Graduate Certificate: Interdisciplinary Health Communication

COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH

Learn more about the graduate certificate in Interdisciplinary Health Communication.

About the Certificate

Addressing many public health priority problems requires a solid foundation of training in public health-related program planning, evaluation, and research methods as well as effective and responsible communication strategies. Health communication strategies can facilitate dissemination of information about health risks, improve underserved populations’ access to services and navigation of healthcare systems, enhance the quality of patient care, improve healthcare decision-making, and influence adoption of healthier lifestyles in populations with elevated risk of chronic disease.

The graduate certificate in Interdisciplinary Health Communication (IHComm) is a 12-credit certificate program administered by the College of Public Health's Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) in collaboration with the Lew Klein College of Media and Communication to create opportunities for interdisciplinary training of their graduate students. The certificate program's name emphasizes the interdisciplinary structure of the curriculum and its instructors drawn from the College of Public Health and the Klein College of Media and Communication. The curriculum is designed to facilitate advanced knowledge and training in critical evaluation of public health problems and how to address them using health communication methods, applying key concepts and theories germane to public health and health communication interventions, and accessing research as guided by the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH). Faculty within the certificate program have training and expertise across a dozen public health- and media-related disciplines, including advertising; communication; ecology; health communication; health psychology; health education and health promotion research; health systems research; media studies; public health program planning and evaluation; public relations; research methods in social, behavioral, and communication sciences; and theories of communication and health behavior change.

The IHComm certificate is structured to enable its completion by existing graduate students enrolled in M.P.H. and public health-related doctoral programs as well as Klein College’s Media and Communication Ph.D. and Communication for Development and Social Change M.S. programs. In addition to M.P.H. and Klein graduate students, the certificate is open for enrollment by graduate students in other programs throughout Temple University as well as non-matriculated, non-degree-seeking students as a continuing education certificate.

Time Limit for Certificate Completion: 2 years

Campus Location: Main and online

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The graduate certificate may be completed on a part-time basis.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: The certificate program is open to non-matriculated graduate students.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:
Fall and Spring admissions are on a rolling basis.

For the Interdisciplinary Health Communication certificate, all applicants — whether currently enrolled graduate students or non-matriculated students — must apply via the Centralized Application Service for Public Health (SOPHAS). The system can be accessed at https://sophas.liaisoncas.com/.

Applicants should check their application status on the SOPHAS portal often and inquire directly of SOPHAS about receipt of materials. For other questions, please contact the CPH Office of Admissions at cph@temple.edu or 215-204-5200.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required Only of Non-Matriculating Applicants: 2

From Whom: At least one letter of recommendation should be obtained from a college/university instructor, preferably at the graduate level.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree and provide transcripts as indicated:

  • Applicants currently enrolled in a Temple graduate program must demonstrate a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in completed coursework.
  • Non-matriculating applicants must present a transcript demonstrating successful completion of the baccalaureate degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 OR a transcript demonstrating successful completion of a graduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Statement of Goals: State your career goals and describe how the certificate is relevant to those goals.

Resume: Current resume or CV required.

Certificate Requirements

Number of Credits Required to Complete the Certificate: 12

Required Courses:

Core Courses
GDC 8002Communication for Social Change Project Design3
or CMGT 5002 Leadership in Crises and Conflict Management
SBS 8105Health Communication3
Communication Elective
Select one from the following:3
Persuasion and the Marketplace
Communication Theory for Professionals
Research Approaches in Communication, Development and Social Change
Public Information Media Campaigns
Social and Behavioral Sciences Elective
Select one from the following:3
Fundamentals of Public Health
Risk Communication and Public Health
Health Promotion in Vulnerable Populations
Health Psychology
Total Credit Hours12

GPA Required to be Awarded the Certificate: 3.0 minimum

Courses

SBS 5001. Fundamentals of Public Health. 3 Credit Hours.

This course encompasses historical and sociocultural approaches to understanding public health and bioethics. Emphasis is on understanding public health systems from the dawn of history to the 21st century and the evolution of bioethical issues including the application of bioethical principles, regulations, and strategies in research and health practice. This seminar emphasizes the integration of conceptual and experiential learning. This is reflected in the course design and in teaching and learning processes.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.
College Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Colleges: College of Public Health, Social Work.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

SBS 5002. Program Planning, Theory, and Practice. 3 Credit Hours.

Program Planning, Theory, and Practice is a core course in the MPH curriculum that includes content critical to the development of public health practitioners and researchers. It covers all aspects of the public health program planning cycle: (1) the identification of community stakeholders and conducting needs assessments; (2) using scientific literature and best practices to inform program development; and (3) implementation and evaluation of community programs. The course will introduce major models of human health behavior and use theory and evidence to guide students as they develop a public health program. Final program proposals include measurable goals and objectives, activities, and an evaluation plan, with a focus on cultural competence and tailoring to meet the needs of the community. Upon completion of the course, students will have the tools to design and evaluate public health programs in the community.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

SBS 5004. Understanding Stress and Change. 3 Credit Hours.

