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Edward R. Murrow College of Communication

Online Graduate Certificate in Health Communication & Promotion

celebrate your commitment to lifelong learning

The WSU Edward R. Murrow College of Communication online Graduate Certificate in Health Communication and Promotion is designed for individuals who want to advance their professional credentials in health communication advertising, public relations, and digital communications outreach.


Program of Study

Courses are rooted in the foundation of research and theory in partnership with courses that teach students best practices and industry standards in contemporary health communication strategies and tactics. The coursework comprises 12 hours that address best practices in market research techniques, multimedia content creation, crisis communication, professional ethics, and research methods. Students take four courses – two from the professional COM Core in multimedia content creation, crisis communications, professional ethics, or research methods, and another two specifically in health communication and promotion including communicating health in practice and health in a digital landscape.

Courses (12 credits)

This program does not require any undergraduate prerequisites, but applicants must have bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. The minimum GPA requirement for admission into the graduate certificate program is 2.7. Applicants with a GPA below 2.7 are subject to departmental review and consideration.

Professional Core Courses (6cr)

Students will select two COM courses

COM 561 – Multimedia Content Creation
Exploration and application of strategies to communicate ideas clearly, concisely, and effectively through multimedia content. Sample syllabus

COM 562 – Crisis Communication in Global Contexts
Prepare, plan, and execute crisis communication and management to protect the continuity of an organization’s image and mission. Sample syllabus

COM 563 – Ethics for Professionals
The understanding, discussion, and application of key theories of individual and institutional ethics; the articulation and defense of ethical reasoning. Sample syllabus

COM 564 – Research Methods for Professionals
Understanding the role of research in media and related organizations and its application to organizational decision-making through quantitative and qualitative research methods including research design, questionnaire construction, sampling, data collection techniques, and variable measurement. Sample syllabus

Health Communication & Promotion Core Courses (6cr)

COMHLTH 571 Communicating Health in Practice
Health communication and promotion across a variety of settings and mediums, from interpersonal to promotional campaigns. Sample syllabus

COMHLTH 573 Communicating Health in a Digital Landscape
Development and implementation of health-related content through a variety of digital platforms. Sample syllabus

Total Credits: 12 credits

This certificate is ideal for:
  • Health communication specialists
  • PR professionals
  • Multimedia content creators
  • Public information officers
  • Social media coordinators
  • Communication coordinators
  • Awareness campaign coordinators
  • Public health specialists
Certificate Awarding Process

During the semester you wish to receive the graduate certificate, current students must complete the following steps:

  1. Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 throughout the duration of the certificate
  2. Submit an Application for Graduation for Graduate Certificate with the appropriate departmental signatures by the Application for Degree deadlines.
  3. Submit the US$25 processing fee with the application

Application Info

Applications deadlines are Aug 1, Dec 1 and April 15 for fall, spring and summer enrollment

New Students

  • To apply, complete a general application with WSU Graduate School, indicating an interest in a certificate program. Also include:
    • Unofficial transcripts from all undergraduate institutions
    • International students submit TOEFL score
    • A current professional resume that includes at least three professional references name and contact information. The program is designed for individuals who are at least three years outside their undergraduate program and/or have at least three years applied work experience.
    • Statement of Purpose articulating your perspectives, contributions, qualifications, and talents
  • $75 application fee (non-refundable)*

*The minimum GPA requirement for admission into the graduate certificate program is 2.7. Applicants with a GPA below 2.7 are subject to departmental review and consideration.

Current WSU Graduate Students
  • This program does not require any undergraduate prerequisites, but applicants must have bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with minimum 2.7 cumulative GPA (applicants with 2.5 GPA will be considered but are not guaranteed admission despite other qualifications)
  • No GRE required
  • No letters of recommendation required


Statement of Purpose

To gain a better understanding of your perspectives, contributions, qualifications, and diverse talents, we ask that each advanced certificate or degree applicant prepare a comprehensives statement of purpose (approx 1 page):

  • Why the online graduate program at WSU interests you – what attracted you to the program
  • What led you to the desire of earning an advanced degree
  • Where do you think the certificate or degree will lead you personally and/or professionally
  • How the program fits into your current personal or professional path
  • What are your goals in furthering your education? What do you hope to achieve through the curriculum?
  • Other anecdotes or background information that will aid in evaluating whether or not you would thrive and be successful in the program
Pursuing Formal Admission to Graduate School:
  • A part-time graduate certificate student may elect to apply for formal admission to the Graduate School and pursue an advanced degree. Certificate students who decide to pursue a graduate degree from Washington State University should contact the Graduate School at 509-335-1446 or No WSU transcript or application fee is required.
  • A determination of the applicability of any of the courses and credits earned while a certificate student will be made at the time of admission at the discretion of the academic department or graduate program where the degree is sought by the student filing a Program of Study as part of the admission material. Department-approved courses will be stipulated as such on the student’s Program of Study when it is submitted and will be reviewed by the Graduate School at that time. It is expected that a core disciplinary curriculum will be present in this Program of Study.
  • Coursework taken as a certificate student may be reviewed as part of the admission-review process but does not afford any preferential consideration for admittance to a graduate program. The faculty in the graduate program will continue to have the authority to deny admission to any student.
  • Because graduate certificate students are part-time and have not been admitted to a degree program, they are not eligible for financial aid
  • Online students pay the in-state tuition rate (est. $623 per credit)
  • The estimated cost of the program is $7,500 (12 credits)
  • Veterans benefits may be available: (509) 335-1234 or

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