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Online Health Information Management Degree Bachelor's in HIM Program

Kristina Libby, who earned her degree from SNHU in 2017, wearing blue nurse scrubs and a pink stethoscope around her neck standing next to a seated woman also wearing scrubs.

Cost per credit $330

Total courses 40

Term length 8 weeks

Program Overview Why get a health information management degree?

Learn the technology, terminology and professional skills required for a career in health information management with Southern New Hampshire University's Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Information Management (HIM) degree online.

The bachelor's in health information management program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

Skills you'll learn:

  • Health data structure, standards and regulations
  • Management of clinical classification systems
  • Uses, risks and management of health statistics
  • Laws regulations, policies and healthcare ethics
  • Data collection, storage, analysis and reporting
  • How to evaluate information system applications
Dana Aulds, who earned her degree from SNHU in 2015, sitting at a table, wearing light blue scrubs with a blue Southern New Hampshire University coffee mug to her left.

Courses & Curriculum Online HIM program with practical field experience

Build your skill set and gain valuable professional practice through structured field experience in the health information management bachelor's program at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). Through technology, health science and business courses, you'll learn essential aspects of managing data in today’s complex healthcare landscape.

In addition to helping you develop practical skills and experiences employers want to see, the program also meets eligibility requirements to sit for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) credential exam – which can help position you for even more opportunities.

Degree Courses

Online health information management courses

Learn the technology, terminology and professional skills required for a career in health information management through major courses and experiential learning.

