Health Advocacy Degree Programs

Health advocacy is a field focused on identifying issues in healthcare and addressing them. Learn about some of the common courses, admissions requirements for master's degree programs in health advocacy.

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Courses in an online or campus-based health advocacy degree program will often deal with issues and policies in the field such as human services, ethics and healthcare systems. Explore what else these programs address.

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Health Advocacy Program Requirements

Graduate programs in health advocacy will typically require the completion of between 30 and 60 credit hours and typically award a master's degree. Coursework typically requires you to study leadership, issues and disparities in healthcare, and ways to analyze and propose solutions to those issues. The following are a few of the courses you can expect to find.


Leadership coursework is designed to help students understand the theories underpinning successful leadership. These classes include an examination of current research and existing practices employed among public organizations. Parts of this course investigate the ethics involved in leadership and the means by which leaders can influence positive change.

Issues and Disparities

Health disparities in society can be studied as part of a dedicated course or as part of a larger course examining a number of critical issues in modern healthcare. Studies of disparity include an examination of how various populations have unequal and sometimes inadequate access to healthcare. Proposals for healthcare reform and creating more ethical outcomes are also commonly examined.

Health Advocacy

Health advocacy courses will require students to come to a better understanding of a variety of topics related to healthcare, including healthcare models, policies, and initiatives. As part of the program, students will identify areas of need in healthcare and apply their knowledge toward proposing solutions. This course focuses on identifying means by which changes can be affected in the area of health advocacy.

Research Methods

In this course, students will learn more about the basics of graduate work, including conducting literature reviews and developing instruments for data measurement. The course is designed to teach students about dealing with human subjects in the community and the principles of researching in a community setting. Over the course, students will also sharpen their evaluation and assessment skills when dealing with data.

History and Perspectives

Coursework in this area looks at the history and evolution of healthcare, including how history has led to the current issues facing health in the world today. Key events from the history of the health system are addressed, along with the intersection of ethnicity, race, and religion with access to healthcare. Study of healthcare's history can extend as far back as colonial times in an effort to provide a better understanding of healthcare's past.

Admission Requirements for a Graduate Health Advocacy Program

Like most master's degree programs, a bachelor's degree is required. These programs also ask for transcripts and proof of a minimum undergraduate GPA or at least 2.5-3.0. Admissions offices may also ask for a statement of purpose and writing sample. Students will find that the admissions requirements for health advocacy programs do not commonly require graduate test scores, such as the GRE.

In a graduate health advocacy program, coursework will lean toward issues in healthcare and ways to develop solutions to those issues. After program completion, students will be prepared to analyze and address problems in the area of healthcare.

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