Community Health Promotion and Education professionals have a critical role in determining need and educating communities through healthcare programs, health screenings, disease prevention, and more.
Over 100,000 health educators were employed in 2018 and that number is expected to grow significantly over ten years. Job growth will increase as people look for ways to improve healthcare outcomes by educating communities better health choices and how to access health services.
Best Health Degrees researched online Community Health Promotion and Education doctorates that may give you a starting point in advancing your career options.
Our Method: Ranking the 15 Online Community Health Promotion and Education PhD’s Degrees
To rank the 15 Online Community Health Promotion and Education PhDs Degrees, Best Degrees editors researched accredited, trusted programs of all kinds. From our initial pool, we ranked programs according to price, accreditation, reputation, and salary potential, using data from IPEDS and Niche, U.S. News and World Report, and other higher education rating publications.
1. Columbia University
Columbia University’s Teachers College EdD in Health Education degree concentrates on assessment, development, and implementation of educational health interventions.
The 90 point, hybrid curriculum covers Behavioral and Social Science Foundations of Health Education, Planning Health Education Programs, Social Marketing and Health Communications, Principles of Epidemiology in Health Promotion, Health Provider Communications and Health Promotion, Health Education for Teachers, etc. A practicum, as well as a dissertation, are required for graduation. This program is designed to study a specific health education field of instruction.
Admission is limited and those with an education, nursing, public health, behavioral and social sciences, are given priority consideration. Tuition is $1,768 per credit hour for the 2020-21 academic year.
Fast Fact: Teachers College rates #8 in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Education Schools
2. Clarkson College
This online EdD in Health Care Education and Leadership is designed for post-professionals wanting to advance their careers.
Courses you’ll complete for this degree include quantitive and qualitative research, health care outcomes in a global environment, learning theories and adult education methods. Additionally, you’ll study development of curriculum and program identification and assessment, leadership roles, trends, diversity, as well as completing a dissertation. You can enroll full time or part time in this 33 credit hour curriculum (seven hours dissertation).
The tuition rate is $839 per credit hour, not including fees and other charges. Clarkson College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Fast Fact: Clarkson College was founded in 1888 as a private, non-profit school in Omaha, Nebraska
3. Rush University
If you work in Allied Health and are looking to advance in your profession, you may want to look into the online PhD in Health Sciences degree.
Designed to provide you with the skills necessary to teach or practice/perform research to advance the field. This 54-credit hour curriculum offers core courses in leadership, education, and research, with classes in Leadership Theory, Leadership in Higher Education, Issues and Trends in Healthcare, etc.
You’ll also take education courses in Education Theory and Methods, Curriculum and Instruction, and the Adult Learner. Research studies include research processes, ethics in research, biostatistics, etc. While offered online, you will be expected to travel to Chicago to complete your oral exam and dissertation defense.
Tuition is estimated at $933 per credit hour. If you’re a resident of a state other than Illinois, you’ll want to check with admissions to determine if you qualify for this program based on your state of residence.
Fast Fact: Rush University was founded in 1972
4. Nebraska Methodist College
This online EdD in Healthcare Education doesn’t require a dissertation nor GRE scores and can be completed in 24 months.
As an online student, you’ll receive the same academic support from the same faculty as students attending on campus. Courses across the program include topics in Legal & Ethical Issues in Organizations, Biostatistics, Healthcare Policy, Information Technology in Healthcare and Education, Teaching, Learning and Instructional Methods, etc. You will need to complete capstone projects as part of the curriculum.
Among admission requirements are a master’s degree (preferably in healthcare) as well as an essay, a minimum of a 3.0 master’s GPA, and live in a state which meets State Authorization. Tuition is $793 per credit hour.
Fast Fact: Established in 1891 in Omaha, NE
5. George Washington University
This prestigious D.C. university has an online Doctorate of Health Science (DHSc) you can complete in about two and half years.
You can choose from two concentrations in either Clinical Practice Leadership or Educational Practice Leadership tracks. The Educational Practice track will help you develop educational programming, work interpersonally with professionals in other fields to develop patient care models, show you how to design and implement educational innovation. Courses you’ll take include studies in teaching methods for healthcare, development of curricula, as well as assessing program efficacy. A clinical background is beneficial for this program.
According to GW, the program cost for this degree is $49,920 for the 48 credit hours. You’ll need a master’s degree, academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, and at least one year of health administration or clinical practice for admission consideration.
Fast Fact: U.S. News and World Report ranks George Washington University in the top 100 of its Best Value Schools
6. Drexel University
Drexel University has an online Doctorate of Health Science (DHSc) that takes 45-47 credit hours for completion.
This curriculum focuses on preparing you to be a healthcare educator or leader. Classes include Academia for Healthcare Professionals, Health Professional Educators, Neuroscience of Learning, Teaching Strategies and Learning Technologies in Health Professions Education, Assessment, Measurement, and Evaluation in Health Professions Education, and others. Additionally, there’s a teaching, leadership, or research practicum requirement.
A master’s or clinical doctoral degree in a health profession, a 3.0 GPA, and current licensure (if applicable) are required for admission. Academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, and resume are also requested. Tuition is $997 per credit hour.
Fast Fact: Drexel University was founded in 1891 in Philadelphia, PA
7. Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions
This Utah university provides a online PhD in Health Sciences with a Health Promotion and Wellness and PhD in Healthcare Professions Education.
With the Health Promotion and Wellness degree program, you’ll learn how to effect behavioral change, overlying principles of nutrition, population health, health promotion, and ecology. This program will provide you skills and training to teach in health and wellness programs.
The Healthcare Professions Education concentration will expose you to adult learning theory, program design and assessment, curriculum development, education technology, etc.
Both tracks require 70 credit hours and do require limited residencies (residencies may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic). Tuition is published at $921 per credit hour.
Fast Fact: This university was founded in 1998 and is a private, for-profit institution
8. Creighton University
Creighton University offers an online Ed.D. in Interdisciplinary Leadership that students can choose to focus on community health promotion and education. This fully online program is offered in 8-week long courses, each presented one at a time so students can continue to work and meet their normal life obligations while building their credentials.
Creighton University is a Jesuit Catholic institution in Omaha, NE. Dating back to 1878, Creighton is by no means old-fashioned; in fact, in the 21st century, Creighton has become a world leader in online education. From healthcare to business to law, Creighton is the choice of high-achieving online students.
Fast Fact: Creighton’s state of the art Phoenix Health Sciences Complex is set to open in 2021.
9. Walden University
This online PhD in Health Education and Promotion degree from Walden University offers three tracks based on your prior degrees.
If you currently have a Master’s in Health Education and Promotion, you can quickly move through this doctoral program. Track I requires 83 quarter hours and has six areas of study. Holding a MPH degree is also a shorter route to the PhD, requiring 98 credits with the same six concentration areas as in Track I. If you have a master’s degree in a field other than public health, the program requires you complete 113 credit hours.
Core course requirements include Global Health and Issues in Disease Prevention, Health Education and Communication Strategies, Assessing Community Needs for Health Education, Research Theory, Design, and Methods, etc. A dissertation is also required. Tuition runs $590 a credit hour.
Fast Fact: Walden University was founded in 1970
10. Northern Illinois University
Here’s a PhD in Health Sciences from Northern Illinois University that combines research with practice.
The hybrid curriculum includes core studies in health science topics, knowledge integration in health science, research design, health science analysis, as well as develop and complete an individualized program of study (aka independent study) related to your professional interests. A dissertation and oral defense are also required. You’ll complete 45 credit hours of study.
General admission requirements include academic transcripts, GRE/MAT/GMAT scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement of purpose. Tuition is $562 per credit hour regardless of residency.
Fast Fact: Of 1,592 schools ranked, Niche rates NIU #754 in Best Value Colleges in America
11. Nova Southeastern University
Here’s a post-professional PhD in Health Science which is hybrid in design.
This program, although concentrating on research, will present courses in community health promotion as well as disease prevention, healthcare policy and planning, management, evidence-based practice, healthcare leadership, and global epidemiology. Research courses include research design, philosophy of science, as well as test and measurements. You’ll also study behavioral theories, survey methods, ethics, and a research practicum. A dissertation is required in the 42 credit hour curriculum.
Tuition for each credit hour is $671 with additional fees and charges. As a post-professional program, you’ll need to have previous healthcare research experience (and licensure if required by your profession), a minimum of a master’s degree, GRE scores, as well as letters of recommendations, and more.
Fast Fact: NSU is ranked #332/1,626 Best Colleges in America
12. California University of Pennsylvania
Here’s an online D.H.Sc. with a Health Science and Exercise Leadership degree which is a post-professional degree examining the impact of aging and society and the behavioral shift from treating disease to the promotion of wellness.
Requiring 48 credit hours, this program is designed to train you as a health educator, as well as other careers (i.e., clinical practitioner, healthcare administrator, etc.). Coursework involves studies in theories in adult learning, learning concepts of adult learners, health promotion and wellness, community and corporate wellness, course and curriculum design, and development of an evidence-based portfolio. A dissertation is expected.
