Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Health Communication M.A.

School of Journalism & Mass Communication
College of Liberal Arts
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
111 Murphy Hall 206 Church Street Minneapolis, MN 55455 612/625-0120
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2018
  • Length of program in credits: 30
  • This program requires summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Master of Arts
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The School of Journalism & Mass Communication's (SJMC) MA health communication (integrated BA/MA track) program prepares students for healthcare careers that rely on the strategic use of health information to communicate with patient and nonpatient publics, care providers, administrators and other public health stakeholders. The program is designed around a curriculum of academic and professional skills courses from strategic communication, public health and other relevant disciplines. The curriculum includes a summer practicum experience in a health media or health care organization. The program's balance of conceptual prowess and practical skills prepares its graduates to be expert health communication professionals in a variety of health care positions. Students who complete this program will have a combination of specific message strategy/content development skills and the subject knowledge demanded by the healthcare workplace. Every workplace now requires professionals who can communicate clearly and strategically about their subject matter with multiple audiences and using a variety of communication channels. This is especially true in the arena of health care. This program provides an Integrated BA/MA option for eligible University of Minnesota journalism/strategic communication track BA students also interested in completing the school's health communication MA degree. The integrated BA journalism/MA health communication sub-plan enables students to complete both degrees in five years. The combination of skills and context courses at the undergraduate level, and the sophisticated academic and practice-based courses at the graduate level will ensure that graduates of this program are fully prepared to contribute to their workplaces from day one. Students who complete this program will have a combination of specific message strategy/content development skills and the subject knowledge demanded by the healthcare workplace. Every workplace now requires professionals who can communicate clearly and strategically about their subject matter with multiple audiences and using a variety of communication channels. This is especially true in the arena of health care. The combination of skills and context courses at the undergraduate level, and the sophisticated academic and practice-based courses at the graduate level will ensure that graduates of this program are fully prepared to contribute to their workplaces from day one.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.50.
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
Students must be enrolled in the BA in journalism/strategic communication track to apply for Integrated BA journalism/MA health communication sub-plan admission. Admission is considered for summer term only; the application deadline is February 15.
Special Application Requirements:
Applicants must submit a department application; a statement of objectives articulating interest and readiness for the program; a complete set of transcripts; an academic and professional work sample; a resume or curriculum vita; and scores from the General Test of the GRE.
Applicants must submit their test score(s) from the following:
  • GRE
    • General Test - Verbal Reasoning: 155
    • General Test - Analytical Writing: 4.5
Key to test abbreviations (GRE).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Plan B: Plan B requires 30 major credits and 0 credits outside the major. The final exam is written. A capstone project is required.
Capstone Project:JOUR 8193, Health Communication Capstone, allows you to focus on different aspects of health communication relevant to your interests. Students will prepare a final project—a publishable article, a multimedia projection, an original research paper or other options—aimed at a particular audience. This project is completed during the second semester of the MA program.
This program may not be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required for students to remain in good standing.
At least 0 semesters must be completed before filing a Degree Program Form.
Core Courses
JOUR 5541 - Mass Communication and Public Health (3.0 cr)
JOUR 5542 - Theory-based Health Message Design (3.0 cr)
JOUR 5543 - Public Health Campaign Evaluation (3.0 cr)
PUBH 6320 - Fundamentals of Epidemiology (3.0 cr)
Electives
Take 12 or more credit(s) from the following:
· JOUR 5501 - Communication, Public Opinion, and Social Media (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 8650 - Seminar: Psychology of Media Effects (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 8720 - Seminar: Mass Media and Health (3.0 cr)
· PUBH 6025 - e-Public Health (2.0 cr)
· PUBH 6055 - Social Inequalities in Health (2.0 cr)
· PUBH 6085 - Alcohol and Tobacco: Ongoing Threats to Global Health (2.0 cr)
· PUBH 7214 - Principles of Risk Communication (1.0 cr)
· PUBH 7226 - Media Relations Practicum (1.0 cr)
· PSY 5205 - Applied Social Psychology (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 4501 - Usability and Human Factors in Technical Communication (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 5112 - Information Design: Theory and Practice (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 8520 - Seminar in Scientific and Technical Communication (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 8550 - Seminar in Technology, Culture, and Communication (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 5561 - Editing and Style for Technical Communicators (3.0 cr)
Capstone
JOUR 8193 - Health Communication Capstone (3.0 cr)
Practicum
JOUR 8194 - Health Commuinication Practicum (3.0 cr)
Program Sub-plans
A sub-plan is not required for this program.
Students may not complete the program with more than one sub-plan.
Integrated BA Journalism/ MA Health Communication
This sub-plan is limited to students completing the program under Plan B.
The SJMC offers an early-admission opportunity for eligible University of Minnesota journalism/strategic communication BA students also interested in completing the health communication MA degree. The integrated BA journalism/MA health communication sub-plan enables journalism/strategic communication majors to take 9 credits during their senior (fourth) year, and to complete the MA after a fifth year of full-time graduate study plus one summer. Interested journalism/strategic communication undergraduates should contact the SJMC advisor for more information. The integrated BA journalism/MA health communication sub-plan application deadline is February 15 of the student's junior year, and admission to the sub-plan is contingent on a formal admissions process. Students admitted to the sub-plan must maintain timely degree progress to ensure all undergraduate degree requirements are completed by the end of their fourth year. The sub-plan is open to journalism/strategic communication track undergraduates only. Double majors may apply, but only if they choose to complete the senior project requirement in journalism.
