School of Public Health teams with other UNC schools to offer Health Communication Certificate

November 10, 2006
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will offer an Interdisciplinary Certificate in Health Communication, beginning Fall semester 2007. The program is aimed primarily at residential graduate students interested in developing expertise in communication about health to use in either professional or academic health-related settings.

Faculty members from the schools of Public Health, Journalism and Mass Communication, and Information and Library Science, and from the Department of Psychology will work together to provide the certificate program around this rapidly growing field of study.

Photograph of Dean Barbara K. Rimer

Photograph of Dean Barbara K. Rimer

“Thorough, responsible health communication promotes smart decision making and healthy behavior, using theory-based strategies,” said Barbara K. Rimer, Dean of the School of Public Health and a faculty member participating in this new certificate program. “The interdisciplinary nature of this program will strengthen the University’s extensive network of health communication research and further support our public service mission.”

The program will offer two tracks: a psychological processes track that examines how health communication leads people to change their behaviors, and an integrated communication strategies track that examines creating and delivering health messages and interventions through a variety of methods.

Current health communication research at the University focuses on e-health, message tailoring, risk communication, health decision making, dissemination, media effects, psychological processes, usability of electronic medical information and health marketing.

Faculty from the School of Public Health affiliated with the Certificate include:

  • Noel T. Brewer, PhD, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education
  • Marci K. Campbell, PhD, Department of Nutrition
  • Kurt M. Ribisl, PhD, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education
  • Dean Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education
  • Deborah F. Tate, PhD, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education and Department of Nutrition.

For information about the Certificate, visit


For more information about the UNC School of Public Health, contact Director of Communications Ramona DuBose by telephone at 919-966-7467 or by email at