Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19

The TOEFL score can not be waived unless you received a degree from an institution in the US or UK. UNC Charlotte is accepting official scores from the Duolingo English Test in replacement of the TOFEL for international applicants. Prospective students can take the test anytime, anywhere and get results in less than two days. A minimum score of 115 is required.

We understand your situation, but unfortunately we will not be able to waive these test requirements for international students.

We understand how uncertain the situation is and we will stay in touch with you. UNC Charlotte's International Student and Scholar Office (ISSO) has most of the questions for international students listed HERE. For further questions regarding your visa please reach out to the ISSO via email.

We suggest you reach out to the recommender to complete your application. Please note, until the application is completed, it will not be reviewed.

The School of Data Science will consider waiving the GRE test requirement for applicants of the master's DSBA program who hold a degree from an accredited U.S. institution with a GPA of 3.0 or higher or who hold a terminal degree (e.g., J.D., M.D., D.D.S., or Ph.D.). If you meet this requirement, please contact one of our program directors, Joshua Hertel or Carly Mahedy.

We suggest you to visit the ISSO's COVID-19 FAQ website or UNC Charlotte's official COVID-19 FAQ page.

If you have  further questions after visiting these websites, please feel free to contact us at datascience@uncc.edu.

The Health Informatics and Analytics master's degree is intended as a face-to-face program. We expect to return to primarily in-person classes in the Fall 2022 semester. Some courses will continue to be offered online, but most classes will meet in person. This is submject to change based on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic.

GRE Requirement

Your application will not be reviewed until all aspects (including test scores, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose) are received. So your test scores should be submitted around the same time the application is submitted.

The School of Data Science will consider waiving the GRE test requirement for applicants of the master's DSBA program who hold a degree from an accredited U.S. institution with a GPA of 3.0 or higher or who hold a terminal degree (e.g., J.D., M.D., D.D.S., or Ph.D.). If you meet this requirement, please contact one of our program directors, Joshua Hertel or Carly Mahedy.

You will receive an email in your application portal inbox informing you that your scores have been received. If you are unsure if they have been received or have questions about your test scores, please contact the graduate admissions office.

GRE scores are valid for five years.

The UNC Charlotte School of Data Science is committed to our community, including future students. As a starting point for the master's program, the HIA graduate certificate program application does not require a GRE/GMAT score.  

In addition, The School of Data Science will consider waiving the GRE/GMAT test requirement for applicants of the HIA master's program who have a cumulative undergraduate or graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher from a nationally accredited U.S. institution or who have previously earned a terminal degree (e.g., J.D., M.D., D.D.S., or Ph.D.).

If you receive a GRE score that falls considerably below the program's average, you will either be asked to retake the exam or your application will be denied.

Admission to the program is competitive. Most accepted students score in the 50th percentile (or higher) in both the quantitative and verbal sections of the GRE (for a combined average of around 313).

Admissions

Candidates are not required to possess a bachelor’s degree from any particular field of study to qualify for admission to the HIA program. Health Informatics is an interdisciplinary program, and we encourage students that have degrees in a broad array of disciplines (Computer Science, Biology, Nursing, Kinesiology, Chemistry, Math, etc.).

The Health Informatics and Analytics master's degree is intended as a face-to-face program. We value the personal interaction between students and faculty. Occasionally some courses may be offered online, but most classes will meet in-person.

We do offer both a traditional in-person Graduate Certificate program as well as a fully online distance education Graduate Certificate program. More information about the online Graduate Certificate program can be found here.

A maximum of six credit hours of graduate coursework from a regionally accredited institution may be considered for acceptance into the master's degree program. The grade earned must be A or B, and cannot have been counted towards any previously earned master's or doctoral degree.

Yes. We admit part-time and full-time students. One caution, under the Graduate School requirements there is a time limit of six years to complete the master's program, and a time limit of four years to complete the graduate certificate.

Enrolled students can view the current schedule of classes in Banner Self-Service. Once in Banner, select the term you are interested in and hit submit.  Then, under the Subject heading select Data Science and Analytics and perform a Class Search.

 

Yes. If you have obtained a bachelor’s degree, you may be able to take a couple of courses as a post-baccalaureate. You can also apply for the HIA Graduate Certificate program. The certificate mirrors the foundation and core curriculum and you are in the same classes as the professional science master's students. If you choose to apply to the PSM at a later date, all 15 credit hours can be transferred into the degree as long as you have earned a minimum of 3.0 in each class.

