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Information on Graduate Degree Programs in Health Education

Majors Overview July 20, 2015

This article talks about different graduate degree programs in health education and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.

Information on Graduate Degree Programs in Health Education

Students enrolled in these programs become adept at educating the public about health and wellness concerns. Coursework covers topic areas such as disease, public health policy, and research. The typical duration of certificate programs is about 27 credit hours and schools may offer them online; master’s degree programs typically span 36 credit hours.

Graduate Certificate Programs in Health Education

Students enrolled in the graduate certificate programs in health education are taught ways of informing others about maintaining wellness and health. Students learn the theoretical foundations they must know to organize, implement, and evaluate community health programs. Students also learn about providing wellness evaluation and health counseling services to individuals and groups.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold an undergraduate degree in a healthcare related field. In some programs, incoming students with at least a year of internship or healthcare employment experience are preferred.


The emphasis of coursework is on the theoretical and practical skills needed to teach the public about wellness and health. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Wellness promotion
•Health public policy
•Public health research

Career Choices

Program graduates may choose from various career options in the private and public sectors. They can opt for possible job positions such as:

•Wellness consultant
•Public health program implementation specialist
•Community health assessor

Master’s Programs in Health Education

Schools offer Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Public Health (M.P.H.), and Master of Science (M.S.) programs in Health Education. These programs cover topic areas in medicine, sociology, education and the natural sciences. Students learn about the circulation of wellness and health information to the public. Coursework also covers the research and statistical methodologies employed in measuring public health awareness. In many programs, students are allowed to specialize in either public health education or school health education.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to have completed undergraduate courses in the natural and social sciences before seeking admission to the program. Submission of a personal statement of purpose and letters of recommendation are also requirements.


The emphasis of coursework is on the theoretical and practical concepts used in explaining health maintenance and disease prevention topics to the general public. The emphasis of some classes is on the multicultural aspects of the field. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Environmental health
•Behavioral aspects of public health
•Health education statistics
•Public health education administration
•Health education research
•Assessment of public health educational programs
•Health education for elementary students

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek positions in several settings, such as hospitals, schools, or businesses, working with the elderly, underprivileged communities, or school-aged students. They may choose from popular job positions such as:

•Corporate employee wellness consultant
•Health program administrator in a community
•Elementary school teacher for health education

Continuing Education Choices

There are state teaching certification requirements for individuals who teach health education in public schools. Certification standards vary by state, but common requirements include passage of a written exam and completion of an observation assignment or student teaching.

Few schools, if any, offer doctorate programs specifically focusing on heath education, but doctoral programs in fields such as biostatistics, health policy, and epidemiology are offered by some schools. The emphasis of these programs is typically on research and theoretical subjects in their respective fields.

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