Use your skills to help others. You’ll do that here.

Health communication is one of the most rapidly growing and exciting areas in the healthcare field. The National Communication Association defines Health Communication as the “study of communication as it relates to health professionals and health education, including the study of provider-client interaction, as well as the diffusion of health information through public health campaigns.” The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that it is “a transdisciplinary field that is integral to a variety of other fields, including public health, healthcare, global health and community development.

What to Expect

Health communication is the field of theory, research, and practice which studies and uses communication strategies, methods, programs, and interventions as a means to inform and influence individual and community decisions that enhance health.” Southeast’s Communication Studies and Modern Languages department is excited to offer this interdisciplinary major.

  • Engage with highly-trained, highly active faculty.
  • Enjoy small classes to benefit from individual attention.
  • Learn both the theoretical knowledge of health communications as well as practical skills to pursue various career trajectories.
  • 100% of Southeast programs offer real-world experience. Health communication students earn this experience through a required internship.

Hands-on Learning

You can gain hands-on real-world experience through internship opportunities, our award-winning debate team, and various student organizations.

Outcomes & Careers

  • 100%

    Successful Outcomes Rate

    Students graduating with degrees from the Department of Communication Studies and Modern Languages report being employed or furthering their education six months after graduation.

  • $48K

    Health Educator

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for health educators and community health workers is $48,140.

  • $104K

    Medical and Health Services Manager

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for medical and health services managers is $104,280.

  • $63K

    Public Relations Specialist

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for public relations specialists is $62,810.

What You'll Study

The Health Communication curriculum includes 36 hours specific to this major and requires a minor. Students are also expected to complete a minimum of 120 required credits, including the general education requirements and at least 39 senior division hours.

Core Courses
(36 Hours  – Minor required)

Required Courses:

  • HA300 Management of Healthcare (3)
  • HA585 Healthcare Marketing (3)
  • HL113 Medical Terminology (3)
  • HL320 Community Health (3)
  • PY555 Health Psychology (3)
  • SC001 Exit Interview (0)
  • SC215 Intercultural Communication (3)
  • SC301 Foundations of Health Communication (3)
  • SC335 Interviewing: Principles and Practices (3)
  • SC320 Group Communication and Decision Making OR SC510 Leadership and Team Building (3)
  • SC483 Internship in Communication Studies (3)
  • SC560 Organizational Communication OR UI425 Persuasion (3)
  • UI354 Lifestyle Enhancement (3)*

Required Support Courses:

Some courses fulfill General Education requirements.

  • CF124 Children’s Health, Nutrition and Safety OR FN235 Nutrition for Health (3)
  • EN140 Rhetoric & Critical Thinking (3)
  • HL120 Health Perspectives (3)
  • MC101 Mass Communication and Society (3)
  • SC105 Fundamentals of Oral Communication OR SC155 Interpersonal Communication (3)
  • UI345 Nonverbal Communication (3)
  • UI352 Medical Ethics OR SC491 Investigating Communication (3)
  • UI412 American Healthcare Systems and Issues (3)
Suggested Electives:
  • SC200 Advanced Public Speaking
  • SC314 Argumentation and Problem Solving
  • SC355 Relational Communication
  • SC360 Experiential Projects in Communication
  • SC330 Corporate Communication
  • SC490 Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication
  • MC310 Advertising Communication Strategies
  • MC312 Advertising Creative Concepts

Consider choosing from the following:

  • Autism Studies
  • Business Administration
  • Child Development
  • Family Studies
  • Gerontology
  • Health Management Entrepreneurship
  • Health Promotion
  • Human Resource Management
  • Information Systems
  • Marketing (Marketing Management)
  • Mass Communication (Advertising)
  • Nutrition
  • Psychology (All Options)
  • Public Administration
  • Religion
  • Social Rehabilitation and Treatment
  • Spanish for Health Professionals
  • Substance Abuse Prevention

Some requirements may be fulfilled by coursework in major program.

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences – 6 hours
  • Constitution Requirement – 3 hours
  • Written Communication – 6 hours
  • Oral Communication – 3 hours
  • Natural Sciences – 7 hours (from two disciplines, one to include a lab)
  • Mathematics – 3 hours
  • Humanities & Fine Arts – 9 hours (from at least two disciplines)
  • Additional requirements – 5 hours (to include UI100 for native students)
  • Civics examination

Freshman Year 

Fall Semester (13 Hours) 

  • UI100 (1) 
  • EN100 (3) 
  • HL120 (3) 
  • SC105 or SC155 (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Spring Semester (15 Hours) 

  • CF124 or FN235 (3) 
  • EN140 (3) 
  • MC101 (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Sophomore Year 

Fall Semester (15 Hours) 

  • HL113 (3) 
  • SC215 (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • Elective (3) 

Spring Semester (15 Hours) 

  • SC301 (3) 
  • Minor Course (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

(Consider taking a summer or wintersession course) 

Junior Year 

Fall Semester (15 Hours) 

  • HA300 (3) 
  • HL320 (3) 
  • SC335 (3) 
  • Minor Course (3) 
  • Elective (3) 

Spring Semester (15 Hours) 

  • SC320 or SC510 (3) 
  • UI345 (3) 
  • UI354 (3) 
  • Minor Course (3) 
  • Elective (3) 

(*Consider completing SC483 internship in summer) 

Senior Year 

Fall Semester (17 Hours) 

  • SC560 or UI425 (3) 
  • UI352 or SC491 (3) 
  • UI412 (3) 
  • Minor Course (3) 
  • Elective (3) 
  • Elective (2) 

Spring Semester (15 Hours) 

  • HA585 (3) 
  • PY555 (3) 
  • SC001 (0) 
  • SC483* (3) 
  • Minor Course (3) 
  • Elective (3) 

Become a Redhawk.

Do more than dream about the future. Take the first steps to make it all happen.

What can you do with a Health Communication Degree? 

Southeast Health Communication students enjoy numerous internship opportunities due to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, being the largest medical hub between St. Louis, Missouri and Memphis, Tennessee.

Our Health Comm Students Have Interned With:

  • Ascension (St. Louis)
  • Cape Town Senior Living
  • Community Partnership of Southeast Missouri
  • Compass Health Network (Osage Beach)
  • Jackson R2 School District Foundation
  • Medical Transportation Management, Inc. (St. Louis)
  • NubAbility Athletics Foundation (Illinois)
  • Parc Provence Assisted Living (St. Louis)
  • PC Wellness Centers
  • Saint Francis Healthcare System
  • Simply Fitness
  • Southeast HEALTH
  • SE Missouri Network Against Sexual Violence
  • SE Missouri State University Recreation Services

Note: Many of our students have gone on to nursing school or graduate school. Several have accepted positions where they have interned.

Getting the Job

Your education is just one piece to launching an extraordinary career. Once you’ve mastered the material, you still have to find the job you want, make the right connections, sell your knowledge and experience—and if all this is giving you anxiety, don’t panic. SEMO’s Career Services office is here to help you with the next step. They’ll provide the expertise and support you need, so you’re landing your dream job in no time.


"What has helped me be the most successful in and out of the classroom is the guidance and freedom that my instructors have given me. They have always held high standards for any assignment given. In my clinicals and practica, they have taught me a lot about the workforce, which has helped me to learn and be successful."

Jordan Probst, ’20, Bachelor of Science in Health Communication

Southeast health communication major, Jordan Probst, stands at an outreach table during his internship.

Health Communication (BS) Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree.

Office Location
Academic Hall 213
Mailing Location
One University Plaza, MS 3225
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701