To apply for post-baccalaureate or certificate admission, please apply online through the Graduate School's Admissions website.

Students can apply to the Post-Baccalaureate (Post-Bac) program, which essentially requires only a Bachelor's degree.  This would allow the student to enroll in some of the graduate courses required for the program and to demonstrate their aptitude for the program with good marks in those courses and references from the instructors.  The student could then re-apply to the program with the additional context of demonstrated capability at UNC Charlotte to balance their previous academic record.  This will not guarantee admission upon re-application but affords the opportunity for a student to demonstrate a much stronger case for admission. Up to six credit hours taken as a Post-Bac student can be applied toward the HIA master's program.

The program is intentionally designed to accommodate working professionals. The majority of the classes are in the evening, usually after 5 p.m. and meet once a week.

Candidates who are denied admission are able to submit an application for a future semester. However, the candidate should first address the area(s) of their application (e.g., GRE or TOEFL score) that caused it to be denied initially.

While work experience is not currently required for admission, it is highly recommended. Employers recognize that a HIA degree is most useful when combined with the practical knowledge gained through professional experience.

Transfer students follow the same procedures as other applicants, including submitting all application documents and an official GRE score.

Classes usually have 20-30 students.  Classes offered in the summer tend to be smaller.

Students graduating from the PSM will earn an MS degree, but because it is a PSM, there are some important differences.

First, this degree does not require a thesis. The focus of the degree is on applied research, with a stress on hands-on problem-solving. Students work directly with industry leaders on real-world problems. The courses in the program and the direction of this program is determined by an advisory board of professionals in the analytics industry.

The goal of this program is to develop graduates who can bridge the worlds of Health and IT.  The PSM degree is a practitioner's degree meant to produce professionals who can evaluate programs and data with a skeptical eye. Graduates will be trained to manage projects and teams, selecting and implementing new systems that will transform healthcare as we know it.

The majority of classes are taught at the Dubois Center at UNC Charlotte Center City. The Dubois Center is connected to the main campus via the CATS light rail, roughly a 20-minute ride.

Prerequisite Coursework

Yes. The HIA program requires at least one semester of calculus and one semester of statistics prior to applying. The program requests a working knowledge of at least one higher-level procedural programming language (i.e. Python, Java, Perl, C/C++, etc.).

It is highly recommended to have these courses completed prior to applying. However, candidates can apply and gain admission to the HIA program prior to completing the prerequisite course requirements. To avoid encountering registration restrictions, candidates should plan to have all prerequisite courses completed before the start of their first semester.

Prerequisite courses for the HIA program may be completed at any accredited institution or through accredited online college services. We recommend the community college system which offers high flexibility and low cost.  For those in the Charlotte region, Central Piedmont Community College and Rowan Cabarrus Community College have multiple campuses as well as online options. Candidates can earn these credits from an accredited institution or through accredited online college services or community colleges.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

We only admit students to the Master’s and traditional Graduate Certificate programs in the fall and spring semesters. However, the online Graduate Certificate program does admit students in the summer semester.

Yes, applications received on or before the priority deadline will be reviewed first and given first priority. However a number of slots are reserved for applications received after the deadline, and applications received after the priority deadline will be reviewed on a rolling basis admission.

No. Please upload all of your documentation (including the official transcripts, reference letters, statement of purpose and vitae/resume) through the Prospective Student Portal.  The Graduate School will refer applications and the respective documents to the program only when application is complete.  If the application packet is incomplete the department will not receive the application packet.  The department can only make a decision once we receive a complete application from the Graduate School.

The statement of purpose is your chance to explain to the program board why you want to be part of the HIA program and identify your professional and academic goals. Most students have between 500 and 1000 words.

Three letters of reccomendation are required. The recommendations should be from people who work with you or have known you for a long enough time that they could speak for your work ethic, success as a student and how you work in a team setting.

No more than six semester hours of transfer credit will be considered for acceptance into the PSM. The Graduate Program Director will determine the applicability of transferred credits to the program.

The application fee is $75 and cannot be waived. The application fee is not transferable or refundable.

