Online Master of Science in Health Communication Concentration in Visual & Digital Health Communication

The online MS in Health Communication (MSHC) concentration in Visual & Digital Health Communication at Boston University’s Metropolitan College (MET) examines the impact of the communication technology revolution on the field of healthcare marketing and communication.

Wearable technology for fitness, health, and nutrition and the rise in AI-enabled medical equipment, anti-aging services, and alternative therapies are changing the face of the healthcare industry. A report by Technavio shows that the value of the global health and wellness market is poised to grow by $1,299.8 billion through 2024, while the impact of digital technology in healthcare will continue to reverberate, with venture funding for health tech innovators at $14 billion in 2020 and expected to increase, according to Deloitte. 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.

The Visual & Digital Health Communication concentration 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.

Students who complete the master’s degree in Health Communication will be able to:

  • Employ communication strategy, methods, and technology to communicate information, influence audiences, or affect change on health-related topics and issues.
  • Evaluate the value and significance of traditional, social, and digital media practice in the health communication field.
  • Demonstrate competence in communicating about healthcare, including how to develop purpose-driven, audience-specific materials.
  • Understand and apply ethical and socially responsible health communication practices and strategies that consider privacy, regulatory, and legal issues specific to the healthcare industry.
  • Interpret and apply basic communication research fundamentals to the field of health communication.
  • Analyze, synthesize, interpret, and present health and scientific information using clear and concise messaging for public, media, and/or stakeholder consumption.

In addition, those who complete the concentration in Visual & Digital Health Communication will be able 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, webpage, and mobile page design—that purposefully and ethically help bridge digital divides in health education and comprehension.

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.

Silver Award for Distance Learning Programming, U.S. Distance Learning Association (USDLA), 2010

Why Choose BU’s Master of Science in Health Communication?

  • Courses are taught by experienced health professionals and faculty experts from across Boston University, including the College of Communication, School of Public Health, and Metropolitan College.
  • BU’s program is unique, offered 100% online with asynchronous learning, while integrating communication and healthcare content in each course.
  • Enjoy an exceptional 15:1 student-to-instructor ratio, ensuring close interaction with faculty and access to support.
  • The Health Communication master’s program provides a global community of experts and peers, as well as unparalleled academic resources available to students 24/7.
  • All applicants are automatically considered for merit scholarships, and admitted students are nominated based on eligibility.
  • You can earn the MSHC degree 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.

Career Outlook

Advertising, Promotion, and Marketing Managers

6% increase in jobs through 2029

$141,490 median annual pay in 2020

Public Relations Specialists

7% increase in jobs through 2029

$62,810 median annual pay in 2020

Medical and Health Services Managers

32% increase in jobs through 2029

$104,280 median annual pay in 2020

Health Educators and Community Health Workers

13% increase in jobs through 2029

$48,140 median annual pay in 2020

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook (last modified April 9, 2021)

The impact of digital technology in healthcare will continue to reverberate, with venture funding for health tech innovators at $14 billion in 2020 and expected to increase.—Deloitte, Trends in health tech investments (February 26, 2021)

Tuition & Financial Assistance

Money Matters

Boston University Metropolitan College (MET) offers competitive tuition rates that meet the needs of part-time students seeking an affordable education. These rates are substantially lower than those of the traditional, full-time residential programs yet provide access to the same high-quality BU education. To learn more about current tuition rates, visit the MET website.

Financial Assistance

Comprehensive financial assistance services are available at MET, including scholarships, graduate loans, and payment plans. There is no cost to apply for financial assistance, and you may qualify for a student loan regardless of your income. Learn more.


Boston University’s online Master of Science in Health Communication consists of eight required online courses (32 credits) and can be completed in as few as 16 months of part-time study.


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

Getting Started

To learn more or to contact an enrollment advisor before you get started, request information using the button below and tell us a little about yourself. Someone will be in touch to answer any questions you may have about the program and detail the next steps in earning your degree. You can also start your application or register for a course at Metropolitan College.