Health Communication is one of the most rapidly-growing and exciting areas in the health-care field. The Health Communication Online Masters (HCOM) Program provides a unique perspective and approach to health communication recognizing that health outcomes depend in a significant way on communication processes: in our personal relationships, among our healthcare providers, in our healthcare organizations, and through the media.
The HCOM program not only blends a variety of approaches to the study of health communication, but also offers a unique platform to gain new expertise for your own professional work.
Utilizing the latest theory and research on health communication, the HCOM program is offered 100% online and has been tailored to draw from the strengths of the Department of Communication to meet the academic and professional needs of students specifically interested in the association between communication process and health outcomes.
The pace and content of the program have been customized to accommodate the lifestyle of the working professional, enabling students to advance their expertise and education without sacrificing work or home life. The curriculum offers a comprehensive, interdisciplinary mix of health communication specializations including interpersonal, family, organizational, mediated, and social and cultural communication to accommodate the interests of students in a wide variety of professional fields, including (but not limited to) communication, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, psychology, public health, and veterinary medicine.
The goal for students in this program is to learn about the nature of effective communication across domains, understand the basis for effective communication skills, and gain knowledge of how to help others improve their skills. Students gain theoretical and practical knowledge of public advocacy and debate and the critical capacity to evaluate face-to-face and mediated health information.
The courses offered in this program also enable students to develop a familiarity with past and present health communication concerns, to ask meaningful questions about the processes of health communication and their consequences, to analyze the subtle and explicit significance of health communication practices, and to understand and speak to the importance of national and global health communication.
The HCOM program is exclusively online (no face-to-face classes offered) and specializes exclusively in health communication. The face-to-face MA program must be completed on the U of I campus and offers specializations in a variety of Communication disciplines. Additionally, the face-to-face MA program prepares students for doctoral work, whereas the HCOM program is tailored specifically to meet the needs of professionals in healthcare.