For more than 60 years, the Department of Health Education and Behavior at the University of Florida has been at the forefront of the field, demonstrating leadership in instruction and mentoring, research and scholarship, service and practice.  By emphasizing innovation and data-driven advancements, our efforts ensure that our students are well prepared for the health promotion careers of the future.

Health Education & Behavior Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Health Education and Behavior (HEB) is to bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and public understanding of health to promote healthier living. The focus of the Department of HEB is to prepare students to promote healthy lifestyle choices in individual and group settings, and among diverse populations using culturally appropriate health education methodologies. Additionally, the Department seeks to prepare Health Education professionals capable of assessing individual and community health education needs; developing, planning and implementing effective health education programs; evaluating health education program effectiveness; coordinating the provision of health education services; acting as a resource person in health education; and communicating health/health education needs, concerns and resources.

Engaging Instruction

The Department is committed to student-centered education.  Our faculty consists of master instructors, many of whom have been recognized as “Teacher of the Year” at the College and University levels.  We regularly review and update our curricula to reflect disciplinary advancements and changing employer demands, including those produced by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, which has two of our faculty members on their Board of Commissioners.

We offer a comprehensive curriculum, from Bachelor’s to Doctoral degrees.  These programs address critical emerging issues such as health literacy, health disparities, digital and mobile health applications, and global health.  Students demonstrate core competencies through our highly rated fieldwork opportunities in business, industry, voluntary organizations and government agencies.

Innovative Research

Faculty and students in the Department conduct innovative research on public health problems that include substance use and abuse, sexual health, diet and nutrition, controlling chronic diseases, and managing disabilities.  Our research programs are implemented with diverse populations, locations and settings in Florida, across the US, and increasingly around the world.

The Department houses the new Center for Behavioral Economic Health Research, led by Department Chair, Dr. Jalie Tucker, with a mission to save lives, control diseases, and promote well-being through innovative research, training, and practice on applied information and communication technologies for health.

Leading Through Service

Service learning and community outreach are core components of our Department’s educational goals and mission.  Through a 15-week internship, Bachelor’s students provide service in their host organizations and communities, while increasing their professional knowledge, skills and networks.  Our faculty regularly provides service and volunteer leadership to numerous campus, local, national and international agencies.  Department faculty also serves in leadership roles of many professional organizations, learned societies, and peer-reviewed journals, including many who have served as national presidents and editors.  Our Alpha Lambda chapter of the Eta Sigma Gamma professional honor society was founded in 1978 and continues to lead the campus and the nation through its award-winning voluntary and philanthropic service activities.

Leading for the Future

From 1948 to the present, the Department of Health Education and Behavior has provided leadership, vision and caring to our students and communities through our instruction, scholarship, and service.  As the world changes and the profession continues to evolve, the Department of Health Education and Behavior will continue to lead the way.