This article talks about graduate degree programs in health and wellness and their education requirements, coursework, career options, job and wage outlook, and continuing education options.
Master’s Degree Programs in Health and Wellness Overview
The health and wellness industry seeks to implement and promote a variety of community and consumer resources to assist people in achieving better physical, emotional, spiritual and social well-being. A Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) would benefit students who seek graduate study in health and wellness. The focus of Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) programs is on preventing disease and managing health services while the focus of wellness management programs is on employee well-being and leadership in health care settings.
Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) Programs
Program graduates from a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) can seek careers in the medical or public health fields. They learn about applying behavioral strategies to the promotion of the population’s health and prevention of disease. Program graduates examine areas such as socio-ecological factors in public health, current public health issues, and health-related behaviors.
The emphasis of public health coursework is in science and medicine, including biology, behavioral studies, and health sciences. Students can complete the MPH program in two years.
Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree and to submit Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. Some schools expect incoming students to have work experience in health services or an advanced degree in the healthcare field.
Program coursework incorporates numerous research opportunities over the whole duration of the program. Most programs have partnerships with international and local health institutions with whom students are allowed to have practicum opportunities. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:
•Public health ethics
•Health services management
•Environmental health science
•Social and behavioral studies
Master of Public Health program graduates may seek jobs with health maintenance organizations, population science organizations, hospitals, public schools, and voluntary health agencies. They can choose from possible job positions such as:
•Clinical trials director
•Public health epidemiologist
•Health communications specialist
•Health program associate
Continuing Education Options
Program graduates who seek continuing education can pursue doctoral degrees in public health. A Ph.D. program can lead to careers in academia or research; a Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.) could lead to professional careers in healthcare organizations or government public health agencies.
Master’s Programs in Wellness Management
The study of health promotion and management is part of the master’s degree programs in wellness management. The focus of coursework is on leadership skills, health and wellness issues, employee wellness, and exercise science. Program coursework is a combination of business and management concepts with physical and mental health studies. Varying by the program, a Master of Science (M.S.) or a Master of Arts (M.A.) could be conferred. The type of degree could determine credit hour requirements; however, there is a general similarity in the core curriculum.
Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree, along with meeting an undergraduate grade point average standard and submitting GRE scores. Applicants who have not previously completed undergraduate coursework in healthcare or business may have to take additional credits in those subject areas.
Program coursework emphasizes the well-being of the community and individuals. Wellness internship opportunities may be necessary for some programs where clinical experience in a healthcare setting may be gained by enrolled students. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:
•Health promotion planning
•Research methods in health
Job and Wage Outlook
Students looking for careers in government agencies, sports medicine facilities, volunteer organizations, fitness clubs, and hospitals should look into master’s degree programs in wellness management. Over the 2014 to 2024 decade, administrative services managers, including wellness managers, can expect an eight percent increase in job opportunities (BLS). Experience and employer determine salary, but as of May 2016, administrative services managers can expect a median annual salary of $90,050 (BLS).