Master of Health Information Management (M.H.I.M) Major in Health Information Management (Thesis Option)

Program Overview

The Master of Health Information Management (M.H.I.M.) degree program offers current and emerging content about the evolving health information management field with the expanding reliance on patient data.  The educational objectives of the program are:

  • to prepare students for the emerging roles and functions withing the health information management domain,
  • to provide graduate level education that will prepare students to develop problem solving skills with the ability to analyze and evaluate systems, technology, regulations, data needs to assist in creating new methods, and in policy development,
  • to provide a broad-based program of coursework that supports the varied aspects of HIM practice focusing on health data management, data analytics, health information technology project management, and compliance with regulations including privacy of patient information,
  • to establish a framework for professional behavior and ethical principles to be used to guide decision-making and actions in the expanding role of health information management professionals, and
  • to conduct research that will illustrate and define the health information body of knowledge.

The curriculum will help prepare leaders in the areas of information technology, data stewardship, Health Information Exchange information governance, clinical documentation integrity, project management, and quality data analytics.

Immunization Requirements

It is the policy of the College of Health Professions that each student must provide a health report completed by a physician or licensed healthcare provider, and must take specific immunizations before the student can be placed in a clinical or internship assignment. Information on these requirements and the required forms may be obtained through the department office.

Background Check and Drug Screening

As a condition for placement in some professional practice sites, some students are required to have a background check and/or drug screening to meet requirements set by individual sites. Information on the background check/drug screening process will be provided by the department. Previous misdemeanor or felony convictions under various titles of the Texas Penal Code may affect eligibility for practitioner license status following graduation.

Online Information

This program is taught exclusively online.  For students residing outside of Texas and not planning on relocating to the state, please visit http://www.distancelearning.txstate.edu/ before applying.

Application Requirements

The items listed below are required for admission consideration for applicable semesters of entry during the current academic year. Submission instructions, additional details, and changes to admission requirements for semesters other than the current academic year can be found on The Graduate College's website. International students should review the International Admission Documents webpage for additional requirements.

  • completed online application
  • $55 nonrefundable application fee

          or

  • $90 nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials
  • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
  • official transcripts from each institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum 2.75 GPA in the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)
  • background course work in pathophysiology and phamacology; medical terminology; anatomy and physiology, statistics; and introduction to micro computer applications (to be completed before starting the program)
  • GRE not required
  • interview with the graduate advisor assessing the student’s commitment to completing the program
  • resume/CV
  • statement of purpose indicating the student’s ability and interest in completing the degree program
  • three letters of recommendation from professionals or academics competent to assess the student’s interest in pursuing a career or advancing in the field of study

TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS Scores

Non-native English speakers who do not qualify for an English proficiency waiver:

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
  • official PTE scores required with a 52
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and minimum individual module scores of 6.0

This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Health Information Management (M.H.I.M.) degree with a major in Health Information Management requires 36 semester credit hours, including a thesis.

Course Requirements 

Required Courses
HIM 5311Informatics, Analytics and Data Use3
HIM 5320Research Methods for HIM3
HIM 5342Information Systems and Technology3
HIM 5351Data Security, Privacy, and Confidentiality3
HIM 5363Health Data Content Structure and Standards3
HIM 5370Healthcare Finance and Revenue Cycle Management3
HIM 5380Quality Improvement in Health Care3
HIM 5382Compliance for HIM Topics3
HIM 5390Contemporary Leadership Principles for HIM3
HIM 5397HIM Directed Practicum3
Thesis
HIM 5399AThesis3
Choose a minimum 3 hours from the following:3
Thesis
Thesis
Total Hours36

Comprehensive Examination Requirement

The student must have completed 9 MHIM core courses with grades of “C” or higher by the time of taking the comprehensive exam or in the last semester when they are taking the core courses. The comprehensive exam contains 3 questions from each core course. The student selects 1 out of 3 questions in each course to answer. The expected length of answer to each question is about 1 page double spaced, 12-point font.  The comprehensive exam is distributed to the students on March 1st in spring semesters (or October 1st in fall semesters), and due on March 21st in spring semester (or October 21st in fall semester). Faculty will score the exam as either passing or failing. Faculty complete grading by the end of March (or October).  Students who fail the exam may retake the section(s) they failed from April 1st to April 15th (or November 1st to November 15th in fall semesters). For the second retake students must select different questions from the first attempt for the core courses. Faculty complete the 2nd round grading by the end of April (or November).  Students who fail twice are required to take one 3-credit independent study (approved by graduate faculty) to complete their degrees. At the end of the independent study, students take the third (and the last) comprehensive exam. The relevant faculty will decide the specific time of the third comp exam, which can be in December or January. Students who fail the third comprehensive exam will be dismissed from the graduate program. 

If a student elects to follow the thesis option for the degree, a committee to direct the written thesis will be established. The thesis must demonstrate the student’s capability for research and independent thought. Preparation of the thesis must be in conformity with the Graduate College Guide to Preparing and Submitting a Thesis or Dissertation.

