This dual degree program combines the Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) with the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD). It is offered by the Center for Health Informatics at KU Medical Center in partnership with the School of Pharmacy at the University of Kansas and is open to current KU PharmD students only. The dual MSHI/PharmD degree prepares graduates for roles as pharmacists who specialize in informatics at hospitals and health care organizations, electronic health record companies and other health care related companies. The health informatics program is an interprofessional program, and students will have the opportunity to work with a variety of students from other educational backgrounds.
KU PharmD students who have been accepted into the dual degree program may begin taking classes toward their MSHI as early as the spring of their P2 year in the KU School of Pharmacy. The informatics courses are offered online through the Center for Health Informatics.
By combining some course work, the two degrees may be completed in a shorter time frame than completing them separately. This challenging but rewarding program requires taking a weighty course load each semester. However, it offers ambitious pharmacy students an opportunity to broaden their skill sets.
Visit the KU Academic Catalog to review the courses required to complete the MSHI degree in addition to the standard PharmD courses. All the health informatics courses are online.
Eligibility and Requirements
The dual MSHI/PharmD program is open to students who are currently in good standing in the KU PharmD program. Students may apply for the dual degree program in the fall of their P2 year or in a later semester.
Students must remain in good academic standing in both the MSHI and PharmD programs to continue in the dual degree program, including maintaining a minimum 3.0 grade point average in both programs.
We have two application deadlines each year, depending on your desired start date.
- April 1 for fall semester
- October 15 for spring semester
How to Apply
- Contact Jim Backes (firstname.lastname@example.org), School of Pharmacy associate dean for clinical and medical center affairs, to explore eligibility. The School of Pharmacy Combined Degree Programs Admission Committee reviews the past performance of the interested students and determines who may apply to the dual degree program.
- Approved students will be sent a link to apply online. Applications are made to the KU Medical Center Master of Science in Health Informatics program. The application requires the following items:
- Completion of the application form
- Resume or CV
- Statement of purpose: personal objectives and career goals
- Official transcripts of all non-KU college coursework
- References: Names and email addresses of three people from whom you wish to request letters of recommendation. Your references will be emailed instructions for submitting their recommendation online. References should be from managers, faculty, teaching assistants or professional colleagues.
- $75 nonrefundable application fee
To verify admission acceptance and secure enrollment, admitted graduate students must submit a $400 (non-refundable) enrollment deposit. This deposit is applied to the first semester's tuition and is not an additional fee.
New Student Orientation
New master's degree students are required to attend an orientation program. The half-day orientation program is scheduled during the week prior to the start of semester classes. Additional information regarding orientation is sent to students after receipt of the enrollment deposit.
For questions about eligibility, please contact Jim Backes, (email@example.com), School of Pharmacy associate dean for clinical and medical center affairs.
For questions about the health informatics courses, please email HealthInformatics@kumc.edu
Haley Blanck, graduate from the dual MSHI-PharmD program
What is your current professional role?
My dual Doctor of Pharmacy/Master of Science in Health Informatics degree played a large part in helping to secure my role as pharmacy informatics resident with Houston Methodist Hospital. I believe the most influential aspect in landing my informatics residency is the strong, fundamental informatics building blocks given to me by the dual degree program.
What spurred your interest in health informatics?
I had been exposed to health informatics one time in my didactic career when a pharmacy informatics resident from The University of Kansas Health System presented a 30-minute lecture to my class. I remember thinking how interesting and different the informatics resident’s career was from the “typical” pharmacist, but really had no idea how to pursue informatics. An announcement regarding a new dual PharmD/MSHI program in conjunction with the University of Kansas Medical Center was sent my way months later. If I could go back in time to that moment, I would [apply] all over again. It was the smartest decision I have made thus far in my career.
What did you like best about the MSHI program?
My absolute favorite aspect of the MSHI program was how interprofessional the courses were. We always talk about the importance of interprofessional education in health care education, but rarely are we given the opportunity to take course after course filled with other health care professions and even traditional information technology professionals.
I also believe the MSHI program is set up in a way that contributes and pushes learners past their comfort level and allows them to grow exponentially, both personally and professionally. I did not expect to leave the MSHI program being the person and professional I blossomed into, and that cannot be reliably said for many educational programs.
What advice would you give to students considering an MSHI degree?
We are in an era of technology transformation and the golden age of innovation. Health informatics skills, regardless of eventual practice roles, will prove vital skills.