Health Promotion Major

Getting Started

The program is primarily residential with some courses offered online. Typically, the program takes four semesters to complete (about two years).

The first year of courses consist primarily of foundational required courses for the degree with additional opportunities for independent study and/or research experience.

Courses introduce key concepts in health promotion theory and conceptual frameworks, research design, statistics and quantitative methods, contemporary issues in health promotion, instructional planning and advanced instructional methods in health promotion and health education, program evaluation, and grant writing/financial management. Additional electives cover topics related to gerontology, sexual and reproductive health, maternal and child health, safety management and addiction interventions.

Students are expected to complete their core coursework having displayed a mastery of the subject matter including the foundations of health promotion; the basics of research design and data analysis; and the key features of program evaluation, health education, and instructional planning.

Tracks, Concentrations, and Certificates

While all students will take a very similar set of core courses, electives add the chance to create a unique graduate degree experience. There are five possible certificates offered (some residential, some online): Gerontology and Health, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Safety Management, Addiction Intervention, and Maternal and Child Health.

Students are able to choose elective coursework to develop their interest. The program recommends 8 possible electives but additional courses can be taken as electives with the approval of the student’s academic advisor.

Advanced-level coursework

The last year of the program consists primarily of elective coursework, supervised internship opportunities and/or independent research. The content and topics explored in the second half of the degree program are largely up to the individual interests and goals of the student, with a particular focus on gerontology, sexual health, workplace safety, addiction treatment, maternal and child health, or program evaluation.

Students are expected to complete the latter portion of the program displaying a mastery of the elective coursework chosen as their area of expertise, with experience working in a health promotion context, and having undertaken their own supervised health promotion research.

Working with faculty

Students can and should engage faculty advisors whose work is related to their interests. Independent research and internship experiences are available and a capstone course focusing on independent research is required for successful completion of the degree.

Practicum, Fieldwork, and Internship Opportunities

The program requires one capstone course focusing on independent research. Electives provide the opportunity to complete a practicum in college sex education, an internship in health promotion, or other relevant practical health promotion experience.

There are numerous community health programs in Bloomington and the surrounding areas that offer opportunities to gain experience in the field.

Professional organizations

Eta Sigma Gamma is a National Honorary Health Education Society and Applied Health Science houses the Bloomington chapter.

Through the degree

Students will learn how to:

  • Design and implement health promotion research
  • Collect and analyze qualitative and quantitative data
  • Write grants and manage external funds
  • Evaluate health promotion programs
  • Develop and deliver health promotion education and curriculums

While the program itself does not target a specific certification, students are able to use their coursework wisely to pursue several certificates: Gerontology and Health, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Safety Management, Addiction Intervention, and Maternal and Child Health.

Students will be most successful if they are curious, questioning, independent, and motivated.

Students who pursue a Master of Science in Health Promotion are likely to have a broad range of interests from teaching health in school (in primary schools, high schools, or even at the university level); providing health and wellness programs focusing on child care, nutrition, fitness, sexual and reproductive health, mental health, aging, maternal and child health, or occupational and workplace safety; evaluating the success and effectiveness of such health promotion programs, conducting health promotion research and using the results to develop and implement new health promotion interventions, or managing programs that implement health promotion interventions.