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Decoding GradCAS: What to Expect When You Apply to Pitt’s Online MSHI

May 3, 2024

The exciting field of health informatics, which lies at the intersection of medicine, business and technology, is exploding thanks to rapid technological advancements in the health care industry. The growing volume of medical data requires skilled analysts to convert information into valuable insights that can impact every level of health care, including patient care, medical interventions, research, pharmaceutics, insurance agencies, hospitals, and much more.

Are you ready to help improve patient outcomes, reveal potential cost savings, and inspire new advancements? Now is the perfect time to consider an advanced degree or certificate in health care informatics. With four master’s degree tracks and four certificate options available, the University of Pittsburgh’s Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) can expand your current health care knowledge and increase your career opportunities in this in-demand industry.

Take the first step toward an exciting and rewarding new career. Read on to learn more about Pitt’s application process with GradCAS.

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What is GradCAS? An Overview of the Common Application

GradCAS—the Centralized Application Service for Graduate Schools and Programs—makes applying to the University of Pittsburgh’s MSHI program easy. Like the CommonApp for undergraduate applications, GradCAS allows prospective students to apply to multiple degree programs by submitting a single application for enrollment. 

Through the easy-to-use website, applicants can manage the application process, including submitting supporting documentation, transcripts and recommendations, as well as answering supplemental questions requested by specific programs. At each step of the application process, you can save your work and return to it later.

Applying Using the Centralized App

Let’s review the GradCAS application process step-by-step.

Create Your CAS Account 

The first step to applying to the MSHI program is to create your GradCAS account to gain access to the application portal. Liaison, the company that manages the GradCAS, recommends you use either Chrome or Firefox, as the application is optimized for these browsers; Safari should also work. Liaison also recommends completing your application from a Mac or PC rather than a mobile phone or table. 

After registering, select Pitt’s Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) as a program of interest. Once you log in, you can start your application, save your progress, and return to revise or add materials as needed.

Start the Online Application 

Status bars display your progress as you complete each application section, enabling you to assess quickly where you are in the process and what materials remain to submit. The application has four sections: personal information, supporting information, academic history, and program materials. You must complete all sections to submit your application.

Begin Drafting Your Essay

Your personal statement provides a unique opportunity to speak directly to the admissions team. In two to three pages, discuss your goals, strengths, and experiences that will contribute to your academic and professional success. Explain why you are interested in health informatics and the University of Pittsburgh program.

Gather and Submit Your Supporting Materials 

Additional materials include the following documents:

  • Resume
  • Unofficial transcripts: You may use unofficial transcripts to submit your application; however, if you are admitted and decide to enroll, you will need to provide official transcripts to the SHRS Admissions Office.
  • One letter of recommendation: This letter, which should come from an individual who has taught you in an academic, clinical, research, or professional setting, is requested through the GradCAS portal. After you fill out the online form providing the recommender’s name, email address, due date, and a personal message, GradCAS sends your request to the recommender with instructions on how to submit the letter electronically. Once your letter has been requested, you can complete and submit your application—even if your recommendation letter has not yet been provided.
  • Additional requirements for international applicants: Students educated internationally may have additional requirements, such as an Academic Credential Evaluation and English Language Proficiency. If you have questions about your application as an international student, please contact the SHRS Admissions Office.

Submit Your Completed Application

Once you have provided all the required information and documents, take a moment to review your application before submitting it. You may not make changes once you select the submit button. 

After you submit your application, you will be prompted to pay a $50 application fee. This secure online transaction requires a credit card, debit card, or PayPal. After submitting your payment, you will receive a confirmation page with your payment receipt. 

You will also receive a separate email confirming the successful submission of your application. You can log into the GradCAS portal anytime to view your application status.

Get Help When You Need It

There has never been a better time to join the exciting field of health informatics. Stand out from the crowd with an online master’s degree in health informatics from the University of Pittsburgh.

Do you have a question about GradCAS or the application process? Enrollment advisors are available to help with your application every step of the way. You can start your application today.

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