Program at a Glance

  • Online
  • Part-Time Study
  • 16 Credits
  • 8–12 Months to Completion
  • 13 Faculty
  • Tuition & Fees—Part-Time Study*: $8,920

*Based on 2024–2025 Boston University tuition and fees.

Discover Key Principles of Health Communication

Boston University’s online Graduate Certificate in Foundations of Health Communication provides the essential knowledge, insights, and training to prepare you for work in the growing health and wellness industries, where business-to-consumer and business-to-business communication is vital. The curriculum provides a baseline understanding of health communication, including awareness of health systems and stakeholders, population-based research, campaign planning, and practice using health literacy strategies and plain language for diverse populations.

Healthcare is entering a transformative period. According to the US Census Bureau, by 2030 aging baby boomers will outnumber children for the first time. By 2034, more than 77 million (one in five residents) will be age 65 or older. In addition to this predicted demand for healthcare needs, growth in chronic lifestyle diseases—diabetes, blood pressure, asthma, arthritis, cancer, dementia, and other stress-related disorders—is driving expansion of the wellness industry, the value of which is poised to grow by $1,299.8 billion through 2024, according to a report by Technavio. Healthcare organizations, along with the many health and wellness businesses affiliated with them, will all need professional health communicators.

The BU MET certificate program in Foundations of Health Communication develops the knowledge necessary for understanding and communicating with myriad audiences within the healthcare sector. For those whose work intersects with healthcare or wellness, the certificate provides an understanding of the systems, populations, policies, tactics, and practices necessary to implement effective communication within the bounds of regulatory, privacy, and ethical considerations.

Marketing communication professionals, brand specialists, consultants, journalists, analysts, clinicians, and business development professionals working in a health or wellness context have the opportunity to fill gaps in their existing knowledge, whereas those just beginning careers in these and related fields will gain the foundation to employ dynamic communication skills, understand the systems and complexities of the healthcare industry, and develop effective strategies and high-quality materials for stakeholder groups.

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Why Earn a Graduate Certificate in Foundations of Health Communication at BU?

Advance Your Skills in Health Communication

The Graduate Certificate in Foundations of Health Communication is part of BU’s Health Communication program, which also includes the Master of Science in Health Communication (MSHC) degree program—developed in collaboration with BU’s College of Communication—and the Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Promotion, Media & Marketing and Graduate Certificate in Visual & Digital Health Communication.

Designed for professional health communicators and those looking to transition into the field, BU’s Health Communication program provides a comprehensive education in the areas of healthcare marketing and professional communication, interactive marketing, social media management, and public and media relations.

Taught by full-time university professors and leading professionals practicing in the field, coursework is practical and immediately applicable on the job. The program faculty create a dynamic learning environment by blending theory, practice, and scholarship in every course. The program curriculum, offered fully online, is designed to broaden and deepen students’ understanding of communications, PR, marketing, health sciences, and public health, as well as issues of privacy, regulation, ethics, health equity, and cultural humility.

Graduate with Expertise in Healthcare Communication

Metropolitan College’s Foundations of Health Communication graduate certificate will equip you with:

  • Demonstrated awareness and understanding of the basic foundations, systems, framework, and complexities within healthcare, and the regulatory, privacy, ethical, and legal considerations inherent to health and wellness communication.
  • The ability to interpret and apply basic communication research fundamentals to the field of health communication.
  • Understanding of the methods, techniques, and best practices for developing high-quality, audience-specific health communication materials that are strategic, clear, and concise.

Certificate-to-Degree Pathway

You can earn the Master’s in Health Communication by completing the Graduate Certificate in Foundations of Health Communication along with four courses chosen from the list of required courses from the MSHC master’s program. The Foundations of Health Communication graduate certificate can also be paired with a graduate certificate in either Healthcare Promotion, Media & Marketing or Visual & Digital Health Communication to earn the MSHC with a concentration in Healthcare Promotion, Media & Marketing or a concentration in Visual & Digital Health Communication. Students currently enrolled in a graduate certificate who are interested in transitioning into a master’s degree should contact their academic advisor to declare their interest in this pathway. A new master’s degree application is not required. Connect with a graduate admissions advisor at to learn more about this option.


(Four courses/16 credits)

Health Communication Faculty

  • Justin Joseph
    Justin Joseph

    Program Director, Health Communication

    Associate Professor of the Practice, Public Relations, Boston University College of Communication

    MS, Boston University; MA, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; BS, Boston University

  • Felipe Agudelo Acevedo
    Felipe Agudelo Acevedo


    Associate Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine

    PhD, DePaul University; MPH, National School of Public Health, Universidad de Antioquía, Colombia; BEng, Universidad de Antioquía, Colombia

  • Alane Bearder
    Alane Bearder

    Lecturer and Program Facilitator

    Digital Marketing Strategist, Strategic Communications Consultant

    MS, Boston University; BA, Rutgers University-New Brunswick


Tuition & Financial Assistance

Competitive Tuition

Our part-time rates are substantially lower than those of the traditional, full-time residential programs yet provide access to the same high-quality BU education.

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Comprehensive Financial Assistance

Our services include scholarships, graduate loans, and payment plans.

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Tuition, fees, and total program cost are determined by enrollment status. Course enrollment in this certificate program is 1–2 courses (4–8 credits) in a semester, and tuition is charged the part-time per-credit rate.

Foundations of Health Communication Graduate Certificate (Online)

Enrollment Status Part Time
Courses per Semester 2 courses
(8 credits)
Time to Degree 2 semesters
(8 months)
Tuition* $550-$975
per credit**
Fees per Semester* $60
Total Degree Cost* $8,920

*Based on 2024-2025 Boston University tuition & fee rates.
**Cost per credit is determined by course number (100–599 = $550/credit, 600–999 = $975/credit).

Questions? Please contact us to hear from an Admissions Advisor who can help you determine the best enrollment pathway. For information regarding financial aid, visit BU MET’s Financial Aid page.

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Please visit the BU MET admissions page for details on how to apply, financial assistance, tuition and fees, requirements for international students, and more.

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News & Events


July 16th, 2024 at: 1:00pm - 1:45pm

The Inside Scoop: BU MET Graduate Admissions for Domestic Students (US Citizens & Permanent US Residents)


July 25th, 2024 at: 12:00pm - 12:45pm

Online Graduate Study at Boston University


August 7th, 2024 at: 10:00am - 10:45am

The Inside Scoop: Graduate Admissions at BU MET (International Students)


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