Health and Physical Education

Health Education

What is a health educator?

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, a professional in this field:

  • Promotes, maintains, and improves individual and community health by assisting individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors.
  • Collects and analyzes data to identify community needs prior to planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating programs designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, policies and environments. For example, they may hold programs on self-examinations for breast cancer to women who are at higher risk or may teach classes on the effects of binge drinking to college students.
  • May also serve as a resource to assist individuals, other professionals, or the community, and may administer fiscal resources for health education programs.
  • Health educators work to encourage healthy lifestyles and wellness through educating individuals and communities about behaviors that promote healthy living and prevent diseases and other health problems.
  • Attempts to prevent illnesses by informing and educating individuals and communities about health-related topics, such as proper nutrition, the importance of exercise, how to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, and the habits and behaviors necessary to avoid illness.
  • Takes the cultural norms of their audience into account. For example, programs targeted at the elderly need to be drastically different from those aimed at a college-aged population.

About the Program

Hofstra's graduate program prepares you to teach health education at all grade levels in public and private schools and leads to New York state teacher certification.

Learn More About the Master’s Program

Getting Started

Careers in Health Education

Hofstra’s Master of Science program in Health Education prepares students to teach health education at all grade levels in public and private schools, and lead to New York state teacher certification. Utilizing an experiential approach to teaching, program faculty provide students with a strong and functional knowledge base, integrating technology and issues of diversity in all course work. This program meets both the New York State Learning Standards for Health Education as well as the standards of the American Association for Health Education (AAHE).

In addition to certifying Health Education students to teach in the K-12 classroom setting, the M.S. also prepares students to become Certified Health Education Specialists.

Learn More About the CHES Exam

Health Educators can work in a variety of settings including:

  • Federal, state or local health agencies
  • Corporate wellness settings
  • Community health clinics and outreach education programs
  • Advocacy agencies and private health organizations.
  • K-12 classrooms in public and private schools.

Additional Information (according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics):

  • 5 out of 10 health educators work in health care and social assistance and an additional 2 out of 10 work in State and local government.
    • A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for entry level jobs, but many employers prefer to hire workers with a master's degree. Hofstra prepares its students to qualify to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) Exam, which grants licensure to qualified practitioners and assures employers that services are provided by professionals who have met national standards. Over the last several years, more employers indicate “CHES preferred” on health educator/health promotion positions.

Student Resources


Frequently Asked Questions

How and when are classes offered?
This program offers both in person and online courses, so candidates should expect both as they pursue the program. Courses that meet in person on campus will typically meet between 4:30-6:20PM and/or 6:30-8:20PM once a week.
I am not certified as a teacher in NY, which track option should I apply to?
Candidates without prior teacher certification should apply under Track II. Track I is designed for those that are already certified in another area of teaching.
How long will it take me to complete the M.S. program?
Both Track I and Track II take on average two years, including at least one summer session
Are scholarships/financial aid available?
Yes, all students are considered for merit-based aid through their graduate program application. Students seeking need-based awards must fill out a FAFSA and contact the Office of Student Financial Services for additional resources.
If I am certified in a related area, do I still have to student teach?
No, students who already hold initial certification in a related area, such as Physical Education, do not need to complete an additional student teaching placement.
As a Track I student, can I obtain certification prior to earning a Masters?
It is possible for Track I students to apply for certification after completing 30 semester hours of the graduate program, prior to graduation.

Meet our Program Director

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Michael J. Ludwig

Michael Ludwig, Ph.D.
Program Director
Phone: 516-463-5885
Email | Bio

Dr. Ludwig, associate professor, received his Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University in Health Education in May, 1994. He received his Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University in Health Education in May, 1994. He also holds an MS (1981) and BS (1976) in Health Education from the State University of New York, College at Cortland. His doctoral dissertation entitled Mass Media and Health Education: A Critical Analysis and Reception Study of a Selected Anti-Drug Campaign examined the relationship among anti-drug public service announcements, their ideological and hegemonic characteristics, and a selected target group's perception of the campaign.

Dr. Ludwig’s research interests include the relations that exist between and among culture, education, health, and politics. Dr. Ludwig is a member of the NYS Health Education Leadership Initiative, a statewide group that seeks to provide professional growth and development for educators and standards-based, learner-centered education for students.