A masters in health education helps you develop your leadership and health promotion skill sets as well as deepen your understanding of the research and practices within the health field.
By the end of your program, you may have a holistic academic understanding of the factors that affect public health issues. Health education graduates often go on to take leadership positions within education, community, healthcare, and governmental organizations.
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Read on to see if a master’s degree in health education is right for you.
Online Masters in Health Education Programs
Health education graduate programs understand the growing interest in and the necessity of health education and promotion. Obtaining a masters degree in health education can help you develop the necessary skills to digest and convey complex health topics to an audience.
These skills could make you an asset to various organizations. Health education graduate programs typically teach you how to:
- Describe the principles of health education
- Plan health promotion programs
- Conduct health education and promotion research
- Assess a community’s need for health education
- Examine past, present, and future challenges and trends within health education
The robust nature of your education may lead you to pursuing careers across health-related industries. Common settings for health education professionals include:
- Community or non-profit health organizations
- Governmental health agencies
- Schools and universities
- Clinical health organizations
The professional setting you choose will likely depend on your career goals. Those with a master’s degree in health education may seek to make changes on an individual or organizational level.
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Regardless of the preferred setting, graduates often pursue leadership positions. Career options related to health education include:
- Health educator
- Health coalition specialist
- Health education specialist
- Administrative services manager
- Medical services manager
- Community service manager
A masters degree in health education could help you advance your career within academic, community, healthcare, government, or corporate fields, depending on your specialization.
Your ability to assess current health initiatives and create new ones based on evolving research could make you an asset to the organization you choose. With the increasing focus on health education programs, experts in this field are in high demand.
Health Education Careers & Salaries
Obtaining an MS in Health Education can help you develop your expertise in promoting health through various avenues. For instance, you can learn how to better educate people so they have the knowledge to make better decisions within their own lives.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some common career paths related to the field of health education.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||$101,340|
|Administrative Services Managers||$100,170|
|Social and Community Service Managers||$74,000|
|High School Teachers||$61,820|
|Middle School Teachers||$61,320|
|Health Education Specialists||$60,600|
|Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors||$48,520|
|Community Health Workers||$46,590|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||$37,610|
Those with a masters degree in health education may pursue less-specialized positions, but they often pursue leadership positions, given the extent of their knowledge.
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Of course, the specific positions and salaries you may qualify for can depend on a number of factors, such as your degree specialization, prior work experience, chosen industry, and employer.
Master of Health Education Curriculum & Courses
The curriculum associated with a master’s degree in health education varies depending on your school. Here is a list of courses you may come across in your studies:
- Philosophy and Principles of Health Education: In this course, you’ll learn about the history, philosophy, and ethics of health behavior as well as the various roles of health educators.
- Planning Health Education Programs: This course teaches you about the principles of health education and how to use communication media to plan health education initiatives.
- Epidemiology: This course teaches you about the risk factors to health outcomes.
- Exploring Health Education in the 21st Century: You’ll learn about the settings for health education and the current research that professionals study.
- Assessing Community Needs for Health Education: This course teaches you how to assess a community’s needs, and you’ll learn about both the quantitative and qualitative approaches to community assessments.
- Introduction to Research in Health Education and Health Promotion: This class exposes you to the research methods used in health education, including literature reviews, ethics, quantitative, qualitative, and more.
- Health Care Statistics: This course introduces you to the statistics used in the health industry and teaches you how to share published research in a digestible manner.
- Community Health Assessment: This course teaches you how to study the behaviors, influences, policies, and economics of a community so that you can enhance it.
- Public Health Program Development: This course teaches you about the principles of program development and how to utilize them to better individuals and communities.
- Health Behavior: This course gives you the opportunity to study health behavior theories and apply them to real-world scenarios.
Health education graduate programs generally involve both core and elective courses. Depending on your program, you may be able to take various elective courses that can broaden your knowledge of health education.
Health education graduate programs can have different admissions criteria, but here is a list of general admissions requirements:
- Bachelor’s degree or higher
- Minimum GPA of 3.0, on average
- Letters of recommendation
- Statement of purpose
- GRE or GMAT scores (not required by all schools)
This type of graduate program is generally designed for experienced professionals seeking to advance their career or recent college graduates looking to deepen their knowledge.
Online Health Education Masters Programs Accreditation
Earning a masters degree in health education online can be a strategic way to deepen your understanding of health education and advance your career. It’s beneficial, though, to earn your graduate degree from a regionally accredited school.
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A school that has regional accreditation has been formally recognized by a regional accrediting agency. This means that a school has passed a variety of evaluations and meets a high standard of education. Most employers will verify the credibility of your education in the hiring process. In addition, an education from an accredited school is a common requirement for certification.
