School history

faculty and staff 1987
Health Information Science Faculty and Staff in 1987

Canada's first post-secondary program in health informatics

The School of Health Information Science emerged in 1981 at the University of Victoria out of a desire to improve health care through the development of information technology.

Since its inception, our school has been a leader in health informatics education, research and consultancy at both the national and international levels. We were the first post-secondary program in health informatics in Canada and we are now one of the most well-known programs in health informatics in North America.

Education in health informatics at UVic provides students with a broad range of interdisciplinary skills, knowledge and competencies in the field. It is this concept that has been fuelling the educational program within our school since the outset. We are proud to say that, for the past 35 years, this model has been and continues to be very successful as indicated by the satisfaction of our students and their success in gaining employment and advancement in the field of health information science.

Undergraduate programs

Our first group of undergraduate health information science students started the program in 1982 and received their degrees in May 1986. Every one of those graduates left our halls and walked directly into the workforce.

With the benefit of our co-operative education program our graduates—from the undergraduate level to the graduate—still boast an almost 100% employment rate for positions in health informatics.

Today, we have two undergraduate programs: a BSc in Health Information Science and a Combined Major in Computer Science and Health Information Science.

More than 700 of our graduates currently hold various positions in Canada and throughout the world. We pride ourselves on providing our students the education necessary, not only to work in the field, but to actually push the discipline forward.

Graduate programs

In 2001 we launched our graduate program in health informatics. It now includes an on-campus MSc degree program, and a distributed MSc program, where health professionals have the opportunity to earn a MSc in Health Informatics while continuing to work in the field. A PhD in Health Informatics is also available.

In 2010, we introduced a double Master of Nursing and Master of Science in Health Informatics degree program. This double degree program gives nurses who are interested in health informatics the opportunity to develop graduate level competencies in both nursing and health informatics.

The next generation of health informaticians

The world of health care and health informatics has changed over the years and our renowned faculty members are at the leading edge of this transformation. These changes underlie the need for skilled health informaticians who possess a global understanding of problems along with the ability to deal with local issues. Our aim is to nourish this next generation of health informaticians—to give them the education and experiential learning necessary to succeed.

If you are interested in how health information and technology complement each other; if you seek to develop strong integrative and "holistic" capabilities and skills; or if you think the innovative and vital field of health information science is what you are looking for, then this site should have the information you need to get started.

Journal of Coach, 1st Quarter, March 2002, Vol. 16, No.1
Journal of Coach, March/April 1988, Vol. 2, No. 2