Graduate Certificate in Visual & Digital Health Communication

In today’s era of digital health, savvy communicators, marketers, and health care providers recognize that it takes effective storytelling and strategic social media practices to capture the engagement and participation of patients, consumers, or a desired target audience. How users experience social media, websites, mobile apps, videos, and branded content can make—or break—the success of an otherwise well-defined health campaign or project.

Boston University’s online Graduate Certificate in Visual & Digital Health Communication examines the impact of the communication technology revolution on the field of health marketing and communication, and prepares graduates for a career in this rapidly changing field. In the required courses, students will learn the fundamental principles of design and how to apply them to the creation of powerful health education and delivery application tools, such as infographics, data visualization graphics, videos, websites, mobile apps, and branded content. In addition, students will examine how social media is used in health care and why using it effectively and efficiently has become a necessary skill for many health care professionals.

To complete the certificate, students need to take a total of four courses (16 credits). Students may petition to have credits earned in the certificate program transferred toward BU’s online Master of Science in Health Communication.

Students who complete the Graduate Certificate in Visual & Digital Health Communication will be able to:

  • Evaluate the value and significance of traditional, social, and emerging digital media practice in the health communication field.
  • Design communication strategy and methods that employ digital and visual information to influence audiences, or affect change on health-related topics and issues.
  • Articulate the role that communication, including digital and visual content, plays in the health care industry.
  • Analyze, synthesize, interpret, and present health and scientific information using clear and concise messaging for public consumption.
  • Analyze, explore, and gain hands-on practice creating digital images and visual tools—including infographics, branded content, video, data visualization graphics, webpage, and mobile page design—that purposely and ethically help bridge digital divides in health education and comprehension.

Required Curriculum (four courses/16 credits)

  • MET HC 762 Visual Communication in the Digital Health Age
  • MET HC 763 Social Media Strategies and Tactics for Health Communicators

And two selected from the following:

  • MET HC 750 The American Health Care System for Health Communicators
  • MET HC 751 Introduction to Epidemiology for Health Communicators
  • MET HC 752 The Biology of Disease
  • MET HC 755 Contemporary Health Care Marketing
  • MET HC 756 Contemporary Public Relations for Health Communicators
  • MET HC 757 Interactive Marketing Communications
  • MET HC 758 Media Relations for Health Communicators
  • MET HC 759 Introduction to Health Communication
  • MET HC 760 Research for Health Communicators
  • MET HC 761 Advanced Writing for Health Communicators

Students in the certificate program may petition to have the credits they earn transferred toward BU’s online Master of Science in Health Communication. To receive the degree, students must successfully complete 40 credits as indicated on the Health Communication page. To receive both the degree and the certificate, students must complete a total of 48 credits (MET HC 762 and MET HC 763 plus the 10 degree program courses).