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Completing an online master’s in health education will help students extend their medical knowledge. Doing so isn’t time-intensive — with programs ranging between 35 to 50 credits, completing such a degree in as little as one year is possible. Whether students wish to advance a medical career or break into the field, this degree will help open doors to more senior and administrative positions.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost for graduate degrees such as this is $19,749. With your degree, you may qualify for a job as a medical and health services manager, and you can expect an annual salary of $101,000 per year.

How to Choose an Online Master’s in Health Education Program

Choose your area of study

Most online master’s in health education programs do not have separate areas of study because accredited programs are primarily designed to help students eventually pass the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing exam, which is the final step before becoming Certified Health Education Specialists.

Because the coursework needs to cover everything students might be tested on, students will learn much about different areas, including communication, advocacy, research, ethics, leadership, management, and more. Regardless of the exact health career you intend to pursue, passing the NCHEC exam opens multiple opportunities for you.

Research schools and programs

There are many different online master’s in health education programs to choose from, so it’s very important to be selective. Do your research and ensure that any schools you are interested in are accredited (this is the most essential component of any reputable program).

Beyond that, narrow down your selection based on different criteria, including how expensive and lengthy it will take to complete. While exploring other options is always essential, it’s wise to focus on programs that suit your working budget and your current schedule, especially if you are working part-time or full-time while attending school.

Prepare for tests and applications

After narrowing down the list of interesting schools, check if they require students to submit GRE scores as part of the application. These days, an increasing number of programs no longer require such scores, but if a program does require them, be sure to consider how much time is needed to study (this can take up to three months) and to receive results (which can take up to 15 days). Always pay close attention to application deadlines, and don’t forget to include any other required paperwork, such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, and application essays.

Select your program

Apply to multiple programs that sound interesting. Doing so maximizes your odds of getting into graduate school and allows students to be selective. It may take time to decide on the best school, so carefully consider the cost of each program and how well the program will integrate into any existing schedule requirements. Beyond that, factors such as the school’s reputation and job placement rate may help students decide on the best school and the best program.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Aside from utilizing any money they have saved, the best way for students to help pay for their online master’s in health education degree is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). At the bare minimum, completing this application will qualify students for federal loans, and the FAFSA is typically required to help qualify for most grants and specific scholarships (both of which, unfortunately, are less available at the graduate level).

Veterans may qualify for special assistance directly through the school. Nonveterans are always encouraged to contact the school to inquire about any other forms of aid that may be available.

Best 50 Accredited Online Master’s in Health Education Programs

Best Online Master's in Health Education Degree Programs

ECU College of Health and Human Performance

University of Florida

Texas A&M Public Health

East Stroudsburg University

University of Alabama

Nova Southeastern University

Georgia State University

Liberty University

University of South Carolina

A.T. Still University

Valdosta State University

Emporia State University

Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine

Teachers College at Columbia University

Nebraska Methodist College

Loma Linda University School of Public Health

Maryland University of Integrative Health

Idaho State University

JHU School of Education

New Mexico State University

Lehman College

Touro University Worldwide

Pittsburg State University

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

University of Louisville

University of West Florida

UMass Dartmouth

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What You Should Know About This Degree

How We Rank Schools

We concentrated our research on master’s programs in health education and related areas. The types of degrees featured on this list include Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), Master of Public Health (MPH), and Master of Education (M.Ed).

To ensure the quality of programs, we only reviewed programs offered by regionally accredited schools. Several programs have programmatic accreditation through bodies like the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

All the programs we reviewed are delivered entirely or primarily through online coursework.

Once we narrowed our list of programs, we evaluated each based on outcomes, reputation, cost, faculty, and flexibility. Then we calculated an Intelligent Score for each program on a scale of 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

What Can You Expect from an Online Master’s in Health Education Program?

When students begin an online master’s in health education program, they can expect coursework that extensively builds on what they previously learned via their undergraduate health studies.

In addition to providing you with specialized knowledge of many different health issues, such programs will help you learn more about how socioeconomic status affects community health and how to communicate preventative health practices to large groups better. In addition to helping prepare each student to become a certified health specialist by passing the CHES exam, these courses will help them develop leadership and management skills to advance their careers.

For the most part, online master’s in health education programs do not require students to complete any residencies or in-person labs, so they can effectively attend school from anywhere (just be sure to look up the out-of-state student costs). Full-time students can expect to complete this program in two years, though part-time students may need longer, and some students may choose to enroll in accelerated programs that can be completed in one year.

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

  • Human Development. Human Development covers how the average person develops from birth until death and how age affects physical and mental conditions. In addition to diving into biology and a bit of psychology, this course also explores the different factors impacting this development, including the choices people commonly make at various stages of their development.
  • Leadership in Health Education. This course prepares students to become influential health leaders, both in the local community and in the organizations students end up working for. Students in this class will learn how to make data-driven decisions to positively impact those around them and navigate the ethical and legal considerations that affect their healthcare practices.
  • Assessment and Evaluation. Healthcare is a very data-driven field, and this class helps students learn more about research best practices as well as how to analyze the data to discover the medical and developmental needs of others. Students will also master evaluation skills as well as how to interpret data accurately and effectively.
  • Principles and Practice in Health Education. There are many theories and theoretical models underpinning health education, and this course helps students learn more about how those theories apply to real people and real-world scenarios. They’ll also learn more about implementing interventions and overcoming barriers to provide better health guidance to their local community.

Online Master’s in Health Education Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online master’s in health education degree program?

Some master’s in health education programs may require that students submit their GRE score along with the application and other paperwork, such as undergraduate transcripts. Additionally, some applications may require submitting things like letters of recommendation and application essays.

Even if you have a good idea of what the application requires, contacting admissions counselors at the schools that sound interesting is recommended. The counselors can verify exactly what is (and is not) required for the application, and they will be able to answer any questions students may have about the process.

How much does an online master’s in health education degree cost?

While the average cost of graduate tuition is $19,749, the exact costs for any specific online master’s in health education may vary due to certain factors, including whether it is a public or private school. For example, the National Center for Education Statistics reports that the average cost of such programs at public universities is $12,410, and the average price at private universities is around $26,600.

Regardless of the cost of the online degree, students will pay less than they would to earn a similar degree in person because they can avoid any residency fees, lab fees, and housing fees associated with campus life.

How long does it take to earn an online master’s in health education degree?

As with their in-person counterparts, most online master’s in health education degrees can be completed in two years for full-time students.

Accelerated programs are available that will help students finish everything within one year. Additionally, most online programs are flexible enough that students can attend part-time if necessary. This flexibility is convenient if students have existing responsibilities such as a part-time or full-time job, or family obligatations.

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