Best Master’s Programs in Health Education Online for 2021

Explore today’s best master’s in health education online degree programs and start your journey to making a difference in public health and wellness.

Are you interested in teaching members of your community the best ways to live a healthy lifestyle that helps them avoid or manage illnesses? Do you want to learn how to communicate complex health issues in a way that average people can understand? If you want a career that is a marriage between sharing health knowledge and teaching skills, and need flexible study options, then an online health education master’s degree program may be the perfect choice for you. Continue reading to learn what’s involved in earning a master’s in health education online, how to get into a program, and what jobs you can pursue after graduation.

College Spotlights: Best Master’s in Health Education Online Programs for 2021

If you’re trying to find the best online health education master’s degree program to help you achieve your career goals, you’ll need as much information as possible about what’s out there. To give students a glimpse of the best choices, we’ve created this best-in-class list of schools, which features programs that we curated based on their quality, affordability, and student outcomes. As you review the list below, you can feel confident that these schools will give you the training you need because they have all been accredited based on the quality education that they provide. This is just a start; watch for a larger and more detailed ranking of master’s in health education online programs later in 2021. 

Purdue University Global

purdue-global-university-logo

The master of science in health education program at Purdue University Global can be completed entirely online. It’s designed for students who want to teach the public about the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle and create education programs that both promote healthy behaviors and reduce the cost of medical services. Students who complete this program are prepared to work in different areas related to health education, including grant writing, publishing, marketing, and development of training materials. In addition, during the 56-credit program students prepare to take the Master Certified Health Education Specialist or Certified Health Education Specialist exam.

To provide this training, Purdue’s health education program requires coursework in health behavior, epidemiology, health communication, and community health assessments. In addition, students are required to complete a health education capstone course in which they must demonstrate mastery of the material they were taught throughout the program. To be admitted, prospective students are expected to have at least a 2.5 grade point average in an accredited bachelor’s degree program.

Walden University

walden-university-logo

To be admitted to Walden University’s master of science program in health education and promotion, applicants should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school. After entering the program, students prepare for various careers, such as health counselor, wellness coach, health coalition specialist, and community outreach coordinator.

Walden students are able to get an education tailor-made for their career goals because, in addition to a general program track that students can enroll in, the school offers four specializations: emergency preparedness, health policy and advocacy, social entrepreneurship and innovation, and population health. Also, Walden allows students to complete a self-designed concentration; they can choose electives to gain expertise in the topics that align most with their interests. No matter what specialization they choose, students are required to take core classes that cover health behavior theory, health communication strategies, public health research, and social justice.

Cleveland University-Kansas City

cleveland-university-kansas-city-logo

The master of science in health education and promotion offered by Cleveland University-Kansas City is for students who want to use their expertise on health promotion and prevention campaigns organized by nonprofit organizations, government agencies, healthcare facilities, and colleges. To be accepted into the program, students should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school and submit a professional statement, resume, and job references.

Throughout the program, which takes about two years to complete, Cleveland University-Kansas City offers classes that provide expertise on health communication, such as coursework on health promotion techniques, implementing health promotion programs, and epidemiology. When students complete their classes, they are prepared to take several certification examinations, such as the American College of Sports Medicine Certified Health Fitness Specialist, Certified Health Coach, Certified Diabetes Educator, and the Certified Health Education Specialist credentials.

Benefits of Getting an Online Master’s in Health Education

These programs can be the perfect solution for students who want to advance their education and their careers but can’t commit to a campus-based degree program. The following are some of the reasons an online master’s in health education degree can be advantageous.

  1. Sharpen teaching abilities

    Whether students aspire to teach health education through community programs or in a school setting, a master’s in health education online can help them gain the instructional skills they need to convey complicated health information in a way that the general population can understand.

  2. Take advantage of program flexibility

    Since online programs may be asynchronous, meaning that students aren’t required to attend class meetings at a set time, those who are working full-time have the flexibility to complete their coursework during evenings and weekends as their busy schedules allow.

  3. Gain advanced communication skills

    Communicating about health matters can be complicated, so whether students want to create classroom health programs or educational materials that are handed out in the community, a master’s in health education online program teaches students the best practices of health communication.

  4. Get an affordable education

    Since students don’t have to travel to campus regularly when they enroll in an online master’s degree program, they are able to save money on gas, parking, and wear and tear on their vehicles. In addition, being charged per credit hour can go a long way toward making an M.S. in health education more affordable.

What You’ll Learn in a Master’s in Health Education Online Program

Students who enroll in a health education master’s degree program are able to increase their understanding of healthcare issues while they develop the communication skills to explain these topics to a wide audience. In addition, classes will familiarize them with health research methods and specific diseases. The following are some of the courses that these programs offer.

Sample Courses

  • Health Behavior

    This course helps students understand health behavior as it relates to illnesses, which gives them insights on how health educators can craft the most effective messages that resonate with the community. Students study different models of health behavior and research related to public health practices.

  • Health Education and Communication Strategies

    This course provides expertise on the communication tactics that are used in health education messages and what makes them effective. In addition to learning health communication theories and best practices, students may review case studies that illustrate real-world examples of why these strategies work. Students also learn how to communicate using different technology platforms and understand the ways people’s cultural backgrounds influence their perception of health messages.

  • Nutrition and Chronic Disease

    Students in this course learn about the relationship between diet and the prevention of chronic diseases, as well as how diet can be used to help people manage chronic illnesses. Cancer and diabetes are some of the specific conditions covered in this class.

