Health Education and Health Promotion

For detailed information regarding admission requirements for the School of Education graduate programs, please visit the Admissions Requirements website at

Ph.D. Health Education/Health Promotion

Graduate Program Director (Education): Dr. Retta Evans,

The PhD in Health Education/Health Promotion is a UA System degree jointly administered by three units: UAB School of Education and College of Arts & Sciences, UAB School of Public Health, and UA College of Human Environmental Sciences. Students draw upon the expertise and resources of a diverse and highly qualified faculty. Faculty members strive to create a rigorous scholarly and supportive atmosphere for students to develop intellectually with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to be ethical and responsible health education professionals. 

Ph.D. Admission Process

Consideration for admission to graduate study in health education will occur each Fall term. The completed application packet must be received by the Community Health and Human Services Program from the Graduate School by the dates shown:

Entry Term Deadline
Fall April 30
Spring October 30

Candidates for admission must have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited institution in health education or a health-related field. Admission to doctoral study is initiated through the Graduate School. Applicants will: (a) request official transcripts of all college coursework to send to UAB Graduate School; (b) submit (3) letters of recommendation from professors or others who are qualified to judge your ability to complete doctoral coursework; (c) complete the GRE indicating UAB as the recipient of your scores; and (d) submit writing sample(s), such as an essay describing your academic training, professional experiences and career goals.  Admission to the program is competitive.

Ph.D. applicants should have a cumulative GPA of 3.00/4.00 or greater for prior college coursework and preferred GRE scores of 312. or greater Faculty consider GRE scores as one indicator of an applicant’s potential success in the doctoral program.

Ph.D. Health Education/Health Promotion Program of Study

Students may enter the program with either a bachelor's or master's degree in health education, or a master's degree in a closely related health field. Prerequisite coursework includes Foundations of Health Education, Health Education Planning and Evaluation, and Research Design and Statistics. These requirements may be corequisite components in the program.

Students entering the program with a master’s degree may transfer appropriate coursework to this program; however, this will not reduce the number of courses required. Students will not be required to retake coursework already completed but may be required to complete prerequisites as part of their planned course of study.

A required review of student credentials prior to admission will identify strengths and needs. This review will provide students with a blueprint for their course of study and will be conducted by the program director and faculty advisor.

The PhD degree program will require students to complete a minimum of 75 credit hours: 45 hours of coursework, 12 hours of research internship, and 18 hours of dissertation research. Students will meet regularly with a faculty advisor to plan course enrollment. A minimum GPA of 3.50 is required.

Research and Statistics Prerequisites: Students are required to have completed the following courses (or equivalents) BEFORE enrolling in the Advanced Research and Statistical Methods Core. These are not included in the 75 hour degree total.

EPR 594Introduction to Educational Research Design3
EPR 596Introduction to Qualitative Methods in Educational Research3
EPR 608
EPR 607
Statistical Methods and Action Research
and Microcomputer Applications to Statistical Analysis
EPR 609Statistical Methods and Research in Education: Intermediate3
Total Hours13

The specific components of the PhD program in health Education and Health Promotion are outlined below.

Ph.D. through the School of Education

I. Health Education and Promotion CORE Courses
CHHS 731Advanced Theoretic/Scientific Basis of Health Education & Health Promotion3
CHHS 732Planning and Administration of Health Education/Promotion Programs3
CHHS 733Evaluation of Health Education/Promotion Programs3
or HB 740 Advanced Health Program Evaluation Seminar
CHHS 734Health Education Seminar I1
CHHS 735Health Education Seminar II1
CHHS 736Health Education Seminar III1
II. Advanced Research and Statistical Methods Core12
Principles of Epidemiologic Research
Qualitative Research: Inquiry and Analysis
Computer Applications and Advanced Statistical Methods
Graduate Research Design 1
Survey Methods in Educational Research
Mixed Methods Approaches in Action Research
III. 600+ level Coursework in the Social and Behavioral Sciences 218
IV. Research Internship 312
V. Dissertation18
Dissertation Research
Total Hours72

Choose one course that fits the needs of your dissertation, with the approval of an advisor. Two examples are listed, but other courses could apply.


 Selection of courses pre-approved by doctoral program advisor to build knowledge and skills in a cognate area, e.g. Health Disparities, Research, Global Health, Public Health Policy, Aging and Health, Disabilities and Health.


Choose 12 hours of any variation from the following: CHHS 640 and CHHS 641, CHHS 691 and CHHS 692, CHHS 798,

Comprehensive Examination

A written comprehensive examination is required of all candidates for the Ph.D. degree. Your preparation will include studying course content, core competencies for the profession, and related literature of the discipline. Prior to taking the exam, students must have completed their core course requirements. Students must register for a minimum of 3.0 hours of graduate work during the semester in which the comprehensive exam is taken.

The Comprehensive exam will be offered twice each year and is written and graded by the graduate faculty in the joint doctoral program. The examination will be a synthesis of the core coursework as well as core competencies in the field of Health Education and Health promotion. Grading of the comprehensive exam is done blinded, and by consensus. Students who fail to achieve passing scores will have one attempt to remediate within a calendar year. If a student fails a section for the second time, they will be dismissed from the program.