Online Master’s in Health Communication Programs in 2024

Healthcare is a hot-button issue in the country. The healthcare industry needs communications experts with a knowledge of medicine, public health, disease, and other health crises to develop solid communications and public relations strategies. A master's in health communication can put you front and center in a field that overlaps medicine and business/media communications. 2024, possibly more than ever, needs more precise, culturally sensitive, and diverse health communication.

Earning a master's in health communication can lead to high-level careers such as:

  • A senior communications specialist for a hospital or healthcare system
  • Medical communications for a PR firm
  • Physician relations representative
  • Corporate communications manager for pharmaceutical or health insurance companies
  • Health communications specialist

With the high demand for distance education options, many master's in health communication programs are offered online to accommodate busy working professionals looking to climb the career ladder.

2024 Best Online Masters in Health Communication Programs

Badge for the ranking of Best Online Masters in Health Communication Programs of 2024

Health communication programs are more critical than ever as our healthcare industry grows. This is why we have ranked the top Online Master’s in Health Communication programs for 2024. Below, we navigate the diverse academic offerings landscape to provide insightful perspectives on the best programs available. In an era where effective communication in healthcare is paramount, these rankings aim to guide prospective students through online master’s programs, considering factors such as curriculum quality, faculty expertise, and program flexibility. Whether you are a seasoned healthcare professional seeking career advancement or someone passionate about making a difference in healthcare communication, our rankings will serve as a valuable resource in your journey toward an advanced degree in this vital field.


Washing State University Logo

Washington State University’s online Master’s in Health Communication and Promotion is meticulously crafted for communication and health sciences professionals, offering a flexible and fully online format. Ideal for those looking to refresh their skills and individuals aspiring to enter the health communication profession, this program stands out for its trusted credentials from a university renowned for excellence in communication studies. The curriculum embraces a multidisciplinary approach encompassing new and traditional media. Students gain proficiency in information gathering and analysis, using insights to formulate impactful health and public awareness campaigns. The program’s core curriculum covers multimedia content creation, crisis communication, professional ethics, and research methods. In contrast, specialized health communication courses delve into behavior change theories, message creation, and effective communication strategies. Graduates emerge equipped with the skills to design and implement health communication initiatives, monitor metrics, and assess the effectiveness of outreach efforts.

Learn more about WSU's offerings here.


  • Spring, Summer, and Fall start dates
  • Weekly online instructor office hours
  • 30-semester credits required


Boston University Logo

Boston University’s online Master of Science in Health Communication (MSHC), offered collaboratively by the College of Communication and Metropolitan College, is a pioneering program designed to prepare students for evolving roles in healthcare marketing, public relations, digital communication, education, promotion, and advocacy. As the first of its kind online, the multidisciplinary curriculum delves into the intersection of healthcare, marketing, health literacy, public relations, and digital media. This equips students with the skills to navigate various challenges in health communication, from medical breakthroughs and product development to government policies and public health issues. The program offers optional Healthcare Promotion, Media and Marketing, and Visual & Digital Health Communication concentrations. Graduates are proficient in employing communication strategy, demonstrating competence in developing audience-specific materials, applying ethical health communication practices, interpreting research fundamentals, and effectively presenting health and scientific information for diverse audiences.

Learn more about BU's offerings here.


  • 15:1 student-to-instructor ratio
  • Asynchronous online coursework
  • Can be completed in 16 months of part-time study


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Logo

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s online Master of Science in Health Communication prioritizes the student experience in an otherwise impersonal online education landscape. This program distinguishes itself by emphasizing individualized attention and fostering one-on-one guidance and mentoring from professors throughout the program. Students actively engage in continuous discussions with peers, creating a sense of community, and benefit from a dedicated academic advisor available 24/7 for support. Unique qualities of the Health Communication program include small cohorts for meaningful classroom discussions, quality weekly interactions between faculty and students, and the involvement of the same award-winning, tenured faculty from on-site graduate programs. This program provides the convenience of online learning without sacrificing the quality of education. It complements a full-time career, allowing students to apply coursework to various healthcare professions with flexible assignments tailored to individual goals.

Learn more about the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign's offerings here.


  • 95% degree completion rate since 2010
  • 100% asynchronous
  • A graduate certificate is also available

Choosing an Online Master's in Health Communication Program

Great care should be taken to choose the right online graduate-level health communication program for you. You'll want to ensure that the school and program chosen have a favorable reputation, skilled and responsive faculty, and learning options that suit your needs. With a bit of research, finding the perfect master's in health communication program is easier than you might think.


Proper accreditation is the key to finding an academically rigorous and respected health communication program. Regional accreditation organizations such as the Western Association of Schools and Colleges or the Higher Learning Commission are good ones to watch for. Schools and programs with accreditations tend to carry extra weight on a resume, so they are worth looking into.

Program Cost

While each master's in health communication program will have its own set of costs due to location, type of school, and other factors, there are a few expenses that students expect to pay, regardless of school. Tuition, mandatory fees, and course materials like textbooks must be accounted for. For example, the online master's in health communication through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign costs $712 per credit hour, translating to $2,848 for an 8-week course or $1,424 for a 4-week course. This cost is the same for in-state, out-of-state, and international students. Financial aid, scholarships, and student loans are typically available for qualified students.

Program Length

Around 40 credits are needed to graduate from an online graduate-level health communication program, though the exact number of credits required depends on the school chosen. These programs can be completed in 1 to 2 years, depending on the full or part-time study. The average length of a master's in health communication program is 16-18 months from start to finish.

Admissions Requirements

Generally speaking, students will need to meet the following requirements to be eligible for admission to a master's in health communication program:

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Current resume with applicable work experience

Classes and Courses

Students enrolled in an online master's of health communication program can expect to take a mix of advanced health and communications courses, which typically culminate in a final thesis or project. The curriculum may consist of courses like the following, which are offered as part of the health communication program at Boston University:

  • The American Health Care System for Health Communicators
  • The Biology of Disease
  • Contemporary Health Care Marketing
  • Media Relations for Health Communicators
  • Health Communication

Advantages of Online Master’s in Health Communication Programs

Online graduate-level health communication programs are cropping up nationwide; for good reason, the sheer convenience of these programs cannot be beaten. Online learning is ideal for those currently working and looking to expand their roles or advance their careers. The same is true for those with children, families, or other obligations that would render traditional, classroom-based education impossible. Those in rural areas also find distance education a lifesaver, eliminating the need to relocate or shoulder the burden of a lengthy commute. Regarding commuting and transportation expenses, online health communication programs also cut out these costs, saving students a bundle. Many find that these programs’ flexibility, ease, and reduced cost make higher education a real possibility.

Colleges That Offer Accredited Online Master’s in Health Communication Programs in 2022

Select Your State:


SchoolContact Information
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
801 South Wright Street
Champaign, IL 61820
(217) 333-0035


SchoolContact Information
Boston University
1010 Commonwealth Avenue, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 358-1960
Lasell College
1844 Commonwealth Ave.
Newton, MA 2466
(617) 243-2400


SchoolContact Information
Mississippi College
200 S. Capitol Street
Clinton, MS 39056
(601) 925-3229


SchoolContact Information
University of Missouri
120 Neff Hall
Columbia , MO 95211
(573) 882-4821


SchoolContact Information
Washington State University
PO Box 645220
Pullman, WA 99164
(509) 335-7333

Organizations for Health Communication Community