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MPH or MS in Health Education and Promotion: What Degree Is Right for You?

Choose between these two public health graduate programs to meet your career goals.

When you are ready to take your passion for building healthy communities to the next level, you may want to explore two health-related master’s degree programs that can help you do just that.

The first is a Master of Public Health (MPH), a tried-and-true option for professionals looking to further their careers with an advanced degree. A master’s in public health can provide foundational knowledge in the field’s core areas: biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, public health administration, and social and behavioral sciences. You’ll learn how to face challenges at the local or global level through courses like Global Perspectives on Health and Environmental Health: Local to Global.


The MPH degree can open doors to an extensive array of public health jobs. Public health majors are finding satisfying careers in roles such as community health worker, public health policy coordinator, disease investigator, public health analyst, and emergency preparedness and response coordinator.

If those are the kinds of public health careers that interest you, there’s also a second master’s degree option to consider: the MS in Health Education and Promotion. Graduates of this program can pursue career opportunities similar to those of their colleagues earning MPH degrees.

What Is Health Education and Promotion?

Health educators work to promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health. Professionals with an MS in Health Education and Promotion assess needs; plan, implement, and evaluate health education programs; and coordinate health education services. Health educators pursue their meaningful work across multiple playing fields: health departments, government, NGOs, school systems, healthcare facilities, and more.

Curriculum for an MS in Health Education and Promotion degree should help students build skills the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) identifies as being essential for future Certified Health Education Specialists:1

  • Program design and management
  • Evaluation and survey research
  • Coalition building and policy/systems change
  • Health literacy and health communications 
  • Curriculum development and training
  • Motivational interviewing, behavior change methods
  • Capacity building at an institutional or societal level 

Walden University, one of the few accredited universities to offer an online master’s in health education and promotion, gives students the flexibility to customize their course of study.  

In the MS in Health Education and Promotion program, you’ll explore the latest health behavior theories, trends, and practices and develop the skills to design health communications. You will learn to plan, implement, and evaluate prevention programs; study individual and population health and the social science aspects of health; and gain a basic understanding of core public health principles.

Customizing your public health graduate program can lead you to a perfect-fit career. As you ponder your options, it may be good to know that growth within many public health job sectors should trend above average through 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Here are the bureau’s projections for some key public health jobs: epidemiologists, a 5% increase in the number of jobs;2 health educators and community health workers, 13%;3 social workers, 13%;4 medical and health services managers, 32%;5 and mathematicians and statisticians, 33%.6

MPH or MS in Health Education and Promotion? The choice is yours. Join the growing corps of public health professionals empowering men, women, and children to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors. An Enrollment Specialist can help you find the path that fuels your passion and propels you toward the career growth and satisfaction you seek.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering public health graduate programs including the Master of Public Health and the MS in Health Education and Promotion. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission