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Rutgers University - New Brunswick

Master of Health Communication and Information

New Brunswick, NJ

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Overview

Master of Health Communication and Information (MHCI)

Rutgers University’s School of Communication and Information’s (SC&I) new Master of Health Communication and Information (MHCI) program focuses on the communication, information, and media aspects of health-related policies and practices. Classes will explore the critical systems and interactions that support wellness in interpersonal, community, organizational, and public settings. Designed to enable students to navigate and leverage the intersections of communication, information, and media in an environment of information overload, the MHCI degree focuses on the various communication modalities as well as the strategic and managerial aspects of information systems in healthcare. 

Work with expert faculty who integrate theory and practice to keep students abreast of current healthcare practices and trends. Gain a multidisciplinary perspective on how communication and information can affect outcomes for illness and disease. Acquire the skills needed to contribute to the evolution and development of healthcare campaigns and interventions. 

Its 36-credit curriculum was designed with maximum flexibility to accommodate the needs of working professionals. Students can take 3 to 12 credits of courses per semester, which allows them to complete the program at their own pace. They have the option of earning their degrees on a full-time or part-time basis, and they can complete courses on the weekends as well as on-campus, online, and in a blended format. Most MHCI students work full time and MHCI classes are at night or online to accommodate working schedules. The MHCI degree can be earned in as little as 15 months.

Why pursue a Master in Health Communication and Information (MHCI)?

  • MHCI is the only Health Communication and Information master’s degree in the Northeast U.S. (NY-NJ-CT-PA); there are no competing programs nearby.
  • MHCI is nested within an exceptionally rich environment for health professions and health scholarship, including Rutgers University–New Brunswick, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, the RWJBarnabas Health System, and New Jersey’s high density of health, health tech, and pharma industries.
  • The interdisciplinary nature of MHCI provides a good match for individuals with an interest in creating their own MHCI experience.
  • The program offers experiential Learning opportunities to add to students’ credentials (internships, fellowships and research assistants).

Why does the MHCI degree blend communication, information, and media?

No matter the role in the healthcare field, a professional will benefit from strong analytical and communication skills. This is true whether one is determining the appropriate communications for a medical procedure, presenting the outcomes of a program, or deciding the best way to share patient data with another healthcare provider. Strong interpersonal skills are needed to ensure that patients understand medical procedures and associated care and that the appropriate contacts have access to a patient’s medical history and information.

Working closely with the health information systems used in the organization is common. Being information literate from a strategic and program standpoint is important for succeeding and excelling in this information-intensive profession. As best practices in the effective utilization of information are constantly evolving, this area is something that even seasoned professionals are engaging with to advance their organization’s goals and status in the marketplace. The combination of effective communication skills and the utilization of information systems will be a clear differentiator for the healthcare professional.

With advancement to a management level, the need to be able to evaluate current systems and processes and decide where improvements or changes need to be made will be critical. In this role, the ability to convey work to other people within or outside an organization is also important. Oftentimes, these professionals may not have the intimate knowledge of data analysis that is involved in certain reports. As such, the ability to break down and explain this information from various disciplines in a way that all interested parties can understand is crucial.

Though the MHCI is “new,” it is spun out of SC&I’s existing Master of Communication and Media (MCM) degree program as a full stand-alone master’s program specifically designed to meet the demands of the healthcare market. The courses have been offered and taught by expert faculty for more than 10 years. SC&I continuously updates and enhances the existing courses, and the MHCI is a blend of our communication, information, and media courses into one unique degree.

SC&I sees the intersections of communication, information, and media as a unique opportunity for the healthcare professional. For those whose interest is more deeply focused on health informatics and data science, MHCI may not be right fit. The same is true for those more interested in health policy.

Students may take up to two courses (6 credits) from another graduate program in other areas of interest and transfer them into their MHCI degree as elective courses.

MHCI Program Curriculum

The MHCI degree requires 36 credits (12 courses). There are both core (required) courses and elective courses.

