MS in Health Communication Design


  • East Falls Campus
  • Kanbar College of Design, Engineering & Commerce

Degree Earned

  • Master of Science

Program Type

  • Hybrid

2 on-campus long weekends per semester, remainder of the program is online.

The MS in Health Communication Design Program's mission is to create a healthier world through clear, accessible and actionable communication design strategies.

Complete a single certificate, or, in only one year, complete two certificates plus a capstone project to earn the full MS in Health Communication Design.

Health Communication Design is for visionary individuals driven by a passion to address critical and complex health communication design issues for people, communities, healthcare providers and policymakers.

Through a series of themed, stackable certificates, delivered in a low-residency model, the MS in Health Communication Design equips students with theory and practice-based design skills to create health-related change that improves the human condition. The program employs a process informed by user-centered research, empathy, and a transdisciplinary, collaborative, multi-modal approach.

Who is the Health Communication Design student?

You are interested in the spaces where health and design come together to make powerful and engaging communications that matter. You might have previous design experience, you might have a background in health, or you might be a working professional looking to change careers entirely. You want to understand how to identify and frame an opportunity through deep research and engagement. You see a complex and ambiguous world with an uncertain future, and you want to learn to navigate that landscape to create lasting change that will better the human condition. You are creative, motivated, and a future leader.

Learn more about some of our students and their unique paths in the video below:

Certificate Options

Certificates are thematic 12-credit experiences that focus on applying communication and design strategies to contemporary health challenges. The certificates are not cumulative and can be taken in any order. There are two options.

  • Design and Communication for Disease Prevention, Management and Cure: Ethics and Accessibility Focus (offered in fall semesters): Students will have the opportunity to engage with relevant topics within this theme. Sample topics include (but are not limited to): infectious diseases, vaccinations, epidemics, genetic conditions, chronic conditions, epidemiology, substance abuse and addiction, diet and nutrition, mental health, etc. Students will explore these topics through the lens of ethical frameworks that include accessibility related content. 
  • Design and Communication for Life Stages and Identity: Sustainable Systems Focus (offered in spring semesters): Students will have the opportunity to engage with relevant topics within this theme. Sample topics include (but are not limited to): gender, sexuality, personal identity, reproduction, maternity, birth, sexual health, puberty, aging and geriatric issues, diversity and equity in healthcare, injury prevention, safety at different life stages, trauma-informed design, community preparedness and resilience, childhood well-being, family structure and support, etc. Students will explore these topics while enhancing their strategic knowledge of creating lasting and effective systems and change.

Why is this the right program for you?

Driven by Design

At a high level, practitioners in health fields and designers share a critical commonality—the desire to improve the lives of people. At Thomas Jefferson University, you will have the opportunity to hone an entrepreneurial research process driven by design thinking to create design and communication strategies across a variety of media, whether that be print, digital, environmental, social, wearable or other emerging communication technologies.

Unparalleled Resources

Thomas Jefferson University offers an accomplished and diverse faculty of internationally renowned experts in health, communication and design with access to all the resources of a world-class university combined with a comprehensive hospital network.

Flexibility for Your Life

A stackable certificate model, allows you to select certificate options ala carte for the type of health communication topics that interest you. Or, you can choose to complete two certificates plus a capstone for the full MS degree. You can complete the degree as either a full-time student or a working professional. Online and on campus options combine to meet your learning style preferences.