Frequently Asked Questions

What will the program be like?
You will take part in the practicum course and internship in June, and will take courses the following fall and spring and will earn your MA at the end of May.  The practicum and coursework are full-time obligations during this year.

Do I have to do a master’s thesis?
No, instead of a master’s thesis, you will do a Capstone project that will allow you to focus on 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.

Do I need an undergraduate degree in Journalism–Strategic Communication track?
The MA program is built on knowledge and skills, such as message strategy and content development, that is specific to the curriculum of the BA in Journalism–Strategic Communication track at the  Unversity of Minnesota. As a result, applicants who do not have this degree must have their undergraduate degree and experience reviewed and approved by the graduate studies committee in order to apply to the MA in Health Communication.  

When should I apply?
You should apply by February 1st to being the program the following June. 

Do I have to take the GRE?
To be admitted to the MA in Health Communication, you will need to take the GRE by mid-January of your senior year if your are applying as a Univeristy of MN student or by February 1st if applying to begin the program in the same year.  You will need to have the scores reported by the Educational Testing Services (ETS) to your Graduate School application.  It is expected that students successful in the MA program score 155 or higher on verbal and quantitative reasoning, and a 4.5 on analytical writing.  More information can be found here:  http://www.grad.umn.edu/admissions/application_instructions/gre/

To take the GRE, you must create an account on the ETS website to choose a location, date, and time to take the computer-based test.  There are typically multiple times a day, but it does fill up, so you should register early. The University of Minnesota Grad School code is 6874. You will need to enter this code at the time of the test to have official scores reported to the grad school. Official scores are available and reported to institutions after 10-15 days, although you can see unofficial scores for verbal and quantitative reasoning on the computer screen at the end of the test. You do not get the analytical writing score until the official scores are available.

Currently, the test costs $195; it takes about four hours to complete. You can get information about the different sections (verbal, quantitative, analytical) and the format of the GRE through ETS. ETS also offers a few practice materials for purchase. There are also a large number of practice books available at the bookstore, and there are professional test preparation services, although these services can be expensive.

What if I don’t get the required GRE scores, but I’ve been provisionally admitted to the program?
If your scores are lower than expected we will have a conversation with you to discuss why your scores were lower than the rest of your application materials had suggested when you were provisionally accepted. If this conversation leads you to not be admitted to the MA program then any courses you took at the graduate level in preparation for the program will become electives for your undergraduate degree.

How soon will I find out if I’m accepted?
Early April.

Are the courses available online?
No, students must take all courses in the classroom.

Can I do this part-time?
No, the MA program is a cohort program where all students start at the same time and take a full courseload of credits both fall and spring; the summer internship and internship course are also a fulltime commitment.

Who can I speak to learn more about this program and understand how it might work for me?
SJMC advising is ready to meet with you to answer your first questions about the program and can then direct your to a health communication faculty member.