Advanced Graduate Certificate in Health Communication

The Advanced Graduate Certificate in Health Communication, a collaboration between the University's Program in Public Health and School of Communication and Journalism, teaches members of the public health workforce, healthcare professionals, professionals in media (journalism, marketing, public relations and communication) and masters/doctoral candidates how to be effective health communicators, bridging the gap between medicine and public health and the world-at-large.  With a focus on advanced graduate training, it is designed to provide the necessary skills to communicate health related issues to the public directly or through the press.

Graduates of this 18 credit Advanced Certificate in Health Communication program will enhance their health communication knowledge, experiences, and skills and positively impact their chosen career pathway in journalism, communications, public health, medicine, or other health related profession. Graduates will be able to look for employment in academic settings, research facilities, public health organizations, or health care institutions. Graduates also may serve as health communication experts in media, consulting and public relations settings. Working professionals will gain communication skills that will enhance their skills and help them advance within their respective public health, healthcare or media professions.


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Required Courses (18 credits)

Each student is required to take the following courses:
HPH 585  Introduction to Biostatistics & Epidemiology (3 credits)
HPH 523  Social & Behavioral Determinants of Health (3 credits)
HPH 551  Practice of Health Communications (3 credits)
JRN 565  Communicating Your Science (3 credits)

Each student is required to complete 6 credits from the following list:
JRN 534  Communicating Your Science Using Digital Media (3 credits)
JRN 585  Communicating Science & Health Risks to the Public (3 credits)
JRN 522  Communicating Science to Decision-Makers (3 credits)
JRN 575  Special Topics in Science Communication (3 credits)
HPH 500  Contemporary Issues in Public Health (3 credits)
HPH 552  Planning & Implementing Community Health Initiatives (3 credits)


Students can apply to the program throughout the academic year and will be able to matriculate in the Fall, Spring, and Summer. Admission is done on a rolling basis, but students are encouraged to apply at least a month before the beginning of the term for which they are applying.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelors degree with a 3.0 GPA or better from an accredited college or university.
  • Official transcripts from all postsecondary schools. All international transcripts must be evaluated by an agency accredited by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. See section on International Students for more information about this process.
  • Two references that can address the applicant's capacity to succeed in the field of health communications or related fields and complete a course of graduate level certificate study. If the applicant is a student or has graduated within the last two years, at least one letter must be from a college or university faculty member with whom the applicant has studied. If the applicant has been working, at least one letter must be from a supervisor who is familiar with the applicant’s work.
  • Complete application with writing sample.
  • One essay is required for the application. It should be no more than 500 words and should be submitted with your application in SOPHAS Express (uploaded in the Attachments section).

Essay Topic: How do the skills/knowledge you will attain through the Advanced Graduate Certificate in Health Communication relate to your career/educational goals?

  • Personal interview, if requested by the Admissions Committee.

For international students:

  • International students who trained in non-English speaking schools and do not reside in an English speaking country are required to take the TOEFL exam. The expected minimum score is 213 for the Computer-Based Test, 90 for the Internet-Based Test, and 550 for the Paper-Based Test.
  • International students are required to have a course-by-course educational credential evaluation completed by an agency accredited by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). We require using World Education Services (WES). This evaluation provides a U.S. course equivalent including semester hours earned, course content, and corresponding letter grade for all courses listed on the international applicant's transcript. This evaluation must be completed before the application can be considered.
  • For more information about the requirements for international students, click here

For more information email:

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