School of Communication


Master of Arts
Certificate in Health Communication
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Certificate in Health Communication

Health Communication at ECUThe graduate certificate in health communication provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to analyze, evaluate, and apply effective communication in health contexts. The courses in the certificate program examine research, theory and practices of communication.

This certificate is open to students enrolled in graduate degree programs as well as nondegree applicants holding a baccalaureate degree. Students currently enrolled in the MA in communication are not eligible to earn the certificate in health communication.

The program requires 12 s.h. of health communication course work with a minimum grade of B from courses related to these topics:

  • Media and Health Communication
  • Interpersonal Health Communication
  • Intercultural Communication in Health Contexts
  • Communication and Health Organizations
  • Communication Approaches to Health Advocacy
  • Health Communication Campaigns
  • Family Communication and Health
  • Special Topics in Health Communication

Courses are taught both online and face-to-face.

For graduate catalog course listings and descriptions, as well as application deadlines, view our Health Communication Catalog Website.

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Educational objectives of the program

Our certificate program addresses the dynamics of communication from perspectives such as the influence of interpersonal communication (e.g., physician-patient communication and its relationship to health outcomes); organizational communication (e.g., the effects of organizational structures and cultures on health communication processes); media (e.g., how people use media to learn about health issues and how media influence decision-making regarding health); and culture (e.g., how intercultural communication influences health outcomes). With a background in health communication, professionals may pursue a variety of opportunities within the healthcare arena.

Students will develop knowledge and skills designed to address at least two of the following areas:

  • Evaluate the role of communication in health-related decision-making.
  • Address communication issues that exist between and among patients, providers, and family members.
  • Explain the dynamics of social support through health communication.
  • Create and disseminate health information.
  • Evaluate communication within health care organizations.
  • Interpret the multiple influences of culture on health communication.

Application Deadline Information

  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; however, semester guidelines are as follows: July 15 for Fall and November 15 for Spring.
  • The applicants seeking admission should send all required materials to the ECU Graduate School by the deadlines mentioned above. The ECU Graduate School will then forward the required documents to the School of Communication.
  • A resume and a statement of purpose are required for the Certificate in Health Communication application.
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For more information, contact:

Dr. Laura Prividera
Graduate Program Director
School of Communication
East Carolina University
102 Joyner East
Greenville, North Carolina 27858
Phone: 252.328.4227