MS in Health Communication for Social Change (online program)

Master of Science (MS) in Health Communication for Social Change

The CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy online master of science degree in Health Communication for Social Change prepares students to achieve meaningful public health outcomes through communication, social marketing, and other behavior-change strategies. Students gain core public health competencies and receive training in health literacy, strategic marketing, social media strategy, multimedia production, and health entrepreneurship along with other critical communications domains for the 21st Century.

This is the only fully online health communications program offered by a CEPH-accredited school of public health.

Public health in the coming decade requires partnership-building between government, business, and the nonprofit sectors to solve the most pressing local, national, and international issues. This program is unique in its approach, preparing students to apply entrepreneurial and other innovative solutions to the most complex health challenges.

Students will have opportunities to take advantage of the deep and wide CUNY SPH networks, which include NYC public agencies, communications firms, multinational corporations, and international NGOs.

Because this program emphasizes building technical skills, graduates will have access to a wide variety of employment opportunities at city, county, and state health departments; advertising and marketing agencies; non-governmental organizations; philanthropic organizations, and more through our engaged faculty. Students will also have opportunities to apply for research and project positions at CUNY SPH centers and institutes, which work throughout New York City and around the world.

Admission Requirements
  • Completed SOPHAS application
  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited university with GPA (overall and major) of at least 3.0. We will accept unofficial transcripts uploaded to your SOPHAS application in lieu of official transcripts if you are unable to secure an official transcript due to COVID-19.
  • Personal statement/statement of purpose (recommended length is 500 words)
  • Resume
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • TOEFL scores are required if language of instruction for prior degrees was not English
    • Paper-based test: 550
    • Computer administered test: 233
    • Internet-based test: 60 (reading score, writing score, and listening score)
  • Transcript evaluation from WES or ECE for foreign transcripts. Please reach out to us if you are having programs with your evaluation due to COVID-19.
Deadline to Apply Fall 2020: Please note we are still accepting applications to our graduate programs for the fall.

This degree program is fully online.

Foundational Knowledge (0 credits) PUBH 601 Foundations of Public Health Knowledge*
Core Coursework (15 credits) PUBH 610 Public Health Leadership & Management
PUBH 611 Health Equity, Communication, and Advocacy
PUBH 612 Designing and Evaluating Public Health Interventions
PUBH 613 Designs, Concepts, and Methods in Public Health Research
PUBH 614 Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis Methods in Public Health Research
Required Coursework (15 credits) CHSS 626 Health and Media Literacy for Public Health Advancement
CHSS 627 Social Marketing and Health Communication Theory and Practice
CHSS 628 Multisectoral Engagement for Sustainable Health: Local to Global Development, Implementation and Measurement
CHSS 629 Strategic Multimedia Production and Innovative Health Communication: Design and Delivery
CHSS 630 Case Studies in Social Marketing, Health Communication, and Strategic Diplomacy for Public Health
Elective Coursework (3 credits) One (1) elective chosen in consultation with faculty advisor
Culminating Experience (3 credits) PUBH 698 Capstone Project
Total Credits Required 36

*PUBH 601 must be completed during a student’s first semester. Students who obtained a bachelor’s degree from a CEPH-accredited college will be waived from this requirement.

Core Competencies:

  • Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health practice
  • Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context
  • Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming and software, as appropriate
  • Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy or practice
  • Compare the organization, structure and function of health care, public health and regulatory systems across national and international settings
  • Discuss the means by which structural bias, social inequities and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community and societal levels
  • Assess population needs, assets and capacities that affect communities’ health
  • Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs
  • Design a population-based policy, program, project or intervention
  • Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management
  • Select methods to evaluate public health programs
  • Discuss multiple dimensions of the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics and evidence
  • Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes
  • Advocate for political, social or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations
  • Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity
  • Apply principles of leadership, governance and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration and guiding decision making
  • Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges
  • Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors
  • Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation
  • Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content
  • Perform effectively on interprofessional teams
  • Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue
  • Apply concepts from relevant scientific disciplines, such as toxicology and physiology, to anticipate effects of environmental, occupational and nutritional exposures on both human health and overall planetary health.

Concentration Competencies:

  • Create strategic and theory-based communication and social marketing plans that address health inequalities and incorporate human-centered user experience principles
  • Produce effective communication and media relations products using a variety of tools and technologies
  • Apply entrepreneurial methods to develop innovative communication solutions to complex public health challenges
  • Apply theories, models, and methods from a range of disciplines to health communication programs
  • Demonstrate interprofessional collaboration and problem-solving skills in the creation of effective health communication programs
For students beginning their program during the fall semester:
Semester Course Credits
Year 1 Fall PUBH 601: Foundations of Public Health Knowledge* 0
PUBH 613: Designs, Concepts, and Methods in Public Health Research 3
PUBH 610: Public Health Leadership and Management 3
PUBH 611: Health Equity, Communication, and Advocacy 3
CHSS 626: Health and Media Literacy for Public Health Advancement 3
Year 1 Spring PUBH 614: Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis Methods in Public Health Research 3
CHSS 627: Social Marketing and Health Communication Theory and Practice 3
CHSS 628: Multisectoral Engagement for Sustainable Health: Local to Global Development, Implementation, and Measurement 3
PUBH 612: Designing and Evaluating Public Health Interventions 3
Year 2 Fall CHSS 629: Strategic Multimedia Production and Innovative Health Communication: Design and Delivery 3
CHSS 630: Case Studies in Social Marketing, Health Communication, and Strategic Diplomacy for Public Health 3
Elective 3
PUBH 698: Capstone Project 3

 

For students beginning their program during the spring semester:
Semester Course Credits
Year 1 Spring PUBH 601: Foundations of Public Health Knowledge* 0
PUBH 613: Designs, Concepts, and Methods in Public Health Research 3
PUBH 610: Public Health Leadership and Management 3
PUBH 611: Health Equity, Communication, and Advocacy 3
CHSS 628: Multisectoral Engagement for Sustainable Health: Local to Global Development, Implementation, and Measurement 3
Year 1 Fall PUBH 614: Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis Methods in Public Health Research 3
CHSS 626: Health and Media Literacy for Public Health Advancement 3
CHSS 629: Strategic Multimedia Production and Innovative Health Communication: Design and Delivery 3
CHSS 630: Case Studies in Social Marketing, Health Communication, and Strategic Diplomacy for Public Health 3
Year 2 Spring PUBH 612: Designing and Evaluating Public Health Interventions 3
CHSS 627: Social Marketing and Health Communication Theory and Practice 3
Elective 3
PUBH 698: Capstone Project 3

*PUBH 601 must be completed during a student’s first semester. Students who obtained a bachelor’s degree from a CEPH-accredited college will be waived from this requirement.