Do you want to help change health outcomes?

The Master of Science in Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion with a concentration in Health Promotion is designed to develop practitioners with the skills and competencies to effectively assess, design, implement and evaluate health promotion programs in a variety of settings.

Program highlights:

  • The core of the program is designed around coursework that helps students develop the skills and competencies required of entry level health educators as delineated on the Certified Health Education Specialist credential.
  • This program may be completed in a calendar year, but this is not required.
  • Regular admission to this program requires a minimum 2.75 GPA on all undergraduate work if accrued over a four-year (or more) period. If accrued over a two-year period, a 3.0 GPA is required.
What are some potential careers?

Some of the potential careers for which this degree prepares you include community health specialist, public health educator and health coordinator. Organizations who employ individuals with this degree include the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, public health services, schools and universities, healthcare institutions and public policy and lobbying organizations

Who should pursue this degree?

Are you interested in a rewarding opportunity to work with clients and help them understand and improve their health? This is an ideal degree to help you meet those goals.

Program Structure

A student must have acquired a minimum of 33 hours in order to graduate in both the thesis and non-thesis options. Other electives may be taken as approved by advisor. For a complete listing of courses offered each semester online:

  1. Visit the Class Schedule
  2. Select the term, choose "Online Education" as your campus, "FNH" as your subject, and "Graduate" as your level
  3. Click on "Display Classes" at the bottom

Research Methods (9-12 hours)

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
FNH 8563 Principles of Epidemiology and Health Science Research2 3
KI 8313
 
EPY 6214
Interpretation of Data in Kinesiology (or approved transfer course)
                  OR
Educational and Psychological Statistics
3
FNH 8673
 
FNH 8000
Applied Projects for CHES (3 hours)
                  OR
Research/Thesis (6 hours)
3

Core Courses (15 hours)

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
FNH 8513 Theory and Practice of Health Education2 3
FNH 8523 Health Promotion Techniques 3
FNH 8553 Behavioral Epidemiology 3
FNH 8613 Design and Administration of Health Promotion Programs1 3
FNH 8653 Implementation and Evaluation of Health Promotion Programs1 3

Electives (6 - 9 hours)

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
FNH 6253 Nutritional Biochemistry of Foods
FNH 6373 Career Skills in Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion 3
FNH 6393 Prevention and Control of Disease 3
FNH 6773 Intro to Environmental Health 3
FNH 6783 School and Community Drug Use Prevention 3
FNH 8193 Problems in Health Education 3
FNH 8543 Health Education for Diverse Populations 3
FNH 8623 Current Issues in School Health 3

1 FNH 8613 is a prerequisite for FNH 8653
2 These courses should be the first two classes taken. If these are not available in your first semester, please contact your advisor for alternatives.

Admissions Requirements

Applications for the degree programs are reviewed three times a year. The application deadlines for those semesters are as follows:

  • Fall Semester – August 1
  • Spring Semester – December 1
  • Summer Semester – May 15

Students seeking full admission into this program should apply as a classified student. Non-degree seeking students wishing to take classes offered through the Online program should apply as an Unclassified student.


An applicant for admission to graduate study must hold a bachelor's degree from a fully recognized four-year educational institution that has unconditional accreditation with appropriate regional accrediting agencies. They must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School and the Master of Science in Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion with a concentration in Health Promotion.

Regular admission to graduate study in the program requires a minimum grade point average (last four semesters of undergraduate work) of 3.00/4.00. When a student is deficient in one of the criteria cited, the student's application, nevertheless, may be considered for admission based on the strength of other materials contained in the student's application.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores are required for entry into this program.


Attention International Students

International students are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and score greater than 550. Detailed information regarding international applications can be found in the Graduate Catalog. Questions regarding international applications can be addressed to the Office of the Graduate School at gradapps@grad.msstate.edu.

