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Be a Leader in Health Promotion

Health promotion is the science and art of helping people, organizations, and communities change lifestyle behaviors to move toward a state of improved health, resulting in decreases in chronic disease and health care costs. The Health Promotion Management Program is for individuals dedicated to assuming leadership positions within the health promotion industry.

Sound like you? Join us in our mission to stay on the cutting edge of health promotion.

First in the Field

Established in 1980, the MS in health promotion management at American University was the first degree of its kind. Our unique program integrates business, science, and the art of health promotion — and offers an Online MS option launching in 2020.

Develop managerial skills with scientific and clinical knowledge through coursework in a variety of areas, including: exercise physiology, human biochemistry, behavioral psychology, and nutrition. Focus your elective coursework in one of the following areas of emphasis:

  • Corporate Health
  • Health Communication
  • Health Policy
  • Global Health
  • Nutrition Education

Full-time students generally complete course requirements in two years. Part-time study is available, and classes are taught both during the day and in the evening to accommodate working professionals and career switchers.

See complete on-campus Admissions & Course Requirements.

Getting Involved In The Nation's Capital

Our faculty, staff, and students share the belief that health and wellness are vital for individuals, communities, and society. This passion and dedication resonates in the classroom and beyond. Outside the classroom, MS in health promotion management students:

  • Run community focus groups on health-related issues
  • Attend career workshops for health professionals
  • Volunteer at conferences across the country
  • Perform fitness assessments in AU's health promotion laboratory
  • Intern for area companies and organizations

Our DC location provides access to numerous national and international associations, as well as public and private institutions and organizations involved in health promotion management. Program students and faculty conduct cutting-edge research throughout the area. Our students have interned for a variety of area institutions, including:

  • The Women's Collective
  • George Washington University Hospital
  • YMCA
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • National Kidney Foundation
  • National Institute of Public Health
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Girls on the Run
  • International American Public Health Association

Unlimited Career Opportunities

The health field is a top-growth area in the job market. Our graduates put their expertise to work promoting and improving health and wellness-locally, nationally, and globally. Here are just a few companies that employ graduates of our program:

  • Wellness Corporate Solutions
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Pan American Health Organization
  • Partnership to Promote Healthy Eating and Active Living
  • Mindfulness Center National
  • WIC Association
  • American Heart Association
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • US Department of Health and Human Services

Master's in Health Promotion Management


Faculty and students discuss what sets this program apart.

Award Winning Program

Winner of the National Wellness Institute's Distinguished Academic Program Award (DAPA)

More about DAPA

Discover Health Promotion Management


Nov. 18, 2021: Faculty and alumni answered questions about the Health Promotion Management degree.

40 years leading the health promotion industry

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Top Ten Things to Know About Health Promotion Management

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Lisa Joseph

Lisa Joseph MS, Health Promotion Management

Not only is Lisa Joseph on track to earn her MS in Health Promotion Management in 2022, but she has already landed her dream job.

This month, Lisa began work as the Program Coordinator of Education at the prestigious American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). At ASCO, she helps organize educational courses conducted by volunteer/partnered doctors for the pharmaceutical industries. The goal is to help patients better understand current research and new drug developments.

At American University, Lisa has worked as a graduate assistant in the Department of Health Studies, doing program development, data collection, and data analysis. She helped produce a “Faithfully Fit Toolkit” for ministries to implement into their own programs, as well as a report on how to balance food store profits with customers’ needs for fresh, healthy food. Finally, as a COVID Case Coordinator at the university, she worked on contact tracing and as a source of information for individuals who were potentially infected with the virus.

Lisa credits AU faculty for helping her to obtain her dream job at ASCO.

Each of my professors have played a key role in my success at AU. From my very first conversations with Dr. Snelling, I immediately felt supported when weighing my financial options. Since attending AU, I have had professors consistently provide wisdom and career advice, send job postings, and serve as references, supporting both my professional development and job applications.

Mara Metroka

Mara Metroka MS Health Promotion Management '16

While studying at AU, Metroka worked as a graduate assistant on AU’s wellness program, AhealthyU. She appreciated the network of students, alumni, and faculty as a community committed academic inquiry and to personal and intellectual growth.

We were always up to speed on the most current health trends and news.

As part of her HPM program, she interned at Wellness Corporate Solutions, a worksite wellness company, where she is now a full circle wellness manager.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Health Promotion Management program at American University was the first in the US to combine the concepts of health and wellness with the principles of business and management. Our curriculum provides broad-based preparation in health promotion with hands-on experience for management positions. The curriculum focuses on management and programming skills in addition to effective methods for creating and delivering health education information. Students learn to incorporate all levels of influence from the individual to policy-level in an effort to promote healthy behaviors and improve quality of life.

The general population, business leaders, and government agencies have become increasingly aware of the importance of health, its impact on the economy, and the quality of life of people in the US Since 1980, AU's Health Promotion Management program has been at the forefront of the education and training of leaders in health promotion. Recent curriculum changes, faculty research, and new program initiatives have been developed to respond to the emerging trends in the US and the world including the Affordable Care Act, a push for health promotion activities, community-based programs, and the increasing prevalence of chronic disease.

The Health Promotion Management program offers students options that enable them to gain experiences to meet their personal needs and interests.

  • Students may pursue the degree at a pace that works with their current schedule or employment situation. Courses are typically offered in the evening hours.
  • Program tracks and coursework include the opportunity to tailor information to a desired area of focus
  • Students interested in research, publication, or continuing with advanced studies can choose to write a thesis in lieu of performing an internship
  • Internships can be performed locally, nationally or internationally, and are designed to ensure maximum exposure and opportunity for hands-on experience in the student's projected field of employment

Class schedules have been designed to allow students in the Master's program to progress through the program either on a full or part-time basis . Full-time students generally complete course requirements in two years. This includes three courses each semester and two summer session courses usually in combination with working at a corporate fitness site or other job related experience. Courses are offered in the evenings and in a sequence that allows for convenient scheduling.

Students who complete their application by February 1st and plan to start full-time in the fall are eligible for merit scholarship awards including graduate assistantships and/or tuition remission. Prospective students are also encouraged to research external scholarship opportunities. Many students choose to pursue part-time or full-time work on campus to help offset tuition. Still others obtain worksite experience while attending the program. Our program's weekly email listserv is a valuable resource for finding work and internship opportunities. The Office of Financial Aid or the graduate admissions coordinator can provide more specific information about the opportunities and benefits available.

Applications are completed via the Graduate Admissions online system. Once you have submitted the online application you will need to upload supplemental materials including your resume and statement of purpose. Official transcripts, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation will also need to be sent to the CAS graduate admissions office. Additional information can be found on the Graduate Admissions website.

Once a student's application is complete, it will be reviewed by the university and the Health Promotion Management graduate committee. If all requirements are met, selected candidates will be invited to an interview. Acceptance into the program is based on the results of the interview, GRE scores, and educational preparation. A decision is typically provided within 1-2 weeks of completing the application. The Graduate Admissions Coordinator is always available to assist the candidates and to answer questions about their status.

The Health Promotion Management program recruits and admits students from a wide range of backgrounds, undergraduate degrees, occupations, and nationalities. We have learned that a strong belief in health promotion, desire, and enthusiasm are the best predictors for success in the program and in future careers. All students must meet the American University admissions requirements, submit official transcripts and GRE scores, and complete departmental admissions requirements, including two letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose.

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