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Department of Kinesiology Undergraduate Programs

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Public Health Education & Promotion Major

UIndy’s public health education & promotion degree prepares you for an administrative role in addressing a community’s unique health and wellness challenges through educational resources and programs. And because UIndy is situated in a hub of community health activity, you’ll have the opportunity to learn directly from practitioners in hospitals, clinics, wellness centers and other worksites. In whichever setting you prefer, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to carry out organized missions for weight management, disease and illness prevention, proper nutrition and exercise. Interested to learn more about the roles and various work settings of health education specialists? Watch this short video from the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), a main professional organization within the field of public health education.

Program strengths

  • One-on-one access to faculty, program coordinators and academic advisors
  • Access to major health resources and organizations within a few miles of campus
  • Participation in project-based learning in almost every course
  • Ability to work alongside faculty members to conduct research on various health topics
  • Solid preparation for a graduate degree in occupational or physical therapy
  • Close partnerships with community organizations to create health education programs, as well as service opportunities and networking for possible internships and jobs
“My internship was an exciting experience. I worked with the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis while they led efforts with the Top 10 By 2025 Coalition. This allowed me to meet multiple individuals throughout central Indiana who shared a common goal of providing residents the tools to live healthy lifestyles. My internship allowed me the ability to start a career with the Y. It also created the networking necessary to function in my current role.”
Tammie George

Concentrations

In addition to the required core courses in public health education and promotion, you must choose one of the three specialty concentrations below.

Applied public health

The applied public health concentration will prepare you to work in traditional public health settings such as hospitals, non-profit organizations, local or state health departments and more.

Worksite health promotion

A concentration in worksite health promotion gives you the knowledge to work with employers to establish onsite health and fitness programs such as lunchtime fitness classes and wellness education.

Health care consumer advocacy

The health care consumer advocacy concentration is for students interested in working in health care settings as a patient advocate, patient navigator or health care administrator.

Pre-occupational therapy or pre-physical therapy track

If you are interested in pursuing graduate studies in occupational or physical therapy, an undergraduate major in public health education & promotion may be the right option for you. At UIndy, you may choose any undergraduate major you wish and still be considered “pre-OT” or “pre-PT”, as long as you complete the prerequisite courses. The public health education curriculum combines those prerequisite courses with a strong foundation in the social sciences.

Community outreach and service learning

Students have the opportunity to complete various community and service learning projects to boost their professional experience. In the past, students have worked with the Marion County Health Department to propose new community programs targeting childhood obesity, smoking policy enforcement, drug education, pedestrian safety and sexuality education.

Students and alumni have interned or worked for:

  • St. Vincent Health
  • St. Vincent Hospital Bariatric Center
  • Marion County Health Department
  • Community Health Network
  • Ruth Lilly Health Education Center
  • American Diabetes Association
  • Franciscan St. Francis Health
  • American Heart Association
  • Social Health Association
  • National Institute for Fitness and Sport
  • YMCA of Greater Indianapolis

Potential careers in public health education

Being a public health education & promotion major opens up a variety of career options. Put your degree to work in various sectors of health education, such as :

Public: Work with government agencies or healthcare providers to administer state-mandated programs and health policy changes that lead to better public health.
Non-profit:  Concentrate on delivering health resources and programs to targeted populations.
Academic: Work in research positions or further your education to teach students in community or public health education majors.
Private: Contribute to community health education through roles in health insurance, consulting, worksite wellness, nutrition and others.

Typical job titles might include:

  • Health education specialist
  • Health promotion specialist
  • Health program evaluator
  • Health services administrator
  • Prevention specialist
  • Community outreach coordinator
  • Community health worker
“My internship during my last semester is what really prepared me to go out into the real world after graduation. I did my internship with the National Institute for Fitness and Sport (NIFS) and I was able to get a grasp on what I would be doing with my degree. I am thankful for the opportunity UIndy gives its students to spend the last semester doing field work.”
Mistie Hayhow

Get certified as a health education specialist

Graduates from this program are eligible to take the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam, offered through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. As a credentialed health education specialist, you’ll meet the national standards of practice while showing your commitment to continued professional development. Given our students’ high pass rate, you can be sure that a UIndy education lays the groundwork for exam success.

Public health education might be for you if:

  • You enjoy teaching, assessing and planning activities
  • You have good organizational skills
  • You are interested in health behavior of individuals and families who are at risk for physical, mental and environmental health issues
  • You consider healthy eating habits and wellness activities an important aspect of your routine
  • You are interested in researching and pioneering solutions to health problems

Curriculum Guides

These curriculum guides outline the classes you'll need to take as a public health education & promotion major. The general education curriculum guide lists your class options and requirements to fulfill UIndy's general education requirements, while the public health education & promotion curriculum guides list the classes needed for the major and concentration and concentration of your choice. You'll need to look at both the major and general education guides to get a complete picture of what classes you'll take at UIndy.