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Major Overview: Health Promotion Programs

Majors Overview March 24, 2015

Undergraduate degrees in health promotion can provide students with the skills needed to enter a graduate program in public health or teach preventative health education at health care facilities and hospitals. The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Health Education and Promotion is the most common type of undergraduate degree in the field. Get information about its education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Health Promotion Majors

Students enrolled in four-year bachelor’s degree programs in health promotion are provided with the skills necessary for gaining entry-level positions in various community health settings, such as volunteer organizations, corporate health settings, professional and commercial health organizations, hospital-based health programs, and public health departments.

Students can expect to gain a strong background in health care whereby they would be able to teach preventative information and education to the community.

These programs require students to investigate various issues, such as the impact certain illnesses have on the community, the adverse effects smoking can have, how the spreading of illnesses impacts the effects of social standing, and the trends, causes, and impacts of sexually transmitted diseases.

They gain a strong grasp of health from a psychological, cultural, and sociological perspective and are taught to apply that insight in the effective passage of information to members of the community. Students enrolled in many undergraduate degree programs in the field are required to gain field experience or complete an internship before they are allowed to graduate.

Education Requirements

In order to seek admittance to bachelor’s degree programs in health promotion, students must apply to a four-year college or university. They may have to complete various prerequisite courses, including English, communication, mathematics, and college-level algebra. A strong interest in statistics, research methods, biology, and health care is also recommended.


Coursework in a health promotion program will provide graduates with the skills needed to seek entry-level careers or prepare them to seek advance education by pursuing a master degree program. The basics of community-focused communication, research, and health care are covered. Core coursework may include topic areas such as the following:

•Current issues in health
•Human sexuality
•Principles of personal health
•First aid and safety
•Human anatomy
•Basic human nutrition
•Medical terminology
•Health promotion evaluation
•Health promotion planning
•Drug abuse and the community

Job and Wage Outlook

A faster-than-average job growth rate of 21% has been predicted for health promoters and educators over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, about 99,400 individuals worked as health promoters in the country (BLS). In May 2012, these professionals brought home an average annual wage of $41,830 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Those who graduate from the bachelor’s degree program may pursue continuing education by earning a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.), Master of Science (M.S.) in School Health Education, Master of Science (M.S.) in Community Education, or Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.). The National Commission of Health Education Credentialing, Inc., among other similar organizations, offers professional certification that these professionals can obtain after passage of an exam.

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