Program at a Glance
- Part-Time Study
- 16 Credits
- 8–12 Months to Completion
- 13 Faculty
- No GRE/GMAT
- Tuition & Fees Range—Part-Time Study*: $12,040-$15,400
*Based on 2023–2024 Boston University tuition and fees.
Master the Tools of Visual & Digital Health Communication
The online Graduate Certificate in Visual & Digital Health Communication at Boston University’s Metropolitan College (MET) examines the impact of the communication technology revolution on the field of health marketing and outreach and equips graduates with the modern visual and digital storytelling tools necessary for careers in this rapidly evolving industry.
The COVID-19 pandemic was just the latest public health emergency to illuminate the value of health communication—and the need for skilled practitioners who can help the public cut through misinformation, conflicting messages, and changing guidelines in order to access reliable insight and advice. The next decade will be a transformative one in healthcare. 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 brand strategists recognize the importance of effective storytelling and strategic social media practices in capturing the engagement and participation of patients, consumers, or desired target audiences. How those audiences and consumers experience initiatives through social media, websites, mobile apps, videos, and branded content can make or break the success of an otherwise well-defined health campaign or project.
BU MET’s Visual & Digital Health Communication certificate program introduces 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. You will also examine how to effectively and responsibly leverage social media to connect with a variety of audiences and stakeholders.
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.
Why Earn a Graduate Certificate in Visual & Digital Health Communication at BU?
- Active Learning Environment: BU MET’s Health Communication program provides practical, hands-on education that you can apply on the job.
- Engaged Faculty: In BU MET’s Health Communication program, you benefit from working closely with experienced health professionals and faculty experts from across Boston University, including the College of Communication, School of Public Health, and Metropolitan College.
- Extensive Network: Study principles of healthcare and communication alongside peers with industry experience, learn from faculty who have valuable contacts in the field, and benefit from an alumni community with strong professional connections.
- 15:1 Class Ratio: Enjoy an exceptional student-to-instructor ratio, ensuring close interaction with faculty and access to support.
- Valuable Resources: Make use of Boston University’s extensive resources, including the Center for Career Development, Educational Resource Center, Fitness & Recreation Center, IT Help Centers, Mugar Memorial Library, Center for Antiracist Research, Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, George Sherman Union, Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering, and many others.
- 100% Online: Study at the pace that works for you, fully online. Online courses have two starts per term.
Advance Your Skills in Visual & Digital Health Communication
The Graduate Certificate in Visual & Digital 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 Foundations of Health Communication and Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Promotion, Media & Marketing.
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 Visual & Digital Health Communication graduate certificate will equip you with:
- Knowledge of the value and significance of traditional, social, and emerging digital media practices in the health communication field.
- The ability to design communication strategies and methods that employ digital and visual information to influence audiences or affect change on health-related topics and issues.
- An understanding of the critical role that communication—including digital and visual content—plays in the healthcare industry.
- The capacity to analyze, synthesize, interpret, and present health and scientific information for public consumption using clear and concise messaging.
- Proficiency in 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.
You can earn the master’s in Health Communication with a concentration in Visual & Digital Health Communication by completing the Graduate Certificate in Visual & Digital Health Communication and the Graduate Certificate in Foundations of 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about this option.
Graduate Certificate in Visual & Digital Health Communication Curriculum
(Four courses/16 credits)
MET HC 762 Visual Communication in the Digital Health Age
MET HC 763 Social Media Strategies and Tactics for Healthcare
Plus two of the following:
MET HC 550 US Healthcare System
MET HC 559 Health Communication Principles and Strategies
MET HC 560 Research Methods for Health Communication
MET HC 561 Writing for Health
MET HC 651 Epidemiology for Health Communication
MET HC 652 Biology of Disease
MET HC 655 Healthcare Marketing Strategies
MET HC 656 Healthcare Public Relations
MET HC 657 Digital Marketing for Healthcare
MET HC 658 Media Relations for Healthcare
Health Communication Faculty
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
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
View All Faculty
Tuition & Financial Assistance
Competitive TuitionOur 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.
Comprehensive Financial AssistanceOur services include scholarships, graduate loans, and payment plans.
How Much Does This Program Cost?
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.
Visual & Digital Health Communication Graduate Certificate (Online)
|Courses per Semester
|Time to Degree
|Fees per Semester*
|Total Degree Cost*
*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).
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