Catalog Version

Summer/Autumn 2013
Catalog update:
May 15, 2013

Access archived catalogs in the Catalog Archive section.​​​​​

Students are required to follow the Academic Handbook and Code of Student Responsibility​​

Course Requirements

The Master of Arts in Health Communication requires 12 courses — three core courses, one methods course, six Health Communication electives, and two graduate electives inside or outside the program.

Core Courses

Students are required to take all of the following:​

Methods Requirement

Elective Courses

Choose eight courses from the following list*:

* With approval of the graduate program director, students can take up to two ​​relevant elective courses from other College of Communication graduate programs or relevant elective courses from other graduate departments/programs outside of the College of Communication.​

Comprehensive Final Examination or Project/Thesis

Students in the Master of Arts in Health Communication complete their degree requirements by passing a comprehensive final examination. Students who attain a 3.7 GPA or higher and obtain prior approval from the graduate program director have the option to complete a culminating project or thesis instead of the comprehensive exam. Students completing a project or thesis will enroll in HTHC 599 as their 12th and final course in the quarter they defend their project/thesis.

Grade Requirements

Students must maintain a 3.0 average in their graduate work to remain in good standing. Students who drop below this average will be put on academic probation and expected to attain the minimum requirement within two quarters. Failure to meet the conditions of academic probation result in dismissal from the program.​​​​​

CMNS 500

FOUNDATIONS IN GRADUATE COMMUNICATION STUDIES

This course provides an orientation and introduction to the Communication Studies Graduate Programs (Health, Relational, Organizational/Multicultural) in the College of Communication, as well as the larger field of communication studies. The course provides an orientation into graduate program policies, program faculty, DePaul resources, the broader academic discipline of Communication and potential career opportunities for graduates and resources in the field. In addition, the course provides a survey of research paradigms and methodologies, while offering students an introduction to areas of faculty specialization. Students will develop a personalized study plan and a literature review related to their area of research interest. This class will be primarily lecture/discussion based, emphasizing student participation, active learning, and diverse disciplinary perspectives. The course will take the form of several guest lectures, critical reading and reflection of research, and discussion. Students will be required to participate in small group discussions, and submit papers and other written assignments.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

HTHC 515

INTRO TO HEALTH COMMUNICATION

Because of the increasing degree of health consciousness in our society, individuals not only interact more frequently with health care providers, but health care organizations play more active roles in their surrounding communities. In addition, health care cultures are changing. Health care organizations play active social and political roles when responding to national health issues or crises. Hence, it is important that we, as consumers of health care, understand the communication challenges that are inherent within health care organizations, and how those can impact the effectiveness of our communication as a participant in health care contexts.
Prerequisites:
Graduate HTHCM students

HTHC 517

HEALTH CARE LITERACY

The U.S. Department of Health and Human services included improved consumer health literacy as Objective 11-2, and identified health literacy as an important component of health communication, medical product safety and oral health. Health Literacy refers to obtaining, processing and understanding basic health information. This course examines how the consumer can be not only informed more effectively and efficiently, but also how health information should inform decision making in multiple health contexts.
Prerequisites:
Graduate HTHCM students

HTHC 516

RESEARCH METHODS FOR HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONERS

This course focuses on health care methodologies relevant to health care administration: including a cross section of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Designing questionnaires and surveys, the analysis and presentation of survey data, interviewing strategies, the analysis and presentation of qualitative data. Students will also be provided with skilled technical writing assignments geared toward providing an understanding of how to most effectively present data within the contexts of reports, visuals for meeting or memoranda.
Prerequisites:
Graduate HTHCM students

HTHC 519

ASSESSMENT AND INTERVENTION FOR HEALTH CARE ADMINISTRATORS

Health care practitioners must acquire management consulting skills necessary to identify areas in need of change within health care organizations. Problem identification, data collection, intervention and implementation phases of assessment and intervention are taught from the perspective of the health care organization. The course probes common management problems in health care, internal working relationship challenges as well as organizational structure issues that arise.
Prerequisites:
Graduate HTHCM students

HTHC 520

HEALTH CARE CAMPAIGNS AND COMMUNITY ACTION

This course will focus on the use of communication strategies to inform and influence individual and community decisions regarding health in the following contexts: the multidimensional nature of health communication; understanding empirical research in health communication; behavioral theories in health communication; rhetorical theories in health communication; legal and ethical concerns in health communication; the communication of risk and uncertainty; and the design of health campaigns.
Prerequisites:
Graduate HTHCM students

HTHC 521

HEALTH AND FAMILY COMMUNICATION

The course, Family and Health Communication, addresses health-related issues that families may experience, while situating them within a theoretical context. Using theories such as Family Systems Theory and Communication Privacy Management Theory, this course will take a Lifespan Approach to better understand family health issues. Some of the topics that will be covered in this course may include care giving responsibilities, long-term disease, disability, addiction, psychological disruption, sexual health, and end of life issues as affects the family system. Cultural and social norms, in addition to public and health policies are also addressed, as they provide insight into the larger scope of understanding family and health communication, as ultimately, the health of family members impact the functioning of the family system.
Prerequisites:
Graduate HTHCM students

