Individuals who want to deal with public health challenges through education and research could consider pursuing an online master’s in health education. This program could help students understand the epidemiology, policy formation, and other factors that shape public health issues. The online health education master’s usually consist of 35 to 50 credits, depending on the program structure, course curriculum, and institution from which one pursues their degree. Students can enter a variety of careers in public health fields, including nonprofit organizations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for this field is perceived to be 12%which is much faster than average. This guide explains the curriculum one can expect from the health education master’s degree, career and specialization options, and much more.

Online Master’s in Health

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Best Online Master’s in Health Education

A master’s degree provides students with expertise and skills to help them gain credibility as industry professionals. When choosing a master’s program, students should consider certain factors like cost, the format of the program, accreditation, availability of student support, quality of the faculty, and funding provided to students. There are many options for online master’s in health education degree programs in the United States. The team at Online Masters College has curated a list of the best online master’s in health education programs, as follows:

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
University of Florida
Tigert Hall, Gainesville, Florida 32611
University of South Carolina
Columbia-Campus, Columbia, South Carolina 29208
Arizona State University
1365 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, Arizona 85257
Walden University
100 Washington Avenue South, Suite 900, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401
Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health
720 North 87th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68114
New Mexico State University
2850 Weddell Street, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003
University of the Cumberlands
6191 College Station Drive, Williamsburg, Kentucky 40769
Valdosta State University
1500 N Patterson St, Valdosta, Georgia 31698
East Carolina University
East 5th Street, Greenville, North Carolina 27858
Purdue University Global
2550 Northwestern Avenue, Suite 1100, West Lafayette, Indiana 47906

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Understanding Online Master’s in Health Education

The online health education degree provides academic training for students who want to work in fields of health education like clinical, academic, community, corporate and clinical settings. This program is prepared for prospective students who can use behavioral and social theories to design and implement interventions to improve the overall population and community health. The online master’s in health education consist of 35 to 50 credits. This program could take about 2 to 2.5 years to complete; however, this would depend on the degree’s requirements. The program can be pursued by students in several modes: online, offline, and hybrid; the hybrid consists of a blend of offline and online classes. Even if students finish the program online, they must complete onsite fieldwork experience and participate in organizations. The instructional style of this program could be through synchronous and asynchronous learning. Prospective students could complete their coursework by submission of a capstone project in health education. At some schools, students pursuing this degree might be required to complete a thesis or pass a comprehensive written exam after completion of all coursework across the degree. Upon graduating, students can pursue varied fields in the health education sector. 

Online Master’s in Health Education Degree Types

Various online health education master’s programs are available across the United States. Three types of degrees are commonly available: Master of Arts or MA in health education online, Master of Science or MS in health education online, and Master of Education or M.Ed. in health education online. Each degree would differ in program curriculum and requirements.

Master of Arts in Health Education Online

The Master of Arts in Health Education or MA Health Education helps students work effectively to plan and evaluate the varied health education and programs of promotion in health. This program can benefit students by assisting them in setting individual, group, and community health goals that align them to a healthy lifestyle. It prepares prospective students to align with seven health educator responsibility areas as outlined by National Commission for Health Education Credentialing.

Master of Science in Health Education Online

The Master of Science in Health Education or MS in Health Education is designed to help health professionals become experts in this field. This program directs students to rigorous research and evaluation and helps them advance their careers in health professions education. This degree is helpful for students to enhance their perspectives on teaching a wide range of contexts in health professions and medical disciplines. The curriculum focuses on both practicum and traditional thesis. 

Master of Education in Health Education Online

The Master of Education in Health Education or M.Ed. Health Education program helps individuals learn about a diverse range of health topics and how to assess an organization or community to determine health education priorities. Students are taught behavioral diversity, human development, health informatics, and so on. This course can benefit individuals who want to be educational leaders and design health programs. 

Note: Some business schools offer a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis on leadership.

