A Health Information Management Degree Preparing You to Change Lives
With a health information management (HIM) degree from WGU, you’ll be a valuable asset in the high-demand field of healthcare information technology and management. This CAHIIM-accredited health information management degree offers robust courses and a simulation experience that will give you a glimpse into the real-world health information management operations and functions. You'll learn about the business and technology side of healthcare and how health information management impacts patients, providers, and payers. This will prepare you to successfully work in the growing field of health information management, becoming a vital member of the healthcare community and improving the future of healthcare. With this health information management degree, you'll also be eligible to apply for the RHIA® credentialing exam—a key credential that can set you apart in the industry.
Compare this degree: The B.S. Health Information Management program is not WGU's only undergraduate degree focused on building leadership skills in the business and administration of healthcare. You may also be interested in our B.S. Business – Healthcare Management degree program. This article can help you compare the two programs.
63% of HIM graduates finish within
WGU lets you move more quickly through material you already know and advance as soon as you're ready. The result: You may finish faster.
Tuition per six-month term is
Tuition charged per term—rather than per credit—helps HIM students control the ultimate cost of their degrees. Finish faster, pay less!
On average, students transfer
Your associate’s degree or previous college may waive some courses through transfer. We review your transcripts for transfer credits.
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The PPE I: Technical course allows you to use EHRGo, an electronic health record (EHR), to complete 42 structured activities to experience how an HIM professional uses an EHR. The selected activities meet AHIMA's Baccalaureate level competencies and by completing them you will earn 40 PPE hours.
The PPE II: Management course allows you to experience your future profession at the supervisory level. Any site where health information is used and you can be mentored by a department or facility manager is appropriate for PPE II.
Principles of Management in HIM provides an introductory look at the discipline of management and its context within the health information management environment. This course provides an overview of management and leadership, management functions, human resource management, and communication strategies. The course gives students an opportunity to analyze how leadership and management principles are used to achieve department goals. This course has no prerequisites.
Healthcare Project Management provides students with a comprehensive foundation for project management. The course focuses on project management methodologies, process improvement analysis, business case proposals, and creating project planning documents for health information management (HIM) projects. This course will prepare students to determine project scope and timelines, complete interdepartmental stakeholder analysis, identify project resources, examine constraints and risks, and contribute to positive project communication.
Organizational Leadership in Healthcare provides students with an overview of the principles and practices leaders need in healthcare environments. The course focuses on organizational leadership theory, behaviors, culture, and teamwork. This course prepares students to apply leadership theories, principles of organizational culture development, techniques for building and leading teams, and conflict resolution strategies to support organizational goals. This course has no prerequisites.
The Health Information Management Capstone is the culmination of the student's degree program. The course is an opportunity for students to do an environmental scan focusing specifically on emerging issues and trends in the field of health information management (HIM) and to apply knowledge learned throughout the program to the problems and issues facing HIM professionals. The student will also develop a professional and educational development plan. At the end of the course, the student will complete an RHIA practice exam.
Healthcare Ecosystems explores the history and state of healthcare organizations in an ever-changing environment. This course covers how agencies influence healthcare delivery through legal, licensure, certification, and accreditation standards. The course will also discuss how new technologies and trends keep healthcare delivery innovative and current.
Health Information Law and Regulations prepares students to manage health information in compliance with legal guidelines and teaches how to respond to questions and challenges when legal issues occur. This course presents the types of situations occurring in health information management that could result in ethical dilemmas and establishes a foundation for work based on legal and ethical guidelines.
Healthcare Information Systems Management provides an overview of many facets of information systems in healthcare. This course explores how information technology (IT) is an organizational resource that must be managed so that it supports or enables healthcare organizational strategy. This course will discuss how decision support and communication are securely facilitated in the healthcare marketplace. This course also explores current and continuously evolving technologies, strategic thinking, and issues at the intersection of health information management and technology.
