Health and Risk Communication

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The only program of its kind in the country!

The health and risk communication program at Ashland University is the only undergraduate program of its kind in the nation.  The program focuses on two of the fastest growing industries: health and safety.  With a focus on communication theory, research and application, this program will prepare students for a variety of careers that include health communication specialist, risk manager, director of communication and public affairs, communication project specialist, security specialist, director of external affairs, health communication training and development officer and safety training and development officer to name but a fewEmployment projections indicate a 24 percent growth in demand over the next five years (

What you will experience in Ashland University’s Health and Risk Communication Program?

  • You will acquire the theory and skills that are in high demand by both governmental and private agencies and organizations.

  • You will engage in research with faculty who are certified in risk communication and actively consult government and private sector organizations on risk and crisis communication.

  • You will develop a most impressive portfolio consisting of state, regional and national conference presentations, scholarly research and publication that will be applicable to a variety of health, risk and crisis situations and organizations.

  • You will study with faculty who regularly publish scholarly articles and books and are considered leaders in their field.

  • You will have the opportunity to participate in internships with a variety of health and safety organizations throughout the state of Ohio which is known for its quality health and safety organizations.

  • You will be graduating from the only undergraduate program of its kind in the country with the unique skills that are in high demand in a variety of organizations both public and private.

Reach Your Goals

When you complete your degree in health and risk communication, you will be ready to begin a career as a:

  • Communication Consultant
  • Communication Campaign Specialist
  • Communication Project Specialist
  • Community Relations Specialist
  • Crisis Communication Manager
  • Development Specialist
  • Director of Communication and Public Affairs
  • Director of External Affairs
  • Director of Marketing
  • Director of External Affairs
  • Director of Marketing
  • Health & Safety Communication Training & Developmement Officer
  • Human Resources Officer
  • Internal Communication Director
  • Patient Advocate
  • Public Relations Coordinator
  • Risk Manager
  • Safety Officer
  • Security Specialist
  • Strategic Communication Manager

Gain Real World Experience

Students have a wide variety of options for internships, both on and off campus. Such opportunities can include but are not limited to:

  • Local government agencies
  • Federal government agencies (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, etc.)
  • Rural Emergency Trauma Institute
  • Local and federal law enforcement
  • Public relations organizations
  • Advertising and marketing agencies
  • Insurance companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Various military organizations
  • Search and rescue organizations

*The possibilities are endless

Interesting Classes You May Take:

COM 420

Health Public Relations – Students will study the communication processes that are involved in communicating about health and issues that arise during healthcare processes, including patient care, healthcare campaigns, as well as crisis and risk communication specific to healthcare. Topics include theory in health communication, interpersonal communication in health including patient-doctor care and social support, ethical concerns in healthcare and healthcare message campaigns, crisis communication, developing healthcare communication plans, implementing communication campaigns and assessment of the communication campaigns.

COM 425

Risk and Crisis Communication – Students will study the communication processes that are involved in the communication of information to people and various publics regarding risks, how these risks will impact the at-risk publics and how to best prepare the publics to reduce the risk. Topics include communication risk analysis, crisis communication, developing risk and crisis communication plans, implementing communication strategies and assessment of risk and crisis communication campaigns.

Campus Organizations for Public Relations and Strategic Communication Majors

Accent PR – The public relations organization that helps community organizations with finding new and exciting ways to communicate today.

PRSSA - Public Relations Student Society of America is a national 10,000 member professional student organization that offers majors opportunities for mentoring, professional growth and assistance from public relations professionals throughout the United States.