The 8 Best Online Bachelor’s in Health Education Programs

| TBS Staff

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Individuals need to be educated in personal health and wellness to maintain their quality of life. Healthcare specialists address issues such as substance abuse, mental illness, and sexually transmitted diseases to help individuals and communities stay healthy. Community outreach leaders advocate for health programs and provide education and support for local residents.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the number of health education positions to increase 16% by 2026, a rate much faster than the national average for all occupations. Health education professionals work in healthcare facilities, schools, nonprofit organizations, and businesses. Health educators positively impact others' lives and ensure the continued health of communities.

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Choosing a Program

Professionals with an online health education degree provide quality healthcare and education. While pursuing a health education degree online, students gain interpersonal communication skills and become proficient in statistical analysis. Graduates are equipped to construct healthcare plans that improve the quality of life for communities. Most health education programs include courses in lifespan wellness, communicable diseases, and social and behavioral health. Students explore the social and cultural divisions that impact lifestyles and learn about past and present approaches to personal and community health issues. Additional coursework in program management, statistical analysis, and healthcare marketing train students in the administrative and analytical components of the industry.

After earning a health education degree online, many graduates pursue careers in healthcare facilities, where they work with patients and family members to establish healthy lifestyles following release from hospital care or assisted living. Educators work in schools to combat issues such as substance abuse and sexually transmitted diseases. Health educators often collaborate with public health administrators to spread awareness of community issues and during healthcare emergencies.

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Online Bachelor's in Health Education Degree Program Ranking Guidelines

We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.

The motto of TheBestSchools.org is Finding the best school for you. Here is how we do it:

The value of any ranking list of schools and/or degree programs depends on having a methodologically sound assessment of each school’s/program’s characteristics, especially insofar as these can be objectively measured. A college or university is a complex entity, with numerous factors to consider, and distilling these down to the place where meaningful comparisons can be made to form a defensible ranking list becomes part science and part art.

To meet this challenge—and thereby provide you with the most useful and insightful educational rankings on the Internet — TheBestSchools.org formulates our rankings based on five informational categories (six, when considering online schools). The major metrics and qualities for which we rank are these (with expanded, detailed considerations and weights listed):

1. Academic excellence based on a school’s curriculum generally or within the selected discipline [weight = 25%]

  • Weighs school against known leading schools in that discipline
  • Weighs number of core curricula listed as advanced courses within that discipline and compares against introductory courses
  • Weighs school’s curriculum against known knowledge needs of major employers in that discipline
  • Considers number and types of specializations offered within that discipline
  • Considers faculty expertise in that discipline
  • Considers range of electives within that discipline
  • Considers quality of online environment offered to students (if applicable), particularly within that discipline

2. Strength of faculty scholarship [weight = 25%]

  • Considers education background of the faculty
  • Considers years of faculty experience both inside and outside of academia.
  • Considers faculty membership and leadership within relevant, prominent associations
  • Considers academic papers published by faculty in relevant, prominent periodicals
  • Considers awards and recognitions given to faculty members from prominent organizations and from other sources

3. Reputation [weight = 20%]

  • Considers a school’s reputation among academic peers and employers regarding the following:
    • Faculty
    • Curriculum
    • “Freshness” of academic knowledge
    • Adaptability to changes in employment sectors
    • Suitability of graduates for the workplace

4. Financial aid [weight = 10%]

  • Mandatory: Requires full accreditation from an agency endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and listed on the federal register to accept student federal financial aid
  • Considers range of school-sponsored financial aid such as scholarships and grants

5. Range of degree programs [weight = 20%]

  • Considers range of degree levels: associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral and professional
  • Considers range of degree subjects offered, such as art & design, computers & technology, education & teaching, criminal justice, and business

6. Strength of online instruction methodology (if applicable) [weight = 25%; subtract 5% from each of the above for online schools/programs]

  • Considers the following of the online classes:
    • Types of online technology used to deliver content
    • Pedagogy style: asynchronous, synchronous, or both (depending on the degree)
    • Extent and quality of the online, community learning environment, including options for communication, interactivity, and collaboration between students and also between students and instructors
    • Variety, breadth, and depth of coursework, and its support, including project options and online tutoring
  • Considers the following of instructors:
    • Extent of training for teaching within an online learning environment
    • Amount of timely, consistent feedback to students
    • Extent of collaboration with prospective employers to ensure suitability of instructional materials for achieving desired skills
    • Ratio to number of students in a class
  • Number and quality of internships in a student’s geographical area for applicable degrees

Because students tend to review a variety of information when choosing a school, the weight a student gives any one criterion will vary. For instance, it’s not enough to offer a carefully constructed ranking of great schools if many are too expensive or too difficult to get into.

