Courses & Curriculum

This bachelor's/master's (BA/MA) combined degree allows students to obtain an undergraduate degree in journalism (strategic health communication track) and a graduate degree in health communication in five years.

The program has three components:

  • A four-year undergraduate track in strategic communication with a focus on strategic health communication
  • A summer practicum immediately after the completion of your BA in strategic health communication
  • One year of course and capstone work at the graduate level

Program Curriculum

The focus on strategic health communication is achieved by following a specialized program plan within the strategic communication track.

The Strategic Health Communication MA is a 30-credit, non-thesis degree option completing a five-year BA/MA program of study (up to 9 of these credits can be completed senior year of the undergraduate program).


During the summer immediately following your undergraduate degree completion, you’ll take JOUR 8194: Health & Media Practicum. This course will place you within health and media organizations represented by our community partners. You’ll work on partner organization projects, work directly with working professionals and complete webinars relevant to your interests.  

Core Courses (12 credits)

  • JOUR 5541: Mass Communication and Public Health (3 cr)**
  • JOUR 5542: Theory-based Health Message Design (3 cr)**
  • JOUR 5543: Public Health Campaign Evaluation (3 cr)
  • PUBH 6320: Fundamentals of Epidemiology (3 cr)
    **JOUR 5541 and JOUR 5542 should be completed during students’ senior year alongside their coursework for their BA in Journalism.  

Electives Requirement (12 credits minimum from below list)

  • JOUR 5501: Communication and Public Opinion (3 cr)  [fall]
  • JOUR 8650: The Psychology of Media Effects (3 cr)
  • JOUR 8720: Mass Media and Health (3 cr)
  • PUBH 6025: e-Public Health: Online Intervention Design (3 cr) [fall]
  • PUBH 6055: Social Inequalities in Health (2 cr) [fall]
  • PUBH 6085: Combating the Global Pandemic: Tobacco and Alcohol (2 cr) [spring]
  • PUBH 7214: Principles of Risk Communication (1 cr) [summer]
  • PUBH 7226: Media Relations Practicum (1 cr)  [summer]
  • PSY 5205: Applied Social Psychology (3 cr) *** [spring, even]
  • PSY 5206: Social Psychology and Health Behavior (3 cr) *** [spring, periodically]
  • WRIT 4501 Usability and Human Factors in Technical Communication (3 cr) *** [spring]
  • WRIT 5112: Information Design (3 cr) [spring, periodically]
  • WRIT 8520: Seminar in Scientific and Technical Communication (3 cr) [periodically]
  • WRIT 8550: Seminar in Technology, Culture, and Communication (3 cr) [periodically]
  • WRIT 5561: Editing and Style for Technical Communicators (3 cr) [spring, summer]

Students complete one of these courses during their senior year alongside their coursework for their BA in Journalism.


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.