIMA) national registration examination. Passing this examination entitles one to use the designation RHIA (Registered Health Information Administrator) after his/her name.

A professional practice experience (PPE) is required. The PPE consists of an onsite experience within a healthcare facility focused on operational, managerial, and innovative functions of HIM that gives each student the opportunity to explore areas of interest.  The PPE is adapted to individual student needs. The student is responsible for travel and living expenses during this time.

The department offers both an on-campus program as well as a distance-based program that enables students to earn a baccalaureate degree in Health Information Management. Academic coursework, transfer of previously completed coursework, and PPE components comprise the program.

A post baccalaureate certificate option is available to students who enter the program with a previously earned baccalaureate degree. The post-baccalaureate certificate program requires completion of all Health Information Management course competencies as outlined for the major. The certificate, in combination with the student's prior bachelor's degree, qualifies the student to sit for AHIMA's national registration examination to earn the RHIA credential.

A graduate program leading to a Master of Science in Health Information Management was established in 1997. Students interested in the master's degree should refer to the Graduate Program section of this Catalog.

Chair: Ryan Sandefer, PhD
Undergraduate Program Director: Pam Oachs, MA, RHIA, CHDA, FAHIMA


A student typically applies to the Health Information Management Program during spring semester of his/her sophomore year or at the time of transfer to the College. Admission to the department is based on a cumulative GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, grade of C (2.0) in all courses required by the major, and completion of the department's admission process.

The HIIM department reserves the right of retaining in the major only those students who satisfy requirements of scholarship, health and personal suitability for the profession.  A student may appeal through the College academic grievance procedure.

 A student graduating with a major in Health Information Management from The College of St. Scholastica is well prepared to assume an entry-level position in this professional field. Specifically, program outcomes are designed to assure that graduates of the program will be prepared to demonstrate:

  • Requisite professional knowledge, skills and competencies fundamental to the health information management profession.
  • Self-directed learning skills using a variety of resources and technology.
  • Critical thinking and systems thinking skills.
  • Effective communication skills
  • Personal attitudes and attributes critical to professional leadership.


BIO 2110, 2120, and 3020; CIS 1001, 3205, 3107, 3108, and 4108; HIM 2101- 4556; HSC 2203; and PSY 3331.  Admission and retention policies for the Health Information Management Department are consistent with those of the School of Health Sciences.