Foundations in Healthcare Data Management introduces students to the concepts and terminology used in health data and health information management. This course teaches students how to apply data management and governance principles in the healthcare environment. The student will learn about electronic health records (EHR), legal considerations, information governance, data management, health information management (HIM), and secondary data sources. In addition to the e-text and numerous additional articles and video resources, the student will engage with case studies and knowledge checks to assist with learning. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Medical Terminology focuses on the basic components of medical terminology and how terminology is used when discussing various body structures and systems. Proper use of medical terminology is critical for accurate and clear communication among medical staff, health professionals, and patients. In addition to the systems of the body, this course will discuss immunity, infections, mental health, and cancer.
Introduction to Pharmacology provides information about drug development and approvals, pharmaceutical classifications, metabolism, and the effect of drugs on body systems. The course will introduce advancements in pharmaceutical technology, regulatory requirements within electronic health record systems, and the financial implications of pharmaceutical coding and billing. This course has no prerequisites.
Classification Systems provides a comprehensive approach to learning about medical coding classification, coding audits, and quality standards. Candidates will be exposed to electronic health record systems and leadership principles as they relate to management of ICD and CPT codes. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Healthcare Compliance examines the role of the coding professional within healthcare information management. The course covers compliance plans, issues that arise with noncompliance, and management of internal and external audits.
Healthcare Statistics and Research explores the use of statistical data to support process improvement through health information research. Health information management (HIM) professionals use information systems to gather, analyze, and present data in response to administrative and clinical needs. This course has no prerequisites.
Healthcare Reimbursement explores financial practices within the healthcare industry as they relate to reimbursement policies. This course identifies how reimbursement systems impact the revenue cycle and a health information manager's role. This course has no prerequisites.
Quality and Performance Management and Methods examines quality initiatives within healthcare. Quality issues cover human resource management, employee performance, and patient safety. This course focuses on quality improvement initiatives and performance improvement with the health information management perspective.
Healthcare System Applications introduces students to information systems. This course includes important topics related to management of information systems (MIS), such as system development and business continuity. The course also provides an overview of management tools and issue tracking systems. This course has no prerequisites.
Introduction to Healthcare IT Systems introduces students to healthcare information technology as a discipline. Focusing on evaluating health information systems and collecting data, students will learn the various roles and functions of the health information manager in supporting the business of healthcare. This course introduces students to information technology as a discipline. This course also exposes students to the various roles and functions of the health information manager in supporting the business of healthcare. Students will learn through e-text readings, videos, case studies, several modules from LinkedIn Learning, knowledge checks, and unit quizzes. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Anatomy and Physiology I examines the structures and functions of the human body. The course is designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of human anatomy and physiology, including the interdependent operational relationships among them. Students will use a dissection lab to study organ systems of the human body in their healthy state, including the digestive, skeletal, sensory, respiratory, reproductive, nervous, muscular, cardiovascular, lymphatic, integumentary, endocrine, and renal systems. By examining these organ systems in a healthy state, healthcare professionals are more adept at recognizing when something is functioning abnormally, which is a key component to providing effective care to patients. For nursing students, this is the first of two anatomy and physiology courses within the program of study. This course has no prerequisites.
Pathophysiology is an overview of the pathology and treatment of diseases in the human body and its systems. This course will explain the processes in the body that result in the signs and symptoms of disease, as well as therapeutic procedures in managing or curing the disease. The content draws on a knowledge of anatomy and physiology to understand how diseases manifest themselves and how they affect the body.
Welcome to Introduction to Communication: Connecting with Others! It may seem like common knowledge that communication skills are important, and that communicating with others is inescapable in our everyday lives. While this may appear simplistic, the study of communication is actually complex, dynamic, and multifaceted. Strong communication skills are invaluable to strengthening a multitude of aspects of life. Specifically, this course will focus on communication in the professional setting, and present material from multiple vantage points, including communicating with others in a variety of contexts, across situations, and with diverse populations. Upon completion, you will have a deeper understanding of both your own and others’ communication behaviors, and a toolbox of effective behaviors to enhance your experience in the workplace.
Welcome to Composition I: Writing with a Strategy! In this course, you will focus on three main topics: writing strategies, writing style, format and grammar, and editing and revising text. This course consists of an introduction and five sections aligned to the three main topics. The sections address understanding purpose and audience, writing strategies and techniques, format, style, structure, and grammar, editing and revision strategies, and constructive feedback. Each section includes learning opportunities through readings, videos, audio, and other relevant resources. Assessment activities with feedback also provide opportunities to check your learning, practice, and show how well you understand course content. Because the course is self-paced, you may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as you need to gain proficiency in the five competencies that will be covered in the final assessment. If you have no prior knowledge or experience, you can expect to spend 30-40 hours on the course content.
