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Fully Online Program

This 100% online master's degree program prepares students for advanced employment opportunities in public, volunteer, and private health agencies, clinics, schools, and worksites. Graduate students build on their existing skills in program planning, implementation, and evaluation while learning advanced research protocols.

  • Admissions Requirements

    This master's degree program admits students based on the UAB Graduate School's application deadlines.

    Prospective students must complete the online application and also submit the application fee. They must send one official transcript to the UAB Graduate School:

    UAB Graduate School
    LHL G03
    1720 2nd Avenue South
    Birmingham, AL 35294-0013

    Transcripts should be mailed directly from the issuing institution(s) and reflect all completed coursework. The MAT/GRE test is not a requirement for admission and has been waived. We require three (3) letters of recommendation and prefer them to be submitted through the online application, though we will accept hard copies mailed to the School of Education and Human Sciences at the address provided above. We also require all applicants to submit responses to professional questions in which they describe their academic training, professional experience, and career goals as they relate to community health education. International applicants must request that their official TOEFL test score or official IELTS test score be sent to the UAB Graduate School, and they themselves should mail to the Graduate School a Financial Affidavit of Support.

    Please note: College graduates may take a few courses (up to 12 credit hours) in the community health master’s degree program to determine if our program is the right one for them. Prospective students must fill out a non-degree seeking graduate student application form obtainable from the UAB Graduate School. If such students are later admitted to the CHHS master’s degree program, they may apply their earned credits towards the total number required for completion of the MAEd.

  • Career Opportunities

    In elementary, middle, and high schools, health educators teach health as a subject, promote and implement Coordinated School Health programs, foster related school-community partnerships, and encourage a healthy school environment.

    In colleges and universities, health educators work to create caring communities and environments in which students feel empowered to make healthy choices, identifying needs and developing programs to address those needs, teaching courses, developing mass media campaigns, and training peer educators, counselors, and advocates.

    In corporations, health educators coordinate employee education services, employee health risk appraisals, and health screenings. They design, promote, lead, and evaluate programs to address weight control, hypertension, nutrition, substance abuse prevention, physical fitness, stress management, and smoking cessation. And they write grants and develop educational materials in support of such projects.

    In clinical settings, health educators teach patients about medical procedures, services, and therapeutic regimens; create activities and incentives to encourage patient compliance; train staff; consult with other health care providers about behavioral, cultural and social barriers to health; and address ways to maintain health and reduce risky behaviors.

    In community organizations and government agencies, health educators identify needs and mobilize resources to improve health. They organize community and outreach efforts, write grants, build coalitions, advocate on behalf of their constituency, and develop, produce, and evaluate mass media health campaigns.

  • Comprehensive Exam for Non-Thesis Option

    Comprehensive exams (COMPS) are the culminating event for our students in the masters program. The process requires the application of the core components of health education, health promotion, and community health. Often referred to as COMPS, successfully completing the comprehensive exam will require demonstrating an ability to communicate student mastery of the Responsibilities and Competencies for Health Education Specialists, including needs assessment, planning, implementing, application of health behavior theory, and evaluation of a health education/promotion intervention in a target community.

    1. The MAEd in Community Health Comprehensive Exam is a case study for intervention planning/implementation/evaluation and is generally initiated during 8th – 11th week of a given semester. The COMP is take home exam and students generally have about two weeks to complete the case study and submit a MS Word document and visual oral presentation to the CHHS Program Director. Students may only register for COMPS after completing CHHS 610, CHHS 631, CHHS 642, CHHS 689, CHHS 697, EPR 594, & EPR 607/8 with a letter grade of C or higher. Studying the learning materials, assignments and textbooks from these courses will benefit student preparation for COMPS. Students are also encouraged to re-visit final assignments/semester long projects in each course that simulate health intervention creation.
    2. Typically, students will take COMPS during one of their last two semesters prior to graduation. Students WILL NOT graduate until successful completion of the Comprehensive Exam. Additionally, if a student does not successfully complete a comprehensive exam in two (2) attempts, students WILL NOT be eligible for graduation with a MAEd in Community Health. In this vein, students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the integrated preparation for the comprehensive exam (COMPS) through their coursework with particular attention to course final products (i.e., theory application assignments, program plans, intervention plans, advocacy plans, social marketing plans, evaluation plans, and grant proposals). Of special note, students completing a thesis option in the MAEd program will NOT take a traditional Comprehensive Exam. Instead, a student completing a thesis option will complete a thesis-based comprehensive exam as part of the thesis process.
    3. For questions or to register for the comprehensive exam, please contact Dr. Larrell L. Wilkinson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Course and Degree Requirements

Required courses include Foundations of Health Education, Planning and Implementing Effective Health Education Programs, and Statistical Methods and Research among others. Coursework is aligned with the responsibilities and competencies of advanced-level health educators as developed by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) and will prepare students to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exams. For more information on the benefits of CHES and the National Commission for Health Education, visit the NCHEC website.

Graduate students choose either to write a thesis or to complete an internship and sit for comprehensive exams. The thesis option requires a student to complete a research project under the guidance of one of the community health faculty members. Students who choose this option are strongly advised to meet early in their course of study with the appropriate faculty member in order to discuss their research interests and plan the steps necessary to complete successfully their projects. The non-thesis option requires a student to complete an internship and also take a comprehensive examination (see above). Both of these requirements are to be fulfilled during the student's last semester. For more information about internship placements, please contact Internship Coordinator Amy Carr.

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