Health Promotion and Wellness Management

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Graduate programs

Master of Science, Health Promotion and Wellness Management

Melinda Novik, Program Director
Phone 417-836-3168

Program description

The Master of Science in Health Promotion and Wellness Management is a 36 hour interdisciplinary program. It is designed to provide preparation for students from diverse backgrounds in health, human services and business. The curriculum integrates knowledge and skills from behavioral psychology, health education and promotion, public health, contemporary health issues, and organizational theory. The result is a competency-based, multi-disciplinary academic preparation for professionals dedicated to assuming leadership and program planning, implementation and evaluation positions within the health and wellness industry. Graduates have gone on to work in a number of different settings including universities, for-profit and non-profit organizations, health departments, community centers, fitness centers, hospitals and clinics and many more.

Curricular activities are complemented by research opportunities with our graduate faculty and in the community. Diverse practical opportunities are provided throughout the coursework, during the culminating research experiences and during the internship.

The Public Affairs mission (and the three pillars of Ethical Leadership, Cultural Competence and Community Engagement) is exemplified throughout the program coursework but put into practice for each student during the 6-credit/420 contact hour internship experience.

Entrance requirements

  1. Completion of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  2. Cumulative GPA of 2.80 on a 4.00 scale in undergraduate work.
  3. A two page maximum statement of professional experience, goals and research interest.
  4. Prerequisite courses: 6 hours. Students entering the program should have a undergraduate courses in statistics and introductory psychology. A student who does not meet these criteria, but who demonstrates outstanding potential, may be considered on the basis of individual merit and accepted on a probationary status.

Accelerated Master's Degree option

Students enrolled in undergraduate programs may be accepted into the Master of Science in Health Promotion and Wellness Management program after admission requirements for the accelerated master's option are met. Once accepted, up to 12 credit hours of approved 600 and 700-level coursework may be counted toward both the Bachelor of Science and the Master of Science degree programs.

The accelerated option allows students who are interested in health promotion and wellness management to complete the requirements for the Master of Science degree in three semesters and a summer rather than the typical four semesters and a summer. For more information and guidelines, contact the Health Promotion and Wellness Management program director.

Before enrolling in each course and for courses to be counted as both undergraduate and graduate credit, an undergraduate student must complete a Mixed Credit Form. If a student wishes to complete more than six credits of mixed credit, they must first be admitted into the accelerated master's program. Acceptance into the program and all approvals must be completed prior to the end of the Change of Schedule Period for the course(s). See the Graduate College for further information.

Admission Requirements for the Accelerated Master's Option

  1. Senior standing and an overall GPA of 3.2 or better.
  2. Completion of an undergraduate course in statistics and introductory psychology. A student who does not meet these criteria, but who demonstrates outstanding potential, may be considered on the basis of individual merit.

Degree requirements (minimum of 36 hours)

1. Required Core (15 hours)

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours

PBH 760


KIN 700

Research Methods in Public Health 


Research Methods in Kinesiology

3 hrs
HLH 710 Introduction to Health Promotion and Wellness Management 3 hrs
HLH 750 Programming Approaches in Wellness/Health Promotion 3 hrs
HLH 760 Health Promotion Planning 3 hrs

PBH 730


KIN 705

Statistics for the Health Professions


Applied Statistics in Kinesiology

3 hrs

2. Electives (9 hours). Students will work with their advisor and/or program director to determine the most appropriate elective courses. Elective courses must be numbered 600-level or above. Students may explore graduate certificates to fulfill the elective credits when appropriate.

3. Internship (6 hours)

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
HLH 791 Wellness Internship 6 hrs

Supervised work in an approved health promotion education/promotion/care setting. As a culminating experience, the internship is crucial to the program. Students must complete a minimum of 420 contact hours and 6 credit hours.

The internship experience is an integral part of this major and should be planned (in consultation with the program director) in advance of the semester in which the student desires to register for the experience. Specific internship application materials are required and are provided to the student by the program director.

4. Research (6 hours)

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
HLH 799* Thesis 6 hrs

PBH 790



Independent Study in Public Health


Completion of 600-level or above course selected with advisor

3 hrs


3 hrs

*If the student does not complete the thesis within 6 registered credits, the student will be required to maintain active enrollment in 1 credit hour/semester of HLH 799 until the thesis is completed or until the student has surpassed the eight-year period in which students are allowed to complete the degree.

5. Comprehensive Examination

A written comprehensive examination (administered during the student's last academic semester) must be passed by the candidate before the HPWM degree will be granted.