In addition to studying advanced concepts of public relations, media relations, and communications, students enrolled in master's programs in health communication learn about the day-to-day operations of a healthcare facility. Students study the basics of medicine, disease management, and epidemiology while learning how to write about medical diseases and methods of disease prevention.
In order to enroll in these two-year degrees, students must have completed a bachelor's degree, often in a field like marketing, public relations, journalism, business, communication, or mass media. Most master's programs include an internship as part of the curriculum.
Master of Science in Health Communication
Students of this degree program must learn the most effective ways of disseminating important health information to the public. They find ways of introducing new disease management techniques and types of medical equipment as well as handling marketing duties, whether for a healthcare facility or organization.
Most of the courses included within a master's program in health communication cover advanced concepts of communication and introductory concepts of healthcare. Specific examples include:
- Introduction to medicine
- Epidemiology and biostatistics
- Health communication technology
- Medicine and healthcare writing
- Advanced professional communication
- Media strategies in healthcare
Popular Career Options
This master's degree program prepares individuals for careers in departments of public health, government agencies, hospital administrative departments, national healthcare organizations, medical journals, and biotechnology companies. Available positions include:
- Hospital public relations director
- Health communication director
- Health writer or editor
- Marketing outreach consultant
- Disease prevention coordinator
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical and health services managers could expect job growth of 18% from 2018-2028, which is much faster than the national average of 5% for all career fields. As of May 2018, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $99,730 the BLS reported. The BLS projected a job growth of 8% for marketing managers from 2018-2028; these workers earned a median salary of $134,290 as of 2018.
Certification is not required to gain a position in the field of healthcare communication. Some organizations, such as the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), do offer accreditation to communications professionals, but this is not strictly recommended for healthcare marketing professionals.
A master's degree program in health communications teaches students a variety of healthcare and marketing skills to prepare them for careers within the public relations and management side of the health industry. Though it is not required, many students choose to earn certification to improve their job prospects.