To better serve the needs of prospective students, we are therefore increasingly offering filters that help you better use our rankings to find the schools that match your specific needs. These supplement our ranking criteria and include:

  • Accreditation
  • Public or private status
  • Acceptance rate
  • Retention rate
  • Graduation rate
  • ACT/SAT requirements
  • Cost in-state / out of state
  • Undergrad, grad, or both offered
  • Region
  • State
  • City

Get the best rankings here AND get them to suit your personal needs. That’s TheBestSchools.org advantage!

If you have any questions about our ranking methodology, please contact us.

Citations: For a broader account of our ranking methodology, especially as it relates to TheBestSchools.org's underlying educational philosophy and, in other ranking articles, looks beyond academic excellence (as here) to such factors as return on investment or incidental benefit, see our article "Ranking Methodology: How We Rank Schools at TBS." Reputation of schools and degree programs can at least in part be gauged through the school or department's publishing activity, citations, and desirability. At TheBestSchools.org, we keep track of such social and peer validation: "Making Sense of College Rankings." For nuts-and-bolts information about colleges and universities, we look to the National Center for Education Statistics and especially its College Navigator. Insofar as salary and inflation data are relevant to a ranking, we look to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Finally, nothing beats contacting schools and degree programs directly, which our researchers often do, with the result that all the entries in this article should be considered as belonging to this citation!

The Best Online Bachelor's in Health Education Degree Programs

University of Florida View School Profile $$ Gainesville, FL 85% The University of Florida receives regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Based in Gainesville, UF offers a variety of online bachelor's programs, including a bachelor of science in health education and behavior. This program prepares students to promote healthy lifestyle choices among individuals and communities in clinical and workplace settings. Graduates pursue careers as family life educators, drug rehabilitation specialists, and public health information officers.

Full-time students can complete the 120-credit asynchronous online health education degree in four years. Required courses and electives provide a foundation in the social and biological sciences. Core courses include anatomy, physiology, biology, nutrition, statistics, psychology, and sociology. Critical tracking courses ensure students progress systematically through the program. After completing coursework, students spend the final semester undertaking a 15-credit full-time internship.

Transfer applicants should have a 2.0 GPA. Students must complete at least five of the nine prerequisite courses with a 2.5 GPA.

Brigham Young University-Idaho View School Profile $ Rexburg, ID 52% Brigham Young University – Idaho receives regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

BYU-Idaho is a private university affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The school offers an online BS in public health that focuses on health education and promotion. Students in the online health education degree complete 40 credits of comprehensive general education coursework. These foundational classes include quantitative reasoning, writing, science, and cultural awareness, and religion.

Students earning their health education degree online develop core competencies in the field and are prepared to obtain the Certified Health Education Specialist credential. The curriculum includes 52 major credits in areas such as health behavior theories, hospital and health administration, and international health. Students also complete 28 elective credits and an internship.

Distance learners complete coursework asynchronously, but assignment deadlines and exam dates follow the same schedule as the on-campus program. Students communicate with peers through online discussion boards.

Arizona State University View School Profile $$ Tempe, AZ 58% Arizona State University Online receives regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges (HLC).

ASU offers more than 150 online degrees and certificates, including an innovative BS in health education and health promotion. The online health education degree prepares students to earn the Certified Health Education Specialist credential. Students complete foundational courses in social determinants of health and health behavior, clinical informatics, and stress management for wellness. Distance learners then customize their degree through electives such as social media and marketing in health education and emotional health and interpersonal relationships. The program culminates in a six-credit capstone internship.

ASU offers six start dates per year. Online students have access to resources including tutoring, career services, military support, and libraries. The program requires 120 credit hours. Each course lasts seven and a half weeks.

Touro University Worldwide View School Profile $$ Los Alamitos, CA 20% Touro University Worldwide receives regional accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

TUW delivers fully online programs from its base in Los Alamitos, California. An innovator in online education, TUW created the first regionally accredited online doctoral program with no residency requirement. The university's BS in health sciences with a concentration in health education emphasizes intellectual rigor and commitment to social justice.

TUW's online health education degree features small class sizes. Students gain practical skills by examining case studies. The program requires 120 credit hours and full-time students typically earn the degree in three and half years. Students prepare to become Certified Health Education Specialists through courses exploring teamwork, cultural competence in healthcare, and policies and ethics in healthcare. The program culminates in a three-credit capstone project.

