J-school launches master’s degree track in interdisciplinary health communicationThe UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication is launching an Interdisciplinary Health Communication (IHC) track in its master of arts in mass communication program. The new program provides students with specialized training in the multi-faceted field of health communication and builds expertise for applied practice, academic and research settings.
Applications for the fall 2011 semester will be accepted through Jan. 1, 2011.
The master’s track in IHC builds on the success of an IHC certificate program, which has been offered since fall 2007 and will continue for UNC graduate students to supplement studies in journalism and mass communication, public health, information and library science or related fields. Eight master’s and doctoral students have graduated with the IHC certificate.
The IHC master’s track includes a core of 18 credits in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and nine credits in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, the Department of Psychology and the School of Information and Library Science. It also includes specializations in public health, social marketing, information science, or medical and science journalism. Students will earn a minimum of 39 hours in the two-year program.
The journalism school is already home to a specialization in medical and science journalism within the master’s professional track. This specialization continues to be offered to students learning skills in how to report and publish about medical and scientific issues in both print and broadcast forms.
The new IHC track offers a broadened program to include the study of how to effectively communicate with diverse audiences about health issues. Students will learn about the possibilities of traditional as well as electronic forms of media and the psychology of persuasion. Each student will complete a project or thesis on a health communication topic.
Health communication as a discipline and occupation is growing dramatically as a number of schools around the country develop programs to help students learn more about approaches and tools. UNC-Chapel Hill is uniquely situated to take a leadership role in interdisciplinary health communication because it is home to premier programs in journalism and mass communication, information and library science, psychology, public health, medicine and nursing.