Health Sciences and Human Performance Department

Culture, Communication, and Health Certificates

The Culture, Communication, and Health Certificate is an interdisciplinary program in which students examine the rich interplay among culture, communication, and the health care context. A comprehensive understanding of contemporary health care requires an appreciation of the multiple ways that culture and societal institutions influence the communication (and miscommunication) of health information within an administrative or service delivery context. The complex intersections among culture, communication and health cannot be understood in isolation; rather they are most effectively appreciated when studied in a multi-disciplinary context. In this program, students can gain a fundamental understanding of the subtle, dynamic role that culture plays in the practice and communication of health information. A critical component of contemporary health care is cultural competence, and completing the requirements of this certificate offers students the academic and practical skills needed to implement a culturally competent approach to health care.

Students who complete this certificate are expected to understand the value of diversity; to have the capacity for cultural self-reflection, including diverse health beliefs, values, and practices; to be aware of the dynamics inherent when cultures interact, with an emphasis on health communication and health issues and contexts; to recognize the importance of effective health communication in a diverse community; and to develop the skills necessary to make adaptations to health communication within an administrative or service delivery context reflecting an understanding of diversity between and within cultures.

The academic units participating in this certificate program are the Departments of Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology and Criminology, the School of Communication, and the College of Health.


Undergraduate Certificate

Admission and Completion

For admission to this certificate program, a student must earn at least a B- in one of the prerequisite courses (ANT 100 or SOC 201). To receive the certificate, a GPA of at least 2.8 must be achieved for the coursework completed for the certificate. A student must also complete an Intent to Complete the Certificate in Culture, Communication, and Health Form which can be obtained from the Department of Health Sciences and Human Performance.

Required Courses

The certificate requires 17-18 semester hours. These include 6 hours of core courses in health sciences and communication, 9 hours of electives, and a 2-3 credit internship/cooperative education experience requiring a culture, communication, and health focus.

Prerequisite (does not count toward the credits required for the certificate)

Required Courses - Two courses

Elective Courses - Choose three courses-Must be in at least two different disciplines.

Capstone Project - Choose one course

Internship/Cooperative Education Experience: Students may pursue internship, cooperative education, or research experiences through the Departments of Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology, and the School of Communication or the Department of Health Sciences and Human Performance. Choose one of the following options: ANT 496COM 496HSC 393HSC 410HSC 440HHSC 484HSC 486HSC 487PSY 396, or SOC 490.


Students interested in pursuing the Certificate in Culture, Communication, and Health should seek advising from the Department of Health Sciences and Human Performance and complete the required Intent to Complete the Certificate in Culture, Communication, and Health Form.

Jodi DeMarco, Chair, Department of Health Sciences and Human Performance


Graduate Certificate


Health care providers are deeply concerned about the quality of interaction between care providers and clients of diverse cultural backgrounds. This graduate certificate program is designed to provide practitioners with the tools they need to be effective in this environment. Based on ethnographic methods used by social scientists, the certificate provides training in both theory and practice to enhance the quality of intercultural communications and health care delivery.


The Graduate Certificate in Culture, Communication and Health Care requires that students complete at least one course in statistics and introductory research methods at the undergraduate level prior to application. Working professionals with a basic knowledge of statistics and an undergraduate degree may also apply. Submission and evaluation of official transcripts will be required to determine if any prerequisite courses are needed.

Degree-seeking graduate students who meet this requirement and hold Regular admission status may be admitted to the certificate program. Credits earned for the certificate may be applied toward a graduate degree as approved by the student’s graduate program director and in keeping with the policies of the College of Graduate Studies. Alternatively, the applicant must meet the graduate certificate admission requirements detailed in the Admissions section of this Catalog. With program permission, non-degree graduate students may enroll in the courses noted below, but non-degree graduate students cannot earn a University graduate certificate.

Applicants must hold an undergraduate or graduate degree in health care or a related profession.

Submit application materials to the Graduate Admissions Office.

Apply Now:

For further information, contact:
The Department of Health Sciences
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue Health Sciences 101
Cleveland, OH 44115
Phone: (216) 687-4870
Fax: (216) 687-9316


Students must take one course from each of the four clusters listed below: