Health Education Graduate Programs: Degree Summaries

Health education graduate programs provide students with the training needed to educate the public about wellness and health concerns. Courses cover topics such as public health policy, disease and research.

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Essential Information

Individuals with a bachelor's degree in a field related to healthcare can pursue a graduate certificate or master's degree in health education. Certificate programs in health education consist of approximately 27 credit hours and may be offered online. Some programs prefer incoming students who have at least a year of healthcare employment or internship experience.

Master's degree programs in health education are available as a Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Arts (M.A.), or Master of Public Health (M.P.H.), and usually, consist of 36 credit hours. For these programs, applicants need to complete undergraduate courses in the social and natural sciences to prepare for graduate-level health education study. Programs typically require applicants to submit letters of recommendation and a personal statement that details their interest in the field. Students in a master's program may have to complete a thesis or graduate project.

Graduate Certificate in Health Education

Graduate certificate programs in health education teach students how to inform others about maintaining health and wellness. Programs also discuss the theoretical foundations behind organizing, implementing and evaluating community health programs. Students also learn to provide health counseling and wellness evaluation services to groups and individuals.

Students usually learn about the following subjects:

  • Public health research
  • Health public policy
  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Wellness promotion

Master's Degrees in Health Education

Master's degree programs in health education cover topics in sociology, medicine, the natural sciences and education. Students learn theories about the dissemination of health and wellness information to the public. Programs also cover the research and statistical methodologies used to measure public health awareness. Many programs allow students to specialize in either school health education or public health education.

The classes in health education master's degree programs emphasize practical and theoretical concepts used to explain disease prevention and health maintenance topics to the general public. Some classes emphasize the multicultural aspects of the field, while others discuss teaching health education in schools. The following subjects are usually covered in graduate-level classes:

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

Popular Career Options

Graduates of the certificate program often continue their education to earn a master's degree, but those who enter the workforce have a variety of career options in the public and private sectors. Listed below are some popular career choices:

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

Graduates of the master's program are eligible for positions in several settings, such as schools, hospitals or businesses. They can work with school-aged students, the elderly, or underprivileged communities. The positions listed below are popular options:

  • Community health program administrator
  • Health education elementary school teacher
  • Corporate employee wellness consultant

Continuing Education Information

People who teach health education in public schools need to meet state teaching certification requirements. Certification standards vary, but most states require teachers to pass a written exam and complete a student teaching or observation assignment.

Doctorate programs specifically covering heath education are exceptionally uncommon, but some schools do offer doctoral programs in fields like epidemiology, biostatistics, and health policy. These programs typically emphasize theoretical and research topics in their respective fields.

Health education master's and graduate certificates prepare students to work in a variety of settings through a combination of education and health courses. Graduates will need to earn certification if they want to teach in public school settings, and doctoral degrees are also available for educational advancement.

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