Boston University offers a Master of Science in Health Communication (MHSC) through a collaboration between its Metropolitan College (MET) and College of Communication. An entirely online program, the master’s degree does not require campus visits and uses Blackboard Learn to facilitate content delivery. Blackboard learn is an online learning management system where students can access course materials, send assignments to instructors, communicate with peers and professors via email and discussion boards, and receive their grades directly.

The online Master of Science in Health Communication requires 32 credit hours and can be completed in 16 to 18 months. The eight-course program is multidisciplinary, examining how health communication intersects with health literacy, marketing, digital media, and public relations. The curriculum teaches students how to understand and communicate complex health information, in areas ranging from disease to nutrition, in an effective manner to professionals in the health industry and the general public at-large.

The program’s courses broadly cover foundational principles of marketing and public relations within the context of health communication. Students receive an introduction to public health-focused topics such as epidemiology and the biology of disease, along with practical instruction in research methodologies and advanced writing for health communicators. Other courses cover topics such as the American health care system, contemporary public relations and health care marketing, media relations, interactive marketing communications, visual communications, and social media strategies and tactics. Through this curriculum, students develop an understanding of ethical health communication practices and gain skills in analyzing, developing, and implementing strategic scientific and health messaging strategies for targeted audiences.

The program also offers optional graduate certificates in Visual and Digital Health Communication; Healthcare Promotion, Media and Marketing; and Foundations of Health Communication. Each of these graduate certificates can be completed as part of the Master of Science in Health Communication. In addition, for students who earn one of these certificates and wish to enroll in the master’s program, they are generally able to apply their graduate certificate coursework to their master’s degree if admitted. In fact, students who earn the graduate certificate in Foundations of Health Communication can pair this certificate with either the Healthcare Promotion, Media and Marketing certificate or the Visual and Digital Health Communication certificate to earn the MHSC with a dedicated concentration in either of the two aforementioned areas.

Boston University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Online Master of Science in Health Communication

Department: College of Communication and Metropolitan College
Websites: Department and Program

Program Format
Structure: Online program with no required campus visits
Instruction Methods: Program uses asynchronous instruction using the Blackboard learning management system
Campus Visits Required: No
Program Length: Program can be completed in 16 to 18 months
Start Dates: Fall, Spring and Summer admission (six starts per year)

Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Credits Required: 32 credits (8 courses)
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: No thesis or capstone required
Example Courses: US Healthcare System; Health Communication Principles and Strategies; Research Methods for Health Communication; Writing for Health; Epidemiology for Health Communication; Biology of Disease; Healthcare Public Relations; Digital Marketing for Healthcare; Media Relations for Healthcare

Application Requirements
GPA Requirements: No minimum GPA to apply
Testing Requirements: GRE not required
Admissions Requirements: Bachelor's degree; resume or CV; personal statement; two letters of recommendation

Tuition Costs
Estimated Tuition*: ~$23,120 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $505 per credit hour (500 level courses), $940 per credit hour (600 & 700 level courses)

State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states

*Estimated tuition is calculated by multiplying the cost per credit hour by the number of credits required to graduate. It does not include fees or other expenses.