Boston University offers a Master of Science in Health Communication 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 40 credit hours and can be completed in 18 to 20 months of part-time study. Individuals who hold an Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential may be able to waive two required courses (8 credit hours), which allows them to potentially complete the program in as few as 14 months. The ten-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 an optional Visual and Digital Health Communication graduate certificate that can be completed along with the master’s degree. Students interested in the certificate must complete two additional courses in Visual Communication in the Digital Health Age and Social Media Strategies for Health Communicators in addition to the ten courses required for the master’s program.

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 18 to 20 months

Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: No thesis or capstone required
Credits Required: 40 credits (10 courses)
Example Courses: Health Communication; The American Health Care System for Health Communicators; Introduction to Epidemiology for Health Communicators; Interactive Marketing Communications; Media Relations for Health Communicators

Application Requirements
Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
GPA Requirements: No minimum GPA to apply
Testing Requirements: GRE not required
Start Dates: Fall, Spring and Summer admission (six starts per year)

Tuition Costs
Estimated Tuition*: ~$35,200 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $880 per credit hour

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 do not include fees or other expenses.