curriculum that works around your schedule
Through coursework and a capstone project, you’ll evaluate communication practices in patient-provider relationships, health organizations and the media, and ask meaningful questions about their consequences.
All courses are 100% online and asynchronous, with no specific days or times you are required to be online. Each class requires weekly deadlines, so you’ll interact with other students on a regular basis and feel like you’re part of a program with colleagues (as opposed to complete self-paced learning). All deadlines allow you to complete work during your own free time.
required for the HCOM degree
must be taken through the Department of Communication
are required for the degree
Sample Course Schedules and Descriptions
Each semester, full-time students take two online courses for a total of 6 credit hours: an eight-week course followed by a four-week course, with a two-week break in between.
Courses operate Wednesday through Tuesday, with two to three deadlines per week. For example, a course module begins on Wednesday with readings and a brief assignment or paper due on Sunday, and reflections and responses to peers due on Tuesday. This allows you to fit courses into your professional work schedule and complete the bulk of assignments on the weekend.
Capstone Individual Study (4 credits)
The Capstone Individual Study is this program’s version of a master’s thesis. During this eight-week course, students will design and create their “capstone project” which will utilize all of the skills, knowledge, and expertise in health communication that they have gained in the past two years and apply them towards their own personal interests in the health communication field. This project will be guided and evaluated by a committee of HCOM faculty and other healthcare experts in the community. When complete, the capstone project will be something that students can add to their professional portfolios–a research paper, a webinar series, a dynamic presentation, etc.–that will help them establish themselves in their chosen professional arena as a health communication expert.
This course is offered the first 8 weeks of every semester.
Professions and Policy
Required Courses for the HCOM Degree
Health Communication Research Methods 1 and 2 (4 credit hours)
Two research methods courses explore the variety of methods used in health communication research, including designs that are quantitative (e.g., using data from experimental or survey designs), qualitative (e.g., using data from observations, interviews, or interaction), or rhetorical (e.g., using texts or speeches as data). The goals of the research methods courses include developing skills needed to understand and critically analyze research.
Capstone Project (4 credit hours)
The capstone project is the final course in the program. It integrates knowledge and skills from prior coursework and experiential learning. This course enables students to demonstrate broad mastery of material for the promise of future employment opportunities and career advancement.
Learn more about the Capstone:
Students work with their Capstone instructor and two other committee members of their choosing to design an applied project that integrates skilled learned in HCOM with professional goals. Types of projects that students have completed include:
- Conducting an extensive literature review of a specific topic area
- Creating a webinar series
- Designing an organizational intervention in a health care setting
- Designing a media campaign, or
- Implementing a hybrid project combing the above options; or a “design your own” model of the student’s choosing