Health Data Science (M.S.)

Health Data Science (M.S.)

Data science students working in the computer lab


Data science is among the fastest-growing fields across all industries, and healthcare is no exception. The online M.S. in health data science at UNH will prepare you to work with complex healthcare data and enable you to effectively communicate data analysis in clear, objective and understandable terms for a variety of audiences in visual and written forms. You will learn the statistical foundations of health data science as well as health data architectures and data structures.  You will build models and explore visualization and design techniques to best address the complexities of patient care and population health issues.


The online M.S. in health data science program at UNH is designed for working professionals who see that data plays a critical role in patient and population health outcomes and are looking to hone their skills specifically around healthcare data. Courses led by our full-time faculty are asynchronous, meaning you’ll be able to complete your studies at your own pace, on your schedule – with the option to enroll either full or part-time. You’ll also have the support of a student success coach to help you get the most out of the program. Applications are accepted for start dates in the spring or fall.


  • Healthcare data scientist
  • Senior health data scientist
  • Data /information officer
  • Analytics officer
  • Clinical data manager
  • Healthcare data analyst
  • Population health officer
  • Health informatics/data consultant
  • Outcomes research specialist
  • Principal researcher/investigator


Department of Health Management & Policy
Hewitt Hall, 4 Library Way
Durham, NH 03824-3563
  • Committed to improving health care access
    Kyle Rasku '21 is a graduate student in health data science from Sutton, New Hampshire. 
    Committed to improving health care access
    Kyle Rasku '21 is a graduate student in health data science from Sutton, New Hampshire. 

Curriculum & Requirements

This program is 100% online with 2 residencies on the Durham, NH campus (one after the first semester of the program and one at the end of the program).

The Master of Science in Health Data Science (MSHDS), offered by the College  of Health and Human Services, prepares students for careers related to data  analytics within the health care industry. Graduates from the MSHDS program will have the skills necessary to function as health data science practitioners in a wide-range of roles in the health care industry. Students can expect to develop skills in health data acquisition, management and cleansing tools, analytics tools and techniques relative to both large and small data types and sources within the health care industry, and interpretation and presentation tools and design of health care data.

The MSHDS program places a strong emphasis on developing a well-rounded, versatile health data practitioner that has a strong understanding of all phases of health care data analysis from programming to interpretation and presentation. Graduates will be able to understand and navigate the requirements and complexities of health care data that are unique to the US Health System. In addition, within the context of the MSHDS curriculum students will develop the necessary skills of teamwork, presentation, and ability to adapt as needed in a dynamic, rapidly changing work environment and industry.

The MSHDS is a 36-credit, online masters program with two short campus visits that trains students in the skills necessary to be an effective health data science practitioner.  Embedded will be a 12 credit, four-course Certificate in Health Data Science.  The core courses develop deep quantitative tools, applications and reasoning, critical thinking and translational skills such as visualization, communication and interactive design.  The degree will be a three-semester, six e-term program with starting points in both fall and spring.  The first semester (e-terms 1 & 2) will constitute the Graduate Certificate in Health Data Science which provides students exposure to, but not depth in the methods of health data science.  This program will also be practicum driven throughout the final four e-terms, where students will complete a current work-based or outside industry or government sponsored real-world analytic problem.  

The curriculum for the 14-month, interdisciplinary, full-­time MS HDS program has two starts, Fall and Spring and is conducted online with two short campus visits. The 36-­credit program is comprised of ten core health data analytics and data science courses and two elective tracks (Health Care Informatics and Health Systems Research).  

The program rests primarily on the coding languages of R and Python, but also SAS and SQL.   Students receive training in a multitude of quantitative tools and algorithms such as machine learning and deep learning and how they are utilized and applied within the health care industry. They also get exposed to computational and analytic environments such as enterprise systems to streaming and distributed cloud systems.   A sample of the module-based curriculum map, that stays relevant to changing technology may be seen here.

The practicum courses are designed to instruct on two primary areas of content. One is to apply the core tools to a real-world project. The second is to provide useful exposure to the processes and professional development of the student in the role of health data analytics professional. Students will have the opportunity to learn methodologies such as LEAN and Agile project management.  Students will also be exposed to conceptual mapping for health data practitioners such as design thinking.  They will do this both within projects should they or the host choose, or as added learning.


