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Aspiring health educators seeking to develop and promote health and well-being projects for individuals, communities, and organizations will find earning a master’s in health education worth it. Courses emphasize health promotion strategies, data analysis, and communication techniques, preparing students for promising careers as health educators. Demand for these roles is projected to grow by 7% over the next decade, with a median salary of $62,860. Those holding master’s degrees may qualify for higher-paying positions, with the top 10% earning over $107,920 in 2023.

According to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics, these programs take approximately two years to complete and cost an average of $19,749.

How to Choose a Master’s in Health Education Degree Program

Choose your area of study

While choosing to major in health education is a good start, you can further customize your education to your career goals by selecting an area of study — also frequently called a specialization.

For instance, students enthusiastic about shaping health curricula and promoting wellness among children and teens may excel in school health education, leading to roles in K-12 schools. Meanwhile, those focused on reducing health disparities and creating impactful outreach initiatives will thrive in community health promotion — preparing for non-profit or government positions. Individuals eager to improve corporate health culture may prefer concentrating in workplace wellness, leading to careers in human resources or corporate wellness management.

Research schools and programs

Once you’ve decided on a specialization, you can begin researching schools and programs by asking these questions:

  • Does the curriculum support my intended specialization?
  • Is the curriculum delivered online, on campus, or in a hybrid format?
  • What is the total credit requirement, and are part-time options available?
  • Does the faculty’s experience and qualifications align with my career goals?
  • Are there internship, practicum, or networking opportunities?

Most of this information will be readily available on the program’s website. Still, you’ll also benefit from contacting an admissions counselor and attending a virtual or in-person information session.

Prepare for tests and applications

After narrowing down your list of schools, you can begin preparing your application by writing your personal statement well in advance, refining it to align with each program’s goals. If any of your intended schools require the GRE, enrolling in a test prep course can boost scores. Lastly, letters of recommendation and transcripts should be secured promptly, which can take time to gather.

Select your program

When acceptance letters arrive, you may have a significant decision to make. Start by revisiting your initial research criteria and prioritizing programs that stand out in the areas that matter most to you — like specialization availability, program format, and the faculty you’ll learn from. Now is also an excellent time to reassess the total cost of attendance alongside any available financial aid, scholarships, or assistantships.

Ultimately, the program you choose will be a personal decision, but this approach will help ensure that it aligns with your career goals and budget.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

To finance your degree without incurring significant debt, research scholarships and grants that don’t require repayment. Next, consider assistantships that offer stipends and tuition waivers in exchange for teaching or research duties. If you’re employed, ask your employer if they offer tuition reimbursement programs — especially if your desired degree aligns with your current job.

After exploring these options, federal loans can provide supplemental funding with relatively favorable terms. Be sure only to borrow what you need, as over-borrowing is a common mistake and can make your education more expensive.

Best 50 Accredited Master’s in Health Education Programs

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Texas A&M University

University of South Carolina

Loma Linda University

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How we rank schools

This list covers graduate programs in health education that prepare students for careers as case managers, community outreach coordinators, and health education programmers. Degrees offered include Master of Arts in health promotion, Master of Science in health promotion, Master of Science in health education, Master of Arts in health education, and Master of Science in health education and behavior. Students can choose from on-campus, online, and hybrid learning formats.

Accreditation is a rigorous process that ensures students will receive a high-quality education. In addition to regional accreditation, many of the options on this list also have programmatic accreditation from organizations like the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then, we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out our ranking methodology.

What Can You Expect From a Master’s in Health Education Program?

Earning a master’s in health education will give you the essential skills to design, implement, and evaluate health promotion programs. You’ll delve into topics like community health assessment, behavioral change strategies, and health communication, gaining the necessary knowledge to address public health challenges.

Many programs offer thesis and non-thesis tracks, catering to different career goals — whether you want to pursue research or seek a more practical application. These programs typically take around two years to complete, regardless of your track. Graduates can pursue rewarding careers in public health agencies, non-profits, and corporate wellness programs, where they design impactful strategies to promote well-being. With this specialized training, you’ll be prepared to tackle the evolving challenges of health education, making a significant difference in individual and community health.

Potential courses you’ll take in a master’s in health education program

  • Principles of Health Education: Students learn foundational concepts in health education — including planning, implementing, and evaluating effective health promotion programs. This course emphasizes strategies for engaging communities and influencing health behaviors while fostering collaborative partnerships. By understanding various health models and theoretical frameworks, participants can create culturally sensitive interventions that address diverse needs and promote long-term wellness.
  • Epidemiology in Public Health: This course introduces students to the principles and methods of epidemiology. Students explore disease patterns and their determinants, gaining the skills to analyze data and inform public health interventions. By studying how diseases spread across populations and identifying risk factors, students learn to design, implement, and evaluate strategies that minimize the impact of outbreaks.
  • Health Communication Strategies: This course helps students develop communication campaigns that educate and inspire behavioral change within diverse populations. Students learn to create targeted strategies that resonate with different demographics by examining various media challenges and audience-specific approaches. They also explore addressing misinformation and fostering trust, ultimately shaping compelling health narratives that drive positive, sustainable changes in public health behaviors.
  • Program Evaluation in Health Education: In this course, students learn methods for assessing the effectiveness of health education programs. They apply practical techniques to measure impact and refine strategies for greater community health outcomes. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of data interpretation by exploring qualitative and quantitative evaluation tools, allowing them to identify program strengths and weaknesses.
  • Workplace Wellness Programs: Typically deemed an elective, this course allows students to explore the development and management of health promotion initiatives within corporate settings. Lessons cover strategies for reducing health risks and fostering employee well-being. Students analyze real-world case studies and industry trends to better understand the unique challenges of workplace health. They also learn to design wellness programs that improve productivity, morale, and retention while aligning with corporate goals and compliance standards.

Master’s in Health Education Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to a master's in health education degree program?

While some admissions requirements will vary by institution, many share similar criteria — including the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field from an accredited institution
  • A minimum GPA, often around 3.0
  • Official transcripts from all previous institutions
  • Two to three letters of recommendation
  • A statement of purpose outlining your goals and interest in health education
  • GRE scores, if required

Don’t hesitate to reach out to an admissions counselor before applying, as they can guide you further and ensure your application is as strong as possible.

How much does a master's in health education degree cost?

The cost of this degree varies by institution, but the average price of graduate tuition was $19,749 for the 2020-2021 academic year. In addition to tuition, you should budget for fees, textbooks, and course materials. Depending on your unique situation, you may also encounter housing, commuting, and technology expenses — like purchasing a computer or software.

How long does it take to earn a master's in health education degree?

Obtaining your master’s in health education takes two years of full-time study or three to four years for part-time students. Ultimately, completion timelines will depend on the program’s structure and each institution’s total credit requirements, which can vary widely. Before enrolling, verify the program’s specific credit load to estimate how long your studies will take.

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