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Health Communication

The Master of Science in Health Communication trains individuals in the health care field as well as other areas to design, develop, implement and assess communication programs targeted to a variety of health related audiences. This degree will prepare you for numerous communications-based opportunities within the growing field of health care, as well as expand job and career options. Program lengths range from less than one year to up to 36 months. Online programs are also available from a number of institutions.  As an alternative you may consider a Masters in Health Administration.

University Degree Offerings

  • Boston University Master of Science in Health Communication

    The Boston University Master of Science in Health Communication program emphasizes the rapidly growing field of healthcare and helps students develop communications skills to craft and disseminate messages with clarity and authority on topics that influence public and personal health. Health Communicators are in demand and critical to the facilitation of public awareness and understanding of health care issues.

Health Communication Degrees

Health Communications masters degree programs target health care and public health professionals who seek an advanced degree to enhance their career, graduates from social science programs who wish to specialize in health communication, and individuals who want the master’s degree as a step toward applying to a doctoral program.

Why a Health Communication Degree Online

Why should you earn a Master of Science in Health Communication? There are many benefit graduates receive from earning this degree:

  • The health communication field is up and coming, providing practitioners with numerous career opportunities and a chance to shape this burgeoning field.
  • Be in a position to help people by dealing with emergency and crisis communications.
  • Work with community leaders and health care providers to develop, implement, and evaluate health-based programs.
  • Choose between working both one-on-one and with community groups to achieve community health care goals.

Health Communication Degree Courses & Areas of Study

The subjects of study in Health Communications are truly varied and interesting. Some programs are based on a hands-on practical approach, while others require more theory and strategy. Overall, you can expect to study some combination of the following:

  • Strategic Communication Planning and Management
  • Crisis Communication
  • Audience Analysis
  • Health Communication Programs for Large Audiences
  • Social and Behavioral Communication Issues
  • Statistics
  • Community Health Challenges
  • Individual Health Communication Issues
  • Complex Health Issues
  • Community Health Issues
  • Health and Well being
  • Health Promotion

Health Communication Degree Career Opportunities

The list below gives you an idea of the types of jobs and career you can expect once you have your Masters in Health Communications in hand.

  • Public Relations Specialist in Health Communications for ad agency, hospital, government
  • College professor in health communications program
  • Health Communications Director
  • Health Communications Consultant
  • Health Communications Strategist
  • Marketing Specialist in health field

Online Heath Communications Degrees

Online master’s programs in Health Communication can reside in departments ranging from communications to medical schools. In addition to an average course load of 48 credit hours, most programs also require students to participate in a practicum, which consists of hands-on involvement with a real project.

Health Communication Education & Admissions Requirements

The entrance requirements for a Master’s in Health Communications are similar to other master’s programs. You’ll need to:

  • Complete the required application form, which you should be able to download from the university’s web site.
  • Arrange to have an official copy of your undergraduate transcript sent to the university.
  • Write an essay, the format and content of which will vary from school to school.
  • Take the GRE/GMAT exams: this may or may not be necessary, check with the institution.
  • Get letters of recommendation: a good distribution of candidates includes former professor, current or former boss, a customer or someone who you have served in some way, or a colleague with whom you have worked closely.

For more information about the application process, check the school’s web site or call the appropriate admissions representative.

Health Communication Degree Accreditation

There are a number of recognized accrediting agencies and professional associations for higher learning. Make sure you research the accrediting body before you select a program. At this time, many Health Communication programs are relatively new academic ventures and several have not yet completed the accreditation process. As programs grow, more schools should complete the process.

  • US Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs

Top Ranked Health Communication Degrees

Earning a Health Communications degree from a top-ranked institution makes the degree more credible and prestigious due to name recognition, as well as excellence in the academic program itself. Renowned institutions with Health Communications programs also receive high ranks by such organizations as U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review.

Health Communication Professional Organizations

Several professional organizations have been formed for practitioners in the field of health communications. The following are a great resource and can provide timely and useful information.

  • American Academy on Communication in Healthcare
  • American Communication Association
  • Coalition for Health Communication
  • International Communication Association
  • National Communication Association