Refine Your Approach to Digital Health Communication

The Master of Science in Health Communication concentration in Visual & Digital Health Communication examines the impact of the communication technology revolution on the field of health marketing and communication.

According to a report by Hootsuite and We Are Social, the number of active social media users is in the billions—and growing exponentially. With more than half the world’s population using social media, and with such rapid and continued expansion, it is essential to harness the power of this tool in your healthcare marketing and communication efforts.

Savvy communicators, marketers, and healthcare 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.

Program at a Glance

  • Online
  • 32 Credits
  • 16–18 Months to Completion
  • 13 Faculty
  • No Capstone Required
  • Tuition & Fees—Part-Time Study*: $24,080

*Based on 2023–2024 Boston University tuition and fees. Merit scholarship may reduce cost.

Advance Your Health Communication Career Using Design, Storytelling & Social Media

The Visual & Digital Health Communication concentration of BU MET’s MS in Health Communication delivers 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, you will examine how social media is used in healthcare and why using it effectively and efficiently has become a necessary skill for many healthcare professionals. BU MET’s Health Communication master’s prepares you for professional communication roles within consumer- and business-facing corporations, government agencies, healthcare organizations and hospitals, PR and marketing agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other employers seeking to advocate for, educate, and influence audiences about health and wellness.

BU’s Health Communication program is unique, offered 100% online with asynchronous learning, while integrating communication and healthcare content in each course.

Awards & Accreditations

The course Visual Communication in the Digital Health Age (MET HC 762) received the 2017 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Teaching & Learning—a global honor recognizing excellence in delivering students a flexible, innovative online learning experience.

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Why Earn Your Master’s in Health Communication at Boston University?

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Healthcare Communication

The Visual & Digital Health Communication concentration is part of BU MET’s Master of Science in Health Communication (MSHC). Developed in 2008 by Boston University’s Metropolitan College and College of Communication, the MSHC was the first degree of its type to be offered fully online. The MSHC is part of BU’s Health Communication program, which also includes the Graduate Certificate in Foundations of Health Communication, the Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Promotion, Media & Marketing, and the 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 offers a multidisciplinary curriculum that focuses on the intersection of healthcare, marketing, health literacy, public relations, and digital media in order to prepare students for the breadth of issues they will encounter as health communicators—from medical breakthroughs and the development of new products to government policies and public health challenges, and many others.

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 Health Communication master’s degree concentration in Visual & Digital Health Communication will equip you to:

  • Employ design and use social media strategies in health messaging to educate diverse populations, build brand reputation, and manage threats in a crisis—within the bounds of patient privacy, copyright, and regulatory considerations.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in creating digital images and visual assets—including infographics, branded content, video, data visualization graphics, webpages, and mobile page design—that purposefully and ethically help bridge digital divides in health education and comprehension.

Certificate-to-Degree Pathway

You can also earn the master’s in Health Communication with a concentration in Visual & Digital Health Communication by completing the Graduate Certificate in Foundations of Health Communication and the Graduate Certificate 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 metmshc@bu.edu to learn more about this option.


Boston University’s online Master of Science in Health Communication consists of eight required online courses (32 credits).

Core Courses

(Four courses/16 credits)

Visual & Digital Health Communication Concentration Requirements

(Four courses/16 credits)

Plus two of the following:



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

    Lecturer

    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

 

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 program is 1–2 courses (4–8 credits) in a semester, and tuition is charged as a part-time per-credit rate.

MS in Health Communication, Visual & Digital Health Communication Concentration (Online)

Enrollment Status Part Time
Courses per Semester 2 courses
(8 credits)
Time to Degree 4 semesters
(16 months)
Tuition* $535-$955
per credit**
Fees per Semester* $60
Total Degree Cost* $24,080

*Based on 2023–2024 Boston University tuition & fee rates.
**Cost per credit is determined by course number (100–599 = $535/credit, 600–999 = $955/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.

Get Started

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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