Curriculum

The Health Communication Online Master of Science takes two years to complete as a full-time student.

Through coursework and a capstone project, you’ll evaluate communication practices in patient-provider relationships, health organizations and the media, and ask meaningful questions about their consequences.

All courses are 100% online and asynchronous, with no specific days or times you are required to be online. Each class requires weekly deadlines, so you’ll interact with other students on a regular basis and feel like you’re part of a program with colleagues (as opposed to complete self-paced learning). All deadlines allow you to complete work during your own free time.

Part-time enrollment is also an option. To learn more or to experience a sample lecture, contact program coordinator Lauren Weiner, Ph.D., at (224) 484-0425 or hcom@illinois.edu.

Requirements

Graduation requirements include a minimum of 32 credit hours, of which 28 must be in the Department of Communication.

Eight hours of required courses include:

Health Communication Research Methods 1 and 2 (4 credit hours)

Two research methods courses explore the variety of methods used in health communication research, including designs that are quantitative (e.g., using data from experimental or survey designs), qualitative (e.g., using data from observations, interviews, or interaction), or rhetorical (e.g., using texts or speeches as data). The goals of the research methods courses include developing skills needed to understand and critically analyze research.

Capstone Project (4 credit hours)

The capstone project is the final course in the program. It integrates knowledge and skills from prior coursework and experiential learning. This course enables students to demonstrate broad mastery of material for the promise of future employment opportunities and career advancement.

Students can apply their knowledge and skills to a health or healthcare issue of their choice by:

  • Conducting an extensive literature review of a specific topic area
  • Creating a webinar series
  • Designing an organizational intervention in a health care setting
  • Designing a media campaign, or
  • Implementing another project of the student and instructor’s choosing.