Health Education


Why study Health Education?

The PhD in Health Education is an ideal program for individuals interested in helping people and communities to adopt healthy behaviors and healthy lifestyles through leadership and research. This nationally recognized program has been specifically designed for those who want to work as faculty members/professors in academic settings, researchers in health or governmental agencies, or professionals interested in serving as leaders in community health settings, health departments, nonprofit agencies, wellness centers, hospitals, corporate wellness programs, and health organizations. The program offers courses in all the major areas of health promotion and health education.

Graduates of this program have primarily obtained faculty and academic positions throughout the US in health promotion and health education. This degree can also be beneficial for individuals who want to attain a PhD and build a vita of quality teaching and research. Students are prepared through a program grounded in current research and evidence-based practices in the field of health promotion and health education to become certified health educators.

The Health Education faculty are student-oriented and possess a broad range of experience, skills, and knowledge in the field of health promotion and health education. Faculty members provide much research expertise in such health areas as substance abuse prevention, violence and suicide prevention, minority health, mental health promotion, women’s health issues, nutrition, physical activity, sexual health, health program planning, implementation, and evaluation, and various other health issues.

Students in the program attend classes both in the traditional face-to-face delivery method, as well as experience some classes delivered online via Canopy – UC’s advanced course development and delivery software. Graduates of the program have applauded the program’s commitment to excellence in teaching and research.

Prior to this PhD program, students must have earned a master's degree. Students with master's degrees from a variety of health-related or social science-based disciplines are accepted into the program. Master's level students from non-health education-related disciplines may need to complete additional master's level coursework in addition to the PhD requirements. In some cases, it may be preferable to complete the MS as a second master’s degree in route to the PhD All decisions concerning the transfer of credit and remedial work will be decided by the student’s program committee upon admission to the program. No more than 30 semester hours may be transferred into the PhD program from previous graduate work. For additional information, please contact Rebecca Vidourek via email

Admission Requirements

Application Deadline and Procedures

Prospective students will complete the online application for their requested program by the posted application deadline.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required materials and support documents are successfully submitted.  Incomplete applications will not be processed or reviewed.

To apply to the PhD in Health Education Program:

Complete the Online Graduate Application and pay the Application Fee.

The Online Graduate Application will request you to provide the following information:

Transcripts: See details below.

Goal Statement: Provide a typed copy of your academic and professional goals, approximately one to two pages in length. Explain how the Health Promotion and Education program will help you to meet these goals. This writing sample will also be used as one of the criteria for evaluating the application.

Resume: Provide one typed copy of your resume containing academic and professional data. It should include name, address, email, phone, date of birth, citizenship, colleges attended with degrees, dates conferred and grade point average; employment history; professional experience; present employer; names of references who are writing letters for you.

Letters of Recommendation: Provide email addresses for two professionals who will write letters of recommendation.  Recommenders will be contacted electronically by the Graduate School to upload their letters electronically to UC.

All materials should be submitted electronically.


Providing academic records during the application process. All applicants are required to upload their unofficial transcripts during the application process. The university defines “unofficial” transcripts as transcripts that have been in the hands of students, are typically printed on plain paper, and do not have a college seal or registrar's signature. Applicants should NOT send official transcripts as part of the application process.

Providing academic records after admission. 

Grad School transcript email address. The Graduate School accepts electronic transcripts sent directly by the school as official transcripts. These documents can be sent to the Graduate School

Official Transcripts should be sent to one of the following addresses:

Regular U.S. postal mail:

Graduate School University of Cincinnati 110 Van Wormer Hall P.O. Box 210627 Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0627

Delivery via parcel delivery service (FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc.):

Graduate School University of Cincinnati 2614 McMicken Circle 110 Van Wormer Hall Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0627

UC Alumni

Students who have received degrees from the University of Cincinnati do not need to submit official paper copies of their UC transcripts.

After being accepted to join a graduate program

Applicants who have earned a degree in China must submit an English-version verification report from the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) of their final transcripts and degree certificates.  All verification reports must be sent to the University of Cincinnati directly by the CDGDC to be considered official. No other verification will be accepted. Applicants with Chinese transcripts must contact the CDGDC after their degree is completed and request that their degree verification report be submitted directly to the University of Cincinnati. Students who request a verification report prior to degree conferral will be required to submit a second report after conferral.

Verification reports can be ordered at the following websites:

Verification reports are due to the Graduate School one week prior to the start of the student’s first semester. Failure to submit verification reports on time will result in a student being placed in non-matriculated status and loss of his/her student visa status. Verification reports should be sent to one of the following addresses:

Regular U.S. postal mail:

Graduate School University of Cincinnati 110 Van Wormer Hall P.O. Box 210627 Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0627

Delivery via parcel delivery service (FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc.):

Graduate School University of Cincinnati 2614 McMicken Circle 110 Van Wormer Hall Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0627

Individuals who are interested and committed toward research and service to the field of health education would benefit from this health education program. This program is ideal for students who wish to assist individuals, groups and communities to adopt healthy behaviors and healthy lifestyles through leadership and research. Students who excel in the program tend to have strong interpersonal skills and work well with others. In addition, possessing strong written and verbal skills will assist students in becoming successful health educators and quality academics in the field.

One of the major strengths of the PhD in Health Education Program is its commitment to excellence in teaching and research. There are various opportunities for students to become involved in research studies and projects. In addition, students are encouraged to begin conducting research studies early on in the program and subsequently publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals and presenting papers/workshops at professional conferences. Health encompasses many aspects and dimensions and therefore presents many opportunities for employment. Graduates of this program have primarily obtained faculty, academic and research positions throughout the US. A holistic approach to health is emphasized. 

Upon acceptance into the program, each student is assigned an academic advisor who is a faculty member in Health Promotion and Education. The advisor will assist the student in establishing an academic advising committee and selecting courses as well as a cognate to complete during the doctoral program.

This program is flexible and can be completed in three years if the student attends full-time. The PhD program allows students to develop expertise in Health Promotion and Education as well as enhancing their strength and understanding in a cognate area of personal interest. The GRE is not required for acceptance into the program. Classes are offered primarily in the evenings, which helps meet the scheduling needs of students who work during the day. In addition, there are several courses offered via online education. Please note this is not an online program.

In order to graduate, students must complete all coursework and doctoral program requirements, including comprehensive examinations, a doctoral dissertation, and dissertation defense.

Application Deadlines

The Health Promotion and Education Program accepts applications for Fall Semester admissions only.  Students cannot begin the graduate program in the spring or summer semesters.  Please note the specific application deadlines:

  • International Applicants - February 1
  • PhD Applicants (including those interested in assistantships) - February 1

If you would like to submit an electronic application for the Health Promotion and Education program, please visit our Online Graduate School Application and complete the form.

Also, feel free to visit the Health Promotion & Education website for complete information about materials that will need to be submitted when applying to this program.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

Dr. Rebecca Vidourek
PO BOX 210068
Cincinnati, OH 45221
(513) 556-3857

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Program Code: 18DOC-HEDU-PHD