Many of the health problems and diseases people encounter over the course of their lifetimes are preventable. The role of a health educator is to inform communities and organizations about how to live fuller, happier, and healthier lives. If you're interested in how to advocate and promote health and wellness, the following Top 15 Master's in Health Education and Promotion can help you get started on the right path in 2020.
Health educators serve in settings such as elementary schools, universities and colleges, and numerous workplaces. They can be found in both the private and public sectors, too, as the need to advocate for health really knows no bounds. Whether you'd like to live and work in a large city or start your career in a rural setting, the job market for health education needs qualified and experienced professionals anywhere and everywhere around the country.
Health educators can choose from a multitude of issues to specialize in. Perhaps you are passionate about substance-abuse prevention, physical fitness, or nutrition and eating disorders: there are roles within clinics, hospitals, and nonprofit agencies where you can have the opportunity to help promote changes in these very areas.
Health educators are also integral in operations that plan for disasters, research sexual attitudes and behaviors, and create cross-cultural marketing materials to reach a diverse audience in preventing the spread of disease. The programs listed in our Top 15 Master's in Health Education and Promotion offer concentrations for several health-related areas and allow students to tailor their coursework to support their career goals.
The growth rate for this field over the next seven years is astonishing – the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there will be an estimated 19,200 jobs added by 2026. While a bachelor's degree or certificate program can launch you into a field with a median income of $46,000 per year, a master's degree gives you a competitive edge for leadership roles that pay up to $98,530 per year.
All of the programs listed below prepare their graduates for the Certified Health Education Specialist certification exam, and some also offer preparation for the National Health and Wellness Coaching exam. For further information about this career path, wellness-related professional organizations such as the Wellness Council of America, the National Wellness Institute, and the Medical Fitness Association offer additional resources. If you're ready to pursue your career as a wellness educator, we hope you'll find our Top 15 Master's in Health Education and Programs a helpful guide.
Each ranking published by Top Master's in Healthcare requires a lot of research, fact-checking, and interest in the world of higher education and medical industries. The editors of TMHC utilize credible data resources from academic journals, government databases, job recruitment organizations, and, especially, degree alumni reviews. TMHC rankings are scored specifically on degree outcomes, alumni reviews, degree affordability, acceptance rates, MCAT and GRE scores, and degree completion rates.
To be considered for ranking by TMHC, degrees must be accredited by the National Science Foundation and, thus, provide appropriate doctorate certifications within the healthcare field and have institutional affiliations with scholarly peer-reviewed publications. For more information about how TMHC scores individual medical degrees, please visit our About Us page.
Here are the Top 15 Master's in Health Education and Promotion for 2020!
#15. Purdue University Global – Davenport
Online Master of Science Degree in Health Education
Purdue University Global-Davenport provides population health enthusiasts an opportunity to earn a 56-credit online Master of Science in Health Promotion. Purdue University's Global campus are no strangers to top-ranking school lists. U.S. News & World Reports ranks Purdue's online campus for its excellent health-related programs, and especially for Purdue's nursing school.
The online health education degree is accredited by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC), which seeks to prepare students for careers as fitness program coordinators, health instructors, public health services, and more. Overall program outcomes include knowledge, application, research, international awareness, and health care ethics. With this in mind, students complete fascinating courses like Health Care Statistics and Principles of Epidemiology.
Purdue is unique from other public universities because the entirety of its student population is enrolled in distance education programs. In addition, the amount of graduate students attending full-time is nearly equal to part-time students, ensuring an opportunity for flexible completion timelines and class schedules. To apply for Purdue's online MS in Health Education, the university requires proof of a previous bachelor's degree and a minimum GPA of 2.5.
Graduate Tuition: $10,128
#14. Maryland University of Integrative Health
Master of Science in Health Promotion
The Master of Science in Health Promotion at Maryland University of Integrative Health is a 33- or 34-credit program. Maryland University's exciting degree program highlights topics central to holistic community health care, such as public health research, work-life balance, access to health education, wellness services, and social awareness. The MSHP program also provides interesting core requirements such as Topics in Diversity for Health and Healing and Communication Strategies in Health Education. Elective class options encompass topics related to mindfulness, physical health, and nutrition. MSHP students can choose a concentration in either Community Health Education or Workplace Wellness.
Students studying toward the Community Health Education concentration study health promotion techniques targeted toward larger populations of people, while the Workplace Wellness track narrows any given population down to one employment agency. Either degree track prepares students to complete the Certified Health Education Specialist exam, an important requirement for professional health promotion careers.
Maryland University hosts free, regular web information sessions for students interested in the school's integrative health programs. Application to the program requires a bachelor's degree, resume, essay, and official transcripts from all institutions previously attended. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and start dates are in the fall, spring, and summer. GRE scores are not required for admission, but some applicants may be requested to attend an interview. Online students at MUIH can anticipate assistance with any technological issues by contacting the school's 24-hour technical support.