HTHC 522

MANAGERIAL COMMUNICATION IN HEALTH CARE CONTEXTS

This course will equip students to more effectively understand and manage the dynamic communicative systems, processes, and interactions of people and messages within healthcare environments. This course will explore interpersonal differences with a focus on the role communication plays with various organizational stakeholders, superior-subordinate relationships, internal-external customer relations, managerial problem solving, decision-making, facilitation of change and use of appropriate leadership strategies, as well as organizational structure and ethical and legal requirements. Additionally, this course also focuses on understanding the relationship between designing, managing, and disseminating messages, data, information, and knowledge that health care facilities and professionals have to deal with on a daily basis; appropriate performance feedback principles; and presentational speaking and writing.
Prerequisites:
Graduate HTHCM students

HTHC 523

TOPICS IN HEALTH COMMUNICATION

Topics will include: Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Health Care Issues, Patient Advocacy, Communication and Constraint, Multicultural Communication in Health Care Contexts and Advance Care Planning
Prerequisites:
Graduate HTHCM students

HTHC 524

HEALTH CARE TEAMS & LEADERSHIP

Modern organizations are increasingly interested in shifting their organizational structures towards the goal of creating self-managed work teams. Much of the health care delivery system is already structured formally or informally around the team concept, whether these be surgery teams, consulting office staff, or other health and wellness delivery personnel. Therefore, those pursuing a career in health care greatly benefits from knowledge and experience with two interdependent aspects of group dynamics: decision-making under conditions of uncertainty, and the philosophy and practice of developing groups into self-managed teams. This course will combine a lecture/discussion with a teamwork intensive action learning component towards the goal of making the student competent to either create or optimize the results of self-managed work teams in their own organization (if called upon to do so), or to understand and thrive in this work mode without stress.
Prerequisites:
Graduate HTHCM students

HTHC 525

NARRATIVES IN HEALTH CARE

Focusing on the performance and narrative paradigms of communication studies, the course would survey uses of performance and narrative methods to consider health communication relationships. Narrative and narrative performance are sites of health communication issues for marginalized populations, difficult conversations, and alternate means of reporting. For example, narrative and narrative performance are increasingly being used as part of medical curriculum, as a means to train health care professionals to understand the experiences of their patients, encourage deep listening, and foster different professional-patient relations. For cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other patients, performance becomes a means of speaking into mainstream and dominant discourses of health and to actively shape discourses from their own subjectivities. This increases the visibility of health care experiences in its gendered, sexualized, and racialized dimensions. Finally, narrative and narrative performance offers an additional means of visibility in catalyzing change in public, legislative, scholarly and relational arenas.
Prerequisites:
Graduate HTHCM students

CMNS 550

ORGANIZATIONAL DIVERSITY & LEADERSHIP

Organizational Diversity and Leadership provides students with a conceptual framework of the strategies and systems required to design, implement, and manage a comprehensive diversity initiative spanning various functions in various business sectors. This course addresses issues relating to diversity philosophy, organization and administration of diversity initiatives as well as the development and implementation of a comprehensive diversity strategy within the business enterprise.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRAD 535

PUBLIC RELATIONS IN HEALTH CARE

This course will help students understand the organizational impact of health policy in America and prepare students to assume roles in communication management positions in the United States health care industry. Students will explore current issues in health policy such as the problem of the uninsured, the rising cost of health care, and the politics of health. Each student will be responsible for focusing on a particular aspect of health policy and developing a report on the topic.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Public Relations and Advertising student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRAD 540

CRISIS COMMUNICATION MANAGEMENT

This course examines institutional crisis communication from a management perspective. Emphasis is on crisis response strategies and organizational approaches for preventing and managing crisis events. Students develop case studies of contemporary crises and participate in simulations designed to develop professional expertise and practical skills in crisis communication management.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Public Relations and Advertising student and PRAD 555 or instructor permission is a prerequisite for this course.

CMN 591

INTERNSHIP

This graduate level course is designed to integrate the student's work experience at the internship site with a career-management curriculum that enhances internship success and increases employability.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communications student is a prerequisite for this class

CMNS 592

INDEPENDENT STUDY

Students will be guided in the development of a special project that furthers their collaboration with an instructor and produces a report that demonstrates their mastery of critical content and competencies. The independent study option is intended for students who have demonstrated a mastery of course content, who would benefit from a sustained, focused collaboration with a relevant faculty member.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 590

COMMUNICATION WORKSHOP (VARIABLE TOPICS)

This course allows students to sample a range of hands on, practical offerings in communication that can enhance their knowledge and expertise. Topics offered include survey design and focus groups.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

HTHC 599

RESEARCH THESIS

Enroll in 599 during the term you plan to defend your thesis or complete your final project. This is a graded, 4-credit hour course. Tuition is charged. You must have a scheduled defense/completion date to be approved for this class. Your thesis/project advisor needs to communicate this date to the Graduate Studies Director for your program, before you are allowed to enroll. Loan deferment is allowed to those registered for this class.
Prerequisites:
Graduate HTHCM students