Health Communication Courses

Click on any course title below to read its description. Courses offered in the upcoming semester include a schedule, and are indicated by a label to the right of the title. Health Communication courses are offered online only.

A vital component of the Health Communication curriculum, this course explores the health care system in terms of 1)communication within organizations, resources, and processes that constitute structure and operations; 2) relationships among stakeholders that shape it; and 3) resulting policies that impact system performance and influence the future of health care. Given the complexity and dynamics of the health care environment, an understanding of related issues at all levels is essential for effective communication and prevention of error within health care organizations. Without it, organizations must react defensively to environmental and political threats, often at the expense of patient safety and well-being; with it, organizations can act strategically to maximize growth opportunities and anticipate those forces that influence policy. The course draws upon multiple perspectives, including health communication in medicine and public health, health management (access, quality, and cost), politics, healthcare ethics, law, and the complexities of cross-cultural and psychosocial considerations within today's healthcare system. [ 4 cr.]  [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
O1 IND Ryan ARR

This course is recommended for students who are not Epidemiology concentrators. The purpose of this course is to introduce the basic principles and methods of epidemiology and demonstrate their applicability in the field of public health. A further objective is to provide an introduction to the basic skills needed to critically interpret the epidemiologic literature relevant to public health professionals. [ 4 cr.]  [ 4 cr. ]

This course, designed for students who have little or no background in the biological sciences, provides a foundation in the biological mechanisms and principles underlying major health problems. Selected health problems are explored from a biological perspective in order to provide fundamental information about infectious and non-infectious agents of disease, disease transmission, biological defense mechanisms, co-evolution of man and microbes, the effects of nutritional deficiency and excess, effects of respiratory exposures, the biology of cancer, aging, and other topics. Each student completing this course should be able to knowledgeably participate in a discussion of related health problems with a basic understanding of the terminology, and the underlying biological mechanisms. [ 4 cr.]  [ 4 cr. ]

This course provides an in-depth understanding of the essential concepts of marketing and their application to health care. Students gain a working knowledge of marketing tools (such as pricing, promotion, channels, consumer behavior, brand equity, and segmentation) and how to use them. Students build practical applied skills in analyzing marketing problems and developing marketing programs and strategies, with particular attention to health care and its organizational structures, financing, technologies, market demands, laws, and regulations. Students also expand their understanding of the differences and similarities between marketing in for-profit and not-for-profit health care organizations, and they increase their appreciation of the role of data collection, analysis, interpretation, and management in marketing decisions. [ 4 cr.]  [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
O1 IND Buta ARR

Provides an overview of the professional principles and practices in public relations for corporate, governmental, agency and nonprofit organizations. Includes history, organization, and scope of the field; its roots in social science; types of campaigns and programs; and professional ethics. Theories, strategies, and tactics in current practice emphasized and applied to health communication. Explores opportunities and requirements for work in the field. Students will learn to apply the basic public relations campaign planning model and examine public relations specialty practice areas including media relations, community relations, government relations, crisis communication, investor relations and employee communication. [ 4 cr.]  [ 4 cr. ]

An overview of the theories, practices, and techniques in the emerging field of interactive marketing communications (IAMC). Students gain an understanding of the strategy and tactics of IAMC and its place in the more comprehensive field of marketing communications. In addition, students review IAMC's relationship to and its effects on society, culture, and the economic system. The course will explore almost all the ways interactive marketing can be practiced via the Internet: historical introduction, dotcom era, basic principles, database marketing, etail, email, search (SEO & SEM/PPC), display advertising, social networking, gaming, mobile, et al. [ 4 cr.]  [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
SO1 IND Barber ARR

