Online Master’s in Health Communication Programs

Healthcare is a hot-button issue in the country, and 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 both medicine and business/media communications.

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

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

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 little research, finding the perfect master's in health communication program is easier than you might think.

Accreditation

Proper accreditation truly 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 North Central Association of Colleges and Schools are some good ones to keep an eye out 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 an expect to pay, regardless of school. Tuition, mandatory school fees, and course materials like textbooks will all need to be accounted for. For example, the online master's in health communication through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign costs roughly $675 per credit hour, which translates to $2,700 for an 8-week course or $1,350 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 total credits are needed in order 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 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 in order 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 all over the country, and for good reason; the sheer convenience of these programs simply cannot be beat. For those who are currently working and looking to expand their roles or advance their careers, online learning is ideal. Same 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, as it eliminates the need to relocate or shoulder the burden of a lengthy commute. Speaking of commuting and transportation expenses, online health communication programs also cut out these costs, saving students a bundle. Many find that the flexibility, ease, and reduced cost of these programs makes higher education a real possibility.

Colleges That Offer Accredited Online Master’s in Health CommunicationPrograms

Select Your State:

Illinois

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

Massachusetts

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

Mississippi

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

Missouri

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

Washington, DC

SchoolContact Information
George Washington University
950 New Hampshire Ave, NW - 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20052
(855) 674-2849

Organizations for Health Communication Community