What are the potential jobs available for an informatics graduate?
- Digital device application developer
- Clinic health informatics specialist
- Database administrator
- Data analysis specialist
- Healthcare data analyst
- Human-computer Interaction designer
- Information system officer
- Quality assurance specialist
- Multimedia designer
- Software engineer
- System analyst
- User interface designer
- User experience specialist
The U.S. Bureau of Labor forecasts that two of the top ten job growth areas will be in informatics related fields. The U.S. Bureau of Labor forecasts that various informatics-related fields will have up to 37% job growth between 2012 and 2022.
I hear about Computer Science, Information Systems, and now Informatics. What’s the main difference(s) between all three fields of study?
Computer Science is the study of the theoretical foundations of computation.
Information Systems is a scientific field of study that addresses the range of strategic, managerial and operational activities involved in gathering, processing, storing, distributing and using information, as well as the technologies associated with such activities.
Informatics is information systems placed in specific disciplinary contexts, such as organizational data management, health care management, digital device application development, and human-computer interaction. Broadly defined, Informatics is the study of how information is effectively processed within the context of various academic disciplines and practical vocations to support human decision-making.
What is the format of course offerings and what are the degree requirements?
The program format is primarily face-to-face with 40% of the core and track courses available online or through a hybrid format. Some of our classes allow students to remotely join the classroom so students can have a real-time in class experience from home. Most of our face-to-face classes are offered in the evenings from Monday to Thursday. Face-to-face meetings run four hours and 45 minutes once per week and a class lasts eight weeks.
Students interested in becoming hospital employees, medical office employees, public and private health agency workers, web application developers, information technology project managers and designers, data analysts, and database developers will benefit greatly from our Informatics program and its distinct features. Beside the major core courses, a student can choose to take general informatics elective courses or one of the two tracks, Health Information Technology or Web development and Human Computer Interaction. A degree with multiple tracks provides students with an added flexibility. In addition to 39 credit hours general education and 30 credit hours elective course work, the Bachelor of Science in Informatics requires 42 semester hours in Informatics core courses, plus 9 semester hours from one of three tracks. A total of 120 semester hours is required for degree completion.
What are the skills that I will gain through the Informatics major at Mercer University?
- Programming / Scripting
- Database design and implementation
- System design and analysis
- User interface design and analysis
- Usability analysis
- Project management
- Decision theory
- Web application development
- Technology and organizational management
- Information management
What are the three tracks in the Informatics degree program?
In addition to the major core, a student can select a specific program track: Health Information Technology (HIT) or Web Development and Human Computer Interaction (HCI). Alternatively, he or she can add any three general informatics elective courses to the major core and fulfill the degree requirements. A student needs only one track to complete the major; however, if a student takes more than one track or more informatics courses, the additional course hours will be counted as elective hours.
Students in the Health Information Technology track will be able to:
- Make decisions in a variety of areas relevant to the health professions
- Employ techniques useful in the management of medical data
- Communicate effectively and implement technical knowledge in healthcare management
Students in the Web Development and Human-Computer Interaction track will be able to:
- Employ user-centered system interface design principles
- Develop platform independent informatics applications
- Analyze human-computer interactions to create optimally usable software designs
Students in the General Informatics track will be able to:
- Employ informatics operations using computer technology
- Apply basic informatics principles and systems theory in a variety of disciplines
- Demonstrate an interdisciplinary perspective embracing different aspects of the university curriculum
- Analyze decision-making processes and technqiues in various disciplinary and organizational environments
Will any of my classes be offered online?
The program format is primarily face-to-face with approximately 40% of the core and track courses available online or through a hybrid format. Students may have options to join the class remotely from home for synchronized real-time, in-class sessions. With nearly 40% of the courses being taught online or in a hybrid format, the program will benefit from a wide range of expertise of faculty members in the department for the effective delivery of online courses. One of our goals is to serve nontraditional students who would not normally attend full-time, face-to-face classes.
What is a capstone course/project?
Students will demonstrate certain learning outcomes within each track by successfully completing a capstone project as part of a student team. The project will occur during the last term of study. Faculty members and a panel of external reviewers from businesses and the industry will evaluate the student teams' presentations according to a set of predefined criteria.
Where are the classes offered?
All courses are available on campus at Mercer locations in Atlanta, Douglas County (Lithia Springs), Henry County (McDonough), and Macon.
When do the classes meet?
Mercer University’s Regional Academic Centers are designed to meet the needs of working adults. Classes meet on weekday evenings or on Saturdays, once a week for eight weeks. There are two eight-week sessions during each of the Fall and Spring Semesters, as well as one eight-week and one four-week session during the Summer Semester. Most enrolled students take two classes per session for full time enrollment for the semester, meeting two different days of the week.
May I apply for financial assistance?
Financial assistance is offered on a case-by-case basis. Students may be eligible for federal and/or private loan programs. The Mercer University Office of Student Financial Planning is equipped to provide up-to-date information on financial assistance available to students via federal loan programs. The first step to apply for federal loans is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) form, available online. You may complete this form as soon as you apply to the program, but eligibility will be determined only after you have been accepted by Mercer University. Please note that federal loans are available to U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents only.
Can I work and go to school?
Most of our students work, take care of families, and attend classes.
How many credit hours can I transfer into Mercer?
The University Registrar determines which courses taken at other institutions are directly comparable to Mercer’s courses and will be credited toward completion of degree requirements at Mercer University. Course work with a grade of C- or better earned at regionally accredited institutions will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis and considered for transfer as an equivalent Mercer course or as elective credit. Remedial or sub collegiate credits will not be transferred. The maximum credit allowed from all two-year colleges attended is 64 semester hours (96 quarter hours) including all courses taken as a transient student, and no more than 96 semester hours of credit can be transferred from all regionally accredited colleges/universities. A minimum of 32 credits must be earned in residence at Mercer University for graduation regardless of the number of credits accepted in transfer.
How long will it take me to complete the program?
It depends on how many transfer credits you bring with you and how they fit within the general education and major requirements. All the major classes will be offered within a two-year cycle.
Why do I have to provide immunization records?
Mercer’s immunization policy is a University policy and not an admissions policy, which is designed for the safety of our students. If immunization records are not released to Mercer before the first semester, you will need to provide them before the end of your first session or it will affect your future enrollment.