 
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JOUR 5541 - Mass Communication and Public Health
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00291 - Jour 5541/PubH 6074
Typically offered: Every Fall
Intersection of mass media, public health, behavior. Role of theory in understanding intended/unintended campaign effect. Role of health journalism. Decisions that inform media-based interventions.
JOUR 5542 - Theory-based Health Message Design
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Best practices for message design across media/contexts. Students apply concepts to design health campaign messages that affect various audiences. Implications of theories of message engagement for current public health practice.
JOUR 5543 - Public Health Campaign Evaluation
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Evaluate process and outcomes of message-based health interventions. Utilize campaign evaluation literature. Develop recommendations for evaluation research design based on cross-sectional, experimental, and time-based designs. Focus on evaluation options within constraints.
PUBH 6320 - Fundamentals of Epidemiology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
This course provides an understanding of basic methods and tools used by epidemiologists to study the health of populations.
JOUR 5501 - Communication, Public Opinion, and Social Media
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Theories of mass communication, persuasion, attitude change. Functions of mediated communication in formation/diffusion of public opinion about major social/political issues. Social media as tool for measuring/influencing public opinion.
JOUR 8650 - Seminar: Psychology of Media Effects
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
In-depth study of psychological concepts/theories concerning individual cognitive processing of content of both traditional/new electronic media. Critically evaluate latest empirical research concerning how individuals respond to the content of both traditional mass media/newest electronic digital media. prereq: Grad students enrolled in Mass Communication MA or PhD program or instr consent
JOUR 8720 - Seminar: Mass Media and Health
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Theories, methods, research that characterize field of health communication. Mass media influence on health, including use of mass media to promote health behaviors. Theoretical frameworks that inform health communication scholarship, as well as methodological approaches to studying health communication issues. prereq: Grad students enrolled in Mass Communication MA or PhD program or instr consent
PUBH 6025 - e-Public Health
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Provide an overview of how technology may be used as a recruitment, assessment, and intervention tool in public health research and practice.
PUBH 6055 - Social Inequalities in Health
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Extent and causes of social inequalities in health. Degree to which understanding of these inequalities is hampered by methodological limitations in health research. Focuses on individual, community, and policy approaches to reducing social inequalities in health.
PUBH 6085 - Alcohol and Tobacco: Ongoing Threats to Global Health
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Strategies to prevent and control tobacco and alcohol problems. Policy and community and individual strategies to reduce burden of tobacco and alcohol problems locally, nationally, and globally. Similarities and differences in public health approaches to tobacco and alcohol prevention and control.
PUBH 7214 - Principles of Risk Communication
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Summer
Key concepts of risk communication theory and their practical application to collection/sharing of information in support of individual and community decision-making about public health issues. Application of risk communication principles to routine, ongoing public health issues and those that arise out of emergency/crisis.
PUBH 7226 - Media Relations Practicum
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Summer
Current news/entertainment environment regarding health/risk in the United States. Recommendations/exercises to improve professional practice in that arena.
PSY 5205 - Applied Social Psychology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Applications of social psychology research/theory to domains such as physical/mental health, education, the media, desegregation, the legal system, energy conservation, public policy. prereq: 3201 or grad student or instr consent
WRIT 4501 - Usability and Human Factors in Technical Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Principles/concepts of human factors/usability testing. Developing objectives, criteria, and measures. Conducting tests in lab, field, and virtual environments. Using software programs to analyze qualitative/quantitative data. prereq: [TWC or concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in TC major, [jr or sr or grad student]] or instr consent
WRIT 5112 - Information Design: Theory and Practice
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
This course examines how verbal, visual, data, and other forms of content can be designed and combined to create meaning, improve comprehension, and make information more usable. In particular, we will study the rhetorical roles visual elements play in print and digital communications, and how we as technical communicators can use visual means to reach audiences, convey information, and achieve rhetorical goals. We will read and discuss theory, practice information design skills, and apply both to real communications projects suitable for inclusion in a professional portfolio. prereq: Grad student or instr consent
WRIT 8520 - Seminar in Scientific and Technical Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics may include theories, landmark studies, history, gender, ethics. Topics vary. See the Class Schedule.
WRIT 8550 - Seminar in Technology, Culture, and Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics may include computer-mediated communication, democracy/technology, controversies over digital communication, privacy/ethical issues, feminist theory and interactions of gender with science and technology, communication in legal or medical settings. Topics vary. See the Class Schedule.
WRIT 5561 - Editing and Style for Technical Communicators
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring & Summer
Proofreading, copy-editing, comprehensive editing. Students primarily use electronic editing methods.Editor's responsibilities, relationship to writers, roles within an organization, style guides, ethical choices. Editing in global setting. Editing/style for visual design and online documents. prereq: [Grad student, knowledge of grammar/punctuation rules] or instr consent
JOUR 8193 - Health Communication Capstone
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Focus on different aspects of a health issue, audience, context, and message mix that is central to the Health Communication M.A. program. Develop a final project focusing on a health communication topic of interest. Projects would be a publishable article, research paper, multimedia production, or any other format relevant for the chosen topic. Project is accompanied by a reflection paper.
JOUR 8194 - Health Commuinication Practicum
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Summer
Field-based practicum for students enrolled in the Health Communication M.A. program. Work with a local non-profit or for profit organization in the health care domain. Participatory observation study: work with organization staff on a strategic communication project and use experiences to analyze how message, audience, and context design processes take place in professional health communication settings.