The health communication minor provides students with theoretical and applied knowledge about communication’s role in health care delivery, doctor-patient communication, health campaigns and public health, and other areas related to the dissemination of health information. This collaborative minor is designed for students interested in health care fields or health and risk communication.
Notes about this minor:
This minor is closed to students majoring in communication.
Posting of the minor on the student's academic transcript requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the minor.
An introduction to the subject of communication in health care delivery and in public health campaigns, with an emphasis on interpersonal, organizational, and mass communication approaches. Also covered is the interrelationship of health behavior and communication.
Choose one of the following:
An in-depth study of the theories, practices, effects, and ethics of persuasion. Persuasion is defined as human communication designed to influence one’s beliefs, values, attitudes, and actions. This course examines persuasion from a receiver-oriented perspective with interpersonal, small group, organizational, and mediated perspectives.
(Health) Campaign Management and Planning
This course introduces students to the managing and planning of advertising and public relations campaigns. It takes a team project approach thereby helping students learn how to work together in class as well as in a competitive agency. Service-learning will be used to expose students to community causes.
Choose three of the following:
Bodies and Culture
Our bodies are more than mere physical entities; they are conditioned by culture, society, and history. We will take a comparative approach to the cultural construction of bodies and the impact of ethnic, gender, and racial ideologies on body practices (i.e. surgical alteration, mutilation, beautification, surrogacy, erotica). We will critically investigate the global formation of normative discourses of the body (regarding sexuality, AIDS/illness, reproduction, fat/food) in medical science, consumer culture, and the mass media. The course features discussion, writing, and project-oriented research, encouraging students to acquire a range of analytic skills through a combination of text interpretation and research.
An introduction to the practice of public relations. Topics include history, research areas, laws, ethics, and social responsibilities as they relate to the theory and practice of public relations.
Public Relations Writing
This course covers a variety of forms of writing for public relations, including news releases, newsletters, backgrounders, public service announcements, magazine queries, interviews, coverage memos, media alerts, features, trade press releases, and public presentations. Students will write for a variety of media including print, broadcast, and the web.
Digital Design in Communication
In an increasingly visual culture, and culture of online user-created content, non-designers are called upon in the professional realm to illustrate their ideas. Graduates entering the workforce will encounter situations where they will benefit from possessing a visual communication sensibility and vocabulary to communicate effectively with a broad range of audiences, including professional designers. Creative approaches to challenges, such as visual thinking, are also shown to improve students’ comprehension and problem-solving abilities. Digital Design in Communication is an opportunity for undergraduates to receive an introduction to principles of visual message design from a critical rhetorical perspective. They will also get the opportunity to apply these principles to a variety of visual products such as advertisements, logos, brochures, resumes, etc. A variety of computer software applications are available to support the research, writing, visualization, and design of messages.
Health Care Economics
Examines the economics of health care, the organization of its delivery and financing, and analyzes access to care issues, the role of insurance, the regulation of hospitals, physicians, and the drug industry, the role of technology, and limits on health care spending.
History of Madness
This course will study the changes in definitions, explanations, and depictions of madness as expressed in psychiatric texts, asylum records, novelists, cartoonists, artists, photographers, filmmakers–and patient narratives. Certainly, madness has assumed many names and forms: the sacred disease, frenzy, hysteria, mania, melancholy, neurosis, dementia, praecox, schizophrenia, phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder. Those afflicted have been admired, pitied, mocked, hidden from public view, imprisoned, restrained, operated on, hospitalized, counseled, analyzed, and medicated. The brain, particularly the disordered brain, has long been a source of interest. This course explores the brain from the history of madness. The course takes a humanist, rhetorical, and historicist approach to the question of madness within changing social institutions and popular discourse.
This course explores the effects of wellness and disease prevention on the human lifecycle, lifestyles and overall health. Basic structure and function of selected human body systems are discussed and related to factors such as diet and nutrition, alcohol, drugs, smoking, stress and the environment in discussion of health promotion and disease prevention. Lecture and class discussion and student participation are used to explore health related issues.
Computers in Medicine
This course begins with a historical perspective on computing in medicine. It reviews software and hardware from supercomputers to mobile devices, and surveys their use in medical practice, research, and education. Next it studies the nature of medical data, its collection, organization and use. This sets the stage for the major part of the course which studies important applications of computing to medicine, including Hospital Information Systems (HIS), medical imaging, surgery, telemedicine, and pharmacy.
Language of Medicine
Language is a systematic means or method of communicating ideas, events, or feelings. It is a combination of words or symbols used to encode and decode information. Medicine has a language to communicate information regarding the human body, its functions, diseases, tests, and procedures. This course explores the language of medicine, the rules of “language,” language mechanics that apply how to create words, define terms, and identify abbreviations. In addition to learning the fundamentals, the student will gain experience in writing, using the language of medicine, as well as interpreting that language into everyday English.
Death and Dying
This course examines the role of loss including death in our lives and the way we give and receive support during difficult times. It also looks at how society enfranchises some grievers and disenfranchises others. Included in this course is an examination of our options as consumers of funeral and burial services, grief counseling and other products and services which can either minimize or abate our grief. Central to the course is an examination of the ethical principles which apply to abortion, euthanasia and suicide and an examination of the ways in which the choices we make may be structured to express our core values. Finally, the course explores how The American way of Death differs from that of other societies and how we might incorporate the wisdom of other cultures into our own practices.
Gender and Health
This course examines connections between gender and health that are both conceptual and empirical. Students will explore the causes of gender-based differences in health outcomes through case studies of sexual and reproductive rights, HIV/AIDS epidemics and violence. Students will also examine global gender and health trends. The course concludes with an examination of gender inequity in health care and policy implications of these inequities.