Courses may include

Course ID: HCM 205
Explore effective and professional communication in a variety of healthcare settings. Learn the rules for building and defining medical terms, the correct pronunciation and spelling of medical terms, and the application of medical terminology as it relates to each body system. Evaluate various types of medical records and reports, and learn the skills needed to read and interpret them. Apply the application of medical terminology as it relates to the clinical world through various activities.
Course ID: HCM 340
This course provides an overview of the nature, organization, and function of the continuum of health services found in the United States. Emphasis is placed on the interrelation of cultural, economic, political and social aspects of health care delivery at the federal, state and local level. Topics include health care costs, accessibility of services, governmental influence on health care delivery, private industry role in health care, services for the medically indigent and elderly, ethical issues regarding transplants, reproductive technology, end of life decisions and funding.
Course ID: HCM 345
This course explores some of the major issues facing the healthcare industry and the effect that public policy and business environment has on a healthcare organization. Emphasis is on supply and demand theory, reimbursement systems, managed care, charge-master management, Case-mix management, DRG prospective payment, insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, governmental regulations, accessibility, eligibility, budgeting, and planning. Students learn to use informational and research tools to make effective management decisions.
Course ID: HIM 200
This course describes the use of information technology and the role of HIT professionals in the development of the electronic health record. It introduces the health information infrastructure and systems along with healthcare informatics, including applications, technology, privacy, and security.
Course ID: HIM 215
The purpose of this course is to provide students with the basic ability to identify nomenclatures and classification systems as well as assign codes using the appropriate principles, guidelines, and conventions and apply ICD-10-CM, CPT and HCPCS rules and guidelines.
Course ID: HIM 220
This course examines the design and the use of medical databases. Students will learn how to implement business rules and data modeling to develop medical information management systems. The course further explores database applications for decision support including evidence-based practice, alerts, allergy management, and identification of gaps in care. Students will design databases and systems that reflect privacy and security requirements of HIPAA and HITECH Act.
Course ID: HIM 350
The Communication and Technologies course will review and evaluate an assortment of technologies including: data, information, and file structures (data administration, data definitions, data dictionary, data modeling, data structures, data warehousing, database management systems), system interoperability, data sharing, Health Information Exchanges (HIE), and the Nation-wide Health Information Infrastructure (NHIN).
Course ID: HIM 360
In this course, students will learn to manage health data elements, data sets (i.e., HEDIS, UHDDS, OASIS), and databases as well as perform a data quality assessment and integrity review. Health information archival and retrieval systems, as well as data capture tools and technologies (i.e., forms, data input screens, templates, other health record documentation tools), will be analyzed. Students will review healthcare taxonomies, clinical vocabularies nomenclatures (e.g., ICD-9-CM, ICD-10-CM/PCS, CPT, SNOMED, DSMIV). Topics will include severity of illness systems, data integrity, coding audits, CCI, electronic billing, patient identity management policies, and X12N. Additionally, the course will review charge master management, revenue cycles, and audit processes (e.g., compliance and reimbursement).
Course ID: HIM 400
This course builds upon knowledge gained in HIM-350, including an evaluation of project management fundamentals, database structures, data extraction methods, data mining, data analysis, system acquisition, data sharing and regulatory forces that impact health information technologies.
Course ID: HIM 422
Students in this course will examine ethics and the fundamentals of law as they pertain to health information management professionals. Students will practice developing organization-wide ethical guidelines, policies, and procedures which comply with current healthcare law and best practices. Students will learn about the U.S. legal system, civil procedure, evidence, and tort law. Students will analyze the legal health record (maintenance, content, documentation, & disposition). Students will review corporations, contracts, business associate agreements, anti-trust legal issues, medical staff, and work place law. Other areas covered include: consent to treat, HIPAA privacy rule, HIPAA security rule, security threats and controls, risk management, access, use, & disclosure/release of health information, corporate compliance, required reporting, and mandatory disclosure laws.
Course ID: HIM 440
Evaluate information management planning, strategic planning, process re-engineering and work redesign, change management, and accreditation survey readiness.
Course ID: HIM 445
The Professional Practical Experience course provides hands-on experiences for the Bachelor of Science students in Health Information Management. The Professional Practice Experience (PPE) is designed to provide students with a directed preceptor experience, which is externally supervised and evaluated. The PPE provides students with the opportunity to refine developed competencies and skills sets that were introduced in the Health Information Management courses. This course requires a minimum of 40 practical experience hours.
Course ID: HIM 480
The capstone course is the culminating experience for the Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management or the Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management - Professional Practice Concentration. This course builds on the concepts of all courses students have taken within the program of study. The capstone course provides students with the opportunity to integrate and synthesize the knowledge and skills acquired throughout their course work in an original comprehensive project, and to assess their level of mastery of the stated outcomes of their degree program in Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management or the Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management - Professional Practice Concentration.
Course ID: IHP 310
This course explores common diseases, treatments, procedures and drugs needed to analyze healthcare documentation for functions such as abstracting, coding, auditing, and reimbursement. Drug classifications are also included. Implications related to pathophysiological and pharmacological concepts are applied to health information management.
Course ID: IHP 430
The goal of this course is to introduce students to the management of operations and explore how healthcare organizations can use advance methods to improve healthcare processes, delivery, and outcomes. Specific focus will be on analyzing cycle times (e.g., patient wait times), measuring productivity, streamlining process flows, tracking outcomes and performance metrics, and generally improving health management processes and health outcomes. The process improvement will be measured by how it can improve quality of care and safety of healthcare delivery, reduce waste, and reduce costs. The role of technology and innovative approaches in improving continuing quality improvement in healthcare delivery will be presented.
Course ID: IHP 450
This course focuses on the concepts, principles, tools, finances and strategies used in managing operations within a performance improvement model. Students will explore problem solving and decision making models as well as tools and techniques for planning, organizing, directing, controlling, reporting, and improving the productivity and performance of resources within a healthcare department. Additionally, topics will include healthcare finance reimbursement, bookkeeping, accounting principles, budgeting processes (capital and operating), and cost/benefits analysis.
Course ID: IT 201
This course provides the hardware/software technology background for information technology personnel. Hardware topics include CPU architecture, memory, registers, addressing modes, busses, instruction sets and a variety of input/output devices. Software topics include operating system modules, process management, memory and file system management. Also included are basic network components and multi-user operating systems.
Course ID: IT 204
This course provides students with an introduction to the foundations of data and information management, centered around the core skills of data management and database organization. The course will focus on identifying organizational requirements for data and information, modeling the requirements using relational techniques, implementing the models into a database using a database management system, and understanding the issues of data quality and data security. The course will also introduce the framework of enterprise information management and the growing need for managing data and information in organizations effectively to support decision making and competitive advantage.

Visit the course catalog to view the full BS in Health Information Management curriculum.

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Upcoming term starts: October 28, 2024 | January 06, 2025

Next term starts:
Sept. 02, 2024

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SNHU is accredited by the regional accreditor the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which means we meet certain standards of academic quality, and have the tools and resources necessary for students to be successful. The university also carries specialized accreditations for some programs.