Graduate Tuition: $20,090
#13. Saint Joseph's University
Master of Science in Health Education
At Saint Joseph's University, the Master of Science in Health Education was planned and implemented by faculty experts, such as by the Associate Chair of the department who served as the executive editor of the Journal of Genetic Psychology. The 36-credit curriculum combines research, assessment of community programs, and the tools needed to establish and promote health and wellness among diverse populations.
The MS in Health Education degree offers concentrations in Applied Behavioral Analysis and in Health Promotion and Wellness. Over the course of two years, students will take classes in epidemiology and community health, health services research, and curriculum strategies for health educators. All students in the program will complete a capstone course in health services.
SJU requires that applicants submit a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, a resume, and transcripts of all previous coursework. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Students interested in graduate assistantships should be aware that only a limited number are available each term. SJU also participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program and is a military-friendly school. In fact, in 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked SJU No. 2 among the "Best Colleges for Veterans" in the north. SJU has an active and engaged student population, too, with many student organizations such as the Agape Christian Fellowship, The Black Student Union, and 1851 Entertainment.
Graduate Tuition: $16,401
#12. Loma Linda University
Loma Linda, CA
Master of Science in Health Professions Education
Loma Linda University is a Christian school that emphasizes studies in health and science and has a population of approximately 4,500 currently enrolled students. The Master of Science in Health Professions Education at LLU comprises a total of 27 credit hours. Students in the program take classes like Educational Evaluation and Clinical Assessment, Teaching and Learning Styles, and Writing for Health Professionals. The curriculum also addresses gaining knowledge of academic administration and utilizing technology for teaching and research. Students can choose a study emphasis in either teaching or leadership as a health professional. The program is online, and students must have a computer, internet access, and a Skype account. LLU utilizes Canvas as its online classroom platform.
Applications for this MS program are accepted for the fall and winter terms. Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree and have some type of licensure in the healthcare profession. The application also requires three letters of recommendation and transcripts from all previous institutions. Some applicants will be asked to participate in an interview as well, prior to acceptance into the program. Loma Linda offers a limited number of scholarships to students in the armed forces seeking degrees in a health-related field, as well as research assistantships.
Graduate Tuition: $25,440
#11. California State University, Northridge
Master of Public Health in Community Health Education
The Master of Public Health in Community Health Education program at California State University Northridge takes two years of full-time study to complete. Over the course of seven terms, students will progress through the program within the same cohort of peers, which provides the opportunity to develop professional camaraderie. The degree combines fieldwork with online class meetings and assignments. Common class topics cover subjects such as current issues in health education, advanced concepts of health behavior, and cultural issues in healthcare. In addition to at least 300 hours of field training, students must pass a comprehensive exam to qualify for graduation. Field training can take place at the student's current workplace, as long as the internship is completely separate from the student's regular job.
Applicants have one window each year for enrollment in the fall. Required application materials include a personal statement, resume, transcripts from all previous institutions, and three letters of recommendation. CSUN offers many services to its students, including disability resources and educational services, deaf and hard of hearing services, and student health insurance. Students may also take advantage of the recreation center and counseling services. CSUN has a dedicated veterans affairs office as well.
Graduate Tuition: $7,176/ Out-of-State: $16,680
#10. Touro University Worldwide
Master of Science in Health Sciences
Touro University Worldwide is a non-profit institution that was founded in 1998. The university is dedicated to social justice and providing a strong liberal arts education. TUW also offers a Master of Science in Health Sciences that is a 36-credit program consisting of eight core courses and four electives. By the end of their studies at TUW, students should be prepared to take the examination for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) certification.
Through the master's curriculum, students will take courses like Health Through the Life Span, Cultural and Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Health, and Health Behavior and Change. A total of 12 credit hours are dedicated to electives in which students can explore subjects on mental health and society, occupational health and safety, and principles of epidemiology. Graduates of the program are consequently well-versed in a broad spectrum of subjects related to health sciences, from marketing to community organizing.
TUW's Master of Science in Health Sciences requires that admitted students to the program possess a bachelor's degree and have a minimum 2.5 GPA. Transcripts of any prior undergraduate work must also be submitted. Students may be eligible to transfer up to nine credits of master's-level coursework from another school toward the total credits required of the program. Members of the military, veterans, reservists, and their immediate families are eligible for up to a 40% tuition discount.
Graduate Tuition: $9,000
#9. East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania
East Stroudsburg, PA
Master of Science in Health Education
The Master of Science in Health Education at the East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania is a 30-credit-hour online program that integrates the most relevant and recent research in health education. Courses in the program cover subjects on the scientific foundations of health education, health policy and administration, and determinants of disease. Students may also choose to engage in an internship at one of the many facilities near ESU, such as the Allentown Health Bureau, the PA State Department of Health, and the Pocono Medical Center. The program has a dedicated eleven-member faculty, some of whom possess PhDs in health education.