Specializations in Online Master’s in Health Education Programs

Specializing in a master’s program will allow students to gain academic expertise. Specializations are professionally and technically oriented, deepening one’s knowledge that students have in a particular area of study. Health education specializations could help prospective graduates gain better career prospects, industry recognition, and higher salaries. Different kinds of specializations are available for prospective students in the field of health education, including but not limited to:

Area of SpecializationDescription
Health Education and Wellness This specialization focuses on health as a goal and wellness as an active process of achieving health. The emphasis is not only on the absence of illness but on optimized well-being. Students evaluate ways to become healthier.  
Health Education and Promotion In this specialization, students focus on the design, implementation, and evaluation of communications and prevention programs in health. Students pursuing this specialization work mostly on the front lines in health-related fields and develop perspectives on health as ethical professionals. 
Healthcare Administration This specialization focuses on leadership, management, and administration of healthcare systems and hospitals. Students learn about public health systems and networking in primary, secondary, and tertiary hospitals. Prospective jobs would include administrative positions in healthcare organizations.  
Workplace Wellness In this specialization, students learn to evaluate, design, and implement health wellness programs in organizations to keep employees healthy and safe. Students could learn how to contribute to the reduction of healthcare costs by helping employees manage health conditions efficiently.  
Community Health This specialization is suitable for students interested in designing, implementing, and evaluating health programs at the community level. With this specialization, students can explore the impact of advocacy, leadership, research, and health behavior.  
Health Education Teacher Certification This specialization focuses on exploring the theory of education through its many courses. It is designed for students who want to provide health education at school or in related settings. 

Curriculum and Skills Gained in Online Master’s in Health Education Programs

As mentioned earlier, an online master’s in health education requires 35 to 50 credits for completion of the program. Credits could differ from program to program depending on the program’s curriculum designed by different institutions. The core subjects are mostly basic for all different programs. Students will be required to select different concentrations and electives. They would be required to complete a thesis or capstone, take comprehensive exams, and also engage in field internships. With healthcare education being a diverse field, many different health education programs are available across the country, but most have some common courses, such as:  

  • Health and Disease Issues 
  • Human Sexuality and Family Life Education 
  • Analyzing Curricula and Implementation of School Health Programs 
  • Methods of Teaching Personal Life Skills 
  • Substance Abuse and Misuse 
  • Media Literacy and Consumer Health 
  • Nutrition or Fitness 
  • Principles of Epidemiology 
  • Assessment and Evaluation in Health Education 
  • Strategies for Teaching Health Content 
  • Community Health Assessment 
  • Capstone Seminar in Health Education 
  • Health Education and Communication 
  • Principles of Educational Leadership 
  • Evidence-Based Practice in Health Professional Education 
  • Healthcare Statistics
  • Public Health Program Development  
  • Mental Health Issues for Health Educators 

Apart from these courses, students would be required to complete their electives depending on their chosen concentration. Based on the geographical location of the institution, students would be required to complete a certain number of internship hours as determined by the program requirements.  

Upon graduating from health education master’s programs, students will be able to take on responsibility for many different occupations available in this field. Some of these could include the ability to: 

  • solve problems and connect with people on a community level regarding their health-related issues; 
  • create healthier living in the communities in various environments and determine changes to be made; 
  • demonstrate leadership in public health and understand the skills of planning and evaluation and specify social determinants of health and health-related behavior;  
  • evaluate work in health fields using advancing technologies and evaluate existing programs; 
  • demonstrate efficient professionalism in implementing health-related programs and supervising or leading health programs; 
  • communicate ideas of well-being, efficient health, and so on, creatively to reach targeted groups; 
  • design healthcare plans aimed at enhancing the quality of life for individuals and the community; 
  • showcase expertise on topics like social and behavioral health, communicable diseases, lifespan, organizational well-being, and so on; 
  • explore social and cultural divisions that would influence the lifestyle of people, discover how community health problems have been dealt with in the past, and implement effective past strategies when problems come up in the present; 
  • demonstrate evidence-based practices and formulate plans by analyzing actual field-based data;  
  • show professionalism in disseminating published data in health research.

Accreditation for Online Master’s in Health Education Programs

Accreditation is a process of reviewing the quality that higher education programs and institutions impart to their students. Accreditation is executed by non-governmental bodies and determines factors like easy availability of federal aid or transfer of credits. Even at the level of employment, most employers prefer to hire graduates from accredited master’s in health education colleges as they are assured that the candidate has an education that meets rigorous quality standards. The two most common types of accreditation in the U.S. are Regional and National Accreditation. Graduate schools are frequently accredited by six primary regional accrediting bodies, which are:  

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC) 
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) 
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) 

The Council on Education for Public Health, or CEPH, is an independent agency that accredits health-related institutions. Completing programs accredited by this council can help with the Certified Health Education Specialist Exam. Students who want to pursue teaching in Health Education can refer to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards for certifications and accreditations. 

Timeline for graduating from Online Master’s in Health Education Programs

The duration of a master of health education is typically 2 to 2.5 years. This timeline depends on factors like coursework, thesis, curriculum, concentration, comprehensive exams, synchronous vs asynchronous learning, and program delivery. The program ranges between 35 to 50 credits. The duration also depends on how students pursue the degree: 

Full-time: a full-time master’s is an intensive mode of studying and would require around 2 years to complete.  

Part-time: a part-time master’s is a flexible option; the program curriculum would be spread over 3 to 4 years

Online Master’s in Health Education Programs Admission Requirements

An online health education master’s would necessitate specific requirements that prospective graduates would need to meet to get admitted to the program. Each program and institution vary in their requirement, and the prerequisites a student would need to meet would differ from the program structure to the department’s demands. Here are some of the most common online master’s in health education admissions requirements:  

  • Application fee 
  • Application form 
  • Bachelor’s degree from accredited institutes (preferred GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate work) 
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to the academic and professional qualification of the applicant (this requirement differs by program) 
  • Graduate Résumé 
  • Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement 
  • Submissions of transcripts from past universities and programs 
  • Some institutions may require GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) scores.

Online Master’s in Health Education No GRE Programs

Students applying for master’s programs are usually required to take their Graduate Record Examination or GRE and apply with their scores for admission. However, some colleges have no GRE requirements. Having a master’s program with no GRE requirement helps more students access this program, thus diversifying the applicant pool for the program. Examples of universities offering online master’s in health education no GRE programs are the University of LouisvilleEast Carolina University, and Hofstra University

Accelerated Online Master’s in Health Education Programs

Accelerated online master’s in health education programs help the students finish their master’s in a quicker time frame, with lesser cost, and a flexible curriculum to manage their other priorities like work or family. While some universities allow students to combine their bachelor’s and master’s programs to finish in 4+1 years instead of the usual 4+2 years, others allow students to take more courses and graduate in less than the standard 2 years. Some of the accelerated programs for online master’s in health education are: 

  1. Western Carolina University – offers an affordable accelerated online master’s in health education with a 16-week academic term format. 
  2. East Stroudsburg University – offers 30 credit hours accelerated online master’s in health education, designed to benefit working professionals.  
  3. Cleveland University – offers a 36-credit accelerated online master’s in health education, which can be taken up asynchronously or synchronously.

Free Courses for Online Master’s in Health Education Students

There are many diverse online master’s in health education courses available for students to enhance their knowledge, skills, and expertise and explore their field more than they can through formal study. However, these courses are not accredited and cannot be used in place of a master’s degree, but they could help do assignments and prepare for exams. Here are a few examples of free online master’s in health education courses: 

CourseProvided by Description 
Health for All Through Primary Health Care Coursera This course helps students understand why primary health care is crucial to achieving health. It shows how primary health care is instrumental in bringing health goals to the population and guiding policies and actions. 
Health and Society Harvard University Through this course, students learn how population health is affected by major social variables disturbing us. It looks at empirical research to link these variables to the population’s health status. Students understand methods of epidemiological research. 
Quantitative Methods in Clinical & Public Health Research Harvard University This course looks at the ways to analyze data sets using qualitative methods. Students discover patterns and try to extract knowledge from available health data. The principles of epidemiology and biostatistics are used for clinical research and public health. 