The Health Information Management accreditor of Southern New Hampshire University is the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). The University's accreditation for the Master's Degree in Health Information Management has been reaffirmed through 2030. All inquiries about the program’s accreditation status should be directed by mail to CAHIIM, 200 East Randolph St., Suite 5100, Chicago, IL 60601; by phone at 312.235.3255; or by email at

NECHE Logo CAHIIM Accredited logo

Tuition Cost & Savings College can be more affordable than you think

As a nonprofit university, SNHU offers some of the lowest online tuition rates in the country. And when you work with our Financial Services team, we'll explore ways to help you save even more on your education – and customize a payment plan that works for you.

Online undergraduate programs

Cost per credit
Cost per course
Cost for 120-credit degree*
Full- and part-time students
Active-duty military and spouses | Full- and part-time students**

*before previously earned credits are applied

Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.

**Note: Students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional costs: Course materials vary by course.

Transfer credits and lower your cost by:

$9,900 $14,850 $19,800 $24,750 $29,700
Transfer credits and lower your cost by:

If 30 of your prior learning credits ($330/credit) are accepted toward your bachelor’s degree.

Your remaining tuition cost: $29,700

If 45 of your prior learning credits ($330/credit) are accepted toward your bachelor’s degree.

Your remaining tuition cost: $24,750

If 60 of your prior learning credits ($330/credit) are accepted toward your bachelor’s degree.

Your remaining tuition cost: $19,800

If 75 of your prior learning credits ($330/credit) are accepted toward your bachelor’s degree.

Your remaining tuition cost: $14,850

If 90 of your prior learning credits ($330/credit) are accepted toward your bachelor’s degree.

Your remaining tuition cost: $9,900

How we estimate your tuition cost:

We look at the cost per credit multiplied by the number of credits you need to earn for a bachelor's degree. Most bachelor's degrees require 120 credits. SNHU allows you to transfer in up to 90 credits, requiring a minimum of 30 credits to be taken at SNHU. This is only a tuition estimator, and doesn't account for other fees that may be associated with your program of choice.

Career Outlook What can I do with an online health information management degree?

Health practitioners are increasingly using patient data to inform better treatment plans and improve patient outcomes, accelerating job growth for years to come. And with recent federal regulations requiring healthcare organizations go digital – utilizing and securing electronic health records – there's an increased demand for skilled health information managers.

In addition to helping you develop practical skills and experiences employers want to see, the program also meets eligibility requirements to sit for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) credential exam – which can help you open up even more opportunities for advancement.


With a bachelor's in health information management, you'll be prepared to work in a variety of health-related careers. Here are a few ideas:

Work closely with data and image storage systems to collect information analyze data, build interfaces, and troubleshoot software and more.

Create or organize systems to store different health information and data, in addition to ensuring databases are secure and function optimally.

Help ensure software systems meet the desired outcome of your organization by customizing software, managing installation, and training employees on use and best practices.

Work to create solutions to health problems based on research and data, and help to improve the general public health monitoring and measuring outcomes.

Organize and manage data sets, analyze healthcare data, and communicate recommendations for optimization and improvement with data visualization and reports.

Assist team members in completing complex clinical research trials. Oversee data collection, reporting and entry into data management systems.


Increase in roles for medical and health services managers through 2032, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).1


Median annual pay for medical and health services managers as of May 2023, according to the BLS.1

Understanding the numbers
When reviewing job growth and salary information, it’s important to remember that actual numbers can vary due to many different factors—like years of experience in the role, industry of employment, geographic location, worker skill and economic conditions. Cited projections do not guarantee actual salary or job growth.

What SNHU students are saying

John Mann '21
John Mann '21
SNHU’s reputation for high-quality online learning was what caught my attention. But the fact that the HIM program is accredited by CAHIIM really made the decision for me.
John Mann '21

Frequently Asked Questions
Your questions, answered

This specialized healthcare degree prepares students for a career in health information management (HIM), often described as the intersection of business, technology and health. Bachelor’s programs in HIM focus on the management of electronic health records and foster creative problem-solving using innovative technology and the guiding principles of managing patient health data.

