MS in Health Promotion FAQs

How do I apply to enroll in the MS in Health Promotion program?

Access the link to the University of Central Arkansas Graduate School. Locate the graduate school application, complete the form, and submit the application fee to the UCA Graduate office. The graduate office requires original transcripts from all colleges and universities from which you’ve received credit for courses. If not already completed, the GRE must be taken as soon as possible (see the link on the web page with the graduate application), unless you qualify to be exempt from the GRE (see GRE exemptions in the GRE FAQ below).  As soon as the application is processed by the graduate school, the application is sent to the Department of Health Sciences graduate coordinator/advisor who reviews the application and determines your admission status. The decision is sent to the graduate office and a letter of notification is mailed to the student.

Am I required to complete the degree in one year?

No. Completing the degree in one year is one of the options provided for interested students. The program coordinator/advisor works with each student to develop a graduation plan that meets individual needs and schedules. Every student’s needs are different; the one-year option works for some and others prefer to spread the courses out over two years or longer.

Are all courses online?  Will I need to come to campus?

All courses needed for the degree program are available online.  Students do not need to come to the campus for any of the course work or requirements to complete the degree. The core courses are 16 weeks long in a regular (fall/spring) semester. The elective courses are 8 weeks long in a regular (fall/spring) semester and 5 weeks long during summer semesters.

How much is a course?

Current graduate fees and tuition costs are posted online at:

Will I need to pay out-of-state tuition?

No. There is no out-of-state tuition for online programs. For information on expected tuition cost and fees, go here:

How many hours can I transfer into the program?

Students enrolled in the non-thesis option may transfer up to twelve hours of coursework related to the master’s degree if the courses meet approval of the graduate coordinator/advisor, departmental chairperson, and Graduate Dean and relate to the health promotion degree competencies. Students enrolled in the thesis option may only transfer up to 9 hours of credit from another U.S. accredited institution. The student must provide the graduate coordinator/advisor with the necessary information regarding the courses to be transferred.

Is there a minimum GRE score required?

  • The MS in Health Promotion program requires Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores that are less than five years old indicating a score of 3.0 or higher on the Analytical Writing section. Completing the GRE at least one month prior to classes starting is recommended since GRE results may take around 3-5 weeks to be returned.
  • Exceptions to this GRE requirement include any of the following:
    1. A comparable standardized graduate exam that includes a writing section score;
    2. CHES or MCHES certification;
    3. Completion of a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. accredited institution;
    4. An undergraduate GPA of 3.25 of higher from a U.S. accredited institution.

Where might I find employment with a MS in Health Promotion?

  • In schools, health education specialists teach health as a subject and promote and implement Coordinated School Health Programs. These programs include health services, student, staff and parent health education, and promotion of healthy school environments and school-community partnerships. At the school district level they develop education methods and materials; coordinate, promote, and evaluate programs; and write funding proposals.
  • On college/university campuses, health education specialists are part of a team working to create an environment in which students feel empowered to make healthy choices and create a caring community. They identify needs; advocate and do community organizing; teach whole courses or individual classes; develop mass media campaigns; and train peer educators, counselors, and/or advocates. These specialists address issues related to disease prevention; consumer, environmental, emotional, sexual health; first aid, safety and disaster preparedness; substance abuse prevention; human growth and development; and nutrition and eating issues. They may manage grants and conduct research.
  • In companies, health education specialists perform or coordinate employee counseling as well as education services, employee health risk appraisals, and health screenings. They design, promote, lead and/or evaluate programs about weight control, hypertension, nutrition, substance abuse prevention, physical fitness, stress management and smoking cessation; develop educational materials; and write grants for money to support these projects. These specialists help companies meet occupational health and safety regulations, work with the media, and identify community health resources for employees.
  • In health care settings, health education specialists educate patients about medical procedures, operations, services and therapeutic regimens, create activities and incentives to encourage use of services by high risk patients; conduct staff training and consult with other health care providers about behavioral, cultural or social barriers to health; promote self-care; develop activities to improve patient participation on clinical processes; educate individuals to protect, promote or maintain their health and reduce risky behaviors; make appropriate community-based referrals, and write grants.
  • In community organizations and government agencies, health education specialists help a community identify its needs, draw upon its problem-solving abilities and mobilize its resources to develop, promote, implement and evaluate strategies to improve its own health status. Health educators do community organizing and outreach, grant writing, coalition building, advocacy and develop, produce, and evaluate mass media health campaigns.
  • In business, health education specialists are certified as health coaches and work as an independent contractor offering online or face-to-face services. These specialists may also function as wellness coaches for insurance companies, gyms, and other businesses, using results from personal health assessments to assists clients in identifying goals that promote their health. Behavior change principles are used to motivate the client to work toward achievement of the goals.

Source: Partially adapted from SHAPE.