Academic Programs

Health Education (M.S.)

When Ithaca first admitted physical education students, in 1917, we helped pioneer the training of professional educators in the field. Expanded to offer training in health education as well, our program has long been recognized for the quality of its graduates.

The Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education’s master of science degree program in health education is designed for individuals with an undergraduate degree and initial teaching certification in health education or a closely related field. After completing the program you’ll be eligible for New York State professional certification.

For individuals who hold a teaching certificate in health education, the master's program requires just 30 credit hours of graduate coursework, usually taken over two semesters and one summer. In order to let you to match your program of study to your professional interests and career aspirations, our program offers either a thesis or non-thesis option. For both options the curriculum includes classes on topics such as research methods and epidemiological approaches to disease prevention, teaching and learning in the school and community, and models and theories of health education. 

Health Education welcomes students with non-teacher certification. All students, both teacher ed and non-teacher ed, are eligible to take the national certified health education specialist (CHES) exam and practice as community health educators.

In keeping with the College’s mission, we keep our class size small, which ensures you’ll have opportunities to work closely with faculty and assist in teaching and research. You’ll be well prepared for the career opportunities that await you, including

  • school health education teacher

  • community health educator

  • college or university educator

  • school or community prevention specialist

  • school district health/physical education coordinator

  • state or local advocate for health prevention and promotion efforts