- 40 credits, including 24 credits of required courses at Emerson and Tufts
- 16 credits of electives (a maximum of 8 credits of elective courses may be taken at Tufts)
|HC 601||Applications of Theory for Health Communication|
|HC 602||Media Strategies for the Health Professional|
|HC TU1||Introduction to Medicine|
|HC TU2||Epidemiology and Biostatistics: How to Read the Medical Literature|
|HC 603||Research Methods|
|(HCTU courses are offered through Tufts University School of Medicine. Students will register for them through Emerson College.)|
|HC 610||Applied Learning Experience|
The Applied Learning Experience (HC 610) is the capstone course of the program, providing students with an opportunity to practice and display the knowledge and skills acquired throughout their studies in the completion of a real-world health communication project. In lieu of a traditional master’s thesis, the ALE provides hands-on practical experience and a portfolio piece
Students may choose elective courses in order to specialize in areas that fit their career goals. The content areas and course options listed below are not exhaustive. A student should consult with the graduate program director to choose electives that are consistent with the student's career goals.
|HC 605||Persuasion in Health Communication|
|HC 605||Risk Communication in Public Health Practice|
|HC 604||Social Marketing|
|HC 690||Internship in Health Communication|
|MK 617||Consumer Behavior|
|MK 618||Marketing Communication Integration Strategies|
|MK 620||Public Relations Management|
|MK 621||Writing for Marketing Communication|
|MK 627||Interactive and e-Communication|
|MK 630||Advertising, Sales Promotion, and Publicity Management|
|MK 636||Creative Thinking and Problem Solving|
|MK 639||Strategic Brand Management|
|MK 648||Media Management Strategies|
|MK 649||Measuring and Communicating Investments in Marketing|
|MK 653||Web Page Development and Management|
|MK 695||The Big Idea Workshop|
|CC 604||Strategic Planning and the Managerial Process|
|CC 608||Public Affairs|
|CC 626||Crisis Communication|
|CC 628||Entrepreneurship and Creative Problem Solving|
|CC 643||Global Communication|
|CC 647||Organizational Communication|
|CC 652||Emerging Communication Technologies|
|CC 695||Seminar: Public Diplomacy & Grass Roots|
|CC 695||Seminar: Policy Brief|
|CC 695||Seminar: Professional Oral Communication|
|GM 612||Global Public Relations|
|GM 614||Global Advertising|
|GM 630||Interactive and eCommunication in a Global Environment|
Tufts University Electives
The following Health Communication courses are offered through Tufts University. This is an abridged list. Not all courses are offered each year, and for some courses there is limited enrollment. A maximum of 8 elective credits may be taken at Tufts.
|HCTU||Patient-Provider Interaction (4 credits)|
|HCTU||Social Media and Health (4 credits)|
|HCTU||Ethical Issues in Public Health (2 credits)|
|HCTU||Online Consumer Health (2 credits)|
|HCTU||Health Behavior and Health Communication (4 credits)|
|HCTU||Writing About Health and Medicine (2 credits)|
|HCTU||Writing for Public Health Professionals (2 credits)|
|HCTU||Digital Strategies for Health Communication (4 credits)|
|HCTU||Technology and Health Communication (2 credits)|
|HCTU||Changing Health Behaviors: Healthy People and Communities (4 credits)|
|HCTU||Public Health and Health Care: Politics, Policies, and Programs (4 credits)|
|HCTU||Health Care Organization: Budgeting & Management (4 credits)|
|HCTU||Mobile Health Design (4 credits)|
|HCTU||Health Literacy Curriculum Development (4 credits)|
|HCTU||Professional Communication (2 credits)|
|HCTU||Public Relations: Framing the Dialogue for Public Health (2 credits)|
|HCTU||Occupational and Environmental Health (4 credits)|
|HCTU||Seminar in Health Literacy (2 credits)|
|HCTU||Health, Culture and Communication (2 credits)|
|HCTU||Qualitative Tools for Research and Methods (2 credits)|
|HCTU||Global Health Priorities & Approaches (4 credits)|
|HCTU||Introduction to Global Health & Development (4 credits)|
|HCTU||Snort, Swallow, Smoke: Drugs and Behavior (4 credits)|
|HCTU||Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (2 credits)|
|HCTU||Maternal & Child Health: Policy in the US (2 credits)|
|HCTU||Maternal & Child Health: A Global Perspective (2 credits)|
|HCTU||Adult Learning Theory|
Explores the role of theory, research, and practice in health communication. Investigates provider-patient interaction, social support networks, medical ethics, mass media, and health promotion and disease prevention. Covers the role of communication in health, including the role it plays in individuals' social and cultural expectations and beliefs about health, how such information influences people to think about health and effect behavioral change, and how communication may be used to redefine and change public health policy. Includes readings, projects, exams, and class interaction.
Instructor: Tim Edgar
Students develop an understanding of the strategic use of the media by health communicators in message development and communication strategy execution. Students also explore the ethical concerns of healthcare professionals who utilize the media. Students learn how to develop effective health communication campaigns that bring about behavioral change among target audiences and influence health policy issues at the local, state, national, and international level. In addition, students learn how to develop evaluation techniques for health communication strategies.
Instructor: Nancy J. Allen
This course is organized around the research process in which students learn how to formulate a research question and define a research problem, decide upon a research design, assess data collection methods, define a sampling frame, determine types of data analyses, interpret data appropriately, and prepare a research report. Topics in both qualitative and quantitative research methods are included. Further, students gain an understanding of the importance of research in the development of health communication strategies.
Instructor: Christine Skubisz
The question of how people exercise influence using communication has challenged those working in the field for decades. There are plethora of persuasive messages that can be used in an attempt to change a person’s attitude or behavior. This course will provide insight regarding when messages work, at what time, with what audience. The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the process of persuasion and social influence in the context of health. We will cover classic and contemporary theory and research related to social influence at the conceptual, theoretical, and applied levels. Students will gain a firm understanding of how people influence the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of others.
Whether responding to an unexpected crisis that is at the forefront of the news cycle or trying to draw attention to a rarely talked about health issue, public health practitioners need to simply and effectively communicate about health risk and potential impact. This class covers the psychology of risk, risk assessment, crisis communication, risk reduction and mitigation, and community mobilization. Crisis communication strategies used by the Department of Homeland Security and the Centers for Disease Control will be reviewed. Care communication strategies will be presented within the framework of the Harm Reduction Model. In addition to a risk communication plan, students will gain practical experience developing media talking points and practicing public speaking during simulated media interviews. The final exam includes staffing a Twitter exam during a mock public health crisis.
Instructor: Nancy J. Allen
A capstone experience for students completing the Health Communication program. Students conduct research and develop and implement a communication plan to address the needs of a health-related organization in the Boston area. Projects may include the creation of training modules for health professionals, patient education, health information dissemination, policy advocacy, and the like. Students produce a final report.
Health Communication (MA) At A Glance
Full-time or part-time enrollment
Full-time is typically 8 to 12 credits per semester; students usually complete the degree in two years.
Part-time students usually complete the degree in three years.
Classes generally meet from
6:00 to 10:00 pm.
Timothy Edgar, Graduate Program Director for Health Communication and Associate Professor, has devoted his professional career to conducting health communication research on topics like HIV/AIDS, physical activity for adolescents, childhood and adult immunization, diabetes, and more. Learn more »