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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: school, 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.

Health Promotion Minor Requirements

Students in colleges and units outside of the College of Media may earn a minor in Health Promotion by completing the following courses and meeting the requirements as stated below. The Health Promotion minor is not available to students in the College of Media unless they are pursuing the College’s Multidisciplinary Studies (MDS) major. The majority of courses for the Health Promotion minor are offered exclusively online and some may require summer enrollment. Note that additional online course fees apply. Students should also consult the WVU Undergraduate Catalog for course descriptions and information.

1) MDIA 101 – Media & Society, 3 hours
Can be taken on campus or online. Examines the relationship between media, culture and society, with emphasis on the history, structure, and organization of the mass media.

2) ONE of the following:

  • PR 215 – Introduction to Public Relations, 3 hours
    Can be taken on campus or online. Introduces the principles of public relations. Examines the definition and historical development, opportunities and challenges and techniques and management of public relations.
  • ADV 215 – Principles of Advertising, 3 hours
    Can be taken on campus or online. 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.

3) JRL 450 – Writing for Health Promotion, 3 hours
Prerequisites: MDIA 101, ADV 215 or PR 215
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.

4) JRL 452 – Applied Health Promotion, 3 hours
Prerequisites: MDIA 101, ADV 215 or PR 215
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.

5) JRL 454 – Health Promotion Campaigns, 3 hours
Prerequisites: MDIA 101, ADV 215 or PR 215
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.


To earn a minor in Health Promotion, a student must earn a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 in all courses required for the minor and have 9 distinct credit hours in the minor not shared with other degree requirements. However, College of Media MDS students must earn a C- in every course in the minor and all 15 credit hours must be distinct to the minor and not shared with other degree requirements.

To register for these courses or to pursue a a double-minor, triple-minor or the College’s Multidisciplinary Studies (MDS) major, contact Aaron Hawley at 304-293-3133 or aaron.hawley@mail.wvu.edu.

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 course as they do for on campus courses.