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Health Education and Promotion, BS
Emphases: School Health; Community Health; Health Science
Department: Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Department
College: Emma Eccles Jones College of Education & Human Services
About This Degree
The Bachelor of Science degree in Health Education and Promotion prepares professionals to help individuals, groups, and communities to maintain or improve their health status. Students gain a strong foundation in both the biological and social sciences.
Students must choose an emphasis.
- School Health: This emphasis prepares students to teach health courses in secondary schools and to develop effective policies and practices that support the health of their students and staff. Students in this emphasis are prepared to take the professional competency exam that leads to certification as a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) through the National Commission on Health Education Credentialing. Students also qualify for teacher licensure in secondary education.
- Community Health: This emphasis prepares students to work in clinical settings, nonprofit health entities, wellness centers, private industry, and federal, state, and local health organizations. Students learn to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate interventions aimed at protecting or improving the health of individuals, communities, and populations. Students in this emphasis are prepared to take the professional competency exam that leads to certification as a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) through the National Commission on Health Education Credentialing.
- Health Science: This emphasis is for students who plan to pursue a form of advanced medical training and for students who are interested in working in a health or medical setting but are still exploring career options in those fields. In addition to a core of courses focused on health and wellness, this program gives students maximum flexibility to tailor their coursework to meet their specific career goals.
This is for the shool health emphasis only. In order to obtain a secondary teaching license for grades 6-12, students must complete the 35-credit Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP), which includes one semester of student teaching in a public school. This program is administered by USU’s School of Teacher Education and Leadership (TEAL) within the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. Student must apply to the School of TEAL the semester before taking STEP courses. This is usually the fall of their junior year. Students learn subject content through the HPER Department, and spend the last year or two studying education techniques through the STEP program.
Students in the school health emphasis are required to select an approved teaching minor in order to expand their career options.
- BS - Logan Campus
With a degree in health education and promotion, students may pursue careers in the following areas:
School Health Emphasis
Students who graduate with the school health emphasis are qualified to be licensed as health teachers in middle schools and high schools.
Community Health Emphasis
Students who graduate with the community health emphasis can pursue careers as health educators and consultants in a variety of settings. Community health professionals work to provide education to various groups and communities to prevent disease and promote healthy lifestyles. They may work as coordinators and educators for corporate health programs, provide individual consultation in clinical settings, or may develop and implement health programs for companies or nonprofit organizations.
Health Science Emphasis
Students who graduate with the health science emphasis pursue advanced medical training or find employment in a health or medical setting, such as working in a hospital, physician’s office, or health insurance company.
This program allows students who are interested in some type of medical training the opportunity to customize their coursework to match their interests and the course requirements of advanced health or medical programs in medicine, podiatry, physical therapy, nursing, public health, physician assistant, and more.
There are many other health- and medical-related jobs available, and this emphasis allows students who know they are interested in the medical field a chance to explore career options beyond becoming a doctor or dentist.
Career Services provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.
In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the health education and promotion program has additional requirements:
- Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission as health education and promotion majors.
- Transfer Students: Transfer students from other institutions and students transferring from other USU majors need a 2.75 GPA for admission.
STEP Requirements (school health emphasis only): In order to be accepted into STEP, students must go through an application process, which includes the following:
- Complete 60 semester credits with a minimum GPA of 2.75
- Complete certain core courses (see department for more information)
- Complete a speech and hearing test
- Pass the Teacher Education Writing Exam
- Provide an unofficial copy of your transcript
- Pass a criminal background check (this should be done one semester before submitting the application)
International students have additional admissions requirements.
Click here to see course requirements for the Bachelor of Science.
All new USU students participate in a New Student Orientation program, where they receive detailed information about major requirements, registering for classes, and other important advising information.
Mary Lou Reynolds
Office: HPER 157
Phone: (435) 797-1278
Office: HPER 156
Phone: (435) 797-1494
Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs
Society of Public Health Educators: The organization promotes healthy behaviors, healthy communities, and healthy environments through its membership, its network of local chapters, and its numerous partnerships with other organizations. SOPHE members work in elementary/secondary schools, universities, voluntary organizations, health care settings, worksites, and local/state/federal government agencies.
Health Education Association of Utah: The mission of the Association is to improve the health of Utahns by promoting the advancement of the health education profession and the employment of health educators in the public and private sector.
National Commission for Health Education Credentialing: NCHEC enhances the professional practice of health education by promoting and sustaining a credentialed body of health education specialists. To meet this mission, NCHEC certifies health education specialists, promotes professional development, and strengthens professional preparation and practice.
Health Education Association of USU: HEAUSU promotes health in the community by participating in service opportunities and cultivating leadership. Participation in the club is great for pre-med and pre-dental students due to its involvement in the community and promoting overall health. The club’s service projects include helping those in challenging socioeconomic statuses educating the community about overall health.
Labs, Centers, Research
With the second oldest undergraduate research program in the nation, USU offers students a wide range of opportunities to gain hands-on research experience. The Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities program allows students to apply for grants and receive funding. USU’s Honors Program prepares students for excellent graduate programs by helping them build relationships with professors, participate in research projects, take smaller, more intensive classes, and develop leadership skills.
Center for Advanced Nutrition: The CAN provides a multi-disciplinary venue for the discussion, discovery, and dissemination of information about the biological, physiological, and psychological mechanisms of proper nutrition. The scope of discovery is broad and falls into four distinct but overlapping focus areas: bioactive foods, nutrition and the brain, ingestive behavior, and personalized nutrition.
Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Building: The HPER building contains approximately 50,000 square feet of programming space. It houses the HPER Department and USU Campus Recreation advising and faculty offices, a number of classrooms, three gymnasiums, one dance studio, two swimming pools, a 1,500-square-foot weight room, six racquetball courts, and male and female locker rooms. Adjacent to the HPER building is a grass outdoor facility used for activity classes, club sports, and intramurals. Eight outdoor tennis courts complete the HPER complex.
Outdoor Recreation Program: The goal of the Outdoor Recreation Program is to enable USU community members to experience the physical and mental benefits of safe, fun outdoor recreation by providing them with excellent equipment, instruction, and resources. It provides equipment rentals, skills training, and planned group activities for anyone interested.