Bachelor of Science in Health Education

Because of scientific advances occurring during this century, morbidity and mortality caused by contagious and infectious diseases have declined markedly. Unfortunately, these diseases have been replaced by chronic and degenerative disorders resulting from improper diet, lack of exercise, substance abuse, stress, unintentional injuries, pollution and an expanding array of lifestyle and health behavior problems. With appropriate health education interventions, many of these problems can be prevented or controlled.

The Department of Health Education & Behavior, with a foundation in the social and biological sciences, focuses on health information and theory application. Students learn techniques to promote healthy lifestyle choices in individual and group settings, with special attention given to diversity and culturally appropriate health education methodologies. The undergraduate curriculum also provides an excellent foundation for health education and related graduate programs, as well as professional health programs such as nursing, medical school, physician assistant, occupational therapy and physical therapy.

Professional preparation for the Health Education & Behavior major focuses on:

  • Assessing individual and community health education needs;
  • Developing, planning and implementing effective health education programs;
  • Evaluating health education program effectiveness;
  • Coordinating the provision of health education services;
  • Acting as a resource person in health education; and
  • Communicating health/health education needs, concerns and resources.

Additionally, the Bachelor of Science in Health Education degree program allows students maximum flexibility with choosing Department specialization coursework during the junior and senior years that relates to personal interests in the health field.  Students can focus their studies on interest areas in community and public health education, health promotion in the worksite setting, or general health studies.

Students with an interest in community and public health education complete coursework focused on illness and disease prevention among special target groups within a particular community, with the ultimate goal of providing practical health information to diverse population groups through the use of theory-driven educational methods. Community health and public health educators generally find employment in local, state or national governmental health agencies (State or County Health Departments, CDC, NIH) and in voluntary public health units such as the American Cancer Society, the March of Dimes and Planned Parenthood.

Students with an interest in health promotion complete coursework that prepares for careers in employee-assistance programs and corporate or hospital-based wellness centers. Many companies utilizing large employee populations have noticed a significant decrease in absenteeism and an increase in work productivity for those employees actively participating in an employee wellness program. In addition, insurance rates tend to be lower for those employees thus providing an incentive for employers to offer such programs. Employee wellness programs can include sessions for smoking cessation, nutritional guidelines, stress relief, injury prevention, and might include running an on-site gym.

Students wishing to have in depth knowledge of health concerns may complete an interest in health studies.  This interest area allows students to gain knowledge on a variety of health issues plaguing diverse population groups.  Students are also able to complete required prerequisite coursework for professional health programs, as well as graduate programs in health education or related fields (public health, health administration, and epidemiology and disease prevention).


  • HEB Combined Degree Program: Students majoring in Health Education and Behavior are also eligible for the Bachelor’s – Master’s of Science combined degree program, thus receiving both degrees within approximately 5 years.  Students interested in this program should visit the HEB Combined Degree Program website.
  • Health Education Internship: Prior to graduation, all HEB majors are required to complete a 15-credit hour, full-time internship experience. This requirement is met during the semester of expected graduation.  Additional internship information may be found at the HEB Internship webpage.  Additionally, students are required to register for HSC4800 the semester prior to internship/graduation.  This course assists students with internship placement and paperwork requirements.
  • CHES: Students who successfully complete the bachelor’s degree are eligible to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam, a national voluntary certification recommended by numerous health employers.  The CHES designation after a health educator’s name is a highly recognized (and valued) indication of professional competency and commitment to continued professional development. For more information visit:

Academic Learning Compact

Students are required to demonstrate competence in subject matter for upper division major/specialization coursework. Students should also demonstrate mastery of critical skills needed in planning and delivery of health education/promotion as demonstrated by the internship supervisor’s assessment at the completion of internship. To learn more, please visit the Academic Learning Compact website