Thesis Proposal

The student must submit an official Thesis Proposal Form and proposal to his or her thesis committee. Thesis proposals vary by department and discipline. Please see your department for proposal guidelines and requirements. After signing the form and obtaining committee members’ signatures, the graduate advisor’s signature if required by the program and the department chair’s signature, the student must submit the Thesis Proposal Form with one copy of the proposal attached to the dean of The Graduate College for approval before proceeding with research on the thesis. If the thesis research involves human subjects, the student must obtain exemption or approval from the Texas State Institutional Review Board prior to submitting the proposal form to The Graduate College. The IRB approval letter should be included with the proposal form. If the thesis research involves vertebrate animals, the proposal form must include the Texas State IACUC approval code. It is recommended that the thesis proposal form be submitted to the dean of The Graduate College by the end of the student’s enrollment in 5399A. Failure to submit the thesis proposal in a timely fashion may result in delayed graduation.

Thesis Committee

The thesis committee must be composed of a minimum of three approved graduate faculty members.

Thesis Enrollment and Credit

The completion of a minimum of six hours of thesis enrollment is required. For a student's initial thesis course enrollment, the student will need to register for thesis course number 5399A.  After that, the student will enroll in thesis B courses, in each subsequent semester until the thesis is defended with the department and approved by The Graduate College. Preliminary discussions regarding the selection of a topic and assignment to a research supervisor will not require enrollment for the thesis course.

Students must be enrolled in thesis credits if they are receiving supervision and/or are using university resources related to their thesis work.  The number of thesis credit hours students enroll in must reflect the amount of work being done on the thesis that semester.  It is the responsibility of the committee chair to ensure that students are making adequate progress toward their degree throughout the thesis process.  Failure to register for the thesis course during a term in which supervision is received may result in postponement of graduation. After initial enrollment in 5399A, the student will continue to enroll in a thesis B course as long as it takes to complete the thesis. Thesis projects are by definition original and individualized projects.  As such, depending on the topic, methodology, and other factors, some projects may take longer than others to complete.  If the thesis requires work beyond the minimum number of thesis credits needed for the degree, the student may enroll in additional thesis credits at the committee chair's discretion. In the rare case when a student has not previously enrolled in thesis and plans to work on and complete the thesis in one term, the student will enroll in both 5399A and 5399B.

The only grades assigned for thesis courses are PR (progress), CR (credit), W (withdrew), and F (failing). If acceptable progress is not being made in a thesis course, the instructor may issue a grade of F. If the student is making acceptable progress, a grade of PR is assigned until the thesis is completed. The minimum number of hours of thesis credit (“CR”) will be awarded only after the thesis has been both approved by The Graduate College and released to Alkek Library.

A student who has selected the thesis option must be registered for the thesis course during the term or Summer I (during the summer, the thesis course runs ten weeks for both sessions) in which the degree will be conferred.

Thesis Deadlines and Approval Process

Thesis deadlines are posted on The Graduate College website under "Current Students." The completed thesis must be submitted to the chair of the thesis committee on or before the deadlines listed on The Graduate College website.

The following must be submitted to The Graduate College by the thesis deadline listed on The Graduate College website:

  1. The Thesis Submission Approval Form bearing original (wet) and/or electronic signatures of the student and all committee members.
  2. One (1) PDF of the thesis in final form, approved by all committee members, uploaded in the online Vireo submission system.  

After the dean of The Graduate College approves the thesis, Alkek Library will harvest the document from the Vireo submission system for publishing in the Digital Collections database (according to the student's embargo selection). NOTE: MFA Creative Writing theses will have a permanent embargo and will never be published to Digital Collections. 

While original (wet) signatures are preferred, there may be situations as determined by the chair of the committee in which obtaining original signatures is inefficient or has the potential to delay the student's progress. In those situations, the following methods of signing are acceptable:

  • signing and faxing the form
  • signing, scanning, and emailing the form
  • notifying the department in an email from their university's or institution's email account that the committee chair can sign the form on their behalf
  • electronically signing the form using the university's licensed signature platform.

If this process results in more than one document with signatures, all documents need to be submitted to The Graduate College together.

No copies are required to be submitted to Alkek Library. However, the library will bind copies submitted that the student wants bound for personal use. Personal copies are not required to be printed on archival quality paper. The student will take the personal copies to Alkek Library and pay the binding fee for personal copies.

Master's level courses in Health Information Management: HIM

Courses Offered

Health Information Management (HIM)

HIM 5199B. Thesis.

This course represents a student's continuing thesis enrollment. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding.

1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

HIM 5300. Advanced Independent Study in Health Information Management.

This course provides an in-depth independent study of a singular problem or related problem in the rapidly changing field of health information management. Special emphasis will be placed on the problem's current relevance and the value to the participant. May be repeated for credit with a different emphasis.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

HIM 5301. The Enterprise Electronic Health Record.

This course provides an in-depth analysis of the concept of an organization-wide electronic health record system. A major focus will be on the analysis of how this technology impacts overall hospital operations from both a clinical and administrative perspective. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

HIM 5302. Clinical Foundations of Health Information Management.

