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EIU Department of Communication Studies

Health Communication Major

Majoring in Health Communication prepares students to work in professional health care settings or in health advocacy. Coursework focuses on creating knowledge of health behaviors combined with developing effective communication skills. Graduates are prepared to communicate on behalf of health organizations or work with clients to influence individual and community decisions and promote positive health behaviors.

At Eastern we utilize an interdisciplinary approach that emphasizes the intersection of strategic communication and health promotion as the foundation for educating individuals and creating healthier and more vibrant communities. Eastern students learn to design, evaluate, and implement health communication programs in a variety of professional settings, including hospitals, nonprofit and community organizations, and government agencies.

The need for health communication specialists continues to grow rapidly in both healthcare and health advocacy settings. Health advocacy professionals and health practitioners need to be ready to effectively communicate about health maintenance, prevention, and wellbeing with diverse populations. The Health Communication major at EIU prepares students to meet these challenges by providing the foundation necessary for them to be successful in such settings.

Career Options

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sees health communication as fundamental to all health–related occupations and is one of the most rapidly expanding areas of the healthcare field. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20 of the 30 fastest growing occupations are related to healthcare and health education.  It is impossible to list all of the career opportunities that stem from a B.S. in Health Communication.  A small sample of job titles is listed below.

  • Patient/ Victims Advocate
  • Patient Services Coordinator
  • Healthcare Marketing/ PR specialist
  • Director of Employee Health & Wellness programs
  • Human Resources Benefits Coordinator
  • Health Educator
  • Occupational Health Program Manager
  • Hospital/ Practice Administrator
  • Health Promotion Specialist
  • Community Outreach Coordinator
  • Lobbyist
  • Nonprofit Manager
  • Program Analyst
  • Social Worker
  • Pharmaceutical Salesperson
  • Positions in government and social service agencies

With advanced/ additional degrees, health communication provides an excellent basis for careers in

  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Health Care Law
  • Research
  • Counseling

Why Choose Health Communication at EIU?

There is a significant demand for professionals with baccalaureate level skills to work in the emerging discipline of health communication.  A student that successfully completes the B.S. in Health Communication at EIU will have developed skills specifically for the many facets of the health communication discipline. 

EIU offers:

  • An interdisciplinary approach, combining knowledge from the fields of Communication Studies and Health Promotion
  • A balance of classes that develop a theoretical knowledge base and practical, transferable skills
  • Small class sizes and personalized attention
  • Opportunities to work with and learn from top faculty in the field
  • Hands-on experiences in applied contexts in and outside of the classroom
  • The only undergraduate degree in health communication in Illinois

What You'll Study

  • Introduction to Health Communication
  • Communication in Health Professions
  • Applied Health Communication
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Persuasion
  • Community Health
  • Marketing Concepts for Health Promotion Professionals
  • Internship

Please check out the full list of required courses.

Internship Opportunities

  • HERC (Health Education Resource Center)
  • Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System
  • SACIS (Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Service)
  • HOPE of East Central Illinois
  • CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)
  • Children’s Advocacy Center of East Central Illinois
  • American Red Cross
  • Community Blood Services of Illinois
  • Fit-2-Serve
  • C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation
  • YMCA


Related Pages

Contact Information

Department of Communication Studies

Coleman Hall 1260
600 Lincoln Ave Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-5718

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