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.