Masters Degree Programs

The Health Behavior and Health Education master’s degree programs are designed to prepare researchers and practitioners for leadership roles in higher education, public schools, community health care settings, business and industry, government agencies, and non-profit health agencies. The programs emphasize a multidisciplinary, bio-behavioral and developmental approach to health promotion. Health promotion is any combination of health education and related organizational, economic, or political interventions designed to facilitate behavioral or environmental changes conducive to health. Research and practice in health promotion may occur in a variety of settings (school, community, worksite, health care) and focus on young children, adolescents, adults, and/or senior adults. Organizational and community contexts for health behavior are also important topics for health behavior and health education research. A diverse faculty, coupled with research and applied opportunities within and outside the university, provide an excellent environment for professional development.

Two options are available for a master's degree in Health Behavior and Health Education.

The first option is a 36-hour Master of Education (MEd) in Health Behavior and Health Education non-thesis program.

This option focuses on theory, application, and practitioner skills oriented towards careers in educational institutions, community health care settings, business and industry, government agencies, and non-profit health agencies. For this option, students are required to complete a semester-long internship during the final semester of the program. The internship experience gives students an opportunity to apply cumulative knowledge and skills in a supervised community, school, worksite, health care, or research setting. The student's Faculty Advisor, as well as the onsite supervisor, will supervise the internship experience. Each student works with his/her Faculty Advisor, as well as the onsite supervisor, to complete the required Internship Notebook, which is due to the Faculty Advisor on the last day of class. An oral Powerpoint presentation of the student’s experience will be presented at a “Health Internship Presentation Day” where other graduate students and faculty will have the opportunity to ask questions. The notebook and oral presentation at the Health Internship Presentation Day constitutes the culminating experience for the Master of Education in Health Behavior and Health Education without thesis.

Please note that sitting for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam (or being currently CHES certified) is a requirement of the graduate internship.

The MEd option offers two optional specializations. The specializations offer interested students a concentration of classes in 1) Lifespan Health Promotion or 2) Physical Activity and Health Promotion.

Students selecting the Lifespan Health Promotion Specialization must take 3 of the following electives:

  • HED 395 Adult Development, Aging and Health
  • HED 395 Risk and Resilience in Children and Adolescents
  • HED 395 Child and Adolescent Health Psychology 
  • HED 395 Social Determinants of Health 

Students selecting the Physical Activity and Health Promotion Specialization must take 3 of the following electives:

  • KIN 395 Exercise and Mental Health 
  • KIN 395 Cognition and Exercise Across the Lifespan 
  • HED 395 Physical Activity and Public Health Practice
  • KIN 395 Exercise and Preventive Medicine

The second option is a 36-hour Master of Science in Health Behavior and Health Education with thesis program.

This program is more research oriented, offers the student an opportunity to identify and focus on specific problems related to health promotion, and provides preparation for doctoral work in health behavior and health education.  For this option, students are required to produce an original thesis, under the supervision of a Faculty Advisor. The thesis is completed over the last two semesters of the student’s program. A Powerpoint presentation of the thesis must be presented at the KHE Thesis Presentation Day where other graduate students and faculty can ask questions. Students planning to pursue doctoral programs are encouraged to engage in directed research in addition to the 36-hour Master of Science requirements.