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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The information in this FAQ pertains to the undergraduate and post-baccalaureate certificate programs.

What are the differences between the Certificate and the Degree Program?

Certificate vs Degree Admission

Certificate Degree
UW Bothell/Tacoma Classes? No No
Online classes? No No
Evening Classes? Yes Yes
Day classes? No No
Tuition $390/cr $390/cr
Financial Aid (FAFSA) No Yes
One-year Cost Certificate 1yr Degree 1yr
Two-year Cost Certificate 2yr Degree 2yr
Waive Course via Ext. Wk. Exp. Yes No
Books - 1yr $1,525 $1,525
Books - 2yr $1,525 $1,525
U-PASS $76/quarter $76/quarter
Immunization Review Fee See web site See web site
Student Medical Insurance No Yes
Services & Activities Fee No Yes
Technology Fee Yes Yes
Bachelors Degree Required? Yes No
General Ed Reqs No Yes

*Federal aid is not available, however a completed FAFSA application is required for HIHIM Program need-based aid.

When can you apply?

The HIHIM program accepts applications annually. Applications may be submitted during the following periods:

Early Acceptance: November 1, 2013 - February 18, 2014.
General Acceptance: January 1, 2014 - April 15, 2014.
See "Admission" for more information on "early" and "general" acceptance.

When does the academic year begin?

The 2014-2015 HIHIM academic year begins on June 23, 2014.
See the HIHIM Admission page for more information.

MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY - I work in a hospital. Do I still need to take the Medical Terminology challenge test? Must I pay a fee?

Yes. Contact the HIHIM Office if you have questions.

There is no fee to take the test.

MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY - I must take the Medical Terminology challenge test. What is the test like?

Number of questions: 120
Type of questions: T/F, Matching, statements etc...
Minimum passing score: 84/120
Maximum attempts: You can only take the test once.

If you miss more than 36 questions, you must register for a course at:

IN-PROGRESS PREREQUISITES - Must I provide documentation?

Yes. In order to receive points in the application review process, you must include an official registration confirmation showing that you are indeed registered in the course. This will be provided to you when you pay the registration fee and tuition.

What are the program fees?

$390 per credit with the majority of our courses being five credits each. Since our program is not state funded, we can charge all students (in state, out of state and international) the same amount.

In addition, there is an "Immunization Reivew" fee applied to all Health Sciences students. For more information, visit: Required Immunizations for Health Sciences Students.

Is financial aid available?

Certificate - Federal financial aid is not available for students who apply for the post-baccalaureate certificate in HIHIM.

Degree - Federal financial aid is available for students who have applied for the undergraduate degree in HIHIM. Submit your FAFSA early.
Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid

Can I transfer credit from an RHIT program?

Courses completed in an accredited RHIT program may be used to waive out of an HIHIM core course. However, the University of Washington does not accept the credits earned as transfer credit. An applicant for the HIHIM degree may need to make up the credit difference prior to application if the anticipated credit loss puts them below the minimum credits required to apply to the major. This credit loss may also impact anticipated credits needed (180 credits) for graduation. This credit loss is unlikely to impact applicants for the HIHIM certificate.

Will I be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

International students not currently in the U.S. are eligible to apply to the HIHIM certificate one-year program. Contact the University of Washington Professional & Continuing Education Immigration Services Office (PCE-IS) regarding Optional Practical Training.

Will I be eligible to take the RHIA certification exam?

Both degree and certificate students who successfully complete respective requirements are eligible to take the national RHIA certification exam. The only difference is that Certificate students do not earn a Bachelor's (undergraduate) from the University of Washington.

What if I am an international applicant?

Certifiate or Degree?

Since most international students do not have the 90 U.S. credits required to apply to HIHIM for the bachelors degree, international students usually complete their college degree (4 years) in their country and then make application to the Certificate Program.

Document Translation and Evaluation

A credential/transcript evaluation translation may be needed. The evaluation translates the program level and scores from the standard of the country of origin to the equivalent standard in the USA.

The following services provide translation and evaluation of international transcripts:
The Foundation for International Services, Inc. (FIS)
World Education Services (WES)


The HIHIM department does not advise or manage visa issues for applicants or students. Please visit the UW's International Students and Scholars web site.

Do you offer internships?

The HIHIM program does not operate paid internships. However, HIHIM curriculum includes a final Capstone Project (HIHIM 462) where students are matched up with sites to work on real-world projects.