This course focuses on the impact of stress on physical and emotional health and quality of life. It focuses on the causes, types, and physiology of stress and stress reduction methods, including relaxation, biofeedback, fear control, cognitive restructuring, and social psychological interventions in community settings.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

SBS 5009. Risk Communication and Public Health. 3 Credit Hours.

The goal of this course is to demonstrate how health communication professionals can create and implement risk communication plans related to either possible or actual public health hazards (anything that can cause morbidity or mortality). This course focuses on risk communication within the context of terrorism, infectious disease outbreaks, and health problems that occur because of natural disasters. It will include core principles of risk communication, examine special challenges of risk communication with diverse audiences, and prepare students to create a crisis and emergency risk communication plan.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

SBS 5015. Public Health Nutrition. 3 Credit Hours.

This seminar course explores nutrition as a science and platform for public health promotion and disease prevention. The fundamental contribution of nutrition to public health as well as the potential of food and nutrition policy, programs, and interventions to reduce risk and promote health are examined.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

SBS 5102. Theoretical Foundations of Health Behavior. 3 Credit Hours.

Theories of decision-making related to health behavior. Emphasis on the dynamic interaction of attitudes, values, situational factors and other factors that influence health promoting and health damaging behavior.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.
College Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Colleges: College of Public Health, Social Work.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

SBS 5105. Maternal and Child Health. 3 Credit Hours.

This seminar on maternal and child health (MCH) focuses on health problems and diseases affecting pregnant and postpartum women and their children from the individual, community, and national perspectives. The course highlights the impact of common health problems and their functional outcomes in terms of morbidity, mortality, psychological well being, reproduction and growth. Students will examine social, behavioral, systems and broader population determinants of maternal and childhood diseases, as well as interventions and programs designed to address MCH problems.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

SBS 5201. Nutritional Biochemistry. 3 Credit Hours.

SBS 5201 examines the roles of the carbohydrate, lipid, protein, vitamin, minerals, and water in human metabolism. The course begins with an overview of the structure and function of the human cellular and digestion components. It then explores the normal primary biochemical pathways of each nutrient after ingestion. Disease pathogenesis is touched upon, but not the crux emphasized. The course is lecture intensive without a lab, with required weekly textbook readings, and subsequent graded lecture and reading assessments.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

SBS 5204. Nutrition in the Life Cycle. 3 Credit Hours.

Nutrition in the Life Cycle will build on students' existing knowledge of the biological processes and nutritional needs at the different stages of the life cycle. Students will discuss evidence based nutrition and the application of these principles. As students move through each stage in the life cycle, they will complete a part of a longitudinal case study, following an individual from infancy to older adulthood. These assignments will require critical thinking and inter-professional practice skills.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

SBS 5211. Medical Nutrition Therapy. 3 Credit Hours.

SBS 5211 is designed for MPH/RD students to gain preparatory knowledge required for proficient work in the clinical setting. The course is intensive. We will move quickly through the key components of the Nutrition Care Plan (NCP), that includes specific food-related or enteral/parental nutrition plans. The latter half of the course involves specific application of the NCP in differing disorders or diseases involving energy balance, organ systems, metabolic stress, and more. Each lecture will have required textbook readings, classwork case studies, and homework assignments related to the readings and lecture material. Successful completion of exams throughout the semester will also be expected.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

Pre-requisites:
(KINS 1223|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)
AND (SBS 5201|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)

SBS 5214. Cultural and Community Nutrition. 3 Credit Hours.

In Cultural and Community Nutrition students will develop a deep understanding of the way culture and environment influence health and nutrition. After discussing the guidelines for a healthy diet, students will dive into activities that promote cultural humility. Students will spend time in the community assessing the food environment and identifying barriers to healthy eating. Students will leave this course with a better sense of self and a deeper understanding of others.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

SBS 5216. Nutrition Education and Counseling. 3 Credit Hours.

Nutrition Education and Counseling will provide students with the skills to develop nutrition education groups and provide individual nutrition counseling. Students will work on developing theory and evidence-based nutrition education session that will be delivered in a community setting. In the second half of the semester, students will learn about individual counseling theory and techniques. This section of the course will culminate with a simulated nutrition counseling session.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

SBS 5217. Food Preparation and Management. 3 Credit Hours.

Food Preparation and Management will provide students with the skills to prepare food and manage large scale food production. Students will spend the first half of the semester in the kitchen learning about food safety and developing food preparation skills (graduate students will also complete servesafe training). The second half of the semester will focus on food procurement, storage and serving practice and help students develop management skills. The final project will be a formal dinner that students advertise, organize, prepare and serve.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

SBS 5500. Seminar in Current Issues in Public Health. 3 Credit Hours.

