Health Informatics Programs in South Dakota

Health informatics is a rapidly growing field of study, which might explain why health informatics programs in South Dakota are so popular. You can choose between earning an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree, which will dictate:

  • where you work
  • how much you make
  • some of the tasks you will do on the job

These programs teach you more about the cutting-edge technologies used in the health care industry and prepare you for working for major facilities in South Dakota. You can take classes on a local campus to finish your degree, or you can earn your health informatics degree online.

Dakota State University

Dakota State University in South Dakota emphasizes the importance of new technologies. It was founded in 1891 as the Madison Normal School. It offered programs that prepared teachers for working in rural communities around the Dakota Territory. It later became the Dakota Normal School and then Dakota State College. DSU now offers a wide range of programs including:

  • education
  • business
  • computer science
  • criminal justice

It has a low ratio of teachers to students, with around 30 students for every professor working on campus. Around 3,000 students attend DSU each year. More than 44% of those students are female.

Health Information Technology (AS)

The Health Information Technology program offered by DSU is one of the top health informatics programs in South Dakota. This program is open to both recent high school graduates and older students who want to go back to school. DSU requires that all students in this program do at least one internship. It requires that they work for a local facility and put the skills they learned in their classes to practical use. Students can take advantage of other opportunities that are available through the campus’s Health Information Management Club.

The university also makes it easy for students to transition into its BS program and for students to earn their degrees through online classes. Students take a minimum of 61 credit hours of work in classes like:

  • introduction to computers
  • human anatomy and physiology
  • fundamentals of disease
  • data coding and health care procedure coding

Health Information Administration (BS)

DSU also offers a Health Information Administration degree program that students can take after completing an AS degree or right out of high school. Program goals include:

  • helping students manage and maintain medical records
  • creating detailed billing records for patients and their insurers
  • understanding medical terminology
  • collecting data from patients

This accredited program usually takes four years to complete. The university offers this program as an on-campus program or an online course of study. It features more advanced classes than those found in the AS program, including:

  • business statistics
  • advanced health data systems
  • managerial communications
  • research in HIA

BS students also earn three credits for work they do in the summer. Similar to an internship, this field placement program puts students in hospitals and medical facilities. They spend time working on medical records and in the billing and coding departments. They’re under the supervision of professional health care information specialists.


The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)


820 N. Washington Ave.
Madison, SD 57042
(888) 378-9988

National American University Online

When looking for a degree they can complete online, many students turn to National American University. This college chain has several locations in South Dakota and physical locations in other states. However, nearly five times as many students take classes through the NAU online system.

It was founded in 1941 as the National College of Business. The school transitioned from offering just secretarial classes to offering a wide range of business programs and classes. NAU created a Distance Learning campus to assist students who could not enroll in one of its local campuses. This is now its online system, which has an enrollment of more than 5,000 students.

Health Information Technology: Associate of Applied Science Degree

The Health Information Technology: Associate of Applied Science Degree program is available through National American University. It’s among the top health informatics programs in South Dakota. It offers classes that better prepare students for taking the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam. Passing this exam provides students with a license to work as a health information technician. The program focuses on health care laws and the ethical situations found in the health care industry. It also looks at topics like:

  • coding patient records
  • managing health care facilities
  • developing a professional attitude
  • collecting data

Many of the courses in this program are worth four credit hours each. Those courses include:

  • introduction to health information management and health care
  • medical law and ethics for health care professionals
  • health information systems
  • health management information systems

NAU also offers credit for independent study projects and other special classes.


The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)


5301 S. Hwy 16
Rapid City, SD 57701
(800) 209-0490

Not all fields in health care require that you spend years in school. Some of the newest technology programs let you earn a basic degree that will help you launch your career in just two years. If you have an interest in both health and new technologies, look over some of the top health informatics programs in South Dakota.

See also: 50 Most Affordable Bachelor’s Degrees in Health Informatics 2015