As a health educator, you will work with people from all communities to help them learn how to live healthier lives. There is growing national interest in preventing medical problems by emphasizing the importance of overall wellness.
As a result, health educators are needed to encourage people to take responsibility for their health by engaging in preventive behaviors like consuming a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise. As a health educator, you will be in high demand – these professionals are needed across all industries in every corner of the nation.
What kind of health education degree should you get?
While any master’s degree in health education will allow you to pursue a mid-level position in healthcare management, the very best will provide you with hands-on coursework and research experience. These components will let you make the most of your education and to become a lifelong learner, tapping into your resources as you grow as a professional.
If you’re not sure whether health education is the perfect path for you, don’t fret! Choosing the right major can be a challenge. To make things easier, we have compiled a list of the Best Online Colleges and Universities.
How much money do people make with a health education degree?
As a health educator, your salary will vary depending upon your work environment and background. The highest paid individuals are those that work in hospitals, earning up to $63,510 per year. Individuals who work for the government, outpatient care centers, or private or nonprofit organizations earn comparable salaries, ranging from $35,370 to $55,420 per year.
While salaries tend to fluctuate wildly depending on the nature of the work you pursue, the good news is that these jobs are in exceedingly high demand. These jobs are expected to grow by 18 percent before 2026, offering thousands of opportunities for new, highly trained professionals to enter the industry.
What can you do with a degree in health education?
With a degree in health education, you will be prepared to teach others about wellness-promoting behaviors. You might develop specific strategies to implement a health and wellness program in a community, or within a large company. You will also learn how to evaluate the effectiveness of those programs, and to advocate for improved health policies and resources.
You could work in a variety of settings, such as in colleges or schools, nonprofit organizations, or private businesses. You could even work in healthcare facilities to improve the health and general well-being of patients and their families.
What are the requirements for a degree in health education?
You usually do not need previous experience to obtain a degree in health education, but you will probably need to have a bachelor’s degree in a related subject. Many programs also waive course or practicum requirements for individuals with certain experiences, or for those who are already working in the field.
While enrolled, you will engage in rigorous training to provide you with the skills necessary to be an effective leader. You will hone your writing and research skills, learn about health law and policies, and develop strong interpersonal and problem-solving skills. You may also learn how to use technologies and strategies that are specific to the exact health education role you wish to pursue.
What are the best health education degrees?
For many students, flexibility will be the most important selling point of any master’s in health education. You should pursue a degree that is structured to fit well with your existing commitments. An online program often provides this necessary convenience.
When we compiled our rankings, we looked at a variety of factors to determine the Best Online Master’s in Health Education. The most important detail was the quality of the faculty, as determined by their credentials and dedication to student success. We also examined student satisfaction scores and affordability, combining all of these factors to determine the overall value of the school.
If you’re ready to take the next step in advancing your career in Health Education, consider one of these dynamic schools to begin your journey.
Texas A&M University
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $15,455
When it first opened its doors as a public institution in 1876, Texas A&M University started out small. Now, the university has an undergraduate enrollment alone of over 53,065 students. The school, which was the state’s first public university, supports students with programs that focus on solving real-world problems. The Master’s in Health Education, housed in the Department of Health & Kinesiology, is the very best of its kind.
This 36 credit-hour program offers students the ability to complete thesis or non-thesis tracks. Regardless of the route chosen, students will learn how to become professional leaders in the field, as well as to develop the skills necessary to read and apply relevant research and theories to actual educational practice. Required classes include:
- Health Research Methods
- Health Program Evaluation
- Behavioral Foundations of Health Education
- Teaching and Schooling in the Modern Society
Texas A&M offers students a great way to get involved, with over 1,000 different clubs and organizations – many of which are available to online students as well. Each student is expected to work closely with a faculty member to develop their skills in health education, as well as to become professionally involved in professional associations. This degree even offers an optional teacher certification plan for individuals planning to work in public schools.
Nova Southeastern University
College Choice Score: 99.27
Average Net Price: $25,344
Nova Southeastern University is a private university that was founded in 1964. This school is small, with an enrollment of fewer than 5,000 students. The exemplary Master of Health Science Program is designed for health professionals with diverse backgrounds who are interested in taking more advanced positions in healthcare. The program features multiple tracks, such as sports medicine and health law.