Seminar topics rotate to address current issues in public health research, policy and practice.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.
College Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Colleges: College of Public Health, Social Work.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

SBS 8001. Research Methods in Public Health. 3 Credit Hours.

This course provides fundamental graduate-level research methods training germane to the social and behavioral sciences. Students will examine how to formulate research problem statements and hypotheses, select appropriate and sound methods for data collection, and critically evaluate research designs in social and behavioral science research. It concentrates on fundamental concepts in research design and measurement that help prepare students to plan and implement theoretically-informed and methodologically-sound scientific studies and to critically evaluate and discuss social and behavioral science research. The course emphasizes ethical and practical methods of studying and evaluating causal relations (efficacy and internal validity); determining generalizability of observations (effectiveness, external and ecological validity); and accurate and reliable measurement and conceptualization of variables (construct validity).

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.
College Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Colleges: College of Public Health, Social Work.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

Pre-requisites:
(SBS 5002|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently
OR SBS 5102|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)
AND (EPBI 5002|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)
AND (EPBI 5201|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently
OR EPBI 5101|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)

SBS 8005. Health Promotion in Vulnerable Populations. 3 Credit Hours.

Health inequities - unequal, unfair, and preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health experienced by vulnerable populations - are well documented in the United States. This course will review, critically appraise and discuss theory and research on the physical, mental, and social vulnerabilities contributing to the poor health of subgroups of the American populace, with a focus on challenges and approaches to engaging hard-to-reach populations in intervention research aimed at improving health outcomes. Specifically, this course will cover theoretical frameworks, methodological and recruitment challenges and strategies, approaches to intervening at the individual, community, and system levels, and approaches to developing and adapting interventions. Students will develop a deep understanding of the potential causes of and solutions to health inequities in the US.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

SBS 8006. Addictions and Dependencies. 3 Credit Hours.

Social, psychological, cultural, clinical, and biological factors associated with addictions and dependencies, including the use of psychoactive drugs and lifestyle behaviors, are covered. Reviewed are prevention and treatment approaches based on the causes and correlates of addictions and dependencies.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.
College Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Colleges: College of Public Health, Social Work.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

SBS 8009. Health Psychology. 3 Credit Hours.

Through class lecture, readings, and discussions, students will learn how characteristics of persons (e.g., personality, behavior, coping, and biological reactivity) and their environments (e.g., stress and social support) influence health outcomes at the individual and population level. In addition, the course examines the potential of health psychology to explain population-level health problems and to ameliorate public health problems through behavioral and community-based interventions.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.
College Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Colleges: College of Public Health, Social Work.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

SBS 8018. Obesity: From Genes to Junk Food. 3 Credit Hours.

The course will broadly explore the etiology, treatment, and prevention of obesity from a multilevel systems perspective. Genetic, epigenetic, physiological, and psycho-social influences will be considered at the level of the individual. These influences will also be considered within family, school, and work-site contexts. Macro-level influences include government policies and programs, media, food industry influences, and community resources. Critical thinking skills and scholarly exchange will be emphasized through classroom discussion and weekly presentations/critiques of emerging science in each topic area.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

Pre-requisites:
EPBI 5101|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently
OR PBHL 5101|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently
OR EPBI 5201|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently
OR PBHL 5201|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently.

SBS 8105. Health Communication. 3 Credit Hours.

This course examines multiple communication levels, channels, media, and communication technologies as they relate to developing and implementing public health communication interventions. Levels of communication processes and effects in the following will be covered: 1) intrapersonal health communication related to personality, attitudes, cognitive style, and culture; 2) interpersonal communication in the patient-caregiver relationship including communication style, decision making, and dynamics of stress and conflict; 3) mass communication processes including media campaigns and social marketing to promote good health and disease prevention; and 4) risk and crisis communication across settings and strategies.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

SBS 8111. Public Health Program Planning. 3 Credit Hours.

This course covers program planning in public health practice. It analyzes national health objectives and their applications at the state and community levels. One emphasis is on program planning as a change strategy to alter knowledge, attitudes, and health behavior to achieve positive health outcomes.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

Pre-requisites:
(EPBI 5101|Minimum Grade of B-|May be taken concurrently
OR PBHL 5101|Minimum Grade of B-|May be taken concurrently
OR EPBI 5201|Minimum Grade of B-|May be taken concurrently
OR PBHL 5201|Minimum Grade of B-|May be taken concurrently)
AND (EPBI 5002|Minimum Grade of B-|May be taken concurrently
OR PBHL 5002|Minimum Grade of B-|May be taken concurrently)
AND (SBS 5102|Minimum Grade of B-|May be taken concurrently
OR PBHL 5102|Minimum Grade of B-|May be taken concurrently)

SBS 8112. Concepts and Methods to Improve Public Health Interventions. 3 Credit Hours.