To apply to the program, admission requires an undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 2.5, a resume, and an essay explaining the applicant's interest in the program and the field of health education. Applicants should also submit three to five references from individuals who can speak to their readiness for graduate study. For learners interested in financial support, the program offers graduate assistantships to full-time students based on merit. The East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania is a military-friendly school and offers a plethora of resources and scholarships. For residents of eastern Pennsylvania and the Delaware Valley who are employed by a school district, for instance, the MS in Health Education program may be entirely free.
Graduate Tuition: $12,000/ Out-of-State: $18,000
#8. Texas A&M University
College Station, TX
Master of Science in Health Education
The Master of Science in Health Education at Texas A&M University is a 36-credit program that prepares its graduates to take the Certified Health Education Specialist exam. This program allows for some customization, as students may choose to culminate their studies by engaging either in a research thesis project or in an internship and additional elective coursework. All students will take coursework in applied epidemiology, health program planning, and behavioral foundation in health education. The faculty of the MS in Health Education program at Texas A&M is made up of 25 industry experts who have years of experience researching and teaching on a wide variety of health education-related subjects.
Applicants to the program must submit transcripts of any prior collegiate study, a statement of purpose, a resume, and three letters of recommendation. For those undecided, the Texas Graduate and Professional School has regular online events intended for prospective students. Texas A&M University offers a variety of funding opportunities for graduate students as well, including assistantships, fellowship, scholarships, and student employment. The university also serves well over 3,500 veterans, active members of the military, and their families. The university's veteran and resource support center offers assistance to both undergraduate and graduate students.
Graduate Tuition: $5,941/ Out-of-State: $16,461
#7. Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing and Allied Health
Master of Science in Wellness and Health Promotion
Nebraska Methodist College was established in 1891 with the mission of service to the well being of the Omaha community. Today, the Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing and Allied Health offers a Master of Science in Wellness and Health Promotion that is a 36-credit-hour program. The program typically takes 19-22 months to finish, and all courses are online. The program's curriculum meets the criteria set by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, meaning that students who complete the program should be prepared to take the CHES exam as well.
Core classes in the program cover subjects such as organizational diagnosis and needs assessment, critical analysis of research, and strategic marketing for health professions. Students may select to concentrate in either Worksite and Community Wellness or Medical Fitness Management, both of which require a capstone project. Each term in the program is five to ten weeks long, with breaks occurring every five weeks.
New applicants may submit their materials to start in the fall or spring term. Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0, and a written statement, resume, transcripts, and consultation with an NMC admissions representative are required. NMC offers many scholarships to graduate students based on academic merit and to Methodist Health System employees.
Graduate Tuition: $13,086
#6. Oklahoma State University
Master of Science in Health Promotion
The Master of Science in Health Promotion program at Oklahoma State University combines an internship experience, research opportunities, and coursework to prepare learners for the health industry. This 36-credit program offers a thesis or non-thesis option, and students in the non-thesis option will engage in a project that addresses a problem in the field of health promotion and provides a creative, research-based solution to that problem.
Core courses in the curriculum include Legal Aspects of HHP and Leisure, Research Design and Methodology, and Program Design in HEP. Electives in the program allow students to delve into the psychological aspects of health, cultural issues in health, and bioenergetics. Past internships have been with organizations including the Georgetown Hospital in Washington D.C., the Tulsa Health Department, and Michael Johnson Performance.
To gain admission to the program, candidates should hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants should also submit either MAT or GRE test scores and three letters of recommendation. Additionally, prospective students must have BOC athletic training certification or be eligible to take the certifying exam. In the event that applicants do not meet these criteria, conditional admission can be granted with certain provisions.
Graduate Tuition: $5,359/ Out-of-State: $20,381
#5. Marymount University
Master of Science in Health Education and Promotion
Marymount University was founded as a Catholic higher education institution in 1950. Today, the school offers a Master of Science in Health Education and Promotion that prepares its students to take the Certified Health Education Specialist exam; in both 2017 and 2018, 100% of HEP graduates passed the CHES exam. Graduates in the program receive training in how to successfully plan and evaluate wellness programs in different types of organizations, agencies, hospitals, and schools.
In addition, coursework covers topics on public health and preventative medicine, principles of epidemiology, and health communication. By the end of their studies, all students will complete a research project on a topic of interest that relates to health promotion and education. The program also requires a three-credit internship in which students may participate with organizations like March of Dimes, the American Diabetes Association, and Virginia Hospital Center.