Offered via advanced distance-learning technologies, this student-centered program utilizes state-of-the-art technologies so that students can complete their degrees from any location. Coursework emphasizes action research, decision-making skill development, and critical thinking. Students will hone these skills while pursuing coursework such as:
- Epidemiology and Biostatistics
- Current Trends and Cultural Issues in Health Care
- U.S. Health Policy
- Principles of Management in Healthcare
This program caters to students by offering them the expertise of faculty who have extensive real-world experience and form long-lasting relationships with their students. Students receive access to excellent professional networks and innovative technology, benefiting from close support services and small class sizes. On average, the student-to-faculty ratio at Nova Southeastern University is just 17:1.
Valdosta State University
College Choice Score: 99.06
Average Net Price: $14,573
Valdosta State was founded in 1906 as a public institution to serve the students of the state of Georgia. The Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education at Valdosta offers a variety of programs to prepare professionals for careers in health and wellness, such as Coaching Pedagogy and Physical Education. Among these, the Master of Education with a major in Health and Physical Education is one of the best, designed for candidates planning to become teachers of students in grades pre-K-12.
This program is one of the most interactive of all those on this list, offering students the opportunity to engage in invaluable fieldwork as they interact with a variety of public school children. Students are also granted access to advanced technologies, such as heart rate monitors, LiveText, and other items that are necessary for health and physical education teachers. Students will take classes such as:
- Curriculum Development in Physical Education
- Technology Applications in Physical Education
- Human Kinetics
- Physical Education for Professional Learners
This degree also offers students the opportunity to extend their learning outside of the classroom. The Health and Physical Education Majors’ Club is an innovative organization in which students share teaching strategies and work together to impact their local communities. This program is also one of the most affordable, with tuition for in-state students starting at $6,410 per year.
University of South Carolina
College Choice Score: 97.49
Average Net Price: $19,913
Located in Columbia, SC, the University of South Carolina is a centuries-old public institution with exemplary programs in health and wellness. The online Master of Public Health in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior – Professional provides students with the interdisciplinary skills necessary to become successful in a variety of educative fields. As one of the most popular majors at the university, Public Health is a great way for students to learn how to become involved within their local communities.
This flexible online program is designed for working professionals and taught by nationally recognized faculty, many of whom are actively engaged in health-related research programs. With 45 credit hours required to graduate, students typically complete this degree in around two years of full-time study. Required classes include:
- Approaches and Concepts for Health Administration
- Concepts of Environmental Health Science
- Introduction to Epidemiology
- Concepts and Methods in Health Promotion
This program is highly respected by leading healthcare agencies, housed at a university that is one of only 40 public schools to earn both a top-tier research classification as well as a community engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It is ranked as one of the Best Value Schools and Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report, with students enjoying nationally ranked academic programs that harbor a student-to-faculty ratio of just 17:1.
Maryland University of Integrative Health
College Choice Score: 96.87
Average Net Price: $20,090
Maryland University of Integrative Health is unique because it started as a small acupuncture clinic in 1974 before progressing to an acupuncture school in the following years. Many years later, the school began to offer innovative, holistic programs in health and wellness. The award-winning Master of Science in Health Promotion prepares students to address health improvements in their communities as they work to transform them into wellness-based health systems.
This innovative degree requires 34 credit-hours for completion, allowing students to choose from two concentrations in either Community Health Education or Workplace Wellness. In Community Health Education, students learn how to work with groups to assess their health challenges. The Workplace Wellness program prepares students to educate employees on health-related behaviors. Both concentrations allow students to take the Certified Health Education Specialist exam. Required classes include:
- Fundamentals of Health Education and Health Behavior
- Health Education Needs Assessment and Program Planning
- Topics in Diversity for Health and Healing
- Survey of Complementary Health Approaches
This program, available virtually as well as on-campus, teaches students how to make a difference in their communities. Students are granted the opportunity to work side-by-side with healthcare providers, and to develop rewarding relationships with their faculty. Because the school originated as a care provider, it continues to offer students hands-on opportunities to enhance their training. The university partners with many industries, such as the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, to award these opportunities.
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania
College Choice Score: 95.43
Average Net Price: $16,377
The Master of Science in Health Education at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania is designed for new healthcare professionals seeking employment in a variety of fields, including nonprofit organizations, schools, and healthcare facilities. In addition to the Master of Science, related certifications are available in Community Health Education, School Health Education, and Health Services Administration.
This program is competency-based, requiring students to master content before moving on to the next class instead of just counting credits. Most students will take around 30 credits of coursework, with key topics including:
- Scientific Foundations of Health Education
- Research Methods in Health Education
- Media Literacy and Analysis
- Determinants of Disease
This public institution is relatively small, with a total enrollment around 6,700 students, but its impact on the community is anything but minute. The school offers over 100 different student organizations, many of which are available for online students. The school is ranked as one of the best Regional Universities North by U.S. News and World Report and has high student satisfaction scores, evidenced by an excellent retention rate of 72 percent.