Health Education Licensure and Certifications
In addition to academic degrees, you can also pursue professional certifications to demonstrate your qualifications in the field. There are two primary certificates that are offered by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc (NCHEC).
The first is the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). The CHES requires you to pass a competency-based exam. You can then maintain this credential by completing continuing education credits from time to time. Some employers require CHES certification.
The other certification that’s common in this industry is the Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES), which involves advancing your knowledge with a focus on leadership.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Many graduate students seek financial help. To determine your eligibility for federal student loans and work study programs, can you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Your state government and school may also use your FAFSA information to see if you qualify for other need-based aid opportunities. You can also explore scholarship opportunities. Scholarships and grants may be offered through your school, but they are also usually available from public and private organizations. You can see if your work offers tuition benefits as well.
What Can You Do with a Masters in Health Education?
After obtaining a masters in health education, you’ll likely have learned how to assess and promote valuable information and initiatives within the health field. This might make you an asset to organizations looking to improve their health education initiatives.
Because of the added emphasis on health in the workplace, many health ed professionals pursue leadership roles in academic, community, healthcare, government, or corporate settings. This education aims to help you help others make healthy life changes on either an individual or organizational level.
Graduates often work as health education specialists, administrative service managers, secondary or postsecondary teachers, community service managers, or medical and health services managers.
What Does a Health Educator Do?
Health educators are often responsible for addressing community health issues. They tend to spend their time designing and implementing programs that promote healthy lifestyles and behaviors.
It’s common for health educators to work in healthcare facilities, nonprofits, and public health departments. Their daily responsibilities as well as their intended audience can vary depending on their work setting. For example, those in healthcare facilities may focus on educating individual patients and their families. Meanwhile, health educators in public health departments may create public campaigns on widespread issues.
Overall, health educators give individuals or communities the necessary information to make healthier choices within their own lives.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Health Education Master’s Online?
A masters can generally be completed in 1 to 2 years. The time it takes to complete a health education graduate program varies depending on a few factors.
Health education graduate programs generally have between 30 and 56 credits. Generally, online programs offer more flexibility, which may affect the duration of the program. Programs with 36 credits or less are often designed to be completed in 1 year with full-time, year-round study.
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If you choose to earn your graduate degree part-time, it can take you longer to finish. A thesis requirement can extend your completion time as well.
What’s the Difference Between a Health Promotion vs. Health Education Masters Degree?
Here are some of the differences between health education and health promotion programs.
|Health Promotion||Health Education|
While these programs may have some similarities, understanding the differences can help you choose the right program for you.
What’s the Difference Between a Master in Health Education vs. Public Health?
Another popular program that is similar to a health education graduate program is a public health program. Here are some of the differences between the two fields.
|Public Health Professionals||Health Education Professionals|
Before choosing your program, it’s helpful to verify that its curriculum aligns with your goals. The similarities in these programs can cause confusion, so understanding their differences is essential.
Is a Health Education Master Degree Worth It?
Yes, a health education master degree is worth it for many students. A masters in health education is intended for those who want to empower individuals or communities to make healthy life choices. A graduate degree can also help you qualify for more senior or leadership positions in the field.
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Health educators can work in numerous professional settings, such as schools, nonprofits, healthcare facilities, or government organizations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 17% job growth is expected for health education specialists and community health workers over the next ten years, which is much faster than average.
Universities Offering Online Masters in Health Education Degree Program
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
American College of Education offers a Master of Education in Health and Wellness Education. The program is designed to help students develop the skills needed to educate others on healthy lifestyles. All coursework can be completed online at the student’s own pace. Typically, students who attend full-time can complete the program in just 16 months.
The American College of Education is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.
Cleveland University offers a fully online program for a Master of Science in Health Education and Promotion. Graduates from this program often pursue career opportunities in settings like hospitals, non-profits, universities, or private clinics. The curriculum consists of 36 credit hours of courses covering key topics like research methods, behavioral theory, and environmental health.
Cleveland University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Columbia University offers a Master of Science in Community Health Education. The program aims to teach students how to develop, implement, and assess health promotion and educational programs in a variety of settings. The curriculum combines core concepts from disciplines like psychology, health, and education. On average, students can complete the program’s 42 required credits in 2 years.
Columbia is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
At Concord University, the Master of Arts in Health Promotion is offered fully online. The program is intended for students who have undergraduate degrees in healthcare or related fields. The program requires a minimum of 33 credits for graduation. Students can select the traditional 2 year track or the accelerated 1 year track.
Concord University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
East Carolina University offers a Master of Arts in Health Education. The program seeks to help students develop the skills needed to serve as educators in academic, clinical, community, or business settings. Students can attend courses 100% online. Potential classes include Intro to Epidemiology, Research Methods, Needs Assessment, and Intervention Strategies.
East Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
East Stroudsburg University offers a Master of Science in Health Education. Graduates of the program often pursue careers as wellness coordinators, health education consultants, athletic trainers, school health specialists, or health curriculum supervisors. The convenient online format is designed with working professionals in mind. Students can usually complete their requirements in just 2 years.
ESU is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Idaho State University offers a Master of Health Education. The program aims to teach students how to create, roll-out, and evaluate health promotion campaigns in diverse settings. Most courses are housed online, though there are additional in-person learning opportunities. Students can potentially finish their studies in just 1 year of full-time attendance.
Idaho State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Lehman College offers an online program for a Master of Arts in Health Education and Promotion. This program may be an excellent option for individuals pursuing careers as health administrators, case managers, patient services coordinators, or corporate wellness specialists. The program requires the completion of 33 credit hours. Courses cover topics such as health counseling, program planning, and teaching strategies.
Lehman College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Liberty University offers a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Community Health Promotion. All classes are offered entirely online, and each one is 8 weeks long. Students must complete a minimum of 42 credit hours to graduate. On average, most students can complete the program in 2 years.
Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Maryland University of Integrative Health offers a Master of Science in Health Promotion. Students can choose a concentration in either Community Health Education or Workplace Wellness depending on their professional goals. This program is housed fully online. Students can typically complete the program’s 35 required credits in 6 trimesters of full-time attendance.
MUIH is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Purdue University offers an online program for a Master of Science in Health Education. The program seeks to equip students to work as educators and leaders promoting health in their communities. Students typically need to devote 15 hours per week to their studies throughout each 10 week term. Those attending full-time can often finish their studies in 1.5 years.
Purdue University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
The Master of Science in Education program at SUNY Brockport offers a concentration in Health Education. The concentration covers essential skills needed to plan, implement, and evaluate collaborative health programs in community and corporate settings. Classes are held primarily online. Students in the program culminate their studies by gaining hands-on experience in the field during a final 3 credit internship.
SUNY Brockport is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
At the University of Alabama, the Master of Arts in Health Studies program offers a focus in Health Promotion. This program may be an ideal next step for those passionate about health and serving their community. Core courses include Research Methods, Health Behavior, Health Promotion Techniques, and Evaluation in Health Education. All courses can be attended online.
The University of Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Florida offers a Master of Science in Health Education and Behavior. At the center of the program’s curriculum is training professionals in how to conduct research and implement effective and ethical health programs. This program is housed entirely online. On average, students who attend full-time can finish their requirements in just 1 year.
The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Louisville offers a Master of Science in Health Professions Education. The program is designed to teach instruction skills to healthcare providers in fields like medicine, dentistry, and nursing. Courses cover topics like evidence-based practice, diversity in higher education, instructional strategies, and organizational learning. All courses are offered online.
The University of Louisville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Memphis offers a 100% online program for a Master’s in Health Promotion. Graduates often pursue careers in public health, health counseling, corporate wellness, and fitness. The curriculum is based on three foundational elements: behavior change, health promotion and education, and health science. To graduate, students must complete 30 credits hours.
The University of Memphis is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The University of West Florida offers a Master of Science in Health Promotion and Worksite Wellness. The program is designed to teach health education skills to students from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds. Courses are offered in a convenient online format. Students can typically complete the program’s 39 required credits in 24 months or less.
The University of West Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The Master of Public Health program at Utah State University offers a concentration in Health Education and Promotion. This concentration aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of health planning and social determinates of health and behavior. The program requires the completion of 45 credit hours. Classes are held online to help ensure flexibility for working professionals.
Utah State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Valdosta State University’s Master of Education program offers a Health and Physical Education specialty. This specialty is intended to prepare graduates for careers in teaching physical education and health to pre-K through 12th grade students. Classes are held online and complemented by rich hands-on experiences in the field. The program requires the completion of 33 credit hours.
Valdosta State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Walden University offers a fully online program for a Master of Science in Health Education and Promotion. Courses include Health Behavior Theory, Assessing Community Needs, Public Health Administration, and Program Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation. Students may transfer in up to 25 qualifying credits from previously attended institutions toward the program’s 50 required credits.
Walden is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Getting Your Master’s in Health Education Online
Pursuing a masters in health education online can be a strategic option for many. Professionals in this field generally have a desire to enrich the lives of individuals and communities through health promotion.
Some health education specialists teach health to students in school settings, while others educate hospital patients and their families on their condition. Still others may create health campaigns or programs for nonprofits, government institutions, or businesses.
If a health education graduate degree sounds right for you, then you can start comparing programs from accredited universities today to see which ones best fit your interests and goals.