Academic Catalog 2021-2022

Slippery Rock University

Communication, Bachelor of Science (BS) - Concentration in Health Communication

Health is a top concern for local, national, and global populations and the healthcare industry is growing. Slippery Rock University’s Health Communication degree gives students the opportunity to place themselves at the forefront of health communication. Earning a Bachelor’s in Health Communication demonstrates not only that graduates understand the nature and complexity of the healthcare industry, but also that they possess the hands-on skills necessary to communicate effectively within this industry.

Why Choose Health Communication?

One of the few Health Communication programs in the Greater Pittsburgh Region, students graduate not only with a firm understanding of the ever-growing healthcare industry, but also the skills and training necessary to prepare, craft, and deliver effective messages within the healthcare context. Career options include digital and social media content generation, public relations and integrated marketing, advertising, and more.

While majoring in Health Communication, you will have the opportunity to participate in a host of relevant student organizations and complete internships. Upon graduation, students have a portfolio of work that demonstrates a wide range of skills that are relevant to the healthcare industry, including but not limited to: social and digital media content creation, publication production, and research and analytics.

What Will You Learn?

Working with professors with experience in their fields, the Health Communication Degree provides you with coursework centered on the health industry, as well as applied coursework in public relations, marketing, and advertising. When you choose to major in Health Communication, you benefit from a cutting-edge and modern interdisciplinary program with provides you with the skills and abilities necessary for a fruitful career as a communication professional in the healthcare industry.

Careers In Health Communication

It is expected that the healthcare industry will continue to grow. As such, a major benefit of majoring in Health Communication is the plethora of opportunities available to you after graduating. The program’s internship opportunities, in combination with the Department of Strategic Communication and Media’s vast alumni network make the Health Communication program at SRU a great choice for students as they consider their future careers.

Clubs & Organizations


Lambda Pi Eta

Related Links

Communication: Health Communication, BS Program Page

Strategic Communication and Media Department Page

Professional Licensure/Certification Page



Major GPA: 2.0 or higher
Overall GPA: 2.0 or higher


Rock Studies Requirements42
Other Basic Requirements0-3
Computer Competency0-3
Major/Concentration Requirements51

* All undergraduate degree programs require a minimum of 120 credits.  Some courses meet multiple requirements, but are only counted once toward the 120 credit total required to graduate.


The Rock
SUBJ 139University Seminar 13
ENGL 102Critical Writing3
ENGL 104Critical Reading3
MATH 117Quantitative Reasoning3
Select one of the following:3
Civil Discourse: Theory & Practice
Ethics and Civil Discourse
Civil Discourse and Democracy
Integrated Inquiry
Creative and Aesthetic Inquiry
Select 3 Credits3
Humanities Inquiry
Select 3 Credits3
Social Science Inquiry
Select 3 Credits3
Natural Sciences Inquiry
SCI 101Science of Life3
Physical Sciences Inquiry
SCI 102Understanding the Physical World3
Thematic Thread
Select 12 Credits 212
Total Hours42

Basic Math Requirement

Check with your adviser or a current degree audit report to see if you have been exempted from this course. The credit earned in this course will not be counted toward the 120 credit hour minimum needed to earn a degree.

Complete one of the following:0-3
Meet required minimum SAT or ACT math score OR
Beginning Algebra
Total Hours0-3

Computer Competency

Demonstrate "computer competency" by one of the following:0-3
Pass Computer Competency Exam OR
Select one of the following at SRU or another post-secondary institution:
Introduction to Computing for Liberal Arts
Computer Concepts
Introduction to Computing and Programming
Technology for Wellness
Total Hours0-3


  • 26 major credits must be taken at SRU or PASSHE
  • 26 major credits must be taken at the 300 level or above
Core Requirements
COMM 110Communication Concepts 1,23
COMM 263Mass Media and Society 13
COMM 310Communication Research Methods 1,23
COMM 410Communication Law 1,23
COMM 497Senior Capstone Seminar 1,23
Health Communication Requirements
COMM 231Introduction to Public Relations and IMC3
COMM 242Journalistic Writing3
or COMM 256 Message Preparation
COMM 270Strategic Health Communication3
HCAM 230US Healthcare Systems3
HCAM 300Healthcare Systems: Global Perspectives and Analysis3
COMM 303Communication and Media Ethics3
or HCAM 275 Health Care Legal & Ethical Foundations
or PHIL 325 Medical/Health Care Ethics
COMM 333Writing for Public Relations and Integrated Marketing Communication3
COMM 370Health Communication Cases and Strategies3
COMM 431PR and IMC Campaigns Capstone3
COMM 450Internship3
Select 6 credits from the following (at lease one upper-division course is required):6
Principles of Creative Advertising
Introduction to Digital Design
Interactive Multimedia 1
Social Media
Organizational Communication
Media Relations and Crisis Communication
Brand Management
Social Media 2: Analytics and Strategies
Healthcare Writing
Current Topics in Health Care
International Health
Principles of Marketing
Total Hours51

Important Curriculum Guide Notes

This Curriculum Guide is provided to help SRU students and prospective students better understand their intended major curriculum. Enrolled SRU students should note that the My Rock Audit may place already-earned and/or in progress courses in different, yet valid, curriculum categories. Enrolled SRU students should use the My Rock Audit Report and materials and information provided by their faculty advisers to ensure accurate progress towards degree completion. The information on this guide is current as of the date listed. Students are responsible for curriculum requirements at the time of enrollment at the University.

PASSHE - Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Institutions

Concentration in Health Communication (HECO)
This program is effective as of Summer 2021
Revised 07.14.2021
UCC 03.16.21 


Plan of Study Grid
First Year
COMM 263 Mass Media and Society 3
ENGL 102 Critical Writing 3
INDS 101 FYRST Seminar 1
SUBJ 139University Seminar 1 3
Social Science Inquiry 3
Creative & Aesthetic Inquiry 3
COMM 200 Civil Discourse: Theory & Practice 3
ENGL 104 Critical Reading 3
MATH 117 Quantitative Reasoning 3
COMM 231 Introduction to Public Relations and IMC 3
Humanities Inquiry 3
Second Year
COMM 242
Journalistic Writing
or Message Preparation
HCAM 230 US Healthcare Systems 3
SCI 101 Science of Life 3
Electives 6
Declare a Thematic Thread 2  
COMM 270 Strategic Health Communication 3
SCI 102 Understanding the Physical World 3
Health Communication Elective 3
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
Elective 3
Third Year
COMM 310 Communication Research Methods 3
HCAM 300 Healthcare Systems: Global Perspectives and Analysis 3
Health Communication Elective 3
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
Elective 3
COMM 333 Writing for Public Relations and Integrated Marketing Communication 3
COMM 303
Communication and Media Ethics
or Health Care Legal & Ethical Foundations
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
Electives 6
Fourth Year
COMM 370 Health Communication Cases and Strategies 3
COMM 333 Writing for Public Relations and Integrated Marketing Communication 3
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
Electives 6
COMM 410 Communication Law 3
COMM 431 PR and IMC Campaigns Capstone 3
COMM 450 Internship 3
COMM 497 Senior Capstone Seminar 3
Elective 3
 Total Hours**121

** This document is meant to serve as a guide. Some planners may show more than 120 credits because faculty have created flexibility in choosing courses.  However, only 120 credits are required to obtain a degree. Please consult with your academic adviser and refer to your curriculum guide prior to registering for courses. This plan should be reviewed, and verified, by you and your academic adviser at least once each academic year. 

 Major Code: 2118
Concentration Code: HECO
Revised: 10.04.2021