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Health Communication Minor

The Health Communication minor prepares students to work in one of the fastest growing industries in the United States and across the world: healthcare. Students will learn the factors that affect health behavior and explore both theoretical and practical tools that can be used to promote and affect change related to health behavior.

Why do it?

This minor will position students to enter the healthcare industry with the ability to understand and integrate relevant areas of knowledge such as discourse, reasoning in the social sciences, quantitative and computational thinking, ethical reasoning, and intercultural and global awareness.


The 21-hour minor in Health Communication includes 12 hours of required introductory courses, 6 hours of electives, and a required 3-hour capstone course.

Pathways diagram of minor

COMM 1016: Communication Skills II (Pre: COMM 1015)

COMM 2004: Public Speaking
CMST 2134: Introduction to Health Communication (Pre: COMM 2004 or COMM 1016)
PHS 2004: Introduction to Public Health
HIST/SOC/STS 2604: Introduction to Data in a Social Context
CMST 4324: Issues in Health Communication (Pre: Junior standing)

Students select 6 credit hours of elective courses, one from each of two categories. For a complete list of elective courses, consult the Registrar checksheet (click on 'checksheets', scroll down to Minors, and find the minor checksheet you're interested in).

Who is it for?

The Health Communication minor benefits students seeking to enter the healthcare field. Since healthcare professionals come from various disciplines, this minor targets students from majors across the university. STEM majors who plan to pursue professions (such as medicine or pharmacy) that include direct contact with patients will find opportunities to build their communication skills in a health-related context. Non-STEM majors, such as those in marketing, human development, and human nutrition, food, and exercise, will also benefit from this minor as it complements various curricula.

This minor is hosted by School of Communication in collaboration with numerous departments across Virginia Tech.

Pathways Concepts

Core Concepts*
1f - Foundational Discourse
1a - Advanced/Applied Discourse
2 - Critical Thinking in the Humanities
3 - Reasoning in the Social Sciences
5f - Foundational Quantitative and Computational Thinking
7 - Critical Analysis of Identity and Equity in the U.S.
*Students are guaranteed to meet at least three of the core concepts listed