Students enrolled in a health communications program can expect to take classes in communications and marketing in preparation for educating the public about health issues and medical professionals about public health campaigns. Students may choose to emphasize health education, health studies or health communications.
Online courses may be offered by a small number of schools. Additionally, some schools may require students to complete an internship prior to graduation. A high school diploma or equivalent is typically the only prerequisite for these programs.
Bachelor's Degree in Health Communications
Health communications bachelor's students generally take courses in marketing, communications, media, public relations and health. Some courses teach administrative and managerial skills. A typical course sampling of a health communications program includes:
- Biology and society
- Media relations
- Public health communications
- Marketing and advertising campaigns
- Science ethics
- Guided internship
Popular Career Options
Students enrolled in health communications degree programs have varying goals. Some students may choose to continue their education at the master's or doctoral degree level in order to qualify for positions in education or health services management. Bachelor's degree holders may find work in positions such as:
- Healthcare promotion
- Hospital administration
- Media relations
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that health services managers and health educators can expect job growth of 17% and 12% respectively from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than average. In May 2015, the BLS reported median annual salaries of $94,500 for health services managers and $51,960 for health educators.
Many programs in health communications are offered at the master's level. There are master's degree programs in public health and health administration. In a master's degree program, students can sharpen their analytical and critical thinking skills. Students may also engage in individual research and statistical analysis. After completing a master's degree program, a student can elect to earn a Ph.D. in health communications.
A bachelor's degree program in health communications combines science and communications courses to prepare students for work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospital administration and media relations.