The curricula for health education can cover a range of topics. These subjects may explore diet and exercise for individuals and also for entire communities, as well as teacher training and communications (including earning a teaching license). Many associate's degrees in this discipline are structured to prepare students to continue their education at the bachelor's level. Master's degrees offer more specialized studies from which students can base their research and thesis work.
Undergraduate degrees will require students to have earned a high school diploma or GED to enroll, as well as provide ACT or SAT test scores. Master's applicants will need a bachelor's degree in a related field with satisfactory GRE scores, a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and a resume. Associate's and master's degrees usually last two years in length, while bachelor's degrees last four. Some programs may offer specialization in areas like movement or exercise science, athletic training, and fitness studies.
Associate's Degree in Health Education
Associate degree programs in health education provide a foundation in basic nutrition and diet techniques, while preparing students for advanced studies. In addition to health topics, students may also complete courses in education and communications. Graduates can transfer to a 4-year undergraduate health education program or pursue employment in a school or childcare facility; an associate degree alone will not qualify an individual for a teacher's license.
Associate's degree programs in health education programs train students in the field through general education and elective courses covering subjects such as:
- Speech communication fundamentals
- Community and personal health
- Introductory nutrition
- Human anatomy
- First aid education
Bachelor's Degree in Health Education Teaching
Individuals who want to promote wellness by teaching health can enroll in a bachelor's degree program. Degree candidates develop an understanding of diseases, lifestyle choices, and past, present, and future health issues, through lecture and lab courses.
Bachelor's degree candidates in health education typically complete general education courses in the physical sciences, mathematics, psychology, and English, as well as major discipline classes, such as:
- Administration and organization of health education programs
- Exercise physiology
- Education in society
- Research methods
Master's Degree in Health Education
Graduate students in health education develop professional training in more specific areas such as occupational therapy and athletics. The programs build on teaching experience, education, and other health-related knowledge from their undergraduate training or entry-level careers. Master's degree programs typically focus on applications, theories, and research methods used in health education. Courses might include:
- Health education communication
- Politics of health care
- Special topics in health education teaching
- Culture of community health
- Health education research project
Popular Career Options
A graduate of an associate degree program in health education may acquire an entry-level position in education or healthcare. Examples include:
- Physical trainer
- Daycare worker
- Sports manager
Most health education careers require a teaching license, which students can pursue upon successful completion of the bachelor's degree. Jobs available to graduates of a 4-year health education program can include:
- Health educator
- Fitness center teacher
- Wellness instructor
Master's degree graduates have a specialized knowledge that qualifies them for these health education areas:
- Health education program director
- Health education college professor
Continuing Education Information
Although a Doctor of Education in Health Education is not a requirement for teaching careers in the field, students may consider them to advance in their current positions for future job opportunities. A health education master's degree, or one in a related field, is typically required to enter a program, and students will typically complete a dissertation prior to completion of the doctorate program.
Associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees in health education teach students about the effects of nutrition and exercise on the human body, as well as education techniques which can prepare you for licensure. Some students may choose to pursue a doctorate degree in the field for further career advancement.