Health educators perform many roles in healthcare, education, and community settings, teaching others about the best behaviors and practices to promote wellness. If you're interested in pursuing a career in this lucrative, quickly growing field, earning an online master's in health education often serves as the best way to jumpstart your career. This page offers an overview of some of the top programs and what to expect from them, including typical courses, admission requirements, and common career paths.

What Are the Best Health Education Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 5:

Rank School Location
1 University of South Carolina Columbia, SC
2 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
3 CUNY Lehman College Bronx, NY
4 Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health Omaha, NE
5 New Mexico State University Las Cruces, NM

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects positions for health educators and community health workers to increase 11% from 2018-28 — a rate much higher than the national average. Health educators in all industries earned a median annual wage of $54,200 in 2018, while those employed specifically in hospitals earned a median annual wage of $64,800 in the same year.

How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe that a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings for online students. Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read more about our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find your ideal school.

2020 Best Accredited Online Master's in Health Education Programs

Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

University of South Carolina

Columbia, SC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 77%

As a public college based in Columbia, UofSC offers a master of public health in health promotion, education, and behavior. This online program trains students to facilitate and develop health programs in health departments, community organizations, schools, and other workplaces.

Each enrollee must complete a total of 45 credits, including 16 credits of core public health courses, 12 credits of health promotion courses, 12 credits of electives, and a five-credit applied practice experience. The health promotion concentration covers research methods, program evaluation, and community health management.

Near the end of the online master's in health education program, each student must complete an applied practice experience, such as a practicum, residency, or internship. Taking place in an approved health services environment, the practice experience applies students' skills and knowledge to professional practice.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Public Health in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior
School Status: Public
Tuition: $569/credit
Credit Requirements: 45 credits
Program Length: 24-26 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE
Work Experience: 2+ years post-baccalaureate health-related professional experience

Contact

Phone: (803) 777-7603
Email: watkinsk@mailbox.sc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

East Carolina University

Greenville, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 65%

Preparing graduates for positions as health educators in academic, business, clinical, and community settings, the master of arts in health education at ECU emphasizes health assessment, intervention strategies, and health intervention evaluation. The program also prepares graduates to sit for the certified health education specialist credential exam.

The curriculum comprises 30 credits total and covers epidemiology, research methods, and needs assessment in health education. ECU prefers applicants with undergraduate backgrounds in health education, biological sciences, or social sciences, though candidates can complete supplemental coursework in preparation for graduate-level work.

Each student must complete 18 credits of core courses and 12 additional credits, with three options available: an internship, a graduate thesis, or guided electives. The internship and thesis track also include 3-6 credits of electives.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Arts in Health Education
School Status: Public
Tuition: $249/credit in-state, $894/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.7 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or MAT

Contact

Phone: (252) 737-1535
Email: wallenm@ecu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

CUNY Lehman College

Bronx, NY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 49%

CUNY's Bronx-based Lehman College hosts an online master's in health education and promotion that trains health and wellness professionals and educators. The curriculum prepares graduates for professional credentials, including certified health education specialist and master certified health education specialist.

This 33-credit degree includes 21 core credits and 12 elective credits. The program core covers health counseling, history of philosophy of health education, and a field experience, while electives include women and health, perspectives on HIV/AIDS, and human sexuality.

The required three-credit field experience builds professional skills in a health services environment or similar setting, allowing students to apply their knowledge to practical health education work. Candidates with significant relevant professional experience can complete an elective course in place of the field experience.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Arts in Health Education and Promotion
School Status: Public
Tuition: $5,385/semester in-state; $9,960/semester out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 12-18 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum

Contact

Phone: (718) 960-7313
Email: craig.demmer@lehman.cuny.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health

Omaha, NE Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 63%

Based in Omaha, NMC offers a master of science health and wellness promotion management, training students to devise, manage, and evaluate wellness initiatives in clinical, corporate, and community environments. Candidates can choose from concentrations in worksite and community wellness or medical fitness management.

The degree comprises 36 credits total, including 30 core credits and six concentration credits. Rather than a thesis, each student must complete a capstone course compiling a comprehensive e-portfolio and creating a project addressing a health promotion or medical fitness issue.

The program prepares candidates for professional certifications, including certified wellness program coordinator, manager, director, and program consultant. This online master's in health education is also the country's only graduate program to offer the fitness facility director certification.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Wellness and Health Promotion Management
School Status: Private
Available Concentrations: Worksite and community wellness; medical fitness management
Tuition: $719/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 19-22 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (402) 354-7200
Email: admissions@methodistcollege.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

New Mexico State University

Las Cruces, NM Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

Primarily serving working students, the fully online master's in health education at NMSU employs a flexible, part-time format that typically enables students to graduate in 3-4 years. The university's public health graduates report a median annual salary of $85,000 within five years of graduating.

NMSU offers thesis and non-thesis tracks, which range from 40-46 required credits. Each candidate must complete 36 required credits, including a 15-credit public health core, an 18-credit community health concentration section, and a three-credit cultural foundations course. Regardless of track, each enrollee must also complete a 1-4 credit field experience.

