Ph.D. in Health Education

The Division will take a transdisciplinary approach to producing researchers and academicians who are trained to understand how one’s health and wellness is both positively and negatively influenced by one’s total environment [i.e., factors ranging from micro (interpersonal relationships, families) to macro (cultural, environmental, policies, and infrastructure)]. Thus, we seek to train professionals who understand and consider the interaction between the individual, their respective state, and their social, structural land political environment.

The program prepares students to conduct research in basic and applied health education. The following key concepts provide the philosophical foundation of the Ph.D. in Health Education:

  • The program requires interaction with an accomplished group of professional health educators (the graduate faculty) and the study of a unique body of knowledge (the health education/health promotion literature).
  • It is based on a set of core responsibilities and competencies set forth by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (A Competency-Based Framework for Graduate-Level Health Educators, 1999).
  • Our doctoral program is a researcher-oriented degree, but requires competence as a practicing health educator/promoter.
  • A Ph.D. degree in Health Education facilitates the development of a competitive scholastic and professional portfolio by students.

All students are expected to work closely with faculty in research and service projects, to become skilled, independent and ethical researchers and to publish in health education journals.

The program is grounded in the Responsibilities and Competencies for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) developed by the National Center for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC). Students completing the master’s program are qualified to sit for the exam to be a Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES).


Most applicants have completed a master’s degree, but students may be admitted with a bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degree applicants must have an exemplary record of achievement at the undergraduate level and significant preparation in health education.

A member of the graduate faculty to be admitted must accept students.

We will only review COMPLETE applications. A COMPLETE application includes:

  • Apply Texas application
  • Transcripts from all institutions of higher education that you have attended
  • Three letters of recommendation (at least one must be from a prior professor who can attest to your academic abilities)
  • Statement of purpose
  • Your current resume


Every student’s course of study is individually designed on the basis of career goals and interests. The program required a minimum of 64 hours of coursework beyond the master’s degree and 96 hours of coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree and must include:

  • Health education core
  • Statistics/Research requirement
  • Teaching internship
  • Dissertation of original research

Students may petition to substitute elective courses for required health education courses already completed.