MA in Communication - Health Communication

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Shape the Healthcare Conversation with your Communication Degree.

Few topics dominate today's public discourse like healthcare. The online Master's in Health Communication provides students with the knowledge and skills to improve healthcare quality through increased consumer healthcare literacy.

Every day, healthcare organizations are challenged with how to effectively communicate health information to consumers. Employing communication experts who have the ability to effectively translate complex practitioner and provider information on a level where the consumer is able to digest the information is key.

A health communication masters degree can significantly benefit health professionals (non-practitioners) or excellent communicators seeking new opportunities in the areas of public relations and healthcare education/advocacy:

  • Clear communication of public healthcare policy topics
  • Public education programs that nurture a more healthcare-literate population
  • Management of communication technology, including bulletin boards and social media, to assure information accuracy and uphold ethical standards
  • Raising awareness of, and advocating for, specific healthcare matters

This 36-credit program includes seven core courses, four specialized courses below, and a capstone.

Health Communication Concentration Courses

COM-575: eHealth and Technology
eHealth, telemedicine, and cybermedicine are quickly becoming the new 'face' of medicine in today's world. Patients and consumers are looking for ease of access to healthcare information and are met with an abundance of electronic resources. This course provides an introduction to the role of electronically-mediated communication in health communication and campaigns and asks students to engage with how technology can improve, hinder, and/or evolve health literacy and health communication practices.
COM-500 or COM-510
COM-576: Health Communication & Culture
Health literacy is an increasingly important component of any health care system as patients and communities struggle to integrate appropriate interventions, and these interventions are always shaped by the cultural and social contexts of the communities affected. This course provides an advanced investigation into relevant cultural concepts that shape health care and health communication, focusing on strategies to improve health literacy ethically and empathically.
COM-500 or COM-510
COM-577: Healthcare Ethics
Certainly ethics is important in every branch of communication. But when conveying messages about subject matter as sensitive, high-stakes, and emotionally-charged as health care, ethics takes on a new level of significance. In this course, students will re-examine general principles of responsible communication in the new context of health communication. Through investigation of relevant case studies, students will logically extend and add definition to their existing moral frameworks. The course will emphasize the nuance and complexity of health-related ethical issues, including the impacts of technology on health privacy, stigma surrounding controversial health issues, illnesses, and treatment options, and one's moral responsibility to ensure accuracy in disseminating public health information.
COM-500 or COM-510
COM-578: Contemporary Public Policy and Strategy
Particular to the field of health communication is the significant role governmental policies, initiatives, and practices will play - from the content of one's messages to the way in which they are conveyed. Additionally, as a health communication professional, it is likely that one may be called upon to draft, disseminate, and promote health legislation and associated initiatives. In this course, students will examine contemporary legislation and health care policy trends, so as to adeptly devise strategies and craft messages for effectively communicating this essential information. Attention will be paid to best practices for responsibly addressing controversial political issues in one's health communications.
COM-500 or COM-510

Sample Careers for MA Communication – Health Communication Master's

  • Marketing or public relations professionals working in the healthcare sector
  • Communication consultant for health care providers
  • Director of operations
  • Health care public relations and marketing
  • Health internet website designer
  • Human resource manager in a health care organization
  • Nonprofit organization and social services management
  • Patient and family advocate
  • Health educator
  • Pharmaceutical salesperson
  • Public health campaign designer and evaluator
  • Training specialist in health care organizations

Admission Requirements

Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our five graduate terms. You can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials. To apply, simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options.  Your counselor can also walk you through the application process, which involves completing a graduate application ($40 fee) and providing undergraduate transcripts.

Additional requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree (can be in a discipline outside of the intended MA degree program).
  • Statement of Purpose: 200-500 words explaining why you wish to enter the program.
  • Writing Sample:  Minimum 3-5 pages (i.e. research paper, creative work, critical analysis of a literary piece, or work from previous academic studies).

Students with an undergraduate GPA below 2.75 are eligible for provisional acceptance. Based on your educational background, some Master of Arts provisional students may be required to take SNHU 501 – Introduction to Graduate Studies – which will provide students with the scholarly tools to be successful in their Master of Arts program of study. This policy is effective for new students enrolling for the 15TW4 graduate term starting April 27, 2015.

      Business or professional writing is also acceptable.
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