Health educators focus on the maintenance and improvement of health for individuals, groups and communities. Graduates of the general health studies program will have skills in assessing health education needs and community assets, planning and implementing programs, conducting program evaluation, administering and managing programs, serving as health resource personnel and advocating for health and health education.

The curriculum in general studies in human environmental sciences enables students to integrate knowledge from all areas of the field and prepares them for employment or further study. The general studies option is designed for those interested in careers in cooperative extension, government, human services, utility companies or an area of the communications field. Courses are selected in consultation with an adviser.

The purpose of this program is to give the student with specific career goals an opportunity to develop an innovative program of study with a focus on at least one area within the College. Each student majoring in general human environmental sciences is expected to file a program of study prior to the completion of 100 hours and in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • The proposed course of study must include 120 hours (including the statewide general studies requirements), The University of Alabama Core Curriculum requirements and the College of Human Environmental Sciences core requirements.
  • The proposed course of study must give evidence that the student has built a cohesive structure of interrelated ideas around a focus within the College of Human Environmental Sciences and must include a minimum of 35 hours of coursework offered by the College of Human Environmental Sciences.
  • The proposal must demonstrate that the proposed program could not be better served by an existing major program within the College.
  • At the time of submission, the proposal must include a statement of approval by a faculty adviser chosen from the area of specialization.
  • The proposal must indicate that the student has examined the consequences of the proposed program in relation to career goals and post-graduation plans.

The minimum requirements for a degree in General Studies in Human Environmental Sciences at The University of Alabama are:

  •  An approved program of study prior to the completion of 100 hours and in accordance with the CHES guidelines and courses selected in consultation with the student's adviser.
  • A minimum of 120 earned semester credit hours, including all University Core Curriculum requirements and a minimum of 35 hours of coursework offered by the College of Human Environmental Sciences, including the human environmental sciences core courses (HES 310 Issues Human Envir Sciences for all students, HES 100 Freshman Compass Human Env Sci for new freshmen on campus and HES 103 Distance Compass HES for new online freshmen).
  • A 2.0 or higher grade point average for all college-level courses attempted, all courses attempted at The University of Alabama and all courses attempted in the major field of study.
  • At least 30 semester credit hours earned through The University of Alabama (UA) in the College of Human Environmental Sciences.

It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that all degree requirements have been met. Students should review the academic requirements of this catalog and under DegreeWorks through their myBama account. They must meet with their academic advisers within the college two semesters before graduation to verify that all requirements will have been fulfilled by the expected date of graduation. In order to graduate, a student must submit an application for degree, using the online application for degree available through myBama no later than the time he or she registers for their final semester at UA.

Freshman
FallHoursSpringHours
EN 1013EN 1023
HES 1003Natural Science core4
FA core3Humanities core3
Math core3SB core3
Elective3Elective Course3
 15 16
Sophomore
FallHoursSpringHours
Lit core3FL or C core3
SB core3History core3
FL or C core3HU LIT or FA core3
NS core4HES course3
HES course3Elective3
 16 15
Junior
FallHoursSpringHours
SB or History core3Writing core3
Writing Core3HES courses9
HES 3103Elective3
HES course3 
Electives3 
 15 15
Senior
FallHoursSpringHours
HES courses9HES courses9
Electives6Electives4
 15 13
Total Hours: 120

Graduates with an interest in community or public health education will be prepared for careers in local and state public health departments, community health agencies, medical care facilities and corporate/worksite health promotion programs. Students who complete the program are eligible to take the exam for national certification as a Certified Health Education Specialist. Further information on the profession of health education can be viewed through the video, Health Education Specialists: Promoting a Healthy World at http://www.sophe.org/healthspecialist.cfm. Students interested in allied or public health graduate study may pursue degrees in fields such as environmental health, health behavior, medicine, physician’s assistantship, and occupational or physical therapy.

Types of Jobs Accepted

Community health educator, consumer health educator, drug prevention educator, employee health promotion specialist, health education specialist for a health agency, health education training coordinator, injury prevention educator, nutrition educator, patient educator, sexuality educator.

Learn more about opportunities in this field at the Career Center