Welcome to Composition: Successful Self-Expression! In this course, you will focus on three main topics: writing in the workplace, support with resources, and writing an appropriate message. This course consists of an introduction and seven sections aligned to the three main topics. The sections address cross-cultural communication, professional writing, valid and reliable sources, references, supporting a position, communication approaches, and self-expression. Each section includes learning opportunities through readings, videos, audio, and other relevant resources. Assessment activities with feedback also provide opportunities to check your learning, practice, and show how well you understand course content. Because the course is self-paced, you may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as you need to gain proficiency in the seven competencies that will be covered in the final assessment. If you have no prior knowledge or experience, you can expect to spend 30-40 hours on the course content.
American Politics and the U.S. Constitution examines the evolution of representative government in the United States and the changing interpretations of the civil rights and civil liberties protected by the Constitution. This course will give candidates an understanding of the powers of the branches of the federal government, the continual tensions inherent in a federal system, the shifting relationship between state and federal governments, and the interactions between elected officials and the ever-changing electorate. This course will focus on such topics as the role of a free press in a democracy, the impact of changing demographics on American politics, and the debates over and expansion of civil rights. Upon completion of the course, candidates should be able to explain the basic functions of the federal government, describe the forces that shape American policy and politics, and be better prepared to participate in America’s civic institutions. This course has no prerequisite.
This introductory humanities course allows candidates to practice essential writing, communication, and critical thinking skills necessary to engage in civic and professional interactions as mature, informed adults. Whether through studying literature, visual and performing arts, or philosophy, all humanities courses stress the need to form reasoned, analytical, and articulate responses to cultural and creative works. Studying a wide variety of creative works allows candidates to more effectively enter the global community with a broad and enlightened perspective.
In this course, students will develop an understanding of psychology and how it helps them better understand others and themselves. Students will learn general theories about psychological development, the structure of the brain, and how psychologists study behavior. They will gain an understanding of both normal and disordered psychological behaviors, as well as general applications of the science of psychology in society (such as personality typing and counseling).
Applied Algebra is designed to help you develop competence in working with functions, the algebra of functions, and using some applied properties of functions. You will start learning about how we can apply different kinds of functions to relevant, real-life examples. From there, the algebra of several families of functions will be explored, including linear, polynomial, exponential, and logistic functions. You will also learn about relevant, applicable mathematical properties of each family of functions, including rate of change, concavity, maximizing/minimizing, and asymptotes. These properties will be used to solve problems related to your major and make sense of everyday living problems. Students should complete Applied Probability and Statistics or its equivalent prior to engaging in Applied Algebra.
In this course you will learn key critical thinking concepts and how to apply them in the analysis and evaluation of reasons and evidence. The course examines the basic components of an argument, the credibility of evidence sources, the impact of bias, and how to construct an argument that provides good support for a claim. The course consists of an introduction and four major sections. Each section includes learning opportunities through readings, videos, audio, and other relevant resources. Assessment activities with feedback also provide opportunities to check your learning, practice, and show how well you understand course content. Because the course is self-paced, you may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as you need to gain proficiency in the four competencies that will be covered in the final assessment. If you have no prior knowledge or experience, you can expect to spend 30-40 hours on the course content.
Applied Healthcare Probability and Statistics is designed to help develop competence in the fundamental concepts of basic mathematics, introductory algebra, and statistics and probability. These concepts include basic arithmetic with fractions and signed numbers; introductory algebra and graphing; descriptive statistics; regression and correlation; and probability. Statistical data and probability are now commonplace in the healthcare field. This course will help candidates make informed decisions about which studies and results are valid, which are not, and how those results affect your decisions. This course will give candidates background in what constitutes sound research design and how to appropriately model phenomena using statistical data. Additionally, this course guides candidates in calculating simple probabilities based on events which occur in the healthcare profession. This course will prepare candidates for studies at WGU, as well as in the healthcare profession.
