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Health Promotion (B.S.)

Welcome to the perfect starting point for an exciting career in Health Promotion! This growing field offers limitless possibilities in career choices and locales, and Coastal Carolina University's outstanding program is second to none.

Coastal Carolina University's Health Promotion major is one of only 21 programs in the nation and the 1st in South Carolina that has been awarded the designation of SABPAC Program Approval. This prestigious designation is an indication of academic rigor, program quality, and high academic standards in the field of health education.

Our Health Promotion program features four different areas of study so that students may personalize their studies based on career or graduate school aspirations:

  • Health Promotion with General Cognate (designed for students with general interest in careers in health)
  • Health Promotion with a Communication Option
  • Health Promotion with a Exercise Science Option
  • Health Promotion with a Health Services Leadership Option

Please explore this site and contact me if you would like more information about the programs!

John F. Yannessa, PhD, Chairperson
Department of Health Sciences
College of Science
Coastal Carolina University

136 Swain Hall, Conway, SC 29528
Contacts: 843-349-6460 or yannessa@coastal.edu


Health Promotion is an exciting, rewarding, and growing field that is geared toward serving others.  Those employed in the field help to protect the public’s health today and in the future by “… enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health (World Health Organization, 1986)."

Students majoring in health promotion have the flexibility of choosing between one of four areas of study:  Cognate, Communication Option, Fitness Option or Health Services Leadership Option.

Option 1: Health Promotion major with Cognate

This selection provides students flexibility in planning a cognate or minor area of study.  The fifteen-credit cognate will consist of 300-400 level courses outside of major or basic science credits (need faculty approval).  Students desiring careers in allied health/medical fields might select the cognate area of study to complete recommended pre-requisite courses. This area might also be selected by students who wish to complete a minor.

Option 2: Health Promotion major with Communication Option

This option will introduce students to the growing discipline of health communication and prepare them for entry-level positions and graduate level education in the field.  Health communication is beneficial to promoting and protecting the public’s health in that it can increase knowledge and awareness of health issues, problems and solutions or influence perceptions, attitudes and beliefs that may affect social norms.  Health communication is effective at demonstrating or illustrating healthy skills for behavior change and showing the benefit of that change. Additionally, health communication can prompt individuals and communities to act as well as serve as a venue for healthy policy advocacy.

Option 3: Health Promotion major with Fitness Option

This option is designed for students who desire to work in the areas of corporate wellness, personal training, wellness centers, or nonprofit/municipal fitness programs. The area of health and fitness is a rapidly expanding area of work in both the public and private sectors. The Health Promotion degree with the fitness option will provide specialized educational and practical experiences to those interested in the fitness industry. In addition, students are provided the theoretical framework and skills needed to be eligible to sit for professional certifications from national fitness and health education organizations.

Option 4: Health Promotion with Health Services Leadership Option

The Health Services Leadership Option is a directed course of study to broaden students’ understanding of the complex issues facing future health care and public health professionals.  It is intended to introduce students to best practices of leadership, advocacy, and delivery of services within a health care context so that they can work in supervisory and governing roles in health care and public health organizations.  This option is recommended for those who wish to go directly into the workforce upon graduation.

What are the career opportunities for Health Promotion graduates?

  • 7 of the 20 fastest growing occupations in the United States are health-related.
  • 250,000 workers are needed in public health by 2020 – which is three times the number of students who are projected to graduate from public health programs – to meet public health work needs.
  • Over the next eight years, it is estimated there will be:
    • 26% increase in health education positions;
    • 16% increase in medical and health management positions, and;
    • 21% increase in health services.

Career choices in public health are numerous and broad in scope. In the public health sector, on any given day, there are between 2,500 and 5,000 employment vacancies. Future career opportunities are expected to grow for baccalaureate health promotion graduates because of the following three trends: 1) the evolution of health care to a more “wellness focused” industry; 2) increases in accountability that accompany the evolution of managed health care; and 3) a growing trend toward more community based health programs. 

Are there opportunities for certification in health education?

Graduates in Health Promotion are qualified to apply to take the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam which was established in 1988. To qualify for CHES credentialing, one must hold a bachelor’s degree with 37 hours in health education and pass an examination given by the National Council of Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC). The certification was established by health professionals to insure minimum competencies for entrance into the field through a comprehensive knowledge test and by encouraging continuing education through attendance at approved professional presentations. CHES certification is encouraged by many health professionals in the state and nation and is required in some states. 

What are the advanced-degree study opportunities? 

