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Public Health Education and Promotion

Program Description

Just the Facts

Public Health Education and Promotion. A program that focuses on the application of educational and communications principles and methods to the promotion of preventive health measures and the education of targeted populations on health issues, and prepares individuals to function as public health educators and health promotion specialists. Includes instruction in human development, health issues across the life span, population-specific health issues, principles and methods of public health education, administration of health education campaigns and programs, evaluation methods, public communications, and applications to specific public health subjects and issues.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree

High School Courses

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this career cluster:

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

Additional Information

A health studies program specializes in health promotion and disease prevention. It emphasizes health issues, the relationship between lifestyle and health, and the importance of disease prevention.

These programs may also be known as community health, public health, health education and health promotion.

Health studies degrees are offered throughout North America. There are many options for specialization, so you should check out a few and find one you like.

Dan Duquette is chair of the department of health education and health promotion at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse. In his program, students are offered a number of paths. These include a BS in community health education, a BS in school health education (with teaching certification), a minor in school health education, and master's degrees in both community health education and school health education.

"At the undergraduate level, students can complete either the school health or community health degree in four to five years, depending on when they enter the program," says Duquette. "All the master's degree programs can be completed in two years."

Typical courses cover nutrition education, health promotion, drugs, society and human behavior, environmental health, research design, program planning and health aspects of aging. Duquette's program also requires an internship.

Duquette says the required internship for the undergraduate program is a full semester of full-time experience at a department-approved site. At the graduate level, students work for 15 hours a week in an internship placement.

Students should display a strong desire for a career in a health profession and be independent thinkers, says Brent Faught. He is a professor of community health sciences. Other important traits include being innovative, having a willingness to get involved in projects and research and working well in group settings.

"Generally speaking, we are looking for students that come with a lot of experience -- volunteer and employment -- that are willing to get involved once they have arrived," Faught says.

High school students could take biology, chemistry, physics, calculus, algebra and physical or health education, he says.

An emerging area in this field is the integration of health information with information technology, known as health informatics. That means computer literacy is vital to health studies students.

The main costs are tuition and books. For students enrolled in co-op, there is an additional co-op fee per term.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Medical and Health Services Managers

Office of Public Health and Science
From the U.S. Surgeon General

National Center for Health Statistics
Read up on health-related data

Health Occupations Students of America
Promoting health occupations in the U.S.


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