The Health Communication Concentration
The Health Communication Concentration (HCC) is a concentration housed within the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences. HCC prepares students who are interested in health communication to apply rigorous, theory-based research and methods to health and risk communication and to apply and evaluate health communication technologies.
Through coursework and practical experience, HCC provides a rich mix of conceptual, analytical, and applied competencies to understand the role of mass media institutions in public health, to be a critical consumer of health communication literature, and to obtain skills in using communication to promote public health policy and practice.
What Students Gain from the Health Communication Concentration
• The theoretical, methodological, and practical background to communicate effectively with the public, the press, and policymakers on classic and emerging public health issues.
• An understanding of how knowledge, cultural norms, beliefs, and attitudes learned from communications influence health behaviors.
• An understanding of the role of communication in health policies, advocacy, and community mobilization in addressing health conditions.
Career Opportunities in Health Communication
A health communication background is a necessity and advantage to one’s career within the continually evolving field of public health.
Students may apply health communication skills in a variety of careers, such as:
- Independent researchers and scholars who contribute to the advancement of health communication science.
- Practitioners who design effective behavior change communication strategies.
- Public health communicators at the state and federal agencies who design, execute, and evaluate public health communication campaigns and who provide risk communication in times of public health crises.
- Strategic communications managers who work in nonprofit health agencies.
- Communication professionals who work in advertising, public relations, and health marketing agencies.
- Public health leaders who communicate with diverse audiences about public health matters and who use media advocacy to influence policy.
- Health and science journalists who write for lay publications.