Health and Risk Communication Certificate

The Health and Risk Communication Graduate Certificate (HRCGC) will make you an expert in the theory and practice of health communication, one of the most pressing topics in today's world.

Our courses will prepare you for working at leading employers in the health sectors, such as:  

Master of Arts in Health and Risk Communication Job Opportunities

The HRC-Graduate Certificate is the little sister of the HRC-Masters program (HRC-MA). The HRC-GC is geared towards working professionals and current MSU graduate students, preparing them to harness the power of communication to promote positive public health outcomes: Students learn to craft effective health messages, prepare professional health communication and marketing materials, and design, implement, and evaluate public communication campaigns. 

Whether you have an interest in research or practice, you will gain a broad understanding of health and risk communication strategies and their role for public health. You will practice creating effective programs and interventions and learn how to design, conduct and critique relevant research. This program will provide you with the prerequisite to effectively inform, influence, and persuade people to live happier, healthier lives.

Start your Health Communication Journey here!

Based in one of the largest colleges of communication in the world, you will master using modern mass communication to inform and influence people about public health - whether in traditional media or via social media channels.

  • Hybrid and In-Person Courses
  • 9 Credits (3 courses)
  • 2- year program 
  • Can be completed while working or while at MSU 

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Our Health and Risk Communication Graduate Certificate equips you with the skills to bridge the gap between complex medical information and the general public, making you an invaluable asset in the fields of healthcare, public health, and crisis management.

  • Advance Your Career in High-Demand Fields: The health sector is projected to expand significantly, offering numerous job and entrepreneurial opportunities. Position yourself for roles where health communication expertise is crucial.
  • Increase Your Earning Potential: Specialized training in health and risk communication can open doors to higher-paying positions and advancement opportunities.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with leading experts in the field, expanding your professional network and opening doors to new career prospects.
  • Stay Current with Industry Trends: Learn the latest best practices and technologies in health communication, ensuring you remain relevant and effective in your role.

Invest in your future and make a meaningful impact with a Graduate Certificate in Health and Risk Communication!

The HRCGC comprises 9 credits to make you an expert in health and risk communication. Students complete core courses in the following areas:

HRC Certificate Study Plan

Mass Communication and Public Health 
Offered in Fall: Health campaigns in domestic and international contexts with a focus on principles of effective messaging. Students explore how mass media (including social media and digital interventions) influence public health perceptions, behaviors, and outcomes.

Health Communication for Diverse Populations 
Offered in Spring: Theory, research, and practice of communicating with specialized populations in clinical and public health contexts. Students gain insights into culturally sensitive strategies and inclusive approaches for engaging diverse communities.

Principles and techniques of influencing attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors through effective communication strategies. Students will analyze persuasive messages, develop critical thinking skills, and apply theories to real-world scenarios to enhance their persuasive abilities in various contexts.

Risk Communication
Strategies and methods for conveying information about risks to the public and stakeholders. Students will learn to analyze, craft, and deliver messages that effectively inform and engage audiences, fostering informed decision-making and trust in various risk scenarios.

Communication & Technology
Examines the impact of digital technologies on human interaction, media, and communication processes. Students explore theoretical and practical aspects of how emerging technologies shape communication patterns, enhance connectivity, and transform the dissemination of information in contemporary society.

Intercultural Communication
Investigates the dynamics of communication across diverse cultures and social groups. Students learn to navigate cultural differences, develop intercultural competence, and apply effective communication strategies to foster understanding and collaboration in multicultural contexts, including health-related topics that are intertwined with culture.




As a student in the Health and Risk Communication M.A. program, you will be able to use the resources of MSU

  • a R01 university with top-ranked academic units and a diverse academic community
  • a dedicated Health and Risk Communication Center with over 50 faculty examining all aspects of health and risk communication
  • a beautiful campus and a vibrant area, including with a rich cultural scene, exciting athletics and sports facilities, and a multitude of economic opportunities and entertainment options

Our college is the first communication college in the nation and home to multiple top-ranked communication programs across the globe. 

Becoming a Spartan is to gain entry into one of the largest and most productive groups of alumni networks in the world.

More about the Spartan Experience

Applications for the HRC-GC are handled via MSU's online application system.

  • By clicking the button below, you'll be carried to the online application system where you can register for an account.
  • Then, you enter your name and details.
  • Next, select graduate certificates and chose the "Health and Risk Communication" graduate certificate.
  • Upload your materials. You'll need transcripts/diplomas for: Academic History/Test Scores, Employment/Activities, 3 References (e.g. former professors, supervisors),
  • Submit the application.
  • If you have any questions, please reach out to us - we're happy to help: Lisabeth Bylina, Academic Programs Coordinator,, 517-355-3471 


Apply Now!

Or Schedule a zoom meeting

Where will our HRC Graduate Certificate take you?


Boost Potential

Take the next step in your career. Stay current with trends like AI in health communication, strategic health communication, and many more. Expand your professional network.


Since 1995

Our M.A. program exists for over 25 years at MSU. Our Communication programs are top-ranked and we are excited to expand this success story with our new graduate certificate. 


In Person + Hybrid

Combining the benefits of in-person education
with flexible hybrid options, our program caters to the needs of working professionals and current graduate students.

For Working Professionals and Current Graduate Students

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Our certificate will help you take the next step in your career. HRC-GC is designed for working professionals seeking to enhance their skills, covering core health communication theories, campaign practices, and state-of-the-art technology. Graduates will be prepared to:

  • Apply communication theory to create effective health-related content.
  • Learn to combine practical health communication strategies with theoretical insights for effective planning.
  • Use state of the art digital innovations like AI,, social media, VR, and big data in health communication.
  • Learn research skills for audience analysis/segmentation and program evaluation

Expand your expertise and open new career opportunities with the HRC-GC.


Apply Now!

Or Schedule a zoom meeting

HRC Certificate Logo

If you are a current student, the Health and Risk Communication Graduate Certificate (HRC-GC) is an excellent way to expand your skillset. This certificate is particularly beneficial for students pursuing an M.A. or Ph.D. in communication- or health-related fields.

  • Advanced Training: Gain expertise in health communication, risk management, and strategic communication.
  • Interdisciplinary Skills: Ideal for students in nursing, kinesiology, healthcare management, and related disciplines.
  • Practical Application: Learn to communicate complex health information and manage health-related content.
  • Career Enhancement: Stand out in the job market with skills to improve patient education and design effective health campaigns.

Expand your expertise and open new career opportunities with the HRC-GC.


Apply Now!

Or Schedule a zoom meeting