  • 5 Core courses 
  • 2 Research courses
  • Capstone 
  • 4 Electives

Core Courses:

  • Health Communication 17:503:501
  • Health Sciences Information 17:503:502
  • Mediated Health Communication 17:503:503
  • Health Communication Campaigns and Interventions17:503:504
  • Interpersonal and Relational Facets of Health Communication 17:503:505
  • Participatory Community Engaged Research Methods and Ethics 17:503:511
  • Health Communication Research  17:503:512
  • MHCI Capstone 17:503:513

Students can also design their own MHCI learning experience through the selection of four elective courses. Examples include:

  • Persuasion and Advocacy 
  • Organizational Communication 
  • Information and Communication Project Management  
  • Information Professions and Community Engagement 
  • Family Communication 
  • Non-Profit Leadership and Communication 
  • Communication Ethics 
  • Conflict Management 
  • Negotiation and Communication 
  • Health Literacy: Patients, Organizations, and Societies 
  • Science and Health Journalism 

Social Responsibility and Community Wellness

Faculty Members

Faculty members in the School of Communication and Information are excellent teachers, researchers, and practitioners. They emphasize original research and cutting-edge theory. They also focus on the knowledge and skills necessary to interpret and manage the complex communication, information, and media processes in today's digital world.

Richard Dool, D.Mgt., the MHCI Program Director, is one of the school's distinguished faculty members. A teaching professor, he has been teaching and publishing in the areas of leadership communication and organizational renewal and transformations since 2003. He's also a former Chief Executive Officer and Global Executive Leader.

Rutgers University

Established in 1766, Rutgers University receives top rankings for excellence in teaching, research, and service. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranked Rutgers among the top 25 public universities in the nation, one of the Best 100 Global Universities, and the #1 Public University in New Jersey. Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (U.K.) ranked it within the top 100 universities in the world. Money Magazine ranked Rutgers among the Top 10% Best Value Public Colleges. 

Rutgers University's main campus is located in New Brunswick, New Jersey in the northeastern region of the United States. It also has campuses in Newark and Camden as well as satellite locations throughout New Jersey and around the world.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Master of Science (MS)

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? Yes
Evening/weekend programs available? Yes
Distance learning programs available? No
Terminal master's degree available? Yes

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Master's Degrees Entrance Exam GRE
Thesis Required
36 Credits, 7 Core courses, 5 electives

Admissions

Applying

70
Application Fee - Domestic
Yes
Electronic
applications accepted?
Yes
Applications processed
on a rolling basis?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline August 1st July 1st Yes
Winter deadline December 1st November 1st Yes
Spring deadline December 1st November 1st Yes
Summer deadlineApril 15th May 15th Yes

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Master's Degree Exam GRE
Master's Degree Requirements Transcripts, Personal Statement, Two Letters of Recommendation, Resume

International Students

Exam Details
TOEFL: Required TOEFL Paper score: 80
TOEFL IBT score: 60
IELTS: Required IELTS Paper score: 7

Tuition & Fees

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Tuition & Fees

$28,000
Tuition & Fees
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Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Types of financial support available Scholarship and/or loans, Fellowships, Research Assistantships, Teaching Assistantships.  

Faculty

14
Total faculty
Full-time - 8
Part-time - 6
Male (6)
Female (8)

Research

Focus of faculty research: Development and use of health-related and care-related messages and media, communication, information, and interaction in provider-patient contexts. The goals and strategies of health care promotion, relationships, roles, situations, and social structures in the context of health maintenance, designing organizational and informational structures to manage health provision, applications to disease prevention and crisis communication preparedness, health advocacy, and communications concerning tr
Externally sponsored research expenditures last year: 0

Location & Contact

Address 4 Huntington Street
New Brunswick, NJ  08901
United States
Contact Richard Dool
Director of the Master of Health Communication and Information Program
Email: richard.dool@rutgers.edu
Phone: 908-627-2600

Rutgers University - New Brunswick
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