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Graduate Certificate in Medical & Applied Health Communication

Who are medical and health communicators
Medical writers and health communication professionals work in pharmaceutical and biomedical research organizations, hospitals, medical communication agencies, or as freelance writers and editors. They are at the front line of regulatory and publication-related documents, gathering and composing complex data for scientists and advocating for lay audiences. They gather and organize data for print and online forums as well as write end-user materials, such as: manuals, instructions, drug-related literature, publication articles, content for healthcare websites

What are the benefits of getting a graduate certificate in medical and applied health communication?
The certificate will provide much needed skills, practice, and knowledge for technical communicators, communication professionals, students, medical writers and editors, and working professionals (including those in the sciences, health, non-profit, and high end technology) who want to advance their careers in the medical writing and health communication fields, but who may not necessarily be ready to enroll in a full master’s degree program. Additionally, the program will be situated in an area with the largest medical complex in the world that employs over 106,000 people.

The certificate is the first of its kind in the state of Texas and within the field of professional and technical communication. If you are a student or a professional seeking to enter the medical and health fields and/or looking for promotion in the medical and health fields, this is an excellent program for you.

What will I study?
You will be familiar with best practices in the medical and health fields to equip you with the necessary skills to research, design, write, and edit medical and scientific documents.

Ultimately, you will lean to:

  • Analyze how to use various theories and approaches to manage and report medical and health information
  • Evaluate effectiveness of medical/health messages
  • Conduct community-grounded research appropriate to understanding audiences
  • Apply theories related to behavior change, motivation, and persuasion
  • Create strategic health messages in writing and graphic representation
  • Demonstrate familiarity with technology used in creative and media processes
  • Identify the features of clear and useful graphic representations of medical and numerical data

What courses will I take?
You will take three (3) graduate courses (9 credit hours):

  1. TCOM 5304 Foundations of Professional & Technical Communication (3 credit hours)
  2. TCOM 5325 Advanced Medical Writing or COMM 5302 Health Messaging (3 credit hours)
  3. One elective course (3 credit hours) from the list below:

    : If you have a  graduate degree in technical communication, TCOM 5304 can be substituted with another elective from the list below.

Elective courses to choose from:

TCOM 6324 Writing in the Professions Using Plain Language

TCOM 6310 Intercultural & World Communication

TCOM 6318 Stylistics & Editing

COMM 5302 Health Messaging

TCOM 6331 Grant Writing for Nonprofit Management

TCOM 5340 Project Management

***TCOM 4306 Science Writing (with permission from program director)

***TCOM 3329: Environmental Writing (with permission from program director)

With program approval, a directed study course or an upper-division undergraduate course if a desired course is not offered that year.

How long will it take to complete the coursework?
Considering our course rotation, you will be able to complete your certificate within one calendar year. You can take one or two courses per regular semester.

Can I apply if I am a graduate student at UHD?
Yes, you can apply if you are a current MSTC student. The courses that you have taken will count towards the certificate. See the section: “How do I apply?”

Can I complete the certificate online?
Yes, you can complete the certificate online because the two required courses are offered online, as are many of the electives. Elective courses taught face to face are offered once a week at
5:30 p.m. at UHD in the Downtown area.

Is financial aid available?
Because it is a 9-credit hour certificate, you are not eligible to receive financial aid; however, UHD offers installment payment plans to ease your financial burden. In addition, you also have an option to claim your tuition as the education credits (for example, Lifetime Learning Credit) on your tax forms and/or get tuition reimbursement through your employer, if available.

How much will the graduate tuition cost?
You can find most recent tuition rates on the UHD website under Admissions and AID. Click Tuition and Fees. Choose the appropriate academic year (AY) on the left-hand side bar. Select Graduate.

Can I apply my graduate certificate credits toward a graduate degree?
Yes, you can. If you decide to pursue a master’s degree in Technical Communication at UHD, you will be able to claim all courses that you have completed with a B or higher. In addition, most graduate programs in other universities accept a certain number of graduate courses from other degree programs if they are relevant to your course of study.

How do I apply?
The application deadlines are August 3 for the fall semester and December 6 for the spring semester and May 17 for summer sessions. You will need to submit the following: :

  • Apply Texas application
  • A short personal statement (200-300 words)
  • Your resume
  • Your official transcript
  • $35 application fee

Last updated 8/25/2021 7:00 AM