Explore our MS in Health Education and Promotion Population Health specialization
In the U.S. and across the globe, healthcare is facing challenges such as rising costs, the increased needs of an aging population, and less-than-optimal patient outcomes. Population health aims to address these problems, focusing on preventing illness, injuries, disabilities, and chronic diseases; reducing disparities in healthcare access; and promoting longevity within specific, predetermined groups of people through social outreach and planned interventions.
This specialization allows you to explore the foundations of population health—including new community medicine structures, socioeconomic determinants of disease, data analytics, and applying preventive interventions. Acquire the skills you need to educate populations and help protect the health of our community populations.
Minimum Degree Requirements
- 60 total quarter credits
- Foundation courses (5 cr.)
- Core courses (35 cr.)
- Specialization courses (15 cr.)
- Capstone course (5 cr.)
This sequence represents the minimum credits for completion. The number of credits for completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, 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.
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.
Applied Research in Public Health
Public health professionals use the results of research in many ways, including in the development of programs and interventions designed to enhance the health of communities as well as to demonstrate the efficacy of programs to stakeholders who provide funding. In this course, students will engage in an examination of the research that informs public health programs, policy, and practice. Specific topics to be covered include study designs, sampling, identification of variables, methods of data collection and analysis, key concepts in measurement (including reliability and validity), program evaluation, and research ethics. As a major assignment in this course, students will engage in an integrative literature review and begin to develop what may become their capstone project.
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.
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.
Essentials of the U.S. Healthcare Delivery System and Population Health
Students in this course will analyze health and the healthcare systems from a population health perspective. Emphasis includes the role of health education and health administration, workforce, public health foundations, and technological developments in improving health from local, national, and global perspectives. Various approaches used historically to improve population health and health equity in the United States will be explored. Current and emerging U.S. health transformation efforts, including steps to reduce cost and improve prevention strategies, and quality of care will be considered. Students will also consider the provider, payment, and public health perspectives in improving health outcomes and explore various perspectives and trends such as international settings and lessons currently being taken from these settings and developments in the use of technology. Investigation and analysis of the coordination among various stakeholders who play a role in prevention, health, and healthcare systems will be addressed.
Disease Prevention and Care Management
Students in this course explore evidence-based population health programs and how they assist in addressing and promoting best practices in disease and preventive care management. In this course, students will learn how population health interventions teach individuals and populations how to manage chronic diseases and take responsibility for understanding how to best care for themselves. Students will also explore health administrator and health educator leadership strategies and interventions to manage and prevent chronic disease.
Population Health Management Applications
Students in this course will apply the skills needed to manage population health programs and initiatives to enhance the health of a defined population. Students focus on health behaviors, public and business influences, health policy, economic forces, and other related healthcare system issues in health promotion and disease prevention.
|VIEW ALL COURSES Less Courses|
Tuition and Fees
|Curriculum Component||Requirements||Cost||Total *|
|Tuition||60 total quarter credit hours||$470 per quarter hour||$27,600|
|Technology Fee||Per quarter||$160||$1,120|
|Transfer up to 25 credits||$12,310|
|Total with Maximum Transfer Credits†||$17,010|
The tuition reflects the minimum credits to completion. Program completion varies by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, 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.
†Maximum transfer credit total includes reduction in technology fee as related to reduced number of courses over time
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.