  • ETS is providing home testing for the TOEFL iBT test, and MSU is encouraging students to take advantage of this testing option. For those students applying who have taken the TOEFL within five years of the semester they plan to enroll and are unable to access the TOEFL iBT test from home, we will accept your previous test scores.

Admission Options

Domestic/International Classified Admissions

  1. Submit online application. You will choose Master of Science in Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion as your Program of Study and Online Education as your campus.
  2. Statement of Purpose
  3. Three letters of recommendation
    • You will be asked to submit three names and three email addresses of individuals you are using as references. Once you click submit, these individuals will be sent an email from MSU, which will provide a link to an online form for completing their recommendations.
  4. One official transcript showing bachelor’s degree or progress toward degree. (For international students, please submit a copy in native language along with translated copies, if appropriate.)
  5. One official transcript showing ALL work after bachelor’s degree. (For international students, please submit a copy in native language along with translated copies, if appropriate.)
    • Electronic transcripts should be sent to: gradapps@grad.msstate.edu Mississippi State University, Graduate School. Only one copy of an electronic transcript is required.
    • Paper Transcripts Address (USPS):
      Mississippi State University
      The Office of the Graduate School
      P.O. Box G
      Mississippi State, MS 39762
    • Physical Street Address (for DHL, Fed Ex, UPS, DHS, etc.):
      Mississippi State University
      The Office of the Graduate School
      175 President Circle
      116 Allen Hall
      Mississippi State, MS 39762
  6. Payment of $60 non-refundable application processing fee for domestic students.
    Payment of $80 non-refundable application processing fee for international students.
  7. Once you are admitted, you will receive an email with complete instructions on registering for classes and contacting your advisor

Courses

Research Methods (9-12 hours)

FNH 8563 Principles of Epidemiology and Health Science Research2
Development of skills to interpret epidemiological research. Evaluation of various study design commonly used in the field of epidemiology related to health sciences.


EPY 6214 Educational and Psychological Statistics
Four hours lecture. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory. A course in statistics for education and educational psychology majors. Analysis, description of and inference from various types of data. (or approved transfer course)


KI 8313 Interpretation of Data in Kinesiology
Three hours lecture. Statistical interpretation of qualitative and quantitative data in the various disciplines of kinesiology.


FNH 8673 Applied Projects for CHES
(Prerequisite: Consent of instructor) Three hours directed individual study or special project. Experiential projects in health promotion program assessment, design, delivery, and evaluation. Utilization of skills of a Certified Health Education Specialist.


FNH 8000 Research/Thesis
Thesis Research/ Thesis. Hours and credits to be arranged.


Core Courses (15 hours)

FNH 8513 Theory and Practice of Health Education2
Three hours lecture. Historical perspectives and current status of health education/promotion. Fundamental constructs of the discipline in school, community, and worksite settings.


FNH 8523 Health Promotion Techniques
Three hours lecture. Examination of techniques utilized in delivery of health promotion interventions. Emphasizes uses of technology in development of activities suitable for diverse audiences and settings.


FNH 8553 Behavioral Epidemiology
Three hour lecture. Behavioral and social environmental issues related to premature morbidity and mortality patterns. Current research literature and application of epidemiological principles to health education/promotion.


FNH 8613 Design/Administration of Health Promotion Programs1
Three hours lecture. Principles of health promotion planning models applicable to school, community, and worksite programs. Investigation of existing programs and current literature.


FNH 8653 Implementation/Evaluation of Health Promotion Programs1
(Prerequisite: FNH 8613) Three hours lecture. Development and application of evaluation protocols for health promotion programs. Process, impact and outcome measures are examined.


Electives (6-9 hours)

FNH 4193/6193 Social-Cultural Aspect of Food
Three hours lecture. A study of international, regional and religious history, customs, beliefs and other impacts upon food preparation and consumption.


FNH 4293/6293 Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements
(Prerequisite: CH 2503 or consent of instructor) Three hours lecture. Advanced human nutrition and metabolism of regulatory micronutrients.


