Academics > Ph.D. > Health Education & Behavior Ph.D. Program >

Curriculum Information


The doctoral program in Health Education and Behavior trains Health Behavior researchers for positions in...

  • Academia
  • Federal health agencies (e.g. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Institutes of Health)
  • Post-doctoral research fellowships

The Graduate School requires that the Ph.D. program include at least 90 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree work.


Ph.D. Program Planning Template

Within the first semester, Ph.D. students will meet with their major professor and, if selected, their supervisory committee to brainstorm on suggestions for their program of study. After the meeting, the student and Major Professor take care of details such as deciding on final committee members (if the committee still isn’t complete) and putting together a formal program of study that will be approved by the Supervisory Committee.

The Department provides students with a Ph.D. Program Planning Template. In addition to specifying coursework in the various categories, the overall plan includes projected dates (semesters) for taking the qualifying examination, presenting a formal dissertation proposal, and defending the dissertation. The student and major professor also project a month and year for graduation. The dates may change, but the student and Supervisory Committee begin work with a projected calendar. All Supervisory Committee members sign the program of study.

**A copy of the approved program of study should be placed in the academic file by the end of the second semester.


Health Behavior Required Coursework: 27 Credit Hours

Credit Hours Course Number Course Title
3 HSC 5956 Writing for Professional Publications
3 HSC 6318 Planning Health Education Programs
3 HSC 6506 Epidemiology
3 HSC 6603 Theories of Health Behavior and Practice
3 HSC 6712 Evaluating Health Education Programs
3 HSC 6735 Research Methods in Health Education
3 HSC 7937 Advanced Seminar in Health Education
3 PET 5936 Grant Writing
3 HLP 7939  HHP Ph.D. Professional Development Seminar 

Research Methods and Statistics Coursework: 18 Credit Hours

Required Core: 6 credit hours

Credit Hours Course Number Course Title
3 STA 6126 Statistical Methods in Social Research I
3 STA 6127 Statistical Methods in Social Research II

Additional Courses Selected with Adviser Approval: At least 12 credit hours

Credit Hours Course Number Course Title
4 EDF 6436 Theory of Measurement
3 EDF 6471 Survey Design and Analysis in Educational Research
3 EDF 7412 Structural Equation Models
3 EDF 7491 Evaluation of Educational Products and Systems
3 EDF 7439 Item Response Theory
3 EDF 7932 Multivariate Analysis in Educational Research
3 EDA 7985 Research Design in Education
3 STA 5503 Categorical Data Analysis
3 STA 5507 Applied Nonparametric Methods 
GMS 6846 Meta-Analysis in Clinical, HSR, and Public Health
4 EDF 6475 Qualitative Foundations of Educational Research
3 EDF 7483 Qualitative Data Collection
3 EDF 7479 Qualitative Data Analysis
3 NGR 6815 Foundations of Qualitative Research in Nursing
3 NGR 7814 Field Methods for Health Related Research
3 SYA 6315 Qualitative Research Methods



HLP 7979 Advanced Directed Research Requirement: 6 Credit Hours
Minor, Graduate Certificate Interest Area, or Elective Coursework: 24 credits*

Students who pursue a minor must comply with requirements specified by the minor department. By approval of the supervisory committee, students may select lecture and non-lecture courses in HEB to support the concentration in health behavior or their dissertation research focus, or select additional research and statistic courses.

*Transferred Coursework — Student may request to transfer up to 18 credit hours of previous graduate lecture coursework relevant to the field of health promotion, health education, and health behavior or their officially declared minor by approval of the supervisory committee and the HEB Graduate Program Advisory Committee.

QUALIFYING Examinations


Work closely with the Major Professor and Supervisory Committee at all stages in developing a dissertation proposal. Dissertations may use either the traditional format or a publishable paper format. 

Students will prepare a dissertation proposal that includes three fully developed chapters:

  1. Introduction
  2. Literature Review
  3. Proposed Methodology or an agreed upon format for the publishable paper


Final defense presentations typically last about 30-45 minutes and often include a brief handout of the presentation outline and main points, and electronic presentation formats. Advisors help students decide on an appropriate format.