The Master of Science in Health Data Science begins each Fall (September) and Spring (January).  The first Fall and Spring semesters consist of two e-terms (each 8-weeks in length), followed by one e-term in Summer and a final e-term the following Fall.  Each semester builds in level of mastery.

Fall (Foundation of Health System, Health Data Stats, Programming and Translation)

The initial semester brings together both the Graduate Certificate in Health Data Science (GCHDS) students and the MS students, to learn side by side. In the fall, students learn the foundations and functioning of the US Health System, the basics of statistical and mathematical thinking relative to health data, programming in three languages, and the foundations of data cleaning, visualization, and presentation.  In addition, a number of “soft” skills are introduced such as LEAN project management and Agile training.  Students who complete the fall semester (e-terms 1 and 2) will qualify for the Graduate Certificate.  If they so choose, they may continue on with the MSHDS.

Spring/Summer/Fall (Intermediate and Advanced Health Data Analytics and Health Data Science)

These semesters mirror one another yet build in tools and applications.  Students will develop skills in machine learning, wrangling unstructured health data and will work towards pulling together all program skills and applying to a capstone practicum in the summer/fall.  During the practicum students will develop skills in project scoping, background, data transfer, and understanding policies and procedures in place via the host or by the type of data being used.  Students will also engage in data mining, modelling and storytelling with outcomes for ultimate presentation back to the host site.  In the final e-term in the Fall, students can choose from several electives and, if they choose, can select an elective track (Health Care Informatics or Health Systems Research).

Students will also receive opportunities to further develop professional skills and certifications around LEAN should they choose.

Elective Tracks

The Elective Tracks consist of two required courses, taken in the final fall e-term. The final curriculum objective is to allow for specialization in a targeted area of student interest to provide students with a deeper knowledge in the subject area of their choice. Current track options are Health Care Informatics and Health Research Systems.

Key Program Highlights

  • Consists of 12 online courses, 36 credit hours, 2 specialization electives
  • 14-month masters or 16-week graduate certificate
  • Gain expertise in advanced machine learning, text analytics, programming, visual analytics, and big data framework within the health care industry.
  • Curriculum stays relevant to the ever-changing technology with an ability for the students to choose their specialization (i.e. Health Care Informatics or Health Systems Research)
  • Students from diverse backgrounds – not just technical fields
  • Work hands-on, team-based learning

The MSHDS requires the completion of 36 credits.

Required Courses:
HDS 800Mathematics and Statistics for Health Data Science3
HDS 801Foundations of US Health Systems3
HDS 802Programming in Healthcare Environments3
HDS 803Translation of Health Data3
HDS 804Health Data Systems3
HDS 805Applied Machine Learning in Healthcare3
HDS 806Outcomes Research3
HDS 807Unstructured Health Data3
HDS 808Current Topics in Health Systems3
HDS 811Health Data Science Practice3
Choose two electives:6
Healthcare Informatics Electives
HDS 820
Health Systems Informatics
or HDS 821
Big Data Algorithms in Biological Sciences
or HDS 890
HDS Independent Study
Health Systems Research Electives
HDS 822
Al and Deep Learning in Healthcare
or HDS 823
Advanced Statistics in Healthcare
or HDS 890
HDS Independent Study
Total Credits36


Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Note that classes may fill early and students could be referred to the next available start time.

  • Fall: July 1
  • Spring: October 15 (Extended to December 1 for Spring 2021) December 1 (Accelerated Masters)
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Online

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Personal Statement

Prepare responses to three program-specific essay questions:

  1. Discuss your educational and career goals and how a master's degree in health data science will help you achieve those goals.
  2. Talk about your programming experience.
  3. If applying to the masters degree, discuss a potential idea for a culminating project or an area of interest you hope to pursue.

Statements must be included with your submitted application.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.


A current resume is required with your submitted application.

International Applicants

The University of New Hampshire recommends that international applicants who are living outside of the United States, and are planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit a preapplication form before submitting a full application. Your preapplication request will be carefully reviewed and a decision usually provided within 3 weeks. If your preapplication is approved then it is recommended you then submit a full application. If you are currently living in the United States (on a H1B visa, etc.), or you plan on pursuing a professional master’s degree, then you do not need to submit a preapplication.

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.


For program-specific application questions, please contact the UNH Online Student Success Coaches: or 855.250.6699

Explore Program Details

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