Content | Navigation |

Academic Majors


Health Communication

Health communication is a 36-credit major offered by the Department of Communication. The program is designed for those who want to work in health-related organizations with a specialization in media, communication and public relations.

PDF Download

The Program

Students interested in pursuing an undergraduate degree offered by the Department of Communication must first complete all courses and requirements associated with the pre-communication preparation designation. Once all pre-communication preparation courses and requirements are met, the student completes and submits the pre-communication form, available on the department website, to the department’s academic assistant. After verification of accuracy, the student is accepted into the professional program and can continue pursuing a degree in the Department of Communication.

Pre-Communication Preparation

Students must complete 21 credits of selected courses with a grade of B or above to become a health communication major. The courses are COMM 110; COMM 112; COMM 114; COMM 212; COMM 216; ENGL 110 (unless exempt) and ENGL 120; SOC 110 or POLS 110 or PSYC 111 or CJ 201. Pre-communication preparation courses may be retaken only once.

Health Communication Major

Students majoring in health communication may earn a Bachelor of Science degree (includes an approved minor) or a Bachelor of Arts degree (includes a modern language proficiency) upon completion of all pre-communication preparation courses and requirements. Health communication is an applied degree designed to prepare practitioners and future civic leaders with the knowledge necessary to strengthen programs and policies in the public health environment. Students will complete an applied capstone after completing all other required course work.

Career Opportunities

Course work in the health communication major prepares students for careers in hospital administration, health care promotion and assessment, media relations and non-profit service administration, corporate and community fitness programs, and recovery programs. The course work emphasizes written and oral communication skills and prepares students to communicate in meaningful and effective ways.

Health Communication Minor

Many other majors offered at North Dakota State University can be greatly enhanced by a health communication minor. The 21-credit minor includes a 12-credit core and nine credits of communication professional specialization.

Internship Program

Internships offer practical experience for health communication students with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Students must propose an internship, gain approval from the departmental internship coordinator, have an on-site evaluation and report on the internship experience. Internships can be taken for credit, and a student may have more than one. Students have interned with hospital administrators, private agencies and firms and governmental officials, among others. Internships often lead to jobs.


The Department of Communication awards a number of scholarships to juniors and seniors with financial need who excel in academics and who have demonstrated career potential and commitment. Applications are available in March for awards in May. Visit the department website for information.

Extra-Curricular Activities

NDSU has two honoraries for top students majoring in a degree program offered by the Department of Communication. Pi Kappa Delta is a national honor fraternity for students involved in human communication activities. Lambda Pi Eta is a national honorary for communication majors with high grades and achievement.

High School Preparation

A well-rounded high school education with some experiences in health sciences, journalism, FFA and scouting often serves as good preparation for the major in health communication. Students with interests in science and art, business and service, and publicity and promotion will find a major in health communication very compatible.

The Faculty

Faculty members in the Department of Communication are all committed teachers, researchers, scholars and practitioners. The faculty earned doctorates at the Universities of Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Southern California, Tennessee, Wyoming, Arizona State University, Michigan State University, Purdue University and University of Cambridge (UK).

Sample Curriculum

General Education RequirementsCredits
First Year Experience
  UNIV 189 - Skills for Academic Success1
  COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
  ENGL 110, 120 - College Composition I, II 3, 3
  English Upper Division Writing3
Quantitative Reasoning3
Science & Technology10
Humanities & Fine Arts6
Social and Behavioral Sciences
  COMM 112 - Understanding Media and Social Change3
  COMM 114 - Human Communication3
Cultural Diversity-
Global Perspective-
College/Department RequirementsCredits
Humanities Elective3 or 6
Social Science Elective
  SOC 110 - Introduction to Sociology or
   POLS 110 - Introduction to Political Science or
    PSYC 111 - Introduction to Psychology or
     CJ 201 - Introduction to Criminal Justice

Fine Arts Elective3 or 6
Pre-Communication Requirements Credits
COMM 212 - Interpersonal Communication 3
COMM 216 - Intercultural Communication 3
Total 6
Major Requirements Credits
COMM 301 - Rhetorical Traditions or                                      
   COMM 321 - Introduction to Communication Theory

COMM 320 - Communication Analysis 3
COMM 380 - Health Communication I 3
COMM 431 - Communication Ethics 3
COMM 480 - Health Communication II (capstone) 3
Applied Health Core 12
Professional Specialization Electives 9
Electives 28

This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic adviser or with the Office of Registration and Records.

Minard Hall
Room 338

Minard Hall is located on the south end of campus on Albrecht Boulevard (Campus Map)

Contact Information

Department of Communication
North Dakota State University
Minard Hall 338
Dept. 2310, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-7705 / Fax: (701) 231-7784

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Ceres 114
Dept 5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

Follow NDSU
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • Google Maps

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU WebMaster

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 3:13:02 PM