Prospective Students

Transform Health, Apply to HILS-Online

  • Become a leader in data-driven health care improvement 

  • Earn a Masters in 12 months 

  • Study at a top-tier research institution

  • Practice your skills through a summer learning systems project

  • Design and implement change in health care systems using the latest research findings

Graduates will be able to create and implement innovative solutions to address some of the most demanding health care challenges by developing expertise in Learning Health Systems and health improvement processes. HILS attracts students from a variety of disciplines, who are passionate about transforming health systems.

The U.S. health care system is the most expensive in the world, yet the U.S. ranks far from the top on most population health indicators. The HILS-Online program at the University of Michigan equips health leaders and researchers with the tools to solve some of the most complex health problems in the U.S. and abroad.

Cutting edge science

HILS-Online is the nation’s first graduate program focused on the science and methods of learning health systems. Increasingly recognized in academic literature, learning health systems are the underpinning of wide-ranging health improvement movements nationally and globally. Above all, the program aims to improve the health of individuals and populations by developing practitioners and researchers who design, implement and evaluate innovative change and continuous improvement.

Innovative academic home

HILS-Online is housed in the Department of Learning Health Sciences, a basic science department in the University of Michigan Medical School, ranked in the top ten nationally. The program and its faculty have close affiliations with the university’s highly ranked Schools of Information, Public Health, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, and others.  The University of Michigan is regarded by many as the nation’s premier public institution of higher education.

Intensive online program

This program is designed for individuals who are employed in jobs that they wish to advance in, without having to leave their position and move to Michigan. Students are able to incorporate their classes into their daily life schedules and complete assignments from anywhere via laptop, tablet, or mobile device. The 27-credit MS program, which includes a summer learning systems project, is designed to be completed in 3 semesters over 12 months for full-time students or for part-time students, the program can be completed in 2-3 years. 

HILS curriculum and faculty

The HILS-Online program is a full-fledged University of Michigan master’s degree.. A unique combination of courses, offered by the program’s own interdisciplinary faculty, includes study of infrastructure, data science, knowledge management, implementation science, statistical and evaluation methods, and ethics—all applied to health system change and improvement. The program is directed by Dr. Caren Stalburg, and the program’s home department is chaired by Dr. Charles Friedman, an international leader in Learning Health Systems.


Special emphasis will be placed on creating community for online students. High quality education includes strategies to engage students with faculty, each other and the learning process through in-person campus experiences as well as online activities. HILS-Online will require a few face-to-face campus visits. These on-campus visits will allow students to meet faculty and each other, face-to-face, in order to create a learning community. This will allow faculty to find common ground with students and ensure that a vibrant community exists. Opportunities for face-to-face mentoring will augment the already existing relationship created in the online space.


HILS-Online students will be paired with a faculty advisor and have access to faculty through live office hours and email. Students can also connect with the program manager through email, Zoom video conferencing, Slack and other online channels of communication.

Student services

HILS-Online students will have the same access to student support services, student organizations and student activities that are available to residential students such as those services provided through Rackham Graduate School, Office of Graduate Postdoctoral Studies, the university libraries, including Taubman Health Sciences Library. Among these pages, students can find information on diversity resources, counseling services, health and wellness and career services just to name a few.