The goal of the Behavioral Science and Health Communication concentration is to provide students with a solid foundation in the science, theory, and practice of effective health promotion and health communication in a population-based environment. Students in the concentration gain skills to develop, implement, and evaluate effective programs and messages to achieve a broad range of public health goals from information dissemination to behavior change. The program seeks to instill in students a lifelong commitment to the highest ethical standards of public health practice.
Competencies attained in this concentration:
- Describe audiences on the basis of essential characteristics and define behavior change goals appropriate to the audience.
- Craft theory-based messages to achieve health communication objectives including but not limited to: raising awareness, advocacy, behavior change, and risk communication.
- Understand the strengths and weaknesses of a broad range of communication channels and technologies and be able to choose those that are most appropriate for the audience and message.
- Show proficiency in current e-health trends and issues.
- Distinguish qualitative and quantitative methods, and understand how each approach is used in formative research to develop messages to promote healthful change.
- Apply theory to understand and improve public health.
Courses required in addition to the core:
Three semester schedule
- PH 225 Qualitative Tools for Research and Programs
- HCOM 508 Technology and Health Communication
- HCOM 528 Application of Communication Theory to Health Communications
- HCOM 549 Media Strategies for the Health Professional
- One credit from a concentration approved list of courses
- One and one half credits from an MPH program approved list of courses