Health Communication

Students focused on health communication are concerned with people’s communication and knowledge needs in such areas as the relationships between patients and their healthcare providers, family dynamics, dissemination of health information, and the use of emerging technology to improve health and healthcare. Learning about health communication is inspired by questions including:

How are healthcare relationships created, maintained, and shifted through communication? How do families communicate about health? How do cultural differences shape health communication? How do environmental, economic, and political forces impact health communication? How do emerging technologies shape health communication practices? How are health campaigns designed, implemented, and evaluated?

Recent graduates are employed in healthcare organizations as patient advocates or in human resources, in non-profit health agencies, and as pharmaceutical sales representatives.

Career Pathways

Health and Social Services

You might consider a career in Health and Social Services if you find these questions compelling:

What communication skills do patients need to be active participants in therapeutic relationships? Why is communication training necessary for healthcare providers? What is the role of communication practitioners in coordinating health-related programming (e.g., workplace health initiatives) and managing healthcare organizations (e.g., hospitals, long-term care facilities)? What communication challenges do managers face in healthcare settings?  

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify requisite requirements.

COMS 3060 Interpersonal Conflict Management
COMS 3400 Health Communication
COMS 3410 Women & Health
COMS 3500 Organizational Communication
COMS 4050 Meeting & Conference Planning
COMS 4060 Advanced Interpersonal Communication
COMS 4110 Communicating with People with Disabilities
COMS 4410 Communication in the Family
COMS 4510 Training & Development
COMS 4911 Internship in Health Communication

Related Area/Certificates/Minors

Courses, Minors, and Certificates listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the Ohio University Undergraduate Catalog to identify pre-requisite requirements for courses and to identify requirements and application processes for Minors and Certificates.

CFS 3800 Death Dying and Bereavement
HLTH 2020 Intro to Health and Lifestyle Choices
HLTH 2120 Controlling Stress and Tension
HLTH 2170 Health System Organization
CFS 3600 Human Sexualities
CFS 2700 Intimate and Family Relationships
HLTH 2901 Health Aspects of Aging
Applied Nutrition Minor
Diabetes Certificate
Diversity Studies Certificate
Environmental Health Sciences Minor
Environmental Studies Certificate
Gerontology Certificate
Social Service Minor

Public Health

You might consider a career in Public Health if you find these questions compelling:

What is the role of communication specialists in organizing community health initiatives (e.g., foodbanks, community gardens)? What communication challenges do practitioners face when developing health literacy and managing health crises and risks? What communication skills are needed to design, implement, and evaluate health campaigns?

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify prequisite requirements.

COMS 2020 Communication & Persuasion
COMS 3400 Health Communication
COMS 3600 Communication & Public Advocacy
COMS 2400 Information Diffusion
COMS 3200 Communication & New Technology
COMS 3410 Women & Health
COMS 3602 Political Rhetoric
COMS 4530 Communication & the Campaign
COMS 4911 Internship in Health Communication

Related Area/Certificates/Minors (Suggested coursework outside of COMS)

Courses, Minors, and Certificates listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the Ohio University Undergraduate Catalog to identify requisite requirements for courses and to identify requirements and application processes for Minors and Certificates.

HLTH 2000 Introduction to Public Health
HLTH 3300 Community Health
HLTH 2030 Foundations in Health Education
HLTH 2150 Violence in America
HSP 2210 Introduction to Global Health
NUTR 1100 Intro to Food Systems
MDIA 1091 Introduction to Mass Media
Applied Nutrition Minor
Diabetes Certificate
Environmental Health Sciences Minor
Gerontology Certificate
Global Health Certificate
Journalism Minor
Environmental Studies Certificate
Diversity Studies Certificate
Social Media Certificate

E-Health

You might consider a career in E-health if you find these questions compelling:

How are mobile technologies shaping health care?  What communication skills are needed to manage telemedicine programs? How do we communicate about health in a digital age? How is health information shaped, stored, and shared online (e.g., social networking sites)? What is the role of communication specialists in maintaining web databases and electronic medical records?

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify requisite requirements.

COMS 3400 Health Communication
COMS 3500 Organizational Communication
COMS 4060 Advanced Interpersonal Communication
COMS 3200 Communication and Technology
COMS 3410 Women and Health
COMS 4050 Meeting and Conference Planning
COMS 4110 Communicating with People with Disabilities
COMS 4410 Communication in the Family
COMS 4510 Training & Development
COMS 4630 Rhetoric & Electronic Media
COMS 4911 Internship in Health Communication

Related Area/Certificates/Minors (Suggested coursework outside of COMS)

Courses, Minors, and Certificates listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the Ohio University Undergraduate Catalog to identify pre-requisite requirements for courses and to identify requirements and application processes for Minors and Certificates.

HLTH 2000 Intro to Public Health
HLTH 2170 Health System Organization
ITS 1010 Consumer Issues in Telecommunication
ITS 2010 Understanding Internet Technology
ITS 2140 Intro to Information and Telecommunication Systems
VICO 1000 Introduction to Studies in Visual Communication
MDIA 1091 Introduction to Mass Media
Business Administration Minor
Diabetes Certificate
Diversity Studies Certificate
Environmental Health Sciences Minor
Environmental Studies Certificate
Gerontology Certificate
Social Service Minor
Social Media Certificate

Featured Alumni

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Jessie Hill
Case Manager
Bronx-Westchester Area Health Education Center

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