HIM degree candidates learn to lead initiatives involving electronic health records, including accuracy, completion, security and governance. Such initiatives are critical to the healthcare system, since the accuracy of an electronic health record is reflected in billing, which impacts reimbursement and, in turn, affects healthcare costs for all stakeholders. Information contained in electronic health records is also used to track health trends to ensure proper treatment and coordinated care for both the individual and populations at large.

Graduates of the program can then enter the workforce with a unique combination of technical expertise and critical soft skills.

Cheryl Martin with the text Cheryl Martin"The most important part is the HIM professional's relationship to the patient," said Cheryl Martin, HIM strategic advisor at the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). "The people who enter the field generally have the natural ability to feel empathy. This informs the awareness that behind every piece of data, is a connection to a 'somebody.' It's a very human focus on the data."

In addition to coursework that emphasizes specialized training and patient-centered care, Southern New Hampshire University’s (SNHU) online bachelor's in HIM exposes students to a professional practice experience. Students learn the technology, terminology and professional skills required for a career in HIM and receive valuable exposure to a professional healthcare setting.

SNHU's HIM degree is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM), the seal of approval for high-caliber HIM academic programs. It also provides the educational requirements to sit for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) exam, a nationally recognized certification in the field.

According to AHIMA, those who pass the RHIA exam:

  • Have a comprehensive knowledge of “medical, administrative, ethical and legal” standards related to healthcare delivery and privacy of patient records.
  • Can manage people and teams and prepare budgets.
  • Coordinate with all parts of a healthcare organization that use patient information and documents, including clinicians, administrators, IT providers and more.

"At SNHU, we prepare our students to sit for the RHIA credential,” said Catina Flagg, clinical faculty of health professions. “It’s a critical link between care providers, payers and patients. Holding the RHIA credential tells employers that you are a content expert in your field."

According to the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), earning a bachelor’s or master’s in health information management (HIM) can lead to a long-lasting career in one of the nation’s fastest-growing industries.4 HIM students gain clinical, information technology (IT), leadership and management skills. In the professional arena, they’ll use those skills to serve as a bridge between clinicians, administrators, technology designers and IT professionals.

Cheryl Martin, AHIMA’s health information management strategic advisor, calls HIM a “hidden jewel of job opportunities.” She says health information management professionals need a unique combination of industry expertise, people skills and analytical skills.

Martin points out the ability to pull meaning from data can impact not only health outcomes, but a hospital’s balance sheet. She says employers look for people who can make data “available for those who need access but protected from those who don’t.” A HIM degree provides the foundation to develop that prized skill set.

With its emphasis on the human interaction that weaves through data, the curriculum tends to forge strong bonds between students and educators, said Martin.  Students learn early on that they need to uphold the profession’s high standards and often turn to educators for counsel long after they graduate as a result.

A HIM degree could also provide a perfect pathway for someone already in a health science field to advance their career.

"I have over a decade of direct patient and clinical workflow experience," said John Mann '21. "I have worked during most of the HIM program with subjects like HIPAA, Meaningful Use Stages and CMS moving from a volume care to value care models. This degree seemed to be the right next step in combining my body of experience with the direction I’d like to take my career."

Beyond the practical knowledge you'll gain, a HIM degree from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) comes with an extra level of support along the way.

"I feel that my experience attending SNHU was better than any of earlier experiences in a traditional college setting," Mann said. "One huge reason for this was that my advisor was a constant support. When I attended college in the traditional setting, I felt like I was just another number in the student body. My SNHU advisor was a huge asset, and I have so much gratitude that she supported me through my journey."

Overall, Melissa Smith '21 says the program exceeded her expectations.

"The HIM degree program went above and beyond what I was expecting to learn, the real-life experiences truly open your eyes and show you what you can expect to see and how it will all play together in the overall success of your career," she said. "You truly have the freedom and abilities to complete all your work at your own pace and still feel challenged by the education."

Classes in health information management (HIM) include medical terminology, coding and classification systems, ethics and legal considerations, and pathophysiology and pharmacology concepts. Students may also need to take general education courses depending on how many transfer credits they can apply to their program.

It's worth noting that, with Southern New Hampshire University's (SNHU) generous transfer policy (up to 90 credits for bachelor's degree programs), you may already have the credits you need to satisfy some of your courses. This could mean earning your degree much faster than you think.