As a post-professional program, you’ll need work experience in an allied health field, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, etc. Pennsylvania residents pay $516 per credit hour in tuition and non-residents pay $774 per credit.
Fast Fact: The university was founded in 1852 in an area of Pittsburgh called California which is how the school earned its somewhat unusual name
13. University of Bridgeport
This Doctor of Health Sciences from this Connecticut school is a hybrid program which will explore ways to develop your talents in education, curriculum design, public health, as well as evidence based healthcare.
There are three concentrations with this program. You can choose from tracks in education, clinician, or clinical nutrition concentrations. In the education specific track, you’ll study Curriculum and Syllabus Development in Higher Education, Teaching in the Health Professions, Educational Assessment, etc. Core coursework covers studies in the U.S. healthcare system, health care informatics, global health, data analysis, and more. The 61 credit hour curriculum can be completed in as few as 40 months.
The distance education tuition for this doctorate is $700 per credit hour. A master’s degree with a 3.0 GPA, experience in the healthcare field, recommendation letters, as well as official academic transcripts are required for admission.
Fast Fact: Ranked one of Best Colleges in America by Money
14. A.T. Still University
If your goal is to be a health educator, you’ll want to look at this EdD in Health Professions from A.T. Still University.
Offered completely online, this 55 credit hour program covers educational program evaluation, curriculum design and program development, multicultural education, leadership and ethics, student assessment, and dissertation. There’s a Doctoral Research Project which will give you a document that can be submitted for peer review and journal publication. This benefit gives you a leg up on being published, a frequent requirement for tenured college and university positions.
Tuition is $712 per credit hour and along with other documents, admission requires a master’s degree for program consideration.
Fast Fact: A.T. Still University is the oldest school of osteopathy in the world having been established in 1892
15. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
This is a part time doctoral program you can complete in nine semesters, entirely online, and culminates with the awarding of a Doctor of Health Science (DHS).
Relying on evidence based practice, the curriculum for this program requires 45 credit hours and you may choose an Educational Leadership track. Core courses include studies in healthcare trends such as health across the lifespan, mental health issues, cultural considerations, population health and demographics, health system monitoring and assessment, healthcare technology, and others. Your educational concentration will delve into theories of teaching as well as learning, program assessment and evaluation, and curriculum design. Three capstone projects are expected.
Tuition is set at $990 per credit hour, excluding any additional charges or fees. A master’s degree is required as is health profession experience or credentials.
Fast Fact: Niche considers MCPHS one of the Best Value Colleges in America
1. Why Should I Get My Community Health Promotion and Education Doctorate Online?
When COVID-19 hit, colleges and universities made the decision to take on-campus programs virtual. Most schools were already offering online degree programs and were able to make the transition quickly and efficiently.
There are several benefits to earning an online doctoral degree.
Online education provides you the same curriculum and faculty that on-campus students enjoy but frequently allows you to complete coursework on your schedule.
Studying online allows you to continue to work and fulfill family commitments while you get your degree. Employers may be more willing to offer tuition assistance for online education since employees will not be taking time off work for classes.
Often, online programs are more economical. Many schools and programs distance education at in-state tuition rates and some may not charge certain fees or other charges. Textbooks may be available online at reduced cost as well.
Coursework can be reviewed frequently if needed and you can join virtual study groups with students from around the country or world. Faculty members will be more accessible on a virtual format.
2. What Kinds of Jobs are there for a Doctor of Community Health Promotion and Education?
With the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimating job growth for health educators at a rapid 11% (much faster than average between 2018-2028), the employment outlook for trained Community Health Promotion and Education professionals is bright. As for salaries, PayScale.com suggests a doctorate degree can earn you between $60,000 to $100,000 yearly, depending on employment.
A doctorate will help you join academia as a professor and/or health researcher. You can teach on the faculty level, serve as education director, curriculum specialist, or educational outreach director. While you can work as a health educator with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, a doctorate will expand your career, and salary, potential.
In the community agency sector, persons with a degree in this field can typically find work as community outreach directors, community organizer, education program manager/director, or family services director.
If you want to explore careers in non-profit healthcare or business, positions can be found as wellness coordinators/directors, corporate trainer, or even a health journalist.
The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing offers a more comprehensive health education career guide.
Approximately 24% of health educators work in the government arena in health departments, federal or state health agencies, all branches of the military, and so on.