The program admits new students for the fall, spring, and summer terms. Applicants must provide transcripts from all previous institutions, GRE or GMAT scores, a resume, and two letters of recommendation. Some students may also be invited for an interview with the chair of the health education and promotion department. For students with a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and a master's degree or relevant professional experience, required test scores can be waived. Those individuals interested in financial support may apply to one of the department's several graduate assistantships.
Graduate Tuition: $17,550
#4. University of South Carolina
Master of Public Health in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior
The Master of Public Health in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior at the University of South Carolina is a 45-credit-hour program. This master's degree is provided online and typically takes two years to complete. Students in the program will take courses in Concepts and Methods in Health Promotion, Introduction to Epidemiology, and Introduction to Biostatistics, to name a few. A total of six credit hours in practicum and fieldwork are required for graduation as well, as is a comprehensive written examination.
The University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health is home to a wide spectrum of faculty and student research efforts – in fact, the institution received $30 million in external funding for the 2018 fiscal year, making it an ideal location to pursue graduate studies in public health. Research centers and programs at the school include the Cancer Prevention and Control Program; the Carolina Consortium on Health, Inequalities, and Populations; and the Community Health Worker Institute.
Prospective students must submit their application to the program through the SOPHAS website. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree, at least two years of health-related professional experience, GRE test scores in the 50th percentile or above, and a 3.0 GPA. Additional required materials include a resume, three letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a statement of purpose. The Arnold School of Public Health also offers many scholarships and fellowships to its public health students in need of financial aid.
Graduate Tuition: $12,854/ Out-of-State: $27,968
#3. Kent State University
Master's in Health Education and Promotion
Kent State University's Master's in Health Education and Promotion is a 33- or 35-credit-hour program offering two concentrations. Students may choose to concentrate their studies in either Community Health or School Health. In the School Health concentration, students are prepared to apply for relevant licensure. The School Health concentration also delves into topics on drug abuse and violence prevention, sexual health promotion programs, and biobehavioral aspects of disease prevention.
Alternatively, students pursuing the Community Health concentration will take classes, such as Needs Assessment and Program Planning in Health Promotion, or Communications and Marketing for Health Education and Promotion. Both concentrations give students a strong foundation in health behavior and the foundations of health education and promotion. Students may conclude the program with either a thesis or project.
A bachelor's degree and a 3.0 GPA is required for admission. Kent State's application also requires a statement of goals, a personal explanation statement, three letters of recommendation, and GRE scores. Those applying to the School Health concentration must already have a current Ohio teaching license. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for the spring, summer, and fall terms.
Graduate Tuition: $11,310/ Out-of-State: $20,396
#2. Idaho State University
Master of Health Education
Idaho State University is a mid-sized school with a student population of just over 12,800. The school was founded in 1901, and one of its core emphasis involved leadership in the health sciences. It should come as no surprise, then, that ISU offers an excellent Master of Health Education. The program, which can be taken online or in-person, consists of a total of 30 credits and can usually be completed in one year. Core courses in the program cover topics on leadership and administration, teaching strategies, and research and writing in health. Students have the option of concluding their studies with either a thesis or a project. ISU's program ultimately aims to prepare its students to act as advocates and leaders of health to a diverse population and in a variety of contexts and communities. ISU is also home to The Public Health Student Association, which is a great resource for aspiring professionals.
Applications require an essay that describes the candidate's interest in the field and their long term career goals. GRE test scores, two letters of recommendation, and a minimum GPA of 3.0 are also needed for admission. Funding opportunities for graduate students at ISU include tuition coverage and living stipends through assistantships and fellowships. ISU features a host of student activities through its athletics, campus recreation, student government, and many clubs and organizations.
Graduate Tuition: $7,187/ Out-of-State: $21,963
#1. East Carolina University
Master of Arts in Health Education
The Master of Arts in Health Education at East Carolina University is a 30-semester-credit program that can be completed online. Students enrolled will take 18 credits of core courses and then may complete the degree with a thesis, internship, or additional coursework. The program is intended for individuals who are already working in the field of health education. Required course topics cover the foundations of health education and promotion, intervention strategies, and needs assessment. Students who opt to complete additional coursework at the end of the program can select from areas such as sexuality education in health education; alcohol, tobacco, and drug education; and social marketing. An independent study can also be pursued. For non-thesis students, a comprehensive exam is required. All three program options will prepare students to take the Certified Health Education Specialist Exam.
Admission to the program is granted three times per year for the summer – May and June – August, and December. Applications require a statement of purpose, transcripts, GRE or MAT scores, and three letters of recommendation. Students who do not have an academic background in health sciences or health education may be required to complete qualifying coursework. In 2019, East Carolina University's graduate programs in education were ranked among the top 15% of their kind by U.S. News & World Report.
Graduate Tuition: $4,749/ Out-of-State: $17,898