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Health Promotion

The online health promotion minor prepares students for a variety of careers in the growing field of health promotion and disease prevention. Typical job areas include healthcare marketing and communication for hospitals, health promotion for geriatric care facilities, health marketing for non-profits such as the American Lung Association, or health communication positions within the Department of Health and Human Services (e.g., CDC, NIH, FDA). A professional health promotion practitioner uses a variety of communication strategies, tactics, and media to increase awareness, improve knowledge, communicate outcomes, facilitate behavior change, prevent or impede the onset of disease, and develop environments that encourage and support positive healthy behaviors.

Health promotion programs take place in many settings, including schools, clinics, hospitals, workplaces and community settings. A minor in health promotion can benefit students in a variety of academic disciplines, including business administration, marketing, communications, public health, liberal arts, medicine, education and social work.

The following courses are required:

JRL 101 Media & Society
Mass communicator’s role in developing political, social, and economic fabrics of a democratic society. Organization and function of newspapers, magazines, broadcast stations, and other principal media, including the role of advertising and public relations. This course is offered every term.

Choose one of the following:

ADV 215 Principles of Advertising
An introduction to all sides of the advertising field and to the process, quantitative, strategic and aesthetic, by which the sales message is planned, produced and delivered. This is the first advertising course for advertising majors and must be taken as a prerequisite for other courses in the sequence. This course is offered every term.

PR 215 Introduction to Public Relations
Introduces the student to the principles of public relations. Definition and historical development, opportunities and challenges, techniques, and management of public relations are included. This course is offered every term.

Students must take the three courses listed below.

JRL 450 Writing for Health Promotion
Must be taken online. A writing-intensive course that examines the evolving field of health communication. Students write health messages for distinct audiences. Some topics include: provider-patient communication and persuasive messages for social networks, social influence and social support.

Prerequisites: JRL 101, ADV 215 or PR 215

JRL 452 Applied Health Promotion
Must be taken online. Primarily examines in-depth case studies of health communication messages with an emphasis on understanding how audiences are targeted and influenced by these messages.

Prerequisites: JRL 101, ADV 215 or PR 215

JRL 454 Health Promotion Campaigns
Must be taken online. Applies IMC principles, theories and techniques to multifaceted health promotion and disease prevention campaigns. Examines non-profit and public organizations that utilize IMC strategies to promote issues such as HIV/AIDS awareness, cancer screening and child vaccinations.

Prerequisites: JRL 101, ADV 215 or PR 215

To earn a minor in Health Promotion, a student must earn a GPA of 2.0 or better in the courses required for the minor. Students completing the entire minor online can expect to complete it in one year.

Students who double-minor in advertising and health promotion or public relations and health promotion may only take JRL 101, ADV 215, and PR 215 once and must replace the duplicated offering with one of the Reed College of Media's online 200-level or higher open-enrollment courses.

Students who triple-minor in advertising, public relations, and health promotion must complete all listed courses. However, JRL 101 can be taken only once and must be replaced with two of the Reed College of Media's online 200-level or higher open-enrollment courses.

All online courses are taught completely via eCampus. Students need to plan on logging into eCampus daily during the week but can do so at the time of their own choosing. Students should budget the same amount of time for an online class as they do for classroom classes.

Reed College of Media students may complete the health promotion as an area of emphasis and should consult their advisor for details.

For additional information contact To register for online courses, contact WVU Online at (800) 253-2762 or email

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