FNH 6253 Nutritional Biochemistry of Food
(Prerequisites: CH 2503 or equivalent with instructor's consent. FNHP and BCH students only) Three hours face-to-face lecture or web-based distance instruction. In-depth study of the chemistry and functionality of macronutrients in food systems and their biochemical impact on the human body. (Same as BCH 4253/6253)


FNH 6373 Career Skills in Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion
Three hours lecture. Refinement of skills utilized in the delivery of food, nutrition, and health promotion careers. Emphasizes use of technology in development of activities for diverse settings.


FNH 6393 Prevention and Control of Disease
Three hours lecture. An examination of how food science, nutrition and health promotion relate to chronic diseases. Prevention, control and detection are examined.


FNH 4773/6773 Intro to Environmental Health
Three hours lecture. Examines the relationship of people to their environment, how the environment can influence physical well-being, and importance of environmental protection to overall community health.


FNH 6783 School and Community Drug Use Prevention
Three hours lecture. Evidence-based prevention programs for alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs in schools and communities. Focus on prevention through the Coordinated School Health Program.


FNH 8193 Problems in Health Education
Three hours lecture. Includes current information relating to various health problems in our society. Stresses methods of prevention and wellness at different levels of curriculum organization.


FNH 8543 Health Education for Diverse Populations
Three hours lecture. This course is designed to help students identify and develop programs to overcome the health disparities that exist in diverse populations.


FNH 8623 Current Issues in School Health
Three hours seminar. Examination of the role of the health educator in the Coordinated School Health Program. Review of current curricular approaches and issues in school health.


Other electives may be taken as approved by advisor.

1 FNH 8613 is a prerequisite for FNH 8653
2 These courses should be the first two classes taken. If these are not available in your first semester, please contact your advisor for alternatives.

See More

Academic Advising

After gaining admission to the university, you must contact one of your advisors to determine the courses that are most appropriate for you to take. Approximately two months prior to the upcoming semester, your advisor will send an email to your MSU email account, making course recommendations based on your program of study.

Mississippi State University uses email as its official means of communication with all MSU students. Please check your MSU email account (NetID@msstate.edu) daily. Information on setting up your MSU email can be found at the link for student services.

Leah Pylate Headshot

Dr. Leah Pylate

Health Promotion

  • Assistant Professor

    Students with the last name beginning A-I

Photo of Dr. Antonio Gardner

Dr. Antonio Gardner

Health Promotion

  • Assistant Professor of Health Promotion

    Students with the last name beginning J-R

Photo of Dr. Barry P. Hunt

Dr. Barry P. Hunt

Health Promotion

  • Professor of Health Promotion / Health Promotion Program Director

    Students with the last name beginning S-Z

Comprehensive Exam

The date for the Comprehensive Exam is July 7, 2022 for students who are graduating in Summer 2022.

Comprehensive Exam Application Form

  • You must complete the Comprehensive Exam Application form (above) and mail or email it to Dr. Gardner, Health Promotion, P.O. Box 9805, Mississippi State, MS 39762 or via e-mail at ajg130@msstate.edu. This form is due on June 23, 2022.
  • All Health Promotion students' planning to graduate in Summer 2022 will need to complete an Application for Degree form. The "Apply For A Degree" form can be found in the myBanner for Students section under "Academic Records" at the myState login. You must submit this form by the deadline, along with the appropriate fee, in order to graduate. The deadline for this application is June 23, 2022. Please consult the Academic Calendar for late application deadlines.
  • If you are interested in taking the comprehensive exam, please contact Dr. Gardner for more information at ajg130@msstate.edu.

Comprehensive Exam Information

To be eligible to take the comprehensive exam, you must be enrolled in a class at MSU during the semester you want to take it.

