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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Health Communications

Majors Overview February 7, 2015

Those interested in speaking and writing about medical news, communicable diseases, and public health should look into bachelor’s degree programs in health communications. Students will be prepared to educate medical professionals about public health campaigns and the public about health issues.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Programs in Health Communications

A few schools offer bachelor’s degree programs in health communications in online formats. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum qualification expected to be held by medical and health service managers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics); however, these professionals often earn a master’s degree. A health educator usually has to hold at least a bachelor’s degree.

Job growth rates of 23% and 21% have been predicted for health services managers and health educators over the 2012 – 2022 decade (BLS). In May 2012, these experts banked respective average annual wages of $88,580 and $48,790.

While schools commonly offer master’s degree programs in health communications, some also have bachelor’s degree program in health communications in on-campus formats while others offer undergraduate health communications programs online.

Prospective students interested in the field can seek enrollment in a communications program and can opt for an educational focus or minor in health communications or health studies, among other related programs.

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma before they can be admitted to the program.

Coursework

Coursework within a health communications program may include classes relating to health, public relations, media, communications, and marketing. The curriculum may also include classes that are administrative in character, thereby allowing students to develop managerial skills. A health communications program may include these subjects:

•Marketing and advertising campaigns
•Public health communications
•Media relations
•Biology and society
•Guided internship
•Science ethics

Career Choices

Students enrolled in health communications degree programs may have varied objectives. Some may opt for continuing education by earning a master’s or doctoral degree that would help them gain positions in fields such as health service management or education. Bachelor’s degree program graduates may seek job positions such as:

•Media relations
•Healthcare promotion
•Hospital administration

Continuing Education Choices

Graduates of the bachelor’s degree program can seek continuing education by earning a master’s degree in areas related to public health and health administration. During the course of a master’s degree program, students can hone their critical thinking and analytical skills. Individual statistical analysis and research may also be engaged in. They may opt to earn a Ph.D. in Health Communications once they complete the master’s degree.

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