Behavioral Science and Health Communication

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:

  • 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

Pursuing a global health focus within the concentration

Three semester schedule

Concentration Leader
Susan Koch-Weser