School of Nursing and Health Sciences



With flexible options, you can complete your Master of Science in Health Promotion and Management in as little as nine months or take as much time as you need.

Curriculum and Degree Requirements

The 32-credit M.S. in Health Promotion and Management is  comprised of eight courses, field-based experience and a capstone project. An interdisciplinary program, it includes coursework in both the School of Nursing and Health Sciences and Merrimack’s Girard School of Business.

The program is designed to give you a foundation in theory and research, as well as provide an emphasis on practical applications. The required capstone project culminates in a written report, PowerPoint presentation or other tangible product that exhibits your knowledge and augments your professional portfolio.

Required Courses (24 credits)

HSC 5350 Research Methods (4 credits)

This course will provide an overview of quantitative and qualitative research methods that are commonly used in the field of exercise and health science. Specifically, the course will focus on acquainting students with skills to identify the questions to address research questions or real-world problems, to understand and apply different study designs, to design different approaches to evaluate a real-world program, and to collect, analyze, integrate and report data. The course format will be a mix of lecture and static workshops. In the workshops, students will work in the computer lab to perform the data analysis and report using statistical software.

HSC 5320G Foundations of Chronic Disease Prevention (4 credits)

This course provides students with an overview of the major chronic diseases that are highly preventable and manageable through lifestyle and behavioral changes. Using the United States Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotions Healthy People 2020 Framework, students will gain an understanding of the distribution, etiology, costs, prevention and management of these chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, cancer and mental health disorders. Students will also become familiar with concepts of health disparities and their role in the distribution and prevention of chronic disease. In addition, theoretical foundations for health behavior change and disease prevention program design will be introduced. In the latter half of the course, students will work in small groups to apply course content by researching and presenting information on evidence-based approaches to prevention of a specific chronic disease, within the context of their graduate concentration area.

HSC 5360 Health Promotion Programs (4 credits)

In this course, students will learn to systematically assess and analyze the health promotion needs of a specified target population at the individual, community and organizational levels. Students will learn to develop a holistic, theoretically-based and culturally appropriate comprehensive program to address identified health needs of a population, and create thorough program implementation plans and systematic methods to evaluate the effectiveness of the health promotion program. Students will also gain an understanding of effective health communication strategies used in health promotion programs with an opportunity to practice these communication skills.

HSC 6500A Public Health Policy/Management (4 credits)

This course describes the health policy development process, including problem conceptualization, agenda setting, role of interest groups and public opinion, needs assessment, analysis of alternatives and policy selection and evaluation. Topics to be discussed include healthcare system structure, management and leadership in organizations, health policy, law and healthcare reform, issues of diversity and international policies.

HSC 5385 Social Marketing & Communications for Health Promotion (4 credits)

This course examines the application of marketing principles, provides students with an overview of concepts and strategies used in social marketing and public health information campaigns; emphasizes skills to create audience-oriented health intervention efforts, including formative research, audience segmentation, channel analysis and the application of behavioral theory.

HSC 6900 Capstone Project (4 credits)

The Capstone Project is the culminating academic endeavor of students who earn a degree from the School of Health Sciences Graduate Program at Merrimack College. The project provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their independent ability to produce meaningful professional products that evaluate and/or address real-world issues or client needs within their field. The final Capstone product, consisting of a professional development plan and reflection paper, e-portfolio and professional presentation of that e-portfolio, should demonstrate the student’s ability to synthesize and apply the knowledge and skills acquired in his/her academic program to professional contexts within their field. This Capstone Project should affirm students’ ability to think critically and creatively, to solve practical problems, to make reasoned and ethical decisions, and to communicate effectively. The purpose of the Capstone course itself is two-fold: to provide structure and pacing for graduate students who are completing the Capstone Project, and to create a learning community in which students will share their capstone work with others to gain constructive feedback and to generate ideas about the best ways to approach project content and structure. The seminar format of this class means that students should come prepared to discuss their own work, as well as to carefully consider their peers’ work and offer insights relating to how projects can be improved.

Health Promotion & Program Management Concentration - Additional Requirements (8 Credits)

Population Health Analytics (4 credits)

Details coming soon!

Organizational Leadership (4 credits)

Details coming soon!

Community Health Education Concentration - Additional Requirements (8 Credits)

Community Organizing & Development or Organizational Leadership (4 credits)

Details coming soon!

Elective from the Winston School of Education and Social Policy (4 credits)

Details coming soon!

Health & Wellness Coaching Concentration - Additional Requirements (8 Credits)

Health Coaching I (4 credits; Fall start only, In-Person)

Details coming soon!

HSC 5353 Health Coaching: Foundation and Practicum (4 credits)

This course is part of a series of three graduate level courses that graduate students in the Health Promotion and Management program can complete to receive the Merrimack College Health Coaching Certificate. Below we will list additional learning outcomes and requirements for graduate students. This course supports the development of health coaching skills that will advance students health promotion knowledge and skills, preparing them to be competitive in their career path. Health coaching is an aspect of health promotion in which practitioners help clients maintain or enhance their health and well-being by supporting the client through behavior change. The course focuses on advancing content knowledge and health coaching-related skills such as goal setting, motivational interviewing, cultural competence and effective communication. This course is appropriate for students majoring in health sciences, exercise sciences, public health, nutrition and related majors who are interested in developing health coaching skills.

Sample Schedule – Summer 2023 to Spring 2024


  • Research Methods
  • Elective in selected concentration


  • Health Promotion Programs
  • Foundations of Chronic Disease
  • Social Marketing & Communications for Health Promotion


  • Health Policy and Management
  • Elective in selected concentration
  • Capstone

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