This course is a foundational introduction to the biological sciences. The overarching theories of life from biological research are explored as well as the fundamental concepts and principles of the study of living organisms and their interaction with the environment. Key concepts include how living organisms use and produce energy; how life grows, develops, and reproduces; how life responds to the environment to maintain internal stability; and how life evolves and adapts to the environment.
The Professional Communication and Leadership in Healthcare course is designed to help students prepare for success in the online environment at Western Governors University and beyond. Student success starts with the social support and self-reflective awareness that will prepare students to weather the challenges of academic programs. In this course students will participate in group activities and complete several individual assignments. The group activities are aimed at finding support and gaining insight from other students. The assignments are intended to give the student an opportunity to reflect about where they are and where they would like to be. The activities in each group meeting are designed to give students several tools they can use to achieve success. This course is designed as a five-part intensive learning experience. Students will attend five group meetings during the term. At each meeting students will engage in activities that help them understand their own educational journey and find support and inspiration in the journey of others.
Data Analytics and Information Governance explores the structure, methods, and approaches for using health information in the healthcare industry. By focusing on quality data collection, analytics, and industry regulations, students will examine tools that ensure quality data collection as well as to use data to improve quality of care. This course has no prerequisites.
Healthcare Financial Resource Management examines financial practices within healthcare industries to promote effective management at department and organization levels. Focusing on financial processes associated with facility operations in the healthcare field, this course will analyze the impact of strategic financial planning and regulatory control processes. This course has no prerequisites.
Introduction to Medical Coding provides students with the foundation for translating medical terminology into correct diagnosis and procedure codes. The course focuses on how diagnosis and procedure codes are used to accurately document medical records and inform accurate medical billing. This course introduces the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT), International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10-CM), ICD-10-PCS, and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code sets as well as ethical considerations throughout processes in medical coding. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Foundations in Healthcare Information Management applies theories from business, IT, management, medicine, and consumer-centered healthcare skills. Students will learn to evaluate and analyze health information systems for implementation in health information management. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Program consists of 36 courses
At WGU, we design our curriculum to be timely, relevant, and practical—all to ensure your degree is proof you really know your stuff.
Special requirements for this program
At the end of your program, you will complete a capstone project that represents the culmination of all your hard work—a research project applicable to the field of health information management that aims to expand the body of knowledge in the profession.
WGU tuition is charged per six-month term, not per credit. That means if you want to move faster through the online health information management program, you'll pay less.
On Your Schedule
WGU students can continue working at their job, and keep up with their family responsibilities all while earning a degree. You don't have to take time off work or rearrange your shifts—at WGU you don't have to log in to classes at a certain time, and your assignments don't have deadlines. You can work any time, any where.
When you earn your HIM degree from WGU you can take your existing knowledge and put it to use. You can move through your courses as quickly as you show mastery in the material, helping you graduate faster.
Healthcare and nursing employers want employees with the credentials that prove they can help improve patient care while streamlining facilities and strengthening their reputations. An important measure of a health degree’s value is whether it comes from an accredited university with programs recognized for excellence by leading healthcare organizations. WGU is a pioneer in reinventing higher education for the 21st century, and our quality has been recognized.
WGU's B.S. Health Information Management degree program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)
A Health Information Management Bachelor's Degree Is Within Reach
There is help available to make paying for school possible for you:
How We're Different: Competency-Based Programs That Put You in the Driver’s Seat
Our unique approach to education allows you to move through your courses on your schedule, as quickly as you can show mastery of the material. Improve patient outcomes and influence communities with your knowledge of evidence-based practice, patient safety, technology integration, and healthcare systems and policies. Demonstrating mastery is how you pass a course, so learning what it takes to be outstanding in your career is at the heart of WGU’s health information management curriculum.
Health Information Management—Where the Art of Care Meets Data Innovation
Your career in health information management awaits. Improve patient care as the crucial link connecting medical providers, the information they gather, the technology and data systems they use to track critical patient info, and the patients themselves. Maintaining the quality of medical records is of utmost importance for individuals and for the healthcare system at large—and it is one of the areas of healthcare with the greatest opportunity for growth and improvement. As a health information management professional, you can maximize your potential and put your unique talents to good use.
