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Graduate Certificate in Medical and Applied Health Communication (Online)


The Graduate Certificate in Medical and Applied Health Communication is an online, 9-hour program designed to provide skills, practice, and knowledge for those working as communication professionals in fields related to medicine and health (pharmaceuticals, biomedical research, hospitals, science writing, non-profit organizations, etc.).

This certificate is the first of its kind in the state of Texas and within the field of professional and technical communication. Students in the program will:

Ultimately, you will learn 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

Curriculum and Requirements

The certificate consists of two required courses (6 SCHs) and one elective course (3 SCHs):

Required Courses 

  • TCOM 5304 - Foundations of Professional & Technical Communication (3 credit hours)
    : If you have a  graduate degree in technical communication, TCOM 5304 can be substituted with another elective from the list below.
  • TCOM 5325 - Advanced Medical Writing or COMM 5302 - Health Messaging (3 credit hours)

Elective Courses (choose 1)

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)

Please visit the UHD Catalog for more detailed information on degree requirements, course offerings, and course descriptions.

Admissions Criteria

Applicants must hold a BA, BS, or an equivalent degree from an accredited college or university in the US or overseas and have proficiency in English (if a graduate of a university in which English is not the native language) provided by adequate TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores. The recommended/preferred GPA for applicants is 2.5 or higher.

How to Apply

Complete and submit all of the following items in order to be considered for admission. Resumes and personal statements can be uploaded through the applicant portal, emailed to, or mailed to:

Office of Admissions – Graduate Admissions
University of Houston-Downtown
One Main Street, Suite GSB 308
Houston, Texas 77002-1001

Application Checklist

  • Submit an application 
  • Pay the $35 application fee
  • Request/submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended to the email or mailing address above (including community college work and prior graduate work).
  • Provide a professional / personal resume detailing your work experience and education 
  • Provide a personal statement of approximately 300 words that addresses the following:
    • What interests you about this program?
    • How will the program further your professional, academic, and/or personal goals?
    • What do you hope to get out of the program?
  • Provide TOEFL scores of 550 with section scores of 50 or higher (if a graduate of a university in which English is not the native language).