College of Health and Human Services

Doctor of Philosophy in Health Education

The mission of the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Health Education program is to prepare doctoral degree graduates in advanced study and research in health education. The program prepares advanced students to contribute to the field of health education through teaching, research, and service. Although health and research courses are required, the program is individualized through selection of elective courses and a cognate to develop each student for leadership roles in academia, private health sector, or government agencies. This program was ranked #9 among health education doctoral programs nationally, followed by University of South Florida, Southern Illinois University, University of Florida, Oregon State University, University of Massachusetts, University of California Los Angeles, University of Oklahoma, University of Texas at Austin, University of Illinois, University of Utah, Loma Linda University, among others listed. (American Journal of Health Education, 31(2): 81-89, 2000) A similar result (#10) was reported in 2004. (American Journal of Health Education, 35(3): 132-140, 2004) More recently a ranking revealed a similar result (#9). A quick overview of the Program can be found here. The Handbook for the PhD program and the dissertation requirements are also available.

There are seven areas or responsibilities that graduates of the Health Education Doctoral program are expected to have mastery. These are found on the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing's webpage. The doctoral students are expected to reach competencies and prepare for a portfolio to document their achievements in the indicated competencies. All doctoral students in the Health Education program are required to develop a portfolio to document the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competency in the following six domain areas:
1.    Assess Needs, Plan, Implement, and Evaluate Health Education Programs
2.    Teaching
3.    Research
4.    Grant Writing
5.    Service
6.    Advocate for Health and the Health Education Profession

The doctoral program at UT consists of 70 credit hours beyond the Masters degree. This is broken down as follows:

A. General Core Requirements (12 credit hours) 

HEAL 8880 Scientific Writing in Health 3cr
RESM 8120 Quantitative Methods II 3cr
RESM 8320 Research Design 3cr

One course from the following 

RESM 7330 Qualitative Research I 3cr
RESM 8130 Multivariate Statistics 3cr
RESM 8160 Nonparametric Statistics 3cr
RESM 8350 Survey Research Methods 3cr
HEAL 8700 Epidemiology 3cr

B. Major Courses (36 credit hours)

Required Courses (27 credit hours)

HEAL  8000 Professional Issues in Health Education 3cr
HEAL  8360 Applied Survey Research in Health 3cr
HEAL  8200 Methods and Materials in Public Health 3cr
HEAL  8300 Community Health Organization 3cr
HEAL  8460 Health Promotion Programs 3cr
HEAL  8600 Health Behavior 3cr
HEAL  8640 Issues in Public Health 3cr
HEAL  8800 Evaluation of Health Programs 3cr
HEAL  8900 Grant Writing in Health Sciences

Elective Courses (9 credit hours, alternative electives can be taken with advisor approval) 

HEAL  7930 General Seminar in Health Education 1-3cr
HEAL  7940 School Health Internship 1-4cr
HEAL  8280 Health Communication 3cr
HEAL   8100 College Teaching of Health Education 3cr
HEAL  8420 Sports Nutrition 3cr
HEAL  8500 Issues in School Health 3cr
HEAL  8520 Public Health Nutrition 3cr
HEAL  8530 Drug Use and Misuse 3cr
HEAL  8540 Human Sexuality 3cr
HEAL  8720 Issues in Minority Health 3cr
HEAL  8930 Interdisciplinary Seminar in Health Education 3cr
HEAL  8940 Public Health Internship 1-4cr
HEAL  8990 Independent Study in Health Education 1-3cr
PUBH 7500 Reproductive Epidemiology 3cr
PUBH 8250 Nutritional Epidemiology 3cr
PUBH 8550 Chronic Disease Epidemiology 3cr
PUBH 8590 Epidemiology of Aging 3cr
PUBH 8750 Applied Biostatistics 3cr
PUBH 8820 Epidemiology Methods 3cr

Cognate Area Options (12 credit hours for Cognate Area) 

  • Criminal Justice
  • Educational Psychology
  • Educational Technology
  • Epidemiology
  • Exercise Science
  • Gerontology
  • Health Policy
  • Sociology
  • Statistics and Research Design
  • Other (with permission)

Doctoral Dissertation (10 credit hours) 

HEAL  8960 Doctoral Research Dissertation 1-12cr

The minimum admission requirements are
1. Academic transcripts from all colleges attended. A master degree is required.
2. Three letters of recommendation from doctorally prepared professionals.
3. Statement of intent.
4. Curriculum vitae.
5. GRE: While other portions (verbal and quantitative) are important as well, we give special emphasis on the analytic writing. The score of 2.5 or lower is a direct reject, 4.0 is preferred. Additional writing assessment is required if the score is between 2.5 and 4.0.
6. English proficiency requirements for international applicants:
7. Additional writing sample is helpful for our assessment but not required.

You can submit your application at

For additional information about the PhD program in Health Education, please contact

Dr. Joseph Dake,, 419.530.2767

Chair of School of Population Health


Last Updated: 12/18/17