How to Pay for an Online Master’s in Health Education Program

The cost of a master’s in health education degree online would depend on factors like course material, tuition fee, additional elective costs, travel, accommodation, etc. Although online students are exempted from many of these costs, the tuition fee for an online master’s in health education program would range from $16,000 to $40,000, depending on the program and the institution. Fortunately, students can fund their education through various funding mechanisms, some of which are:

Graduate School Scholarships

Graduate school scholarships could cover the full or partial costs of tuition fees. Universities can be a source of scholarships; other than them, there are many graduate school scholarships that one can get through the private sector, industry-related associations, and national organizations. 

Grants for Graduate School

Grants are need-oriented and frequently given out for specific research areas, objectives, or target groups. They are not necessarily based on the academic ability or accomplishments of the student but on other factors which scholarships may not cover.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships help students study and gain insights into their chosen program while being able to support their tuition costs at the same time. Students gain a lot of expertise and experience when they become graduate assistants. They would be appointed to assist a program, institution, faculty member, or department in carrying out specific tasks.


Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA is a form that determines if a student is eligible for financial aid from the federal government. This would include subsidized and unsubsidized loans and grants. FAFSA is not financial aid; it helps students get federal-based financial aid.

Find out more about funding a master’s program in the financial aid guide.

Scholarships for Online Master’s in Health Education Students

Graduate students pursuing a master’s degree in health education can fund their education by applying for different scholarships. Such scholarships could help students reduce their expenses. Students can apply for scholarships based on their academic merit or success in other areas like sports, art, music, and so on. The guide to graduate school scholarships provides more details. Examples of some scholarships for health education students are:

The Christie Foundation-Health Education Scholarships

Christie foundation awards scholarships to students pursuing degrees in health education and multiple fields in healthcare.

Award/Amount: Varies ($125,000 available)

Application Deadline: TBA

Bill and Mary Russell Health Care Scholarship

The Bill and Mary Russell Scholarship, administered by the Mosaic Life Care Foundation, offers financial support for those looking to pursue educational possibilities leading to a nursing or healthcare profession.

Award/Amount: Varies

Application Deadline: March 15

Primary Health Network Charitable Foundation Scholarship

The PHN Foundation (PHNCF) offers scholarships to students pursuing a career in healthcare or allied health fields each year.

Award/Amount: $30,000

Application Deadline: Closed for 2023 | TBA for 2024

FAQs about the Online Master’s in Health Education Program

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a master’s in health education?

A master’s in health education is a graduate-level degree program designed for students to become experts in health professions. It aims to provide expertise in education and teaching, specifically in health science professions. It also helps students gain advanced skills in curriculum development, student and program evaluation, classroom and clinical teaching and evaluating and applying evidence to inform their educational practices. The curriculum is designed with practicum and/or a traditional thesis to capitalize on applying new skills to many health professions.

What can you do with a master’s in health education degree?

How long is a health education master’s?

Is a health education master’s worth it?

What are the different types of health education degrees?

Careers and Salary Outlook for Online Master’s in Health Education Graduates

After earning an online master’s in health education, graduates could work in a range of settings where health education is crucial. They can take up multiple roles in hospitals, governmental organizations, non-profit institutions, etc. There are many roles where graduates can use their health education online master’s degree. Here are some job positions as examples: 

  • Wellness Consultant 
  • Health Program Coordinator 
  • College or University Instructor 
  • Lactation Consultant 
  • Healthcare Administrator 
  • Prevention Specialist 
  • Grant Writer 
  • Health Educator  
  • Epidemiologist 
  • Healthcare Manager 
  • Community Health Worker 
  • Intervention Specialist 
  • Medical Policy Manager 
  • Health and Promotion Specialist 
  • Clinical Trial Manager 
  • Biostatistician 
  • Health Information Technician 

