Health Problem of Interest

The Health Infrastructures and Learning Systems (HILS)-Online program prepares graduates to address social and technical challenges that health systems face in making continuous health improvement routine.

Interdisciplinary Learning Sciences Curriculum

The HILS-Online learning sciences curriculum emphasizes the role of learning in health care environments and the tools needed to facilitate systems change. HILS introduces distinct models of adaptive change, and students apply their skills immediately to existing problems.

Defining characteristics include:

  • Nature of health information

  • Role of information technology and informatics

  • Translation of biomedical research knowledge into clinical practice or consumer advice

  • Complex organizational, social, and regulatory environment in which learning in the health sciences takes place


HILS-Online MS students will complete a minimum of 27 credits. The MS program is intentionally designed to be about a year of study, to appeal to professional students (both clinicians and engineers, among others) who wish to gain new knowledge and skills in a short, intensive program. Or the program can be completed on a part-time basis in 2-3 years.


Four types of courses are required for all students in the MS online program:

  • Research methods course(s),
  • Courses in the components of the learning cycle,
  • Courses in health infrastructures, as well as
  • One elective course suited to the student’s area of scholarship 

Students are thoroughly grounded in each of the phases of the learning cycle and to the infrastructure required to enable the learning cycles to function in a learning health system. The health infrastructures courses bookmark the learning cycle sequence, ensuring that students gain an initial understanding of the concepts and approaches to building and maintaining health infrastructure, with opportunities to apply and experience actual creation and maintenance activities. 

Initial MS courses in HILS-Online are open to admitted degree-seeking students and others with an interest. Students who are not in the HILS-Online program should consult with the program advisor in their home department to determine how HILS-Online courses might suit their program of study and degree requirements.

For more information, read the course descriptions.

Courses within Learning Health Sciences

  • LHS 610: Exploratory Data Analysis for Health (3 credits)
  • LHS 611: Knowledge Representation and Management in Health (3 credits)
  • LHS 621: Implementation Science in Health 1 (3 credits)
  • LHS 622: Learning Cycle Capstone (3 credits)
  • LHS 650: Health Infrastructures Pro Seminar 1 (3 credits)
  • LHS 660: Evaluation and Research Methods for Health Informatics and Learning Systems (3 credits)
  • LHS 671: Ethics and Policy Issues for Learning Health Systems (3 credits)
  • LHS 678: Learning Cycle Informatics (3 credits)
  • Elective


Courses in Coordination with Other Departments

  • Advanced/Applied Research Methods
  • Quantitative Analysis/Statistics


Electives will be determined individually by students together with their advisors. One elective suited to the student’s area of scholarship is required. A current elective offered by HILS faculty is Natural Language Processing on Health Data. Other electives are being planned for the future.

In addition, the HILS-Online program faculty have identified more than 75 potential elective courses across a wide range of research areas at the University of Michigan: biostatistics, public health and policy, ethics, health management, women's studies, nursing, industrial and organizational engineering, epidemiology, social work, and more.

Applied Practice and In-Depth Research

A summer learning cycle project (examples), completed the summer following the first year of the program, provides students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills. Most students will work with faculty on projects related to their focal area. A student interested in learning implementation and behavior change skills may work with a faculty member involved in implementing guideline-concordant care for low-income patients with diabetes in community settings.

Health Infrastructures and Learning Systems Course Sequences

Flexibility to complete the MS program in one year as a full-time student; or complete in 2-3 years as a part-time student.

Full-Time Schedule

Following is the course sequence for those who want to complete the program in 1 year.

Part-Time Schedule

Following is an example of a potential course sequence for those who want to complete the program in 2 years.

HILS Online 24-month plan graph