School of Health Sciences

Culture, Communication, and Health Certificate

The Culture, Communication, and Health Certificate is an interdisciplinary program in which students examine the rich interplay among culture, communication, and the health care context. A comprehensive understanding of contemporary health care requires an appreciation of the multiple ways that culture and societal institutions influence the communication (and miscommunication) of health information within an administrative or service delivery context. The complex intersections among culture, communication and health cannot be understood in isolation; rather they are most effectively appreciated when studied in a multi-disciplinary context. In this program, students can gain a fundamental understanding of the subtle, dynamic role that culture plays in the practice and communication of health information. A critical component of contemporary health care is cultural competence, and completing the requirements of this certificate offers students the academic and practical skills needed to implement a culturally competent approach to health care.

Students who complete this certificate are expected to understand the value of diversity; to have the capacity for cultural self-reflection, including diverse health beliefs, values, and practices; to be aware of the dynamics inherent when cultures interact, with an emphasis on health communication and health issues and contexts; to recognize the importance of effective health communication in a diverse community; and to develop the skills necessary to make adaptations to health communication within an administrative or service delivery context reflecting an understanding of diversity between and within cultures.

The academic units participating in this certificate program are the Departments of Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology and Criminology, the School of Communication, and the School of Health Sciences.

Admission and Completion: For admission to this certificate program, a student must earn at least a B- in one of the prerequisite courses (ANT 100 or SOC 201). To receive the certificate, a GPA of at least 2.8 must be achieved for the coursework completed for the certificate. A student must also complete an Intent to Complete the Certificate in Culture, Communication, and Health Form which can be obtained from the School of Health Sciences.

Required Courses: The certificate requires 17-18 semester hours. These include 6 hours of core courses in health sciences and communication, 9 hours of electives, and a 2-3 credit internship/cooperative education experience requiring a culture, communication, and health focus.

Prerequisite (does not count toward the credits required for the certificate)

  • ANT 100 - Human Diversity Or
  • SOC 201 - Race, Class and Gender

Required Courses - Two courses

  • COM 362 - Health Communication
  • HSC 305 - Culture and Health Care

Elective Courses - Choose three courses-Must be in at least two different disciplines.

  • ANT 260 - Language, Culture and Society
  • ANT 270 - African-American Culture
  • ANT 311 - Medical Anthropology
  • ANT 321 - Psychological Anthropology
  • COM 332 - Interracial Communication
  • COM 348 - Intercultural Communication
  • COM 350 - Persuasive Communication & Attitude Change
  • COM 449 - Advanced Issues in Health Communication
  • HED 450 - Facilitating Behavior Change
  • HSC 344 - Social Issues in Health Care
  • HSC 346 - Women's Health
  • HSC 442 - Health Disparities
  • HSC 488 - Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  • PSY 353 - Health Psychology
  • PSY 356 - Multicultural Psychology
  • SOC 312 - Sociology of Mental Illness
  • SOC 343 - Medical Sociology
  • SOC 380 - Racial and Ethnic Inequality

Capstone Project - Choose one course

  • Internship/Cooperative Education Experience: Students may pursue internship, cooperative education, or research experiences through the Departments of Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology, and the School of Communication or the School of Health Sciences.
  • Choose one of the following options: ANT 496, COM 496, HSC 393, HSC 410, HSC 440H, HSC 484, HSC 486, HSC 487, PSY 396, or SOC 490.


  • Students interested in pursuing the Certificate in Culture, Communication, and Health should seek advising from the School of Health Sciences and complete the required Intent to Complete the Certificate in Culture, Communication, and Health Form.

Contact the School of Health Sciences by email Ms. Martha Burt at or 216-687-3744 for an appointment.