  • Please note that successful completion of the comprehensive exam is a requirement for graduation.
  • You must be within six (6) hours of graduating and/or in your final semester in the program and enrolled in an MSU class (as opposed to transfer credit) in order to qualify to take the comprehensive exams.
  • The comprehensive examination consists of a day-long exam (given in two, three- hour sessions) covering the Core classes in the program. The five classes covered are FNH 8593, FNH 8523, FNH 8553, FNH 8613, and FNH 8653. The exams are graded on a Pass/Fail basis. Students' failing the written portion of the exam may, at the discretion of program faculty, be given the opportunity to remediate shortcomings.
  • Failure to pass the comprehensive exams will otherwise result in dismissal from the graduate program.

Exam Procedures:

**Special Notice:

At this point in time, our intent is to offer the comprehensive exam in our traditional formats (i.e., on-campus in Rm 211 Herzer or via proctor for distance students).  Given the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, we will monitor and follow university safety protocols. If it is deemed too risky to be on campus (or with a proctor), we will adjust the exam format as needed. Please keep in touch with Dr. Gardner and/or your advisor for up-to-date information.


Grading:

Exams will be graded on a pass/fail basis. Each instructor grades the answers for his/her own course. Students will be notified by Dr.Gardner of their results as soon as possible. It usually takes approximately one week for exams to be graded and results reported.


Notes:

  • You may not use any outside materials or references when completing your exam.
  • Since the exams are graded on a pass/fail basis, it is very important that you provide as thorough an answer as possible for each question. All questions require written answers (essay, listing, etc.). Be sure to respond in the manner asked for in the question.
  • Per MSU policy, students' not passing the comprehensive exam may be dismissed from their graduate program OR offered an opportunity to remediate their answers. The decision to dismiss a student or allow remediation is at the discretion of program faculty.
  • Prepare as thoroughly as you can for comprehensive exams. If you have any questions prior to the exam please contact: If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact your advisor:

Careers

Health promotion is one of the fastest growing areas of employment in the United States.

To learn more about what the Bureau of Labor Statistics says about Health Educators' career outlook, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To find more career opportunities, visit the following links:


Graduates of Our Program Work in a Variety of Settings

  • Robin Annison
    Emergency Training Specialist, U.S. Capitol Police, Washington, D.C.
  • Juleigh Baker
    Health Educator, Longest Student Health Center, Mississippi State University
  • Steve Brantley
    Grants Monitor, Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, Jackson, MS
  • Mandy Burleson
    Child Life Specialist, Mississippi State Dept. of Health, Starkville, MS
  • J. Don Chaney
    Associate Dean, Distance Education, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  • Lois Coleman
    Health Educator, Alvin A Dubin Alzheimer's Resource Center, Fort Myers, FL
  • Tiffany Fennell
    Health Educator, American Heart Association, Jackson, MS
  • Allison Ford
    Associate Professor, Health Promotion, University of Mississippi
  • Melody Fortune
    Branch Director, Breast and Cervical Cancer, Mississippi State Dept. of Health
  • Michelle Harcrow
    Health Educator, Student Health Center, University of Alabama
  • David Holland
    Cancer Control Manager, American Cancer Society, Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Jason Horay
    Strategic Client Success Executive, Labcorp Employer Services, NC
  • Christopher Thomas
    Cancer Prevention Specialist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta GA
  • Jamie Waggoner
    Health Promotion Specialist, Toyota Motor Company, Louisville, KY
  • Alice Ann Williams
    Clinical Dietitian, Valley Services, Inc, Mississippi State Hospital

Certified Health Education Specialist

The coursework in this program has been developed around the competencies required to become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). CHES credentialing is available through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing and gives health educators a competitive edge in the field.

For more information visit the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing website.


Contact Information

Photo of Daphne Knox

Daphne Knox

Online Education

  • Coordinator
Photo of Dr. Antonio Gardner

Dr. Antonio Gardner

Health Promotion

  • Assistant Professor
Photo of Dr. Barry P. Hunt

Dr. Barry P. Hunt

Health Promotion

  • Program Director and Professor
Leah Pylate Headshot

Dr. Leah Pylate

Health Promotion

  • Assistant Professor