Once you have completed WGU's online Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management degree program, you will have the knowledge and skills it takes to be an outstanding health information management professional. You will also be eligible to sit for the RHIA® exam and become a credentialed health information administrator.
Return on Your Investment
WGU's Health Information Management Grads are Working in Diverse, Fulfilling Roles
Our 500-plus Bachelor of Science Health Information Management alumni have great jobs and satisfying careers:
- Director of Informatics
- Information Systems Auditor
- HIMS Chief
- Health Records Manager
- Doctor’s Offices and Clinics
- Colleges and Universities
- Health Systems
- Primary Children’s Hospital
- ARUP Laboratories
- Langley Air Force Base
- Veterans Health Administration
WGU Grads Hold Positions With Top Employers
Hospitals and clinics around the country know the benefit of a bachelor's degree from WGU, so your nursing degree is valuable.
Admissions Requirements Unique to This Health Information Management Degree
To be considered for enrollment into the Bachelor of Science Health Information Management program, you must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent. You must also be able to demonstrate IT, healthcare, or business experience either through one of the following:
- Option 1: An associate degree in an allied health field, information technology, business administration, or from a CAHIIM-accredited, or AHIMA-approved (prior to 2006) Associate degree HIT program
- Option 2: Current active HIM or Revenue Cycle industry certifications or an approved WGU Academy pathway
- Option 3: A résumé showing one year of administrative healthcare-related work experience within the last three years, or an active healthcare-related certification, or three years of information technology experience or healthcare business management experience
- Escalation to Program Chair for review
As a condition for placement in most professional practice sites, students are required to have a background check and/or drug screening to meet requirements set by individual sites as well as by WGU. Previous misdemeanor or felony convictions may affect eligibility for placement during Professional Practice Experience.
Students must submit to a criminal background check before engaging in Professional Placement Experiences.
Safety Notice: WGU and the College of Health Professions (CHP) are committed to the health, safety, and well-being of all patients, community members, and key stakeholders that interact with WGU students at various clinical/host sites. Interactions might include direct patient interaction, observation experiences, laboratory experiences, project development, or conducting research. Standard compliance verification for students in applicable CHP programs is required to protect the public, meet CHP program expectations, reasonably assure compliance with state regulatory board requirements, meet WGU’s contractual and legal obligations with clinical partners, and support WGU’s mission to prepare students who will be qualified to enter their desired field. Compliance items may include, but are not limited to, background checks, immunizations, and drug screens as needed.
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More About the Health Information Management Program at WGU
- RHIA Certification
- General Program Questions
- Satisfaction Rate
Credentialed by AHIMA, Registered Health Information Administrators (RHIA) are the data-and-knowledge link between care providers and patients. Earning an RHIA credential and becoming a health information administrator is the next step for professionals with Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT®) and other allied health professionals—and often comes with significant salary bump.
And because WGU’s highly respected HIM bachelor’s degree is also accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), it satisfies the eligibility requirement for aspiring RHIA applicants.
Additionally, if you already hold credentials from organizations such as AHIMA, HIMSS, and other HIM and IT certification programs, they may transfer to your WGU B.S. Health Information Management program—possibly allowing you to graduate faster and lowering your overall tuition costs.
Our HIM program prepares you to take the Registered Health Information Administration (RHIA) exam.
Yes. A degree in health information management can prepare you for fulfilling career opportunities with high impact and competitive salaries. Those who choose a career in health information management find a rewarding career where they improve patient care and outcomes.
Yes! There are online degree programs, like the one offered at WGU, that allow you to take health information management coursework completely online. You may be able to complete an online program more quickly than a traditional HIM program, which is an added bonus.
With a HIM degree, you may be able to work in hospitals, health systems, laboratories, doctor’s offices, and even universities. You may be qualified for the following jobs within those industries:
- Director of informatics
- Information systems auditor
- HIMS chief
- Health records manager
It will likely take four years to complete a degree in health information management at a traditional university. However, if you earn a degree from an online university like WGU, you may be able to accelerate your courses and finish much faster.
Overall, 91% of BSHIM students surveyed in a recent poll said they were satisfied with the Health Information Management program.*
*From July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, 298 BSHIM students responded.
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