Get a master’s in health education from a university recognized for exceptional CHES exam preparation.¹
To ease the strain on our healthcare system, the nation’s healthcare providers are shifting to prevention as a path to greater wellness for all Americans. Help lead the way toward a health revolution with an MS in Health Education and Promotion from Walden. A master’s in health education prepares students to educate the public on health issues as well as design, implement, and evaluate communications and prevention programs.
Engage in intensive learning and build expertise in one of the few online programs dedicated exclusively to health education and promotion.
The curriculum in this program aligns with the Seven Areas of Responsibility for Health Educators outlined by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC).
Coursework prepares you to sit for the national career-enhancing Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) exams.
This program can put you on the front lines of a rewarding field. Make a difference working directly with individuals and populations.
Minimum Degree Requirements
- 50 quarter credits
- Foundation courses (5 cr.)
- Core courses (35 cr.)
- Elective course (5 cr.)
- Capstone course (5 cr.)
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.
The program’s courses are delivered in a prescribed sequence.
Perspectives on Health and the Developing Professional
Students in this course cover the origins and evolution of the concept of health, including some of the important health problems that face the world today and emerging concerns for the future. In this foundational course, stuents are introduced to key events in history as well as some of the health systems and issues that a modern health practitioner may encounter. Strategies for success as graduate-level scholars and health practitioners are integrated in a way that provides meaningful context to learners. Students discuss key concepts with peers, and the course culminates with a reflection paper designed to help learners evaluate their professional goals and how to progress as scholar-practitioners and social change agents. Students explore careers in various public health and health education settings and experience a virtual health department to learn about various functions and personnel.
Exploring Health Education in the 21st Century
What does it mean to be a health educator in the 21st century? Students in this foundation course explore the field of health education: historical milestones, current issues, and future opportunities and challenges. They examine settings for practice, professional competencies, interprofessional collaborations, credentialing, professional organizations, use of technology, and ethical issues pertaining to health education. Students analyze current issues in the field by reviewing scholarly publications and research pertaining to health education practice. Course assignments include an introduction to commonly used health education theories and models, and students have the opportunity to develop a philosophy statement for health education practice in the new millennium.
Introduction to Research in Health Education and Health Promotion
Health education and health promotion practitioners use research skills to develop programs and interventions that enhance the health of communities and demonstrate the efficacy of programs. This course will provide students an opportunity to explore various research methods in the fields of health education and health promotion. Concepts include literature reviews, ethics, quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods, methodology selection processes, sampling, and writing for publication and presentation. An emphasis in utilizing research methods to impact local, regional, national, and global health education and health promotion issues will be presented. This course will culminate in the development of a research poster presentation suitable for presentation at a professional conference within the fields of health education and health promotion.
Health Behavior Theory
Students in this course are introduced to concepts necessary for promoting positive health-behavior change by examining the most commonly used theories and models in public health and health education and promotion. Coursework focuses on the identification and application of theories and models for promoting and designing effective health behavior programs and interventions. Students explore individual, interpersonal, and community theories and modules to determine the most appropriate application.
Assessing Community Needs for Health Education
It is important for health educators and other health professionals to understand the unique characteristics and health needs of a community in order to provide effective and relevant health education and services. Students in this course are introduced to the principles and processes of needs assessment and community capacity-building as a first step in the program planning process. Students learn about individual, small-group, and community-based assessments as well as quantitative and qualitative approaches. Students directly apply what they are reading and discussing in class to their own communities by conducting a assessment unique to their community. Other topics covered include use of primary and secondary data; selection and development of instrumentation to collect community data; interpretation and analysis of data; and prioritization of health education needs. Community mapping tools and other technology used in the assessment process are also explored.
Program Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation
The focus of this course is on the competencies required of the public health professional in planning for the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of community health promotion and disease prevention initiatives. Attention is given to needs assessment, logic models, and collaboration with stakeholders. Strategic approaches to planning, implementation, and evaluation with particular attention to study design and sampling are addressed. Health behavior theories are considered in the development of health promotion programs, the application of evaluation findings, and prioritization of community concerns and resources.
Health Education and Communication Strategies
Effective communication plays a vital role in the diffusion of a health behavior or innovation. This course is designed to introduce the health educator to a wide range of health communication strategies. Assignments allow students to apply and evaluate the use of health education delivery methods for various populations and practice settings (i.e., community, clinical, worksite, global, schools). Principles and theories of health communication and behavior change are applied to a variety of health education case studies. Students also demonstrate how to design and communicate culturally tailored health information to an audience of their choice. They explore the use of emerging technologies and social media in delivering and promoting health education.
Public Health Administration and Leadership
Students in this course acquire the foundational understanding of the administrative, managerial, and organizational practices of public health and healthcare delivery systems. Students examine theories of leadership as well as the professional attributes, skills, styles, and strategies required to advance public health goals. They engage in a variety of contextual and practical assignments focused on management theories, policy processes, systems thinking, strategic planning and partnerships, quality and performance improvement, leadership, and organizational behavior. Students also consider the impact of global trends on public health practice, policy, and systems.
Grant writing is a highly marketable skill that requires many non-profit, educational and community organizations to secure external funding in order to provide needed services to the community. In this course, students will explore the basic skills needed for grant writing including identifying potential funding sources, creating objectives and a need statement, preparing and justifying a budget, identifying appropriate assessment plans, and writing an executive summary. Course assignments will allow students to directly apply what they are reading and discussing by writing a full grant proposal based on an actual Request for Proposal (RFP).
