Masters Degree Programs

The Health Behavior and Health Education master’s degree programs are designed to prepare researchers and practitioners for leadership roles in a variety of careers. Students are prepared to work in industries such as:

  • higher education
  • public schools
  • community health care settings
  • business and industry
  • government agencies
  • non-profit health agencies

Health promotion combines health education with related organizational, economic, or political interventions. These programs are designed to create behavioral or environmental changes that result in improved public health. Research and practice in health promotion may occur in a variety of settings such as school, community, worksite, or health care.

The focus for health education can be on young children, adolescents, adults, and senior adults. This program also studies the effects of health education research on organizational and community contexts. Students’ courses emphasize a multidisciplinary, bio-behavioral and developmental approach to health promotion.

A diverse faculty, coupled with research and applied opportunities within and outside the university, provide an excellent environment to explore these areas of curriculum and research. Students will graduate with a unique set of skills that will make them ready for their careers, or further research.

Our program offers two Health Behavior and Health Education master’s programs: a Master of Education (M.Ed.) that does not require a thesis and a Master of Science (M.S.) with a thesis.

Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Health Behavior and Health Education Non-Thesis Program (36 hrs)

This option focuses on theory, application, and practical skills aimed towards building a career in health education. Graduates of this program are prepared to pursue careers in both private and public organizations. Through strategic coursework and a hands on internship, students will gain the necessary experience to be ready to work when they graduate.

Students pursuing an M.Ed. will take required courses in:

  • Health Behavior and Health Education Concentration Area (15 hrs)
  • Electives in Health Behavior and Health Education/Kinesiology (9 hrs)
  • Supporting Work Outside the Department (6 hrs)
  • Graduate Internship: HED 697P (6 hrs)

The M.Ed. option offers two optional specializations. The specializations offer interested students a concentration of classes related to Lifespan Health Promotion or Physical Activity and Health Promotion.

Internship

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 oversee the internship experience.

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

Master of Science (M.S.) in Health Behavior and Health Education with Thesis Program (36 hrs)

The M.S. program is more research oriented, and offers the student an opportunity to identify and focus on specific problems related to health promotion. Students in this program take similar courses to M.Ed. students, but substitute an internship for a research thesis. It also provides preparation for doctoral work in health behavior and health education. 

The required courses for an M.S. degree include:

  • Health Behavior and Health Education Concentration Area (15 hrs)
  • Electives in Health Behavior and Health Education/Kinesiology (9 hrs)
  • Supporting Work Outside the Department (6 hrs)
  • Thesis: HED 698A and HED 698B (6 hrs)

Research Thesis

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 presentation of the thesis must be shared at the Kinesiology and Health Education department’s 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.