Masters Degree Programs
The Health Behavior and Health Education masters 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 voluntary 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 education research. A diverse faculty, coupled with research and clinical opportunities within and outside the university, provide an excellent milieu 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 in Health Behavior and Health Education non-thesis program. This option focuses on theory, application, and practitioner skills oriented more towards careers in educational institutions, community health care settings, business and industry, government agencies, and voluntary health agencies. For this option, students are required to complete a semester-long internship, which should be taken during the final semester. 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 academic advisor, as well as the onsite supervisor, will supervise the internship experience. Each student should work with his/her academic advisor, as well as onsite supervisor, to complete the required Internship Notebook. 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 view the Internship Notebook and 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 CHES (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 more specific problems related to health promotion, and provides preparation for doctoral work in health education. Students planning to pursue doctoral programs are encouraged to engage in directed research in addition to the 36-hour Master of Science requirements.