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Health Communication

Educational Objectives

Students completing the certificate will be exposed to and have a basic understanding of the theoretical and applied aspects of Health Communication. Competencies achieved will include, but are not limited to:

1) awareness of behavior change and communication theories;
2) knowledge of media effects and audiences uses of media/communication modes; and
3) recognition of quantitative and qualitative methods used in the study of Health Communication.

Additionally, the Health Communication certificate program will familiarize students with the design and evaluation (formative, process, and summative) of communication messages, campaigns, and programs.


The certificate program is open to graduate students currently enrolled in any division of the Johns Hopkins University, with the exception of JHSPH MAS degree students, who are not eligible to apply until they have completed their primary degree program. Individuals who are not enrolled in degree programs at JHU are also eligible to apply. 

Admissions Process

Applicants should review the How to Apply page for information about eligibility and special instructions. 

Requirements for Successful Completion

The certificate program requires a minimum of 18 term credits. All required and elective courses must be taken for a letter grade; a minimum grade of C is required in all certificate coursework and students must maintain a 2.75 or better overall GPA for all certificate coursework. The certificate program length is flexible; it varies from student to student, however, the program must be completed within three years. 

The student should review the section of the website that addresses completion before completing certificate program requirements.   The student's transcript will not indicate that the certificate was earned until the Notification of Completion has been submitted and verified by the certificate program and processed by the Registrar. 

Course of Study

Students should check the course catalog to confirm when the courses are offered. The term and time may change from what is listed in the table below and some courses are only offered every other year. Students should also check for prerequisites and whether instructor consent is required.  

Note: It is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that students interested in this certificate program take 410.653 (Contemporary Issues in Health Communication) as a way to familiarize themselves with the different faculty and course offerings in Health Communication.

Course No.Course TitleNo. CreditsOnline TermCampus Term

Introduction to Online Learning

All students are required to complete this free course before taking other online courses


Academic and Research Ethics

All students are required to complete this free course before taking other online courses

Required: 18 credits from the following courses
301.645Health Advocacy3-4
312.660Marketing in Health Care Organizations3-3,4,SI
317.610Risk Policy, Management and Communications342
380.611Fundamentals of Program Evaluation4-3
380.681Strategic Leadership Principles and Tools for Health System Transformation in Developing Countries4-2
410.620Program Planning for Health Behavior Change341,WI
410.650Introduction to Persuasive Communication: Theories and Practice4-2,WI
410.651Health Literacy: Challenges and Strategies for Effective Communication3-3
410.652Interpersonal Influence in Medical Care2-4
410.653 Contemporary Issues in Health Communication1-1
410.654Health Communication Programs I: Planning and Strategic Design4-3
410.655Health Communication Programs II: Implementation and Evaluation4-4
410.656Entertainment Education for Behavior Change and Development4-1
410.663Media Advocacy and Public Health: Theory and Practice3-4
410.733Communication Network Analysis in Public Health Programs4-1
410.752Children, Media and Health3-3
410.755Health Communications Programs44-
 410.840**Special Studies and Research in Health, Behavior and SocietyVariable-1,2,3,4

**Must be approved by Dr. Storey

WI = Course is offered in the Winter Institute held in January in Baltimore/Washington DC

SI = Course is offered in the Summer Institute in Baltimore

Contact Information

Sponsoring Department
Health, Behavior and Society

Certificate Program Contact
 L. Robin Newcomb

Faculty Sponsor
Douglas Storey


Gainful Employment Program Information

At this time non-degree students enrolling in this certificate program are not eligible for federal aid. You may, however, pursue private education loans to assist you in meeting your program costs. Contact our Financial Aid Office with any questions