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Online Master’s Degree in Health and Wellness

Health and wellness is concerned with the overall health of the individual – physically and psychologically – and often takes a holistic approach, integrating the health of the mind, emotions, and spirit. This field is closely associated with exercise science, health promotion/education, nutrition, and fitness. A masters degree in health and wellness is a good fit for licensed health care practitioners who have an educational background based in Western medicine but who would like to learn methods of complementary or alternative health promotion. This masters degree path is also a good fit for students who have an undergraduate background in the physical or life sciences, dietetics, or exercise physiology, as it will build on these concepts.

Previously, students only had the option to enroll in traditional, campus-based programs, but today, students can enroll in an online masters degree in health and wellness, which will allow them to earn a graduate degree on their own schedule. In general, an online masters degree program in health and wellness will take two to three years to complete. However, program lengths may differ from school to school depending on the number of credits it takes to complete the degree and whether the student has any relevant graduate credits to transfer in. In addition, students may take longer to complete the program if they have to take prerequisites before getting started, or if they enroll part time.

Classes for an Online Masters Degree in Health and Wellness

The best online masters degree programs in health and wellness will take a balanced approach to promoting health through the courses they offer. Courses tend to emphasize how a healthy lifestyle should focus just as much on balanced nutrition as exercise and physical activity. In addition, students learn how to develop programs that promote health and wellness, emphasize prevention of disease, and conduct health and wellness research, all skills that are beneficial for a career role in public health, community health, or health education. A few courses you may encounter in an online masters health and wellness degree include:

  • Biostatistics
  • Integrative Nutrition
  • Program Development and Administration
  • Mind/Body Medicine
  • Environmental Health

Even though the majority of the course content is delivered online, students may be required or encouraged to complete a health and wellness internship that will require them to report to a public health setting where they can get hands-on skills in health education or health promotion. Here students may tackle a project, such as developing a specific nutrition education program for a target audience. Internships are an important component if the student intends to seek national certification in health education. Many students also find internships to be beneficial in preparing them for their future career or a new career role.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Masters Degree in Health and Wellness

Graduates of online masters degree programs in health and wellness may pursue careers at community health organizations, educational programs, mental health centers, corporate wellness programs, or in private practice (if they have obtained appropriate licensure). Potential job titles might include wellness manager, program manager, health coach, or health educator, according to Benedictine University.

Health educators must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, but some government positions in health education require a master’s degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In addition, some employers will only hire health educators who are credentialed as a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), a certification awarded by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. Significant job growth of 37% is expected between 2010 and 2020 for health educators, who should see the most job opening in social assistance, as well as religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations, the BLS explained.

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