Listed below are a few career options, with their median annual salary and job growth reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): 

Occupation Median Annual Salary Job Growth (up to 2031) Job Description 
Health Education Specialists $64,930 NA Health education specialists develop programs that teach individuals about the conditions hampering their well-being. They can work in a variety of healthcare settings like hospitals and so on.  
Medical and Health Services Managers $101,340 28% (much faster than average) Medical and health service managers direct, coordinate, and plan business activities for organizations providing healthcare services. They work in hospitals, nursing homes, healthcare facilities, and group medical services.  
Epidemiologists $78,830 26% (much faster than average) Epidemiologists are health workers who examine causes and patterns of injury and disease. They work in laboratories and offices, usually at health departments of local and state governments, colleges and universities, and hospitals.  
Community Health Workers $48,860 per year 12% (much faster than average) Community health workers promote well-being by motivating people to adopt more healthy behaviors. They could work in government agencies and nonprofit organizations.  
Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners $123,780 40% (much faster than average) Nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives coordinate with patient care and provide specialty and primary healthcare. They can work in healthcare settings like hospitals, clinics, and physician’s offices.  

Certifications and Licensing for Online Master’s in Health Education Graduates

Professional certification helps students advance their careers in highly-specialized settings and organizations. They provide professional competence along with the academic degree a student would have. Certifications verify the competency and legitimacy of a professional in their field. They prove to employers that the individual is educated, trained, and can meet their role’s expectations. Here are some examples of certification healthcare education graduates can consider:  

  1. National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) – The NCHEC is a professional credentialing body for health education in the United States. It offers the certification for Certified Health Education Specialists. This certification attests to the individual’s health education specialists’ skills and knowledge. 
  2. Master Certified Health Education Specialist – Students can also take the Master Certified Health Education Specialist Exam through NCHEC if they want to work in the field of health education and meet the education requirements. 
  3. Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives – The American College of Healthcare Executives awards the Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) credential to healthcare executives who satisfactorily complete the requirements for board certification. 

For some jobs, the law requires licensure for practicing in the field and can be obtained through state agencies. Getting licensure in one’s field tremendously increases the individual’s employment opportunity. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health provides information about credentialing, education, and licensing in the field of health education. There are no standardized national systems for health practitioner credentials. Different state governments have their independent requirements to work. Credentials required for complementary health practitioners could vary from discipline to disciple and state to state.

Additional Resources for Online Master’s in Health Education Graduates

A student pursuing an online master’s in health education can benefit by joining associations related to health education. Career aids, certifications, scholarships, and materials are some common services provided by such associations. They could help students gain relevant knowledge, skill, and proficiency in their field. Additionally, students can communicate with industry experts to understand health-related issues in different communities, address the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, advise community leaders on the prevention of suicide, develop programs, and implement healthcare at individual and community levels. Here are some resources to explore: 

  1. American Public Health Association (APHA) – The American Public Health Association, or APHA, focuses on the health of all individuals and communities and on strengthening health professions. The members of this organization work in different disciplines of public health in the United States and other countries worldwide.  
  2. National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) – The National Commission for Health Education credentialing or NCHEC promotes, protects, and improves people’s health by upholding high-quality standards. They certify health education specialists, promote the profession’s development, and strengthen their practice and preparation. 
  3. Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) – Society for Public Health Education or SOPHE is an independent and nonprofit organization that represents diversified membership of health education and promotion of professionals in the U.S. and other countries. They raise awareness and work in local communities to diminish racial and ethnic health disparity. 
  4. American Association of Health Education (AAHE) – The American Association of Health Education, or AAHE, serves health educators and other related professions that promote the health of individuals. It is a professional membership organization that encourages, supports, and helps health professionals concerned with the promotion of health through systematic and educational strategies.  
  5. United States Health Foundation – The United States Health Foundation strives to provide relevant fitness and health education to individuals and communities. The organization is composed of allied health professionals focusing on educating individuals about nutrition, wellness, and so on. It helps students promote active lifestyles and optimal health.
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