  • Foundations in Public Health

    This course familiarizes people with the principles and history of public health and how these are used to prevent illnesses in a specific community. Students may learn the different factors that impact public health, including genetic, psychological, social, and cultural issues. Also, the class covers how public health problems are managed on a local, national, and international level.

  • Program Planning and Evaluation in Health Education

    Students who enroll in this course learn how health programs are developed from start to finish and then evaluated to determine how effective they are. The class may cover how health education is conducted in different settings, such as schools or community programs.

Specialization Options

In some cases, students are able to gain special expertise in an area of health education by enrolling in a concentration that focuses on one specific part of the field. That’s a huge advantage in developing a specialty area that will make you a good fit for future employers, and it allows you to learn even more about the aspects of health education that interest you most. The following are some of the specializations that a master’s degree program may offer.

  • Emergency Preparedness

    This specialization prepares students to deal with public health education during an emergency situation like a natural disaster or pandemic. Coursework covers how to handle communications about crises and trauma, assess the needs of a community during an emergency, and prepare for the emergency health education that will need to be delivered during a crisis.

  • Research

    Students in this specialization learn how health-related research is conducted and how researchers can get the results of their studies published in industry journals. Also, students may learn about the seminal research theories that guide the health education field and how these theories are used when creating health education programs.

  • Health Policy and Advocacy

    This specialization covers the relationship between health education and policy, as well as how education programs can play a role in health advocacy. Students learn about human rights issues, social justice, ethics, and leadership development.

  • Population Health

    The population health specialization addresses the problems members of a community face in getting access to healthcare or getting favorable outcomes within the healthcare system. In addition, these challenges are discussed in terms of their influence on health outcomes, disease prevention, and medical interventions.

  • Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation

    Those who want to develop strong leadership skills to manage health education programs will want to pursue this specialization. Classes cover topics like grant writing, global entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Accreditation for Online Master’s in Health Education Online Programs

When searching for schools, prospective students must focus on schools that have been accredited—which means they have been certified by an educational association for quality. To ensure that students gain the skills and knowledge needed to advance their careers, prospective students should look for health education master’s degree programs that have been accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health or the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

What You Can Do with a Master’s in Health Education

During their health education master’s degree online program, students develop a toolbox of valuable skills—such as research, writing, and public speaking abilities—that they’ll use to follow one of several diverse career paths. The following are some of the jobs that graduates pursue.

Health Educators

Health educators are responsible for promoting wellness through programs that they develop, implement, and administer as part of government agencies, healthcare facilities, religious organizations, and private companies. These professionals also assess the health education needs of a community to create programs that include the most relevant content.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$32,890 $55,220 $98,680

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Health Promotion Specialists

Health promotion specialists play an integral role in improving the public health outcomes of a community by creating campaigns that are distributed by healthcare facilities, government agencies, or nonprofit organizations. They also conduct health assessments to create measurable learning outcomes in a specific community.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$32,890 $55,220 $98,680

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Community Health Workers

Community health workers are responsible for informing the public about different healthcare services that are available in a community, such as screenings for specific diseases. These professionals may also deliver some preventative services, including hearing tests and blood pressure screenings, and collect data to help agencies determine a community’s most pressing healthcare needs.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$26,660 $40,360 $68,350

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Fitness and Wellness Coordinators

Fitness and wellness coordinators use their knowledge of health education to plan exercise classes, special events, and seminars at a health facility or gym. They must have an understanding of applicable laws and regulations for the industry to create programming that falls within those guidelines while giving customers the instruction they want and need.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$12.28 $17.56 $25.21

Source: PayScale, 2019

Health Coaches

Health coaches help people adopt—and maintain—healthy habits by developing exercise routines and dietary plans. Health coaches work closely with their clients to develop plans based on individual needs, provide encouragement as clients make lifestyle changes, and revise the plans as clients’ health outcomes change.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$14.88 $20.53 $40.12

Source: PayScale, 2019

Costs and Financial Aid for Health Education Master’s Degrees

Before making the time commitment of enrolling in a health education graduate degree program, it’s important to understand the financial commitment you are signing up for. Although you may be eligible to receive financial aid, you should still have an idea of what a master’s in health education online degree costs. To provide this context, we have compiled information below from three specific schools.

What Your Online Master’s in Health Education Could Cost

School Name No. of Credits Cost/Credit Total Tuition Cost

Purdue University Global

56

$420/credit

$23,520

American University

30

$1,812/credit

$54,360

Touro University Worldwide

36

$500/credit

$18,000

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Health Education Master’s Degrees

What are the admissions requirements for an online master’s in health education?

When applying to different online health education master’s degree programs, it’s important to keep in mind that each school’s criteria for admissions vary, and some schools may have certain expectations that other schools do not. Generally, when you apply to these programs schools expect you to:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school in a health-related discipline
  • Have at least a 3.0 grade point average
  • Work in a health profession
  • Submit a statement of purpose to explain your interest in the program
  • Submit work and/or school references
  • Demonstrate proficiency in English if you are an international student

How long will it take to finish my master’s in health education online?

The exact timeline to complete a health education master’s degree online varies from school to school. However, if you are attending a program full-time, you can usually expect to finish in one–and–a–half to two years. As a part-time student, this degree may take three to four years to complete, depending on your course load each semester.

Can I earn a master’s in health education 100% online?

The coursework can be completed entirely online. But some schools may expect students to visit campus to participate in a capstone course or to complete other special projects. Be sure to consult with the schools you are applying to for information about any on-campus requirements.