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Develop Your Strategic Voice

MS in Health Care Communication Curriculum

Learn How to Communicate Complex Health Care Topics

Grow your health care communication skills through the comprehensive and practical MS in Health Care Communication curriculum at St. Thomas. Developed in partnership with senior health care leaders, our curriculum provides everything you need to know to advance your career in strategic health care communications. Our courses cover topics relevant to communication and how to effectively bridge the gap between companies, practitioners and patients.

Experience a unique merger of student-centered on-campus classes and online coursework. Balance your competing demands and reach your goals while earning a robust graduate business degree in a single year.

Designed for the working professional, our part-time, 30-credit degree plan features:

  • A cohort model to maximize instructor attention and build peer relationships
  • An innovative blend of on-campus, hybrid (mix of in-person and online), fully online courses for maximum flexibility
  • On-campus one Saturday every seven weeks for core modules
  • An unprecedented experiential learning practicum to provide health care experience

Plan Out Your Degree

Follow this sample degree plan to complete the MS in Health Care Communication in one year. An asterisk (*) denotes courses that are combined with MS in Health Care Innovation.

Management Priorities and the Communicator

September

Overview of Health Care Systems*

September — October 

Strategic Management in Health Care*

October — December

Basic Anatomy and Physiology for Health Care Communicators

September — December (online)

Health Care Communication Practicum

September — December (online)

Management Priorities and the Communicator

September

Overview of Health Care Systems*

September — October 

Strategic Management in Health Care*

October — December

Basic Anatomy and Physiology for Health Care Communicators

September — December (online)

Health Care Communication Practicum

September — December (online)

Health Care Policy
January
Health Law
February — March
Marketing Management*
March — May
Health Care Language and Writing
February — May (online)
Health Care Communication Practicum
February — May (online)
Health Care Policy
January
Health Law
February — March
Marketing Management*
March — May
Health Care Language and Writing
February — May (online)
Health Care Communication Practicum
February — May (online)
Communication Research
June — August
Reputation Management and Stakeholder Engagement
June — August
Communication Research
June — August
Reputation Management and Stakeholder Engagement
June — August

Core Classes

Get a solid foundation for communication in the health care industry from our one-year program. Courses are offered in a hybrid format (on-campus and online) unless otherwise noted.

(BCOM 726) - 3 credits

This course is the “boot camp” that kicks off the program. Classes meet on campus.

Examine the role of communication from the senior management perspective in health care. Explore topics including the CEO's primary concerns, responsibilities, information needs, language and decision-making processes. By developing an integrated view of health care organizations, and emphasizing organizational strategy and goals, this course will help you understand and respond to top management's concerns with effective communication strategies.


(MGMT 630) - 3 credits

Get an accurate understanding of the various components of the health care system (providers, consumers, payers and third parties) and how they interrelate. You will learn about issues, motivations and incentives that influence all parts of the system. You will also gain an understanding of the political and social environment in which these systems operate. The course is designed to give all students a common base of understanding early in their curriculum.


(BCOM 638) Online course. - 2 credits

Understand the fundamental principles of anatomy and physiology in humans. You will learn the basic terminology of these fields as a foundation for further study of human morphology and function, and will learn how these principles apply to human medicine, diagnosis and treatment. Topics include: body plan; chemical, cellular and tissue level of organisms; integumentary, skeletal, muscular and special senses; endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems; development and inheritance; metabolism and nutrition; and fluid/electrolytes and acid/base balance.


(MGMT 698) - 3 credits

An integrative approach to the formulation and implementation of organizational strategy and policy, this course focuses on organizational performance as it relates to mission, goals and objectives. You will get practice defining multi-faceted problems and their causes, analyzing internal and external environments, reviewing key corporate and business strategies, formulating alternative strategic options and addressing these challenges as a communication professional. You’ll focus on the ethical dimensions of problem solving at the general management level.


(MKTG 600) - 3 credits

One of the fundamental purposes of a marketing-driven organization is the creation, communication and delivery of value to individual and organizational customers. Take a managerial approach to the study of strategic marketing decision making. Build conceptual foundations for understanding and analyzing marketing situations. Discuss substantive and practical elements involved in the process of developing, pricing, distributing and promoting services (and goods) that provide customer solutions and deliver differentiated customer value.


(BCOM 639) Online course. - 2 credits

Read and analyze writing across a spectrum of the health care space, representing both internal and external messaging and delivery platforms. You will gain practical knowledge and experience in writing for these purposes through exercises that apply health care language learned in other courses in the MS in Health Care Communication.


(MGMT 732) - 3 credits

We will address the socioeconomic, political, ethical and practical issues confronting the medical care system in the United States. Study the trends in providing and financing care in changing markets and governments, as well as the implications for clinics, medical groups and health professionals. Our goal in the class is to use current, high-visibility health policy issues to engage you in understanding the policy process and the role of communication before, during and after implementation.


(BLAW 745) - 3 credits

Focus on the government regulation and liability of physicians and other health care personnel, hospitals and other health care institutions, as well as the cost and quality of health care, the financing of health care delivery and other legal aspects of medical ethics. Study decision making and planning processes, liability, contracts, torts, medical records, malpractice, and consent and tax-related issues. Explore how information related to these issues must be handled from a communication perspective.


(BCOM 610) - 3 credits

Consider various qualitative and quantitative methodologies useful in applied research for both profit and non-profit organizations, including interpretation and evaluation techniques. We emphasize techniques of research design and reporting.


(BCOM 661) - 3 credits

Study the principles and practices necessary to manage corporate and product perceptions in the evolving landscape of traditional and social media. Explore how employee, investor, community, government and organizational communication practices and engagement strategies differ from each other, yet are used together to communicate a consistent organizational message. Case histories focus on reputation management issues and programs; how research, planning, communication and measurement are applied; and the roles of communication and management to successfully build and maintain positive reputation in the health care arena.


(BCOM 803/804) - 1 credit

Get hands-on experience in health care communication within an approved organization, guided by a mentor from that organization. You will receive supervision and consultation throughout the experience. Together, the faculty, your mentor and you design the practicum to complement your career goals and previous health care experience, culminating in a project related to your chosen area of interest. Faculty consultation is provided as needed.


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Get in Touch

The St. Thomas Opus College of Business is an incredible place to learn, meet, inspiring peers and mentors, and build a strong career path. Don't just take our word for it--experience St. Thomas firsthand. Visit a class, attend an info session, or chat with the admissions team.