This course provides clinical foundations for graduate students studying Health Information Management. Course content varies based on academic preparation and may include topics such as pathophysiology and pharmacology, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, computing and statistics in a modular format. This course does not earn graduate degree credit.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from Graduate GPA
Grade Mode: Leveling/Assistantships

HIM 5311. Informatics, Analytics and Data Use.

This course provides an introduction to the fundamental concepts of data analytics and decision support. A major focus will be quality-driven data-based decision making systems for business intelligence, consumer informatics and health information exchanges. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

HIM 5320. Research Methods for HIM.

This course provides an introduction to research study design, methods, descriptive and inferential statisitcs need to conduct research studies in the Health Information Management domains. The foundation for compiling, analyzing, and displaying healthcare statistics needed to report and monitor healthcare statistics in the workplace will also be covered. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

HIM 5340. Healthcare Informatics.

This course provides an overview and introduction to healthcare informatics. Topics in the course will include the information infrastructure, data needs, implementing healthcare information systems, decision making, privacy and security, consumer informatics and emerging technologies. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

HIM 5341. Healthcare Terminologies and Vocabularies.

This course will provide an overview of healthcare terminologies, code sets and classification schemes, and associated standards. Mapping and the relationship of Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine (SNOMED) to an administrative classification system such as International Classification of Diseases (ICD) will be explored. The purpose and differences encountered in mapping a terminology to a classification will be examined. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

HIM 5342. Information Systems and Technology.

This course provides an introduction to the fundamental concepts of health information technologies and information management strategic planning. A major focus will be design and selection of data-driven systems that offer strategic advantages, facilitate compliance and provide a return on investment. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

HIM 5343. Advanced Data Analytics in Healthcare.

This course introduces advanced concepts of healthcare data analytics. Students will explore, visualize, and analyze healthcare data sets. Topics include data manipulations, data transformations, developing data queries, visualizing data, and exploring data relationships with predictive modeling.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

HIM 5344. Healthcare Database Management Systems.

This course introduces methods for healthcare database management. The focus is on the physical data modeling for healthcare decision making. Topics include database creation, populating databases, data query optimization, enforcing database integrity, designing database security systems, and exploring data relationships with database reporting.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

HIM 5351. Data Security, Privacy, and Confidentiality.

This course provides a detailed assessment of how state laws and federal regulations influence the development and management of policies and technology to protect date security, privacy, and confidentiality of protected health information. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

HIM 5352. Introduction to Healthcare Information Security.

Students are introduced to the concepts, principles, and applications of healthcare information security including privacy, security, and infrastructure necessary to protect health information. Topics will include confidentiality, integrity, availability, authentication, fraud, eavesdropping, traffic analysis, intrusion detection and prevention, hacking, viruses, cryptography, and risk management.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

HIM 5353. Risk Analysis of Healthcare Systems.

By examining computer systems, network, and security tools designed to discover vulnerabilities, students gain an understanding of how to protect electronic health record systems. In this course, students learn the techniques and methods required to perform computer and network security risk analyses in a healthcare environment. Security best practices and audit requirements for specific environments will be studied. Topics to be covered include internal and external penetration tests, wireless security technology, risk analysis methodology, and security audits.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

HIM 5363. Health Data Content Structure and Standards.

This course provides an in-depth study of the components and use of health records. Interoperability and healthcare informatics standards for collecting, maintaining and transferring healthcare data will be examined. The role of the HIM professional in developing an effective information governance program will be analyzed. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

HIM 5370. Healthcare Finance and Revenue Cycle Management.

This course will focus on healthcare financial and revenue cycle/reimbursement management issues that impact the practice of Health Information Management. Specific topics covered include financial management, coding compliance, case mix index, revenue cycle, and reimbursement methods. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

HIM 5380. Quality Improvement in Health Care.

This course provides an in-depth study on quality improvement methodology to include data retrieval, display, outcomes analysis and the aspect of risk management for various sectors of healthcare. Mechanisms for promoting facility-wide participation in achieving optimum patient care as delineated in accreditation and government standards will be analyzed. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

HIM 5382. Compliance for HIM Topics.

Compliance activities and methods will be covered for HIM topics to include HIPAA, fraud and abuse, coding auditing, severity of illness, data analytics, fraud surveillance, and clinical documentation improvement. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

HIM 5390. Contemporary Leadership Principles for HIM.

This course explores the expanded role of the Health Information Management professional in the healthcare environment. Topics include public policy development, executive decision making, strategic business alliances, change management, enterprise wide strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, training and development, information governance, cultural diversity and ethics. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

HIM 5397. HIM Directed Practicum.

This course provides a one semester, part-time practicum experience in a healthcare or related organization. Included is an orientation to the organization and completion of a project suitable for implementation at the site. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 10 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

HIM 5399A. Thesis.

This course represents a student's initial thesis enrollment to initiate the thesis project. No thesis credit is awarded until completion of HIM 5399B.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

HIM 5399B. Thesis.

This course is a student's continued enrollment in the thesis. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. This course is repeatable for credit until the thesis is completed.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit