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Health Promotion | Graduate FAQ

Below are answers to questions that prospective students frequently ask. If you would like more information, please contact the Health Promotion program Graduate Admissions Coordinator by Email or call (202) 885-6254.

Q: What are the unique advantages of going to school in Washington DC and getting a degree from American University?

A: Washington is a very exciting and dynamic international city. In addition to all of the governmental agencies, a great number of national and international associations maintain headquarters in DC. The Master's program is well connected through its programs and graduates to a great many of the major public and private institutions and organizations. The networks we maintain and the close proximity to the associations and governmental agencies allows students to engage in an endless number of hands-on work, clinical and worksite experiences which may lead to career or employment opportunities.


Q: What is so unique about this program? How does this compare with other programs?

A: The Health Promotion Management program was the first in the U.S. to combine the concepts of health and wellness with the principles of business and management and only two others in the U.S. are similar. Some universities offer other health related degrees such as MPH and health education. Our curriculum provides broad-based preparation in health promotion with hands-on experience for management positions. The majority of Health Promotion Management master's work has been in corporate fitness management and programming with management skills receiving greater emphasis than how to teach health education. Health Promotion Management students have unlimited opportunities for hands-on learning and on the job experience at the senior management training level through its corporate fitness sites such as the United States Postal Service Health Promotion Program as well as the large number of national associations in DC.


Q: What are some of the future trends for health promotion?

A: The general population as well as governmental and business leaders have become increasingly aware of the importance of health and the impact on the economy and the quality of life of people in the U.S. Since 1980, AU's Health Promotion Management program has been at the forefront of the education and training of the leaders in health promotion. It has maintained a leadership position in the corporate wellness world. Recent curriculum changes and new program initiatives have been developed to respond to the emerging trends in the U.S. and the world. Developments are also underway to integrate the latest in computer technology and the Internet into our health promotion efforts.


Q: What are the career opportunities in health promotion? What will my degree prepare me for?

A: Employment opportunities in the health field have been in the top growth areas in the number and type of jobs since the 1980s. Courses in the Health Promotion Management program are designed to prepare graduates for a wide range of management positions primarily in health promotion and wellness. The curriculum is periodically adjusted to respond to the emerging trends in the health field for the year 2012 and beyond.


Q: How can I offset the cost of the program?

A: There are several options for financial assistance in addition to those available to general student body. Approximately 30% of the full-time students in the program receive assistance through worksite employment, graduate fellowships, assistantships, scholarships, tuition remission and/or loans. Our corporate fitness contracts provide full or part-time employment for approximately 25-30 students each year. The Office of Financial Aid or the graduate coordinator can provide more specific information about the opportunities and benefits.


Q: How long does it take to complete the program? What is the course sequence? How many courses do the students take each semester?

A: 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. Full-time students take three courses each semester and two summer session courses usually in combination with working at a corporate fitness sites or other job related experience. Courses are offered in the evenings and in a sequence that allows for convenient scheduling.


Q: What are special options that make this program more attractive? What kind of flexibility is there in the program?

A: The Health Promotion Management program offers students several options that enable them to gain experiences that meet their needs and interests. First, they may pursue a degree at a pace that meets their individual needs and/or employment situation. For students interested in research, publication or continuing with advanced studies, there is an option to write a thesis in lieu of performing an internship. Students are encouraged to choose or design internships that meets their interest and projected field of employment after graduation. The internships can be performed locally, nationally or internationally. All internship experiences are designed to ensure maximum exposure and opportunities for hands-on experiences.


Q: How does my background influence my acceptance and progress in the program? What do I need to apply for and enter the program? How can I best prepare myself?

A: Health Promotion Management 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 general American University admissions requirements, provide GRE or GMAT scores, departmental admissions requirements, and pass undergraduate exercise physiology.


Q: How hard is it to find housing?

A: There is a housing office on campus at 202-885-3370 and an off-campus service to assist students with finding affordable housing within the metropolitan area. There are also several free local services which specialize in apartment rentals. The local Health Promotion Management graduate network has also been beneficial in assisting students.


Q: What is the application process? When will I hear about my application status? Where can I get help and information? Will I have an advisor?

A: As soon as students applications are received, they are reviewed by the the university and the Health Promotion Management graduate committee. When 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 or GMAT scores, and educational preparation. Once accepted, students will be assigned to an advisor who will assist them as they progress through the program. The Graduate Admissions Coordinator is always available to assist the candidates and to answer questions about their status.


Q: What special requirements and/or standards are there for international students?

A: All international students must meet the general American University requirements and demonstrate proficiency in English or participate in the TOFEL programs. Each year international students are admitted to the Health Promotion Management program. Our students have found that contact with students from other countries facilitates reciprocal learning about health promotion and other issues in each others native lands as well as broadening their global understanding. International students have found the large number of international students in the American University student body and the large international community in DC to be very beneficial.


Q: Is there a undergraduate program?

A: The Bachelor's degree in health promotion began in the fall of 1997.  

Contact Us
Health Promotion
Gray Hall 119
American University
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016-8037
Phone: (202) 885-6275
Fax: (202) 885-1187
E-mail: healthfitness@american.edu