Graduate Programs

Degree Programs

The department offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) with a specialization in Health Behavior, a non-thesis 30-credit Master of Science (M.S.) and a thesis/project 36-credit Master of Science (M.S.) in Health Education and Behavior. The Ph.D. program trains health behavior researchers for academic positions, positions in federal health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, and for post-doctoral research fellowships. The non-thesis 30-credit hour M.S. program allows students to choose a minimum of 15 credit hours of major lecture coursework that matches their interests with faculty expertise to plan a program that achieves their professional goals. The 36 hour thesis and project in lieu of thesis Master of Science degree program in Health Education & Behavior is designed for students pursuing a career in research and/or a doctoral degree.

Topics You Study

Our faculty teach courses and conduct research on topics such as addictive health behaviors; substance abuse; child and adolescent health; human sexuality; health informatics; HIV/AIDS; injury prevention and control; international health; intervention mapping; maternal and child health; medical terminology; minority health issues; nutrition and diet; obesity; philosophy and ethics; physical fitness; prescription drug abuse; professional writing; program planning and evaluation; rural health; sexually transmitted infections; social marketing; spirituality and health; stress management; theories of motivation; women’s health issues; and worksite wellness.

Skills You Learn

Our students learn about a variety of contemporary health issues affecting American society. They develop skills such as conducting needs assessments; setting measurable objectives; planning, implementing, and evaluating health education programs; and developing print and electronic materials for health instruction. As professional health educators, our program graduates use their knowledge and skills to advocate for health education programs in schools, communities, health care facilities, and worksites; seek funds to support health promotion activities; plan interventions for individuals, families, and groups of all ages; conduct research and evaluation on program effectiveness; and work collaboratively with public and private organizations and agencies to build healthy communities.

Places Our Graduates Work

Our graduates hold positions in public and private organizations and agencies at the local, state, national, and international levels. Here are some of their position titles: Professor, Physician, Regional Health Educator, Senior Health Educator, Physical Activity Specialist, Health Communication Specialist, Substance Abuse Specialist, Exercise Therapist, HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator, Dietitian, Association Executive, Campus Health Educator, Patient Educator, and Medical Student.

Some Comments From Our Graduate Program Alumni

“The Department’s graduate program is simply excellent. The professors’ knowledge and dispositions add to the program. I’m very pleased with the knowledge and experience I gained from my time there.”

“My UF degrees have helped me so many ways personally and professionally. I’ve used the knowledge and skills I learned to develop programs in my community through a voluntary health agency, present programs in clinical settings, develop programs for home school and for my own children, and present programs to spouses of U.S. military personnel.”

“I’m thankful for the instruction I received. I benefited personally and professionally from the program and my interaction with faculty and peers. Many thanks for investing in me.”

“As a medical student, I feel comfortable and successful in helping patients understand how their behavior affects health, and how they can help themselves. I will be a better physician for the experience. The faculty serves as my mentors, role models, and heroes.”