This course is a core course in the PhD in Social and Behavioral Sciences curriculum and an elective available to MPH and other graduate students in the College of Public Health. This course will guide students' efforts to build a stronger foundational knowledge of empirical evidence about a public health problem, and to synthesize that evidence with public health theories and principles of behavior change to understand how to improve strategies to address the problem. Students will use inductive strategies and deductive logic to develop and defend conceptual models that (a) represent risk and protective factors influencing a chosen problem and (b) exemplify the potential efficacy of an intervention strategy that either highlights current state-of-art practice (masters students) or that advances (doctoral students) the current state-of-art approaches to that problem. The culmination of sequential assignments includes student presentations highlighting current public health challenges in their topical areas and a testable intervention strategy framed conceptually by health behavior theory. Students are expected to prepare for each class and participate actively.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

Pre-requisites:
SBS 8009|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently
OR SBS 8105|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently
OR SBS 5002|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently.

SBS 9083. Readings and Conference in Public Health. 1 to 3 Credit Hour.

This is an advanced tutorial in public health with an appropriate faculty member. Note: Registration requires a written contract with the supervising faculty member and approval of the student's advisor and of the Director of Graduate Programs.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

SBS 9289. MPH Fieldwork I. 3 Credit Hours.

This course entails a fieldwork project or internship in a public health agency. It includes seminars, oral and written reports of progress, and joint supervision by a preceptor and faculty member.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

Pre-requisites:
(SBS 5002|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently
OR SBS 5102|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)
AND (EPBI 5002|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)
AND (EPBI 5201|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently
OR EPBI 5101|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)

SBS 9291. Dietetics Experiential Learning. 3 Credit Hours.

Students will complete three assignments that draw on their experiences in the clinical and food service setting and present their work to the class. In addition, students will participate in journal clubs and role play activities that help develop management and ethical practice skills. Preceptors will evaluate the application of these skills in a real life setting and provide feedback that does not impact the student's grade. This course will give students the space to reflect on their experiences, and tie academic learning to experiential learning and learn from each other.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

Pre-requisites:
(SBS 5214|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)
AND (SBS 5211|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)

SBS 9389. MPH Fieldwork II. 3 Credit Hours.

This course is an evaluation of the fieldwork project or internship using a full range of research methodologies. Data are collected, analyzed, and reported in a comprehensive final report. Oral and/or poster presentations are presented to public health organizations. The course includes a final oral defense of the project or internship.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

Pre-requisites:
(SBS 9289|Minimum Grade of C-|May not be taken concurrently)
AND (SBS 5002|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently
OR SBS 5102|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)
AND (EPBI 5002|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)
AND (EPBI 5201|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently
OR EPBI 5101|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)

SBS 9994. Preliminary Examinations. 1 Credit Hour.

This course supports preparation for taking the preliminary examinations in the Health Policy and Social and Behavioral Sciences Ph.D. programs. To enroll, students must have completed all required coursework for the Ph.D. and obtain the approval of the Ph.D. Program Director. Students must be enrolled to take the required preliminary examinations.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

SBS 9998. Dissertation Proposal Research. 2 Credit Hours.

This course supports preparation of the dissertation proposal. The course is required for students who have passed the preliminary examinations for their PhD program and who have not yet defended the dissertation proposal.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.
Degree Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Degrees: Doctor of Philosophy.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

Pre-requisites:
SBS 9994|Minimum Grade of P|May not be taken concurrently.

SBS 9999. Dissertation Research. 1 to 6 Credit Hour.

This course is limited to Ph.D. candidates who have completed and defended a dissertation proposal that is filed with the Graduate School by the last day to add a course in the semester. Continuous registration in 9999 fall and spring is required until the dissertation is successfully defended.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.
Student Attribute Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Student Attributes: Dissertation Writing Student.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

Contacts

Certificate Program Web Address:

https://www.temple.edu/academics/degree-programs/interdisciplinary-health-communication-certificate-graduate-hp-ihc-grad

Admissions Information:

College of Public Health Office of Admissions

1101 W. Montgomery Avenue, Suite 370

Philadelphia, PA 19122-2715

cph@temple.edu

215-204-5200

Submission Address for Application Materials:

IHComm Graduate Certificate Program

College of Public Health Office of Admissions

1101 W. Montgomery Avenue, Suite 370

Philadelphia, PA 19122-2715

Department Contacts:

Admissions:

CPH Office of Admissions

cph@temple.edu

215-204-5200

IHComm Certificate Program Director:

Bradley N. Collins, Ph.D.

collinsb@temple.edu

215-204-2849