Courses & Requirements

Students are responsible for fulfilling the degree requirements of their respective departments, in addition to the requirements of HCC.

HCC Requirements*

10 Credits total consisting of the following:
*Pass/fail option is fine. No audit option.

  • 2.5 credits for required foundation course: SBS 509 Health Communication in the 21st Century offered in Spring 1 2021
  • 7.5 credits from among the courses listed below (courses not on the list will not meet the requirements). The selected courses should be linked to one another to form a thematic grouping – by type of media, by population of interest, or by skills sets. Suggested, but not exhaustive examples of thematic groupings are listed below.

Elective Courses that meet HCC Requirements

The following courses meet the 7.5 credit Health Communication Concentration (HCC) requirement. Please see examples of thematic organization of the courses at the end of this list:

Harvard School of Public Health

  • SBS 210: Introduction to Dissemination and Implementation Science [2.5] – Spring 2 2021
  • SBS 211: Public Health in Action: Strategies for Policy, Advocacy, and Communication [2.5] – Spring 2 2021
  • SBS 503: Explaining Health Behavior: Insights from Behavioral Economics [2.5] – Spring 2 2021
  • SBS 515: Health Literacy: Measuring Accessibility of Health Information [2.5] – Fall 1 2020
  • SBS 516: Measures of The Health Literacy Environment [1.25] – Fall 2 2020
  • SBS 519: Patient-Centered Communication & Health Equity – Challenges and Opportunities in the Digital Era [2.5] – Not offered in 2020-21 academic year
  • SBS 522: Multi-Level Theoretical Approaches to Health Behavior [2.5] – Spring 1 2021
  • HPM 223: Public Speaking for Managers [1.25] – Fall 2 2020 & Spring 2 2021
  • HPM 233: Strategic Marketing Management in Health Systems [2.5] – Spring 1 2021
  • HPM 247: Political Analysis and Strategy for U.S. Health Policy [5] – Not offered in 2020-21 academic year
  • HPM 520: Organizing Consumer and Community Interests in the Health System [2.5] – Fall 2 2020

Harvard School of Education

  • EDU HT123: Informal Learning for Children [5] – Winter 2021
  • GSE HT-500: Growing Up in a Media World [5] – Not offered in 2020-21 academic year
  • EDU T522: Innovation by Design: Projects in Educational Technology [5] – Fall 2020
  • EDU T530: Designing and Producing Media for Learning [5] – Spring 2021
  • EDU T511K: Transforming Education through Emerging Technologies [5] – Fall 2 2020
  • EDU T581: Advanced Design Studio [5] – Spring 2021
  • GSE T-810A: Cultivating Public Engagement with Science: Challenges and Opportunities for Educators [2.5] – Not offered in 2020-21 academic year

Harvard Kennedy School

  • MLD 342: Persuasion: The Science and Art of Effective Influence [5] – Winter 2021
  • MLD 355: Public Narrative [2.5] – Fall 2020
  • MLD 377: Organizing: People, Power, Change [5] – Spring 2021
  • KSG DPI-659: Media, Politics and Power in the Digital Age [5] –Not offered in 2020-21 academic year
  • DPI 802M: The Arts of Communication [2.5] – Fall 1 or 2 2020, Spring 1 or 2 2021
  • DPI-810: Writing for Policy and Politics [2.5] – Fall 1 or 2 2019, Spring 1 or 2 2020
  • KSG DPI-811: Advanced Intensive Writing for Policy and Politics [2.5] – Not offered in 2020-21 academic year
  • KSG DPI-892: Strategic Communications for Policy Change: Practical Strategies for Influencing a Better World [5] – Not offered in 2020-21 academic year

Harvard Business School

  • HBS 1990: Digital Marketing Strategy [5] – Not offered in 2020-21 academic year

Recommended Methods Courses

HCC students are strongly recommended to take one of the following recommended courses as they will provide complementary skills. They do not count towards the HCC 10-credit requirement.

  • SBS 288: Qualitative Research Methods in Public Health (*number of qualitative research methods courses offered each term at the Kennedy School, and sometimes at the Education School) [2.5] – Fall 1 2020
  • SBS 521 Qualitative Data Analysis for Public Health [2.5] – Not offered in 2020-21 academic year
  • SBS 203: Program Planning [2.5] – Spring 1 2021
  • SBS 204: Program Implementation and Evaluation [2.5] – Spring 2 2021
  • BST 212: Survey Research Methods in Community Health [2.5] – Spring 2021
  • GSE T-523: Formative Evaluation for Educational Product Development [5] – Spring 2021

Examples of Thematic Grouping of Health Communication Courses

The following examples show how the required courses in HCC may form a coherent theme. This is meant to serve as an illustration of how students could select courses to form a theme based on content, focus, skill sets, and/or communication media. You will notice repetition in the list as many courses address different themes.

Communication Campaigns 

  • SBS 509: Health Communication in the 21st Century

Publicizing/Marketing your Cause

  • SBS 509: Health Communication in the 21st Century
  • HBS 1990: Digital Marketing Strategy

Health Communications in the Digital Age – Internet and New Technology 

  • SBS 519: Patient-Centered Communication & Health Equity – Challenges and Opportunities in the Digital Era
  • KSG DPI-659: Media, Politics and Power in the Digital Age
  • EDU T511K: Transforming Education through Emerging Technologies
  • EDU T581: Advanced Design Studio
  • HBS 1990: Digital Marketing Strategy

Media for Children/Adolescents

  • GSE T-500: Growing Up in a Media World
  • GSE T-530: Designing and Producing Media for Education
  • EDU HT123: Informal Learning for Children

Practice of Health Communication in Health Care Settings

  • SBS 515: Health Literacy: Measuring Accessibility of Health Information
  • SBS 519: Patient-Centered Communication & Health Equity – Challenges and Opportunities in the Digital Era

Communications for Behavior Change

  • SBS 509: Health Communication in the 21st Century
  • SBS 503: Explaining Health Behavior: Insights from Behavioral Economics
  • SBS 522: Multi-Level Theoretical Approaches to Health Behavior
  • SBS 515: Health Literacy: Measuring Accessibility of Health Information

Communications for Health Policy

  • DPI-810: Writing for Policy and Politics
  • KSG DPI-811: Advanced Intensive Writing for Policy and Politics
  • HPM 247: Political Analysis and Strategy for U.S. Health Policy
  • SBS 515: Health Literacy: Measuring Accessibility of Health Information

Communications for Health Management

  • HPM 223: Public Speaking for Managers

Communications for Community Organizing

  • HPM 520: Organizing Consumer and Community Interests in the Health System
  • MLD 377: Organizing: People, Power, Change
  • MLD 355: Public Narrative
  • SBS 515: Health Literacy: Measuring Accessibility of Health Information

Interpersonal Communication

  • DPI 802M: The Arts of Communication
  • MLD 342: Persuasion: The Science and Art of Effective Influence
  • MLD 355: Public Narrative

What recognition does the student receive upon completion of the concentration?

Upon graduation, the degree will be issued from the home department and the student receives a letter from the HCC Steering Committee attesting to completion of the HCC concentration requirements.

Please contact the HCC Coordinator if you have questions.