Students must complete prerequisites before moving on to major and concentration requirements. TUW is part of the Touro College and University System, which enrolls 19,000 students worldwide.

University of Arkansas Little Rock View School Profile $$ Little Rock, AR 19% The University of Arkansas Little Rock Online receives regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded as a junior college in 1927, UA Little Rock now offers more than 100 undergraduate degrees, including an online BS in health education and promotion. The online health education degree requires 120 credit hours, which most students complete in four years, and follows a traditional, semester-based schedule.

Students complete 32 credit hours in core coursework and 67 credit hours in areas such as mental health education, controversial issues in health education, and cultural competence in health education. Health education students must declare an 18-hour minor in an area such as psychology, health science, health and exercise science, or sport management. All students complete a six-hour supervised internship in a health education setting. The program culminates in a health sciences capstone seminar, during which students create a portfolio to prepare for the Certified Health Education Specialist exam.

Online students have access to resources including the library, an online writing lab, and military student support. Applicants must have a 2.0 GPA and at least 12 previous credit hours.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette View School Profile $ Lafayette, LA 44% The University of Louisiana at Lafayette receives regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1898, UL Lafayette is one of the most affordable universities in Louisiana. The university offers a BS in kinesiology with a concentration in health promotion and wellness. Program requirements include a nine-hour internship, a three-hour clinical experience, and a first aid course. The curriculum also includes nine hours of coursework in nutrition. Because many graduates pursue careers with nonprofit organizations, the program provides skills in organizational leadership, management, and organization funding strategies.

This online health education degree requires 120 credit hours, which most students complete in four years. Graduates are prepared to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist exam. UL Lafayette delivers online coursework asynchronously, so students can complete requirements on their own schedule. All online students pay in-state tuition rates, regardless of residency status. UL Lafayette is not authorized to offer the BS in kinesiology to students in all states; be sure to check your state's eligibility before applying.

Southern New Hampshire University View School Profile $$$$ Manchester, NH 59% Southern New Hampshire University receives its regional accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

SNHU structures its online programs to meet the needs of busy students with personal and professional commitments. Based in Manchester, SNHU enrolls more than 80,000 online students across the country. The university delivers its BS in community health education asynchronously, allowing students to complete coursework at their convenience.

The curriculum covers topics such as wellness across the lifespan, methods and materials in health education, health communication, social marketing, and advocacy. The program culminates in a community health capstone, which requires a comprehensive paper. SNHU offers six start dates throughout the year, and full-time students can complete the health education degree online in four years.

SNHU makes admissions decisions on a rolling basis. Discounted tuition rates are available for U.S. service members. Transfer students can apply up to 90 previous credits toward the degree. SNHU does not charge an application fee.

Mississippi University for Women View School Profile $$ Columbus, MS 39% Mississippi University for Women receives its regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

In 1884, The W became the country's first state-sponsored college for women. Today, the university admits both men and women to its on-campus and online programs. The W offers two online health education degrees: a bachelor of science in public health education and a bachelor of applied science in public health education.

Both programs require 124 credits, which most students complete in four years. The programs are available fully online, with the exception of an optional six-credit internship. Online students can complete a capstone research project in lieu of an internship. The curriculum includes coursework in the humanities, critical thinking, global health, and chronic and infectious diseases.

Applicants to the BAS program must hold an AAS in allied health. Transfer students in the BS program may apply up to 62 previous credits toward the degree.

Online Bachelor's in Health Education Careers

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Earning a degree in health education online prepares students for a variety of careers, such as those described below. Some graduates work with patients in healthcare facilities, while others pursue government positions and make large-scale changes.

  1. Health educator and community health worker: These professionals work directly with patients in healthcare facilities and hospitals. They meet individually with clients and family members to explain diagnoses, organize health screenings, and discuss ways to maintain healthy lifestyles after release from professional care.
    • Median Annual Salary: $44,390
    • Projected Growth Rate: 16%
  2. High school health educator: These educators help young adults make responsible decisions that positively impact their futures. They prepare students to address issues such as substance abuse and sexually transmitted diseases, and they convey the benefits of exercise and mental health awareness.
    • Median Annual Salary: $58,030
    • Projected Growth Rate: 8%
  3. Social and community service manager: Social and community service managers work with the local government to identify, analyse, and address community health needs. Through outreach engagement, these managers communicate with the public and address community health issues.
    • Median Annual Salary: $64,680
    • Projected Growth Rate: 16%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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