Students learn publicity techniques used in mass media communication, including working with daily and weekly newspapers, magazines, radio, television, film and online media. The course will examine the principles and practices of working with mass media "gatekeepers" to accomplish campaign objectives as well as strategies and tactics for communicating directly with audiences through new media. Students will develop knowledge and skills related to the production and use of media relations tools with a focus on health communication. Case studies will be employed to understand the challenges and opportunities inherent in working with mass media as well as the special demands and practices associated with crisis communication. The course will also explore the emerging role of interactive and social media. [ 4 cr.]  [ 4 cr. ]

Health communication is an emerging field in which professional communicators inform, influence and motivate individual, institutional, and public audiences about important health issues. This course examines theories of interpersonal, organizational, and mass communication relevant to the professional communicator in the health field. Reviews strategies of persuasion, the relationship between attitudes and behavior, and the changing nature of health and health delivery in the United States, and evaluates successful and unsuccessful health information campaigns.   [ 4 cr. ]

Introduces students to the methodology of communication research. Particular attention will be paid to pre- and post-campaign communication research. The course includes both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Student will learn the nature of scientific logic, computer literature searches, research design, questionnaire construction, sampling, measurement techniques, and data analysis. The course will also explore the use of focus groups, experiments, surveys, and content analysis to inform and evaluate health communication campaigns.  [ 4 cr. ]

Clear and persuasive writing is arguably the most fundamental tool in the contemporary health communicator's toolbox. Essential writing qualities including clarity, cohesion, and concision will be emphasized throughout this course alongside advanced grammar, sentence structure and writing mechanics. The course aims to build advanced writing knowledge and skill upon the foundation each student brings to the classroom. Students will be exposed to a variety of traditional and online writing formats common to the field of health communication. Students will be required to analyze diverse audiences and refine writing strategies, style, vocabulary and levels of formality to accommodate each audience. Requires extensive writing, rewriting and editing assignments.  [ 4 cr. ]

Sum1 2017
Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
SO1 IND Odenwald ARR
Fall 2017
Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
O1 IND Curtin-Wildi ARR

Over the past two decades, the power of visuals in learning and retention has been increasingly recognized -- attributing as much as 80% of retention to information that is visually communicated. In a recent study, 85% of working professionals agreed that creative thinking is critical for problem-solving in their career, and 71% say creative thinking should be taught as a course, like math and science. The efficacy of the use of visual symbols has also been recognized for bridging language barriers in health care settings. This course provides health communication professionals the fundamental principles of design and how these relate to effective communication, particularly in health education and delivery applications. Course lectures and resources will guide students from visual design theory, straight through content creation and measuring effectiveness of visual messaging. Students will explore various media and tools used to create digital images and get hands-on practice in the image editing process. Topics include conceptual design, critical thinking in the creation of practical design, how design relates to industry, human perception and the visual process, and the use of symbols for immediacy and to bridge cultural and literacy divides. In addition to exploring popular digital vehicles for visual storytelling, such as infographics, data visualization, video and mobile, the course will also present real- world challenges, such as ethics and regulations in digital communications, as well as business processes.
Expenditures for this course include textbooks and a 2-month subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud applications; cost of resources approx. $200. Specific details about subscription options will be included in the course materials section of Syllabus prior to class start. Course also requires access to a smartphone with camera and video capability or a digital camera/video.  [ 4 cr. ]

The course examines how healthcare organizations are tapping the power of social media to listen, learn, engage and act. This course helps students understand the power and importance of this fundamental shift in communication, and how savvy health care organizations are turning this shift into a strategic advantage. Together, we will examine the impact of the communication technology revolution on the field of health marketing and communication. Through extensive readings, case studies, project assignments, hands-on use of social media and weekly discussions, students will explore the extraordinary health communication challenges and opportunities driven by social media -- as well as the new and daunting problems and threats social media present to healthcare organizations. Students will learn 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. As part of this course, students have the opportunity to earn the Mayo-Hootsuite Social Media Basics Certification, and participate in the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network community.   [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
O1 IND Rauscher ARR

Prereq: Consent of advisor. Requires prior approval of student-initiated proposal. Independent study on special projects under faculty guidance.   [ 4 cr. ]