Health Information Management

Admission Process

The Health Information Management program typically accepts 35 students each year. The program begins fall term and is offered completely online. Students are selected based on a competitive point system. For information on how to receive points, see the advising guide. Please check your PCC email regularly during the admission process. All communication related to your application and admission will be done through your PCC email account.

Students who have completed credits from an approved Health Information Management Program may have the option to be admitted to the HIM Program outside of the regular admission period. Please contact Admissions if you think you may be eligible. All admissions outside of the regular admission process will be made at the discretion of the Program Director.

When to apply

Students with the same number of points will be accepted in the order their completed application was received, so apply early.

Application deadlines
Term you want to start First chance to apply Deadline
Fall 2019 January 14, 2019 April 12, 2019

Transfer Students

The PCC HIM program will accept transfer students on a space available basis without applying through the normal admission process. The number accepted depends on how many students drop the program during their first year.

In order to qualify as a transfer student, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be able to complete the program in one year (see Completion Record under Advising Information).
  2. Meet all the requirements for admission to the program. Please note the Math requirement specifically since that is one that transfer applicants often do not meet.
  3. Have all the courses required during the first year at PCC available to transfer. It may be possible to take the ICD Procedural Coding course during the final term of the program. Courses to transfer must include:
    • Anatomy and Physiology – 6-8 credits covering cell biology and all body systems.
    • Health Record documentation, both inpatient and outpatient (including use of an electronic health record) – approximately 8 credits
    • Healthcare Delivery Systems overview course – 3-4 credits
    • Legal Systems course that includes Release of Information – 2-3 credits
    • Diagnostic testing and surgical procedures (may be part of a more intense medical terminology set of courses) - 4 credits
    • Pathophysiology or Human Diseases course – 3-5 credits
    • Pharmacology course – 2-3 credits

If you believe you meet these requirements and wish to transfer, you may submit your unofficial transcripts for review.

If you do not meet these requirements, you will need to apply as a new student in order to take the first-year classes still needed.

Credit for coding coursework

Starting in Fall Term 2017, the Health Information Management Program now has the option to award credit for Coding coursework for HIM students. Credit may be awarded for students who have worked, or who are currently working in approved Coding positions, or who have taken and passed Coding Credentialing Exams through AHIMA or AAPC and who are currently credentialed. See the credit for prior learning page or contact the admissions advisor at for more information.

Complete prerequisite classes and earn points toward admission

The following prerequisite classes are available at Portland Community College. If you believe you have met the core requirements of any of these classes at other colleges, please contact to have your transcripts "unofficially" evaluated to determine completion of requirements. Your classwork may need to be evaluated by the Department Chair, as well, before you will be advised on whether your previous coursework meets PCC class requirements.

  1. WR 121 – English Composition
  2. MP 111 – Medical Terminology
  3. MTH 65 – Introductory Algebra - 2nd term, or MTH 58 – Math Literacy I
  4. CAS 133 – Basic Computer Skills/MS Office

All prerequisite classes must be passed with a grade 'C' or above. Prerequisite may be in progress when you submit your application but must be complete by the end of the application period.

Students are expected to be comfortable and confident in navigating an online classroom format, such as PCC's Desire to Learn. This often requires more reading on the part of students, as well as comfort with computer technology, so please make sure you have taken at least one online class. MP 111 is often a good online class to see if this is a format that works with your learning and personal style.

Since the program is fully online, include labs that may utilize a web-based electronic health record, students should be competent in the following areas:

  • Handling problems with their home computer.
  • Utilizing a browser, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome, including accessing websites, downloading files, installing browser add-ins, and searching for resources.
  • Utilizing Microsoft Office applications, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Opening files in Acrobat Reader.

Since most HIM jobs expect competence in applications such as Excel, the courses within the HIM program are using these programs extensively.  Some skills you may need to demonstrate in course assignments are:

  • Microsoft Word
    • Formatting documents, reports, and policies and procedures.
  • Microsoft Excel
    • Creating formulas.
    • Using functions, such as VLOOKUP.
    • Creating charts.
    • Creating Pivot Tables.
    • Formatting spreadsheets.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
    • Creating and editing presentations.

If there are features you are unfamiliar with, resources will be provided to help you.  If you are uncomfortable learning specific skills independently, you may wish to register for additional Computer Applications coursework prior to beginning the program.

Receiving admission points

  • Students will receive admission points for grades in prerequisite classes, two recommendation forms, and experience working and volunteering in four different areas. Students who have applied before in the past two years but not been accepted will receive an additional point.
  • For detailed information on the point system used for admission see the advising guide.
  • Students will be ranked in order of points and time of application, so it is to your advantage to get your application in early in case your points put you at the cutoff for admission. 
  • Any prerequisites in-progress Spring Term will be assigned points for a C grade.

Complete application for admission

  1. Complete the Health Information Management Application and send the recommendation form link to two people you choose to recommend you for the program. The will follow the link and complete the form. Applications accepted January 14 - April 12, 2019. The application and both recommendation forms must be submitted for the application to be complete. Please do not submit the application prior to January 14. Applications received before January 14 will not be date and time stamped as being received until the end of the day January 14. Applicants who have applied in the past must complete a new application in order to be considered for admission.
  2. Include unofficial transcripts from colleges/universities you have attended other than Portland Community College.
    • You do not need unofficial transcripts if you have had your transcripts officially evaluated by Student Records, and your transcripts are on file with PCC.
    • If you are currently enrolled in coursework at another college you must provide proof of enrollment with your application listing any required classes that are in progress. Your grade for this class must be received in admissions within one week after the grade is posted.

Admission notification

You will receive notification of your admission status via PCC email by the end of April. If you have been accepted into the program, you will be invited to a mandatory orientation. Please check your PCC email for that important notification.

Applicants who qualify, but do not have the top points for admission will be notified of their status as a program alternate. Often, alternates are eventually selected for the program. Alternates will be listed in order of points, and in the case of students receiving the same points, the order of applications were received by admissions.

Cohort and schedule

Students will become part of a cohort (a group of students who take classes together). The Health Information Program is an Associate's Degree program, and students go full time for 6 terms. In an online program, students are expected to be comfortable and confident in navigating an online classroom format, such as PCC's Desire to Learn.

Practicum Requirements

After admission to the program, but before beginning directed practice, students may be required to complete some or all of the following: criminal background check, proof of immunizations, and a ten-panel drug screening. There will be a cost to the student associated with completing this requirement (see program costs). For more information about practicum requirements contact Admissions at or 971-722-5667.