Sexual Health and Well-Being
Students are provided with a framework for understanding human sexuality in the context of couples, marriage, and family counseling in this course. Students explore empirically supported counseling approaches related to sexual functioning, intimacy, gender, and sexual orientation. They use a systemic framework for understanding the role and impact of sexuality on couples, marriages, and families. Students also explore and discuss specific topics related to issues of sexual diversity and gender identity.
Health Education and Promotion Capstone
The capstone course is intended to be taken last in the MS in Health Education and Promotion program. Students have an opportunity to synthesize knowledge and skills acquired throughout the program by completing a capstone project focused on social change. The MS in Health Education and Promotion Capstone project is designed to empower students with the skills necessary to secure external grant funding through grant proposal writing. Students will integrate theoretical and practical knowledge as well as scientific research to prepare a grant proposal for funding a health education program that addresses a pressing health need in their community. Emphasis is placed on grant sources and resources, the grant proposal process, grant management, and sustainability.
|VIEW ALL COURSES Less Courses|
Tuition and Fees
|Tuition||50 quarter credit hours||$470 per quarter hour||$23,500|
|Technology Fee||Per quarter||$160||$960|
*Tuition reflects the minimum time to completion. Time to completion varies by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition reductions. Walden may accept up to 25 transfer credits. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.
Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included and may cost between $1,000 and $1,400.
Many Walden degree-seeking students—67%—receive some form of financial aid.* Create a customized plan that makes sense for you.
*Source: Walden University’s Office of Financial Aid. Data reports as of 2018.Find Ways to Save
Program Admission Considerations: A bachelor's degree or higher.
General Admission Requirements: Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.
Graduates of Walden’s online MS in Health Education and Promotion will be prepared to:
- Examine historic milestones, current challenges, and future trends related to health and health education.
- Analyze biological, social, political, cultural, environmental, and behavioral factors that impact individual and population health.
- Assess community needs and capacity for health education.
- Develop culturally tailored health education programs and communication using health behavior theories and models.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of health education programs, communication, and research.
- Apply key leadership concepts and skills to effectively administer health education programs and services.
- Utilize best practices of health communication to promote and advocate for individual and population health.
- Apply research principles and methods to address 21st-century health challenges.
What’s the Career Impact of Earning a Master’s in Health Education and Promotion
What Can I Do With a Master’s in Health Education?
A master’s in health education degree from Walden can prepare you for a number of direct service or leadership positions in academic, clinical, community, or corporate settings. These include:
- Health educator/counselor
- Health promotion specialist
- Health coach/wellness coach
- Health coalition specialist
- Community health/outreach coordinator
- Health education specialist/director
Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this online master’s in health education degree program.
Increase Your Earning Potential
A master’s degree can potentially lead to higher earnings. The salary difference between a bachelor’s and master’s degree is significant, according to Burning Glass Technologies: Labor Insight™:2
- Associate degree: $48,600
- Bachelor’s degree: $51,000
- Master’s degree: $73,400
FAQ About Walden’s Online MS in Health Education and Promotion Program
Given the multiple ways that the health education and promotion field can impact the lives of communities, it should be no surprise that health educators and other health education and promotion professionals work in a variety of settings. Careers in public health and education include positions with community health agencies, state and local health departments, schools and universities, businesses and corporations, faith-based organizations, hospitals and clinics, and nonprofit organizations, including those focused on global health education programs. In addition to serving as health educators for specific organizations and populations, common responsibilities for those in the health education and promotion field include preparing for and responding to emergencies, designing and advocating for health-related policy, writing grants, leading public health departments and nonprofits, and using social entrepreneurship to enact social change and improve the health of at-risk communities.
Health education and promotion is the bridge between what experts learn about health and safety and how we use that knowledge as a society. Health educators and others in the field are skilled at analyzing the biological, social, political, cultural, environmental, and behavioral factors that impact individual and population health. And they’re skilled at using that health data to assess a given community’s need for health education (i.e., determining gaps in public knowledge); develop plans, programs, and other ways to implement health education and policy; determine the right communication strategies for informing populations of specific health risks/solutions; and evaluate the effectiveness of health programs and policy, with the intent of improving them where needed. While no one person within the health education and promotion field does all of this, the field as a whole provides a wide range of services.
Candidates who earn their master’s degree in health education and promotion benefit from in-depth and research-based courses. In Walden University’s MS in Health Education and Promotion program, you will take courses such as:
- Exploring Health Education in the 21st Century
- Health Behavior Theory
- Public Health Administration and Leadership
- Grant Writing
- Program Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation
These courses help prepare you for a career as a public health educator. Furthermore, you can choose specializations such as Emergency Preparedness and Population Health, which may help you stand out when you apply for relevant positions.
Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) certification establishes a national standard for members of the profession and shows prospective employers that an individual is proficient in certain knowledge and skills. Earning your CHES certification not only unlocks the opportunity to further your career and earning potential, but also enables you to become a part of a global movement to positively impact world health. To become certified, you must pass an exam administered by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing Inc. To apply to take the exam, you must meet certain academic requirements, as well as submit official transcripts indicating a major in health education and completion of at least 25 semester hours of work addressing the Seven Areas of Responsibility and Competency for Health Education Specialists.1
As a student in Walden’s online master’s in health education and promotion program, you can take advantage of an online learning format that allows you to complete coursework from anywhere you have internet access. Plus, you have the flexibility to attend class at a time of day that works best for your schedule.
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