Nebraska Methodist College
College Choice Score: 94.88
Average Net Price: $18,374
This Omaha, NE college is associated with the Methodist Health System, and as a result, takes a holistic approach to healthcare. The university offers a caring, close-knit community, and enrolls fewer than 1,100 students per year. The school is small enough to care about the individual student, yet impactful enough to provide students with the hands-on skills necessary to succeed. The Master’s of Science in Wellness and Health Promotion Management is designed for working professionals and emphasizes the importance of community-integrated instruction.
This program recognizes that “reactionary care,” or tending to diseases as they occur, is a thing of the past. Instead, this program addresses the underlying health and wellness principles that help promote a culture of health. This program is structured via online learning modules, allowing students to complete classes quickly. Most students can complete this degree in less than 16 months, completing only 33 credits. Required courses, each of which is taught by an experienced faculty member, include:
- Theories and Trends in Health Promotion
- Organizational Change and Wellbeing
- Organizational Diagnosis and Needs Assessment
- Ethical Leadership and Conflict Management
This flexible program offers courses that are offered in rapid sequence, but only take five weeks to complete. Students can access their coursework at any time and are eligible to participate in many Nebraska Methodist-sponsored organizations. These include the International Association for Worksite Health Promotion, the Institute for Health and Productivity Management, and the International Association for Worksite Health Promotion.
East Carolina University
College Choice Score: 93.88
Average Net Price: $12,817
East Carolina University, located in Greenville, NC, is a large institution of nearly 30,000 students. This public research institution emphasizes service and discovery, with a Master’s in Health Education and Promotion that is no exception. The program has hundreds of passionate alumni who are active in various professional fields and work to serve current students through social activities, classroom presentations, and internship cooperation.
This online program prepares students to be successful in a number of settings, including schools and nonprofit organizations. Most students can complete their studies in less than two years, completing only 36 required credits. Classes are offered in diverse formats, incorporating interactive lectures, research projects, and community services. Students will take innovative, hands-on courses in realms such as:
- General Education
- Health Education
Students in this program are exposed to numerous opportunism and experiences such as study abroad, community service projects, research, and professional internships. The program is one of the country’s top ten producers of individuals who sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist examination, and graduates enjoy an extremely high job placement rate. This is primarily due to the award-winning faculty at East Carolina who actively engage students throughout every step of their studies.
Georgia State University
College Choice Score: 92.68
Average Net Price: $14,573
Georgia State University, a public school, founded in 1913, offers over 200 different majors and minors. The online Health and Physical Education program at Georgia State University is housed within the award-winning Department of Kinesiology and Health. This department serves over 1,000 students every year, boasting a proud reputation as one of the best schools for teaching and learning.
This school offers students the opportunity to engage in state-of-the-art research in areas such as muscle biology, applied physiology, and physical education pedagogy. In addition, students will participate in rigorous, hands-on coursework in topics such as:
- Leadership and Advocacy in Health, Physical Education, and Adaptive Physical Education
- Supervision in Instructional Settings
- The Psychology of Learning and Learners
- Instructional Assessment and Program Evaluation in Health, Physical Education, and Adaptive Physical Education
Georgia State has received numerous accolades for its programs, recognized by U.S. News and World Report for offering some of the best teaching programs, as well as for being one of the highest quality schools in the entire country. Students are supported in small classes (most with a student-to-faculty ratio of just 23:1) and report high satisfaction. The freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction with support services and academic quality, is well over 80 percent.
Loma Linda University
College Choice Score: 91.04
Average Net Price: $30,720
Located in the city of the same name in California, Loma Linda offers a Christian-influenced Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Education. The school has been studying healthy living in a practical setting for well over 100 years, and as a result has produced a program that takes into account all of the educational, community, legislative, and interpersonal factors that promote healthy living. This program is the only one of its kind in the entire state, providing students with the skills necessary to be reflective, attentive healthcare professionals.
All courses in this program are delivered through the online learning platform Canvas. This allows students to complete their studies asynchronously, working to complete assignments at the times that work best for them. With a 1:5 student-to-faculty ratio, students receive constant attention from faculty. Students will learn how to:
- Organize health promotion efforts
- Determine the effectiveness of interventions
- Conduct assessments in the community
- Design targeted educational programs
This school presents an affordable option for most students, charging just $895 per credit hour. Most students can complete their degrees in around two years. Each student is required to complete a series of practicum experiences. These experiences encourage students to develop their own real-life projects to implement healthy practices in some way. In the past, students have worked at everything from Educational Theatre to Community Health Administration.