This degree program will also prepare graduates for advanced-degree studies. Areas of specialization available through graduate work available to a Health Promotion graduate include physical therapy, chiropractic, occupational therapy, biostatistics, dental public health, exercise physiology, environmental and industrial health, epidemiology, safety, hospital and molecular epidemiology, hospital or nursing home administration, health behavior and health education, health gerontology, health planning and administration, human nutrition, occupational medicine, medical care organization, population planning and international health, occupational hygiene, radiological health and toxicology. Outside the field of health, students majoring in Health Promotion also could complete graduate work in a variety of related disciplines including psychology, sociology, anthropology, or business. 


Program of Study

Discussion of admissions criteria specific to the program

Students who desire to attend Coastal Carolina University and major in Health Promotion will be required to meet the regular requirements for admission to the University. These requirements include the completion of specific high school courses and reaching admission standards based on SAT or ACT scores and high school GPA.

Once admitted to Coastal Carolina University, students will be required to complete the general education requirements as specified by the core curriculum, foundation courses, major requirements, a cognate, and general electives. Admission criteria specific to the Health Promotion degree program are listed below.




I. Core Curriculum


II. Freshman Graduation Requirement


III. Foundation Courses


HPRO 121 Personal & Community Health


HPRO 201 Principles of Health Promotion & Education


PSYC 101 OR SOC 101


MATH 130



STAT 201 & L, CBAD 291, PSYC 225 & L



BIOL 232/L & 242/L



CHEM 101/ L OR CHEM 111/L



IV. Major Requirements


HPRO 235 Advanced Emergency Care & First Aid


HPRO 310  Issues in Family Life and Sexuality


HPRO 350 Community Health Prom Strategies.


HPRO 382 Diseases & Disorders
HPRO 404 Nutrition
HPRO 410 Epidemiology & Quant. Research
HPRO 481 Behavioral Foundations & Decision Making
HPRO 485 Internship in Health Careers
HPRO 491 Needs Assess, Prog. Plan & Eval. of Health
HPRO 495 Senior Seminar


Health Promotion Electives



Select two 300-400 level Health Promotion electives not listed previously.




V. Minor, Cognate OR Option




Choose 15 hours of 300-400 level courses outside of major or basic science credits (need faculty approval)



COMM 101 Intro to Communication

COMM 274 Organizational Communication

COMM 311 Survey in Health Communication

COMM/JOUR 312 Writing for Media Relations

COMM 410 Special Topics in Communication




EXSS 122 Lifetime Fitness & Physical Activity

EXSS 350 & Lab Exercise Physiology

EXSS 385 Exercise Testing and Prescription

EXSS 398 Practicm in Fitness

EXSS 415 Personal Fitness Leadership






PHIL 317 Biomedical Ethics

HPRO 380 Essentials of the U.S. Healthcare System

HPRO 401 Issues in Health Services and Public Health

HPRO 403 Leadership in the Health Professions

HPRO 420 Health Policy




VI. Electives







Students must earn a grade of C or above in each course used to satisfy Major Requirements and Cognate/Option Requirements. A grade of C or above is also required in English 101, HPRO 121 and HPRO 201.  Students who intend to earn a degree in Health Promotion must be accepted as degree candidates pursuing a major course of study in Health Promotion.
All Health Promotion students are required to complete 320 internship hours at approved health promotion and education sites.  A 30 hour pre-internship is completed as a portion of the course requirements for HPRO 201 – Principles of Health Promotion and Education.  The HPRO 485- Internship in Health Careers course requires the successful completion of a Professional Portfolio and a 290 hour, senior-level internship. An end-of-program exam is administered as part of HPRO 495 – Senior Seminar:  CHES Review.  In order to evaluate student learning outcomes for the Health Promotion degree program, the following methods will be used: mastery of skills-based assignments in required Health Promotion classes, successful completion of the 320 hour internships, evidence of mastery of the health promotion and education competencies in the Professional Portfolio, and a grade of C or better on the end-of-program exam.

Admissions criteria for the program are consistent with the other pre-professional programs in the College of Science and the Department of Health Sciences.

Prior to being admitted, a student must:

  • See an adviser in the Health Promotion program for guidance;
  • complete HPRO 121 and 201 with a grade of C or above in each course;
  • have completed a minimum of 45 semester hours with an overall Coastal Carolina University grade point average of 2.25, to be maintained for admission to the following classes:  HPRO 350, 410, 481, 485, 491, & 495;
  • complete an application for admission into the Health Promotion program and receive notice of acceptance


Admission Information