Interdisciplinary Programs

The Ph.D. in Educational Studies in Diverse Populations (ESDP) is to prepare professionals who can conduct research and lead innovation that enhances educational and life outcomes for diverse populations.  This would include those who represent cultural or linguistic minorities, those with exceptionalities (gifted and disabled), those from economically challenged (and especially high-poverty) backgrounds, those impacted by gender biases, and those with other relevant learning or behavioral differences. To accommodate the widest range of student research interest in diversity issues there are three concentrations. Metropolitan Education Studies, Pedagogical Studies for Diverse Populations, Health Disparities within Diverse Populations.  This doctoral program is especially suited to preparing graduates with the research acumen needed to move easily into higher educational/postsecondary settings, P-12 central administration at the local, state, and national level, and leadership roles within school based settings, or non-academic positions within nonprofit organizations, specifically those with a research component. The minimum admission requirements are those of the UAB Graduate School. However, admission is highly selective, and most successful applicants have qualifications much higher than the minimum. Application packets must be complete in the Graduate School office before the applicant can be considered for the program.

Contact Information

For detailed information please visit the program website (, or contact Dr. Andrew McKnight (Primary Advisor), Dr. Tondra Loder-Jackson (Metropolitan Education Studies Concentration Advisor), Dr. Susan Spezzini (Pedagogical Studies for Diverse Populations Concentration Advisor), or Dr. Retta Evans (Health Disparities within Diverse Populations Concentration Advisor).

The Ph.D. in Health Education / Health Promotion is a University of Alabama System degree jointly administered by three units: UAB School of Education, 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. Graduates in the Ph.D. program develop advanced training to become leading researchers, clinicians and faculty in a variety of work settings such as universities, businesses, government agencies, and foundations. We strive to create a rigorous scholarly and supportive atmosphere for students to develop intellectually to acquire the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to be highly competent and ethical health education professionals.

This program is designed to provide students with the coursework and practical experience to become leading researchers and practitioners in Health Education and Health Promotion. Course work includes a core of courses in advanced research and statistical methods, social and behavioral sciences, and the completion of a research internship and dissertation.

For more information regarding the Health Education/Health Promotion program, visit the Health Education/Health Promotion Graduate Catalog page.