• Doti hall building at Chapman University.
School of Communication

» M.S. in Health and Strategic Communication

The School of Communication’s Health and Strategic Communication program is the only evidence-based master’s program of its kind in Southern California, focusing on the intersection between communication and health. 

This program, which can be completed in one or two years, allows students to study the role of effective communication in medical settings, health promotion and education, and physical and mental well-being. Students examine the communication strategies and theories essential to informing and influencing individual, institutional, and public audiences about important health issues ranging from patient-provider interactions, families dealing with health issues, and public health crises. Students also explore communication in interpersonal relationships, health and strategic marketing campaigns, and health messages in media and entertainment.

If you are interested in learning more about how communication plays a role in health and health outcomes, and you want to use your skills to make an impact in your community, then this program is for you!

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Degree Requirements


You must possess an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university and must provide evidence of satisfactory coursework in the following two areas:

  • Research Methodology
  • Statistics

All prerequisites must be met by the beginning of the program start date.

Admission Requirements:

  • Online application for admission (includes $60 non-refundable application fee)
  • Official transcripts must be submitted from ALL degree-granting (bachelor’s or master’s degrees) colleges and universities attended. An official transcript submitted in a sealed envelope which you have received from your college or university is acceptable.
  • 3.00 is the minimum recommended undergraduate cumulative grade point average.
  • Graduate Admission Test Scores – The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are required. Applicants must achieve the following minimum scores which are listed as previous version test scores and new version comparative test scores, respectively. Chapman's GRE institution code is 4047.
    • Verbal: 500/153
    • Quantitative: 550/146
    • Analytical Writing: 4.0/4.0 
  • Letters of recommendation - Two letters of recommendation are required, including one which must be from an academic source who describes your professional and academic abilities.
  • Statement of intent – a 500 word essay addressing the area of communication in which you are interested, or how the program will help you reach your goals.
  • Resume – a resume or curriculum vitae is required
  • Applicants who have completed their undergraduate degree outside of the United States are required to achieve an acceptable score on an English language test from one of the following sources:
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) – 550 (paper-based) or 80 (internet-based)
    • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTEA) – 53
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – 6.5
  • International Supplemental Application Guide and supporting financial documents (i.e., an official bank statement, letter (in English) specifying deposit amount or an employer's letter (in English) specifying sponsor's annual salary) are required. (International Students Only)

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the HCOM M.S. Program have gone on to work in a variety of health-related careers at such organizations as:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Planned Parenthood
  • UCLA Health
  • Orange County United Way
  • The American Cancer Society
  • The Entertainment Industries Council
  • USC's Clinical and Translational Science Institute
  • County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency
  • Maricich Healthcare Communications

Our alumni have also been admitted to dental programs at the University of Southern California and Baylor University and the psychology and social behavior Ph.D. program at the University of California, Irvine.

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