Health Informatics master's and Graduate Certificate Admission Deadlines:

UNC Charlotte’s Office of Graduate Admissions must receive a completed online application by the following dates:

  • Fall Admission (August): 
    • ​Priority Application Submission Deadline: March 1st    
    • Final Application Submission Deadline: August 1st
  • Spring Admission (January): 
    • Priority Application Submission Deadline: October 1st  
    • Final Application Submission Deadline: December 1st

Applications received after the Priority Application Submission Date will be reviewed on a space available basis. Applicants may submit their application earlier
than the deadline for consideration for admission.

Information pertaining specifically about admissions to the Health Informatics Certificate Program can be found on the Graduate Certificate Admissions Page 

Rolling basis admission means that the HIA program evaluates applications as they are received versus waiting to evaluate all applications after a hard deadline. Applications will be accepted and reviewed as long as space remains in the program. However, candidates should plan to allow a minimum of 30 days for their application to clear the review process. 

***Rolling admissions begin after the priority deadline has passed- October 1st or March 1st.

You may apply through the Graduate School's online Prospective Student Portal.  You may only apply online, paper applications are NOT accepted.

 

Applicants can track the progress of their application through the application portal.

Please upload all of your documentation (including the official transcripts, reference letters, statement of purpose, and vitae/resume) through the AdmissionPros system. The Graduate school will refer applications and the respective documents to the program only when the application is complete. If the application packet is incomplete the department will not receive it.  The department can only make a decision once we receive a complete application from the graduate school.

No. The graduate admissions office forwards applications to the HIA program board only when all elements of the application have been received.

Three-Year Degrees and Transcript Evaluations

Yes. International applicants who have earned three-year bachelor's degrees are required to submit a "foreign credential evaluation" along with their supplemental application requirement. Such evaluation must be performed by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), for example, the World Education Services (WES). Either a document-to-document or a course-by-course foreign credential evaluation meets this requirement. UNC Charlotte will consider such an agency's assessment as to whether the academic credential earned is, or is not, equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree as well as its recalculation of grades. A listing of other NACES members is available at https://www.naces.org/members.

There are several conversion tools available online. We recommend the free WES evaluation tool.

Finances

While some funding for graduate students is available, it is limited. U.S. citizens enrolled in the master's degree or the graduate certificate can qualify for unsubsidized federal loans.  Full-time students enrolled in the program can also apply for graduate assistantships.  The assistantships are highly competitive, and the majority are awarded through academic departments. Several academic grants and scholarships are available. Details on potential graduate support at the University level can be found here.

The estimated tuition and fees for the HIA program in the 2021-2022 academic year can be found on the Financial Information page.  Please note that the total cost of attendance depends on a multitude of factors including tuition and fees, room and board, health insurance, cost of books and supplies, miscellaneous and personal expenses, the number of credit hours you take per term, the number of semesters you are enrolled, and whether or not you are a North Carolina resident.

The North Carolina Residency Determination Service is the centralized service for determining residency classifications for all graduate and post-baccalaureate students. Candidates should refer to the Residency Determination Service (RDS) website for specific information on residency requirements.

You can apply for an assistantship once you are accepted into the program. Most assistantship opportunities are emailed to students during the beginning of the semester. More information regarding Research and Teaching Assistantship opportunities can be found on the Graduate School's website or through the Career Center’s Hire-a-Niner. The Hire-a-Niner website aggregates postings for internships, full-time positions and campus jobs. SDS also provides assistantships for full-time students enrolled in the HIA program. Additional information and how to apply can be found here.

English Language Asessment

Yes. If English is not your native language the Graduate School requires that applicants submit current scores from the TOEFL or IELTS academic exams, or the Duolingo English Test. Scores older than two years will not be accepted. Taking both tests is not required. Applicants who have received a degree from an institution in the US or UK are not required for TOEFL/ IELTS/ Duolingo.

Register for the exams here:

  • A minimum TOEFL score of 220 (computer-based), 557 (paper-based), or 83 (Internet-based) is required. 

  • The minimum IELTS band score of 6.5 is required.  

  • The minimum score for the Duolingo English Test is 115. 

As a reminder, this is a requirement for The Graduate School at UNC Charlotte. Only applicants who have received a degree from an accredited institution in the U.S. or United Kingdom can request a waiver.

UNC Charlotte's school code is 5105, a department code is not necessary.

STEM Designations and OPT

Yes, this is a STEM-designated program (51.2706). Under current DHS regulations, those who complete the MS in Health Informatics will qualify for a 24-month STEM-OPT extension after graduation.