Thesis track students complete a master's thesis worth 4-6 credits. Performed under the supervision of an advisor, the thesis requires extensive research into a community health education issue. Non-thesis candidates complete an additional three-credit elective in place of the thesis.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Public Health in Community Health Education
School Status: Public
Tuition: $400/credit
Credit Requirements: 40-46 credits
Program Length: 3-4 length

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (505) 889-9884
Email: sforster@nmsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Online Master's in Health Education Program Overview

Master's in health education programs focus on strategies for developing, administering, and evaluating health education programs in environments like schools, hospitals, and community health centers. Courses typically cover program planning, teaching strategies, administration and organization methods, population health, and wellness promotion.

Many programs offer courses on specific populations and health issues, including aging, chronic diseases, drugs, and substance abuse. Given their focus on patient populations and direct interaction, these programs often include a field experience component, such as a practicum, residency, or internship.

A master's degree is usually the highest level of education necessary for the health education field, though some highly specialized positions, including those with substantial management, research, or program development responsibilities, may require a doctorate. However, a master's degree should typically suffice even for leadership and management positions.

Common Master's in Health Education Degree Courses

Foundations of Health Education

Exploring the historical, philosophical, and theoretical basis of health education, this course places the field within the larger context of the healthcare system. Most iterations of the course examine disease prevention and health promotion from varied perspectives, whether social, scientific, legal, or educational.

Health Program Planning and Evaluation

Most programs feature courses focusing on developing, implementing, and evaluating health and education programs. These courses examine the uses and limitations of varied evaluative models, such as tests, questionnaires, interviews, behavioral inventories, and checklists.

Research Methods in Health Education

Many programs include a course in research methods, focusing on the design, techniques, and tools for effective health education research. Most courses explore the use of data and the formulation of research problems, often preparing students for their own graduate thesis research.

Organization and Administration

This course typically offers strategies for assessing and meeting organizational and administrative needs within health organizations and health education programs. Students may explore tools and models for organizational planning and identify developmental needs for people, agencies, and organizations.

Field Experience

Health education programs commonly include a required field experience that takes place at a health agency or other community setting. This often functions as a professional practicum or an opportunity for action research, in which students address a defined health education issue.

Related Master's in Health Education Degree Concentrations

Health Promotion

This concentration trains graduates to serve as health and wellness educators in social services and community settings. Educators may focus on public health risks, strategies for improving wellness among specific populations, improving existing health education programs, and helping people find additional information about health issues and conditions.

Healthcare Administration

Healthcare administration focuses on organizational aspects of health programs and services. This concentration examines methods for improving the delivery and effectiveness of health programs, along with related topics, such as leadership, financing, and human resources management.

Workplace Wellness

This increasingly popular concentration emphasizes the principles of health promotion in application to corporate and other workplace settings. This concentration typically explores topics in worksite health promotion, corporate fitness, and preventative health services for office environments.

Online Master's in Health Education Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's Degree

    All online master's in health education programs require each applicant to hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college. Candidates may need an undergraduate degree in a field related to health or health education, though many programs accept students of all academic and professional backgrounds.

  • Standardized Test Scores

    Many graduate programs require applicants to submit test scores from standardized graduate-level exams, such as the GRE or MAT. Different programs maintain different score requirements, and some may not require scores at all. Many schools also offer exam waivers for students who possess a high enough GPA.

  • Letters of Recommendation

    Graduate programs usually call for applicants to submit multiple letters of recommendation from professors, supervisors, and other professionals familiar with their work.

  • Undergraduate Transcripts

    Admissions departments also require all applicants to submit their undergraduate transcripts from all institutions attended. Many programs also require applicants to submit transcripts from any graduate credits completed. While programs often maintain general undergraduate GPA requirements, some may offer conditional acceptance or evaluate GPA as just one part of a complete application.

  • Professional Experience

    Though uncommon, some online master's in health education programs call for applicants with a certain level of relevant professional experience in the field. Other programs may not require professional experience but offer skilled health professionals the opportunity to gain academic credit for their prior learning.


Online Master's in Health Education Career Paths

Health education graduates can pursue careers in healthcare, community services, and corporate environments. Common roles for graduates include health educator, medical and health services manager, and community health worker. In general, an online master's in health education prepares graduates for mid- and upper-level career paths in the field, and most positions offer strong potential for career advancement.

While professional licensure is not universal in the health education field, some employers may require employees to hold the certified health education specialist credential. The master certified health education specialist credential may also help experienced health education professionals obtain advanced positions.

Related Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Master's in Health Education?

A master's in health education is an advanced degree that focuses on strategies for the promotion of health and wellness through education programs and initiatives. The degree focuses on health promotion throughout communities, populations, and organizations.

What Jobs Can I Get With a Health Education Degree?

An online master's in health education opens many careers in education, community services, and other fields. Typical careers for graduates include health services manager, health educator, and community health worker.

What Degree Do I Need to Be a Health Educator?

A master's in health education generally serves as the highest level of education necessary for careers in the field. Students may also enter the field with other related degrees, such as a master of public health.

How Much Can I Earn With a Master's in Health Education?

Salary estimates for degree-holders in the field vary based on many factors, including work environment, experience level, and location. However, BLS data indicates that health educators earned a median annual salary of $54,200 in 2018.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Master's in Health Education?

Completion time varies among programs. However, health education candidates can typically expect to spend anywhere from 1.5-3 years in a program, depending on credit requirements and whether they enroll full or part time.

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