Health and Development Communication

The Master of Arts in Communication with a specialization in Health and Development Communication is the only program of its kind in South Florida. Development Communication is a well-established area of communication research that focuses on the uses of communication to bring about social change.  Historically, communication experts have formed an integral part of development programs and are charged with such tasks as coordinating information campaigns and acting as intermediaries between development officials and local populations.  Because many development efforts are oriented around the transmission of health-related information, the area of Health Communication is closely related to and sometimes even seen as a subspecialty of Development Communication.  These two fields comprise a strongly focused area of research and practice that are often labeled together as “Health and Development Communication.” 


The specialization in Health and Development Communication meets the needs of students who seek to understand the challenges of communicating health-related information and in using communication to promote social change.  The coursework in this specialization builds on knowledge gained from core classes in areas such as intercultural communication and conflict management, as well as other topics.  Students then develop their knowledge of the role of communication in health and social development efforts, including how public relations campaigns can be designed for specific audiences to bring about social change.  Training in multi-media production and uses of contemporary social media within communications campaigns are also an option, as is an internship experience. During your time in the master’s program, you will learn from our distinguished faculty who have years of experience in the communication industry, and who pull from curriculum on an ideal combination of theory and practical application. Also, hear from professional speakers who will give you the real life insight of what it takes to succeed in this industry. Students are required to complete this program with either a thesis or capstone project.

Length of Program

As a full-time student (3 classes per semester), you can complete this master’s degree within two-three years. If you choose to take classes part-time, you must complete the program within seven years to receive the degree. You may start the program in the fall only, and we do not offer classes during the summer semesters. Most classes are held in the evening hours to accommodate working professionals, or those who have responsibilities during the day.