"Unlike some other institutions, SNHU doesn’t waste students’ time and really gives you credit for everything in your academic history," said John Mann '21. "In fact, for me, my years worked in healthcare counted as some elective credits. I transferred in and only had to take 2 electives outside of my core HIM requirements."

While both disciplines involve a blend of business and healthcare, health information management (HIM) and healthcare administration are two very different fields. HIM mostly focuses on the competencies needed to manage electronic health records. The role primarily affects internal stakeholders needing access to data, but it can also directly affect patients.

Healthcare administration, on the other hand, centers around organizational management and encompasses everything from quality improvement to marketing, strategy and human resource management.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical and health service managers earned a median salary of $110,680 in 2023.1 The BLS projects the field could grow 28% through 2032.1

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) notes the growing prevalence of health information technology (HIT) makes health information one of the most critical components of the electronic health record (EHR) workforce.4

According to the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), health information management (HIM) professionals affect the quality of patient information and patient care at every touchpoint in the healthcare delivery cycle.3 They help classify diseases and treatments to ensure standardization for clinical, financial and legal uses within the healthcare industry. And they’re responsible for the quality, integrity and protection of a patient’s health information, including patient histories, lab results and radiology procedures.

As a professional in HIM, your work can help save lives. Take, for example, a young father of 3 who comes into the ER at 2 am, panicked because 1 of his children is suffering from shortness of breath. This particular child has a history of medical issues, including a 3-week stay in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). However, reeling with exhaustion and stress, the father misses key details regarding past treatment.

In this case – when a parent or patient is understandably overwhelmed – accessible, accurate medical records give the nurse what they need to deliver care. Without a HIM professional behind the scenes, that wouldn't be possible.

Stacie Sullivan with the text Stacie SullivanA Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Information Management can help you hone the skills you need to succeed in a number of different healthcare roles. For Stacie Sullivan '19, earning an online HIM degree at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) meant setting the course for a career she was passionate about.

“It’s my dream job – working in the oncology field, being able to give back to fellow survivors in some small way and working from home (with my cats!),” Sullivan said. “Attending SNHU was the best decision I ever made.”

Now, she urges professionals, like herself, to make their move. “Do it now,” she said. “I hesitated too, thinking I’ll be almost 50 when I graduate. But then I realized that I'll be almost 50 anyway – might as well have a degree to show for it.”

To accomplish quality care, a HIM professional will need to:

  • Work to ensure health information is documented accurately, timely and securely.
  • Collaborate with all healthcare providers and departments, including physicians, nurses, lab, radiology and pharmacy staff to ensure patient information that promotes patient safety through documentation practices.
  • Oversee documentation practices and manage many other key aspects of health information including collecting, reporting, analyzing and protecting health data.

Beyond technical capabilities, a HIM degree can help you build skills you need to navigate a fast-paced healthcare environment. "[You'll be working in] a place where human interaction is extremely important — the ability to deal with change, handle conflict, the ability to listen, actually excelling in all forms of communication," said Cheryl Martin, AHIMA’s HIM strategic advisor.

AHIMA cites academic institutions, consulting agencies, government agencies and healthcare software companies as the types of employers with an increased demand for educated HIM practitioners.

As the profession continues to grow, so do HIM career opportunities. Here’s a partial listing of the job roles on the AHIMA website:

  • Medical coding
  • Clinical documentation improvement
  • Privacy officer
  • Security officer

According to the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), healthcare informatics is a multidisciplinary and integrative field focused on health information technologies (HIT) that involves the computer, cognitive and social sciences. Healthcare informatics applies principles of computer and information science to the advancement of life sciences research, health professions education, public health and patient care.4

Health information technicians (or health informaticists) use data, information and knowledge to improve human health and the delivery of healthcare services. An integral part of any healthcare team, they help incorporate advanced technology into patient care and facility operations, reducing errors and maximizing efficiencies. As technology continues to evolve, the healthcare industry will need trained professionals to help implement these changes.

Sources & Citations

1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at (viewed April 19, 2024).

Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

2American Health Information Management Association, US Salary Report: HIM Professionals in 2019, on the internet, at (viewed April 19, 2024).

3American Health Information Management Association, on the internet, at (viewed April 19, 2024).

4American Medical Informatics Association, on the internet, at (viewed April 19, 2024).