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Masters Degree Programs in Health Education

Discover different types of master's degree programs in the field of health education. Learn about educational prerequisites, required courses and employment information in the field.

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Essential Information

Master's degrees in health education are generally subdivided into different degree categories, such as community health education or school health education. Students can choose to pursue a Master of Public Health, a Master of Arts in Health Education or a Master of Science in Health Education. These programs typically have significant research components, and field experiences may be required as well. Graduates of these programs typically work as educators in medical care facilities, secondary schools, colleges and universities, or as researchers and advocates in the field of public health.


Master's of Public Health Degree

Master's of Public Health degree programs focus on community health education. The skills acquired in such programs include community assessment, program planning, administration and development of core areas of public health, such as epidemiology and heath education. MPH graduates find jobs in the healthcare industry and as public health educators.

Education Prerequisites

Most MPH candidates normally already hold doctoral or other health-related degrees. MPH degrees require a minimum of 42 hours of coursework and typically require an internship or assistantship in the field. Students must meet program core requirements, and many programs require declaration of a secondary-tier concentration, such as family and community health, global health or clinical effectiveness.

Program Coursework

Accredited MPH programs require the same basic coursework. This coursework can include:

  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Environmental health science
  • Health services administration
  • Behavioral sciences
  • Ethics
  • Health education

Popular Career Options

A Master's in Public Health degree typically leads to jobs with local, state or federal government agencies, or in the private sector with non-profit organizations that focus on health issues. Graduates can pursue positions as:

  • Health services administrators
  • Environmental health managers
  • International health managers
  • Public health program managers

Master of Arts or Master of Science in Health Education

For students interested in getting involved in health education in academic, clinical, and corporate settings, the appropriate track is typically a Master of Arts or Master of Science degree in health education. Many programs offer a combined physical education and health education program; these programs generally require students to already be certified in physical education.

Education Prerequisites

Applicants will already hold a B.S. in Education. While many health education programs will allow applicants from other undergraduate degree areas, additional coursework will be required in those cases.

Program Coursework

Health education for schools, colleges and universities typically deal with sensitive subject matter and require knowledge of both personal and community health, which is reflected in degree coursework. Coursework focuses on informational classes and teaching application classes.

  • Human sexuality
  • Personal health
  • Nutrition
  • Stress prevention and management
  • Health curriculum and instruction
  • First aid/CPR certification

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

As with most education concentrations, health educators typically do not enter this career for the money. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in May 2012 that the median salary for health educators was around $49,000 annually. The BLS (www.bls.gov) reports that the health education industry will see a 37% growth in jobs between 2010 and 2020.

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