Health Promotion and Education Majors


Plan of Study

Discover the courses you'll take as a health promotion major in the Plan of Study.


Health Promotion and Health Education is an exciting, growing career field! The Health Promotion academic program has been a pioneer program in Iowa. UNI has been and continues to be the leader in the preparation of health education teachers for public school classrooms at all levels (through the Health Education Minor)  Through the BA in Health Promotion, it extends this effort beyond the school and into the community. Careers for our graduates are now found in local, state, and federal agencies, private business and educational institutions at all levels.

The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) defines health educators as those who promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health by assisting individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors, collect and analyze data to identify community needs prior to planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating programs designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, policies and environments. They may also serve as a resource to assist individuals, other professionals, or the community, and may administer fiscal resources for health education programs. A bachelor’s degree is required for entry-level positions. Advancement in the field can be further assured by obtaining professional certifications. Further, some employers may require additional certifications such as the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) or Certified Environmental Health Specialist (CEHS) credential credentialing, exams which students can text for once they complete their BA degree.  Growth in the job market is projected to be well above average when compared to other health related career options by the BLS.

Customary entry-level employment sites for health promotion specialists include:

Voluntary health agencies (American Heart Association, American Cancer Society)
Corporate wellness centers
Federal, state and county government health departments
Commercial fitness centers
Women’s health centers
University wellness centers

Recent graduates have found employment with a variety of agencies, including:

National Council on Alcoholism, Des Moines
Principal Financial Group, Des Moines
Dubuque Family YMCA
Motorola Corporate Wellness, Phoenix, Arizona
Northern Trust Savings Fitness Center, Chicago

Unique Features: 
  • Outstanding teaching faculty who have won many teaching awards and are known nationally and internationally for contributions to the field

  • Development of a student portfolio

  • More than 100 hours of field experience prior to student teaching, including a full-day, week-long participation experience while studying teaching methods

  • A variety of student teaching sites including 10 centers in Iowa, plus Omaha, San Antonio and international student teaching opportunities

  • Nationally recognized Minorities in Teaching program, designed to encourage minority students as young sixth grade to pursue teaching as a career

  • A teacher education induction convocation to honor students admitted to teacher education

  • Kappa Delta Pi education honorary for students with cumulative grade point averages above 3.25


Health-WRCThe Wellness/Recreation Center (WRC) serves as the primary instructional and research center of the School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services. In addition, the WRC provides a focus for the recreation/wellness needs of students, faculty and staff members of the university. The WRC integrates these two functions in a way that allows the simultaneous use of the facility, without compromising the integrity of either function. This facility provides state-of-the-art space for classrooms, laboratories, and faculty and staff offices. Space designed for research, teaching and public service includes the exercise physiology laboratory, biomechanics laboratory, biostatistics laboratory, psychomotor behavior laboratory, teaching laboratory, athletic training laboratory, and the wellness resources laboratory. Activity areas include five aerobic/dance studios, six handball/racquetball courts, two multi-purpose courts, a one-tenth-mile jogging track, fitness/conditioning areas, a nearly 40-foot high climbing wall, leisure pool, instructional pool with seating for 300, and an outdoor pursuits center.

Scholarships & Awards: 

Full tuition College of Education scholarships available to incoming freshmen include the Teacher Education Scholarship for Iowa residents; nearly 20 other scholarships are available in varying amounts.

More information on department scholarships can found at Financial Aid.