Help groups and individuals lead healthier lifestyles or conduct research in an area that will benefit health globally with the expertise gained in our PhD in Health Education and Promotion program.
A PhD in Health Education and Promotion with a focus on Behavioral Health can help you better understand and address the many factors and influences on health and well being. You will investigate the motivation, psychology and theory behind health and health related behaviors of diverse populations.
Track III is designed for students with a master’s degree in a discipline other than public health.
You may be eligible to transfer a maximum of 54 graduate-level credits into the program.
Walden students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral program unless they petition for an extension.
In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.
To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the Chief Academic Officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an enrollment advisor at 855-646-5286.
|Course Code||HLTH 8003||Course||Building a Multidisciplinary Approach to Health||Credits||(3 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8110||Course||Exploring Health Education in the 21st Century||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8205||Course||Assessing Community Needs for Health Education||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8038||Course||Health Behavior Theory||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8475||Course||Advanced Program Implementation and Evaluation||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8050||Course||Global Health Issues in Disease Prevention||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||RSCH 8110||Course||Research Theory, Design, and Methods||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8412||Course||Health Education and Communication Strategies||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||RSCH 8210||Course||Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH XXXX||Course||- Focus Area Course -||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||RSCH 8310||Course||Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8240||Course||Public Health Policy and Advocacy||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8440||Course||Application of Public Health and Behavior Change Theories||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH XXXX||Course||- Focus Area Course -||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8207||Course||Grant Writing||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8031||Course||Public Health Administration and Leadership||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8551||Course||Preparing for Dissertation||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH XXXX||Course||- Focus Area Course -||Credits||(5 cr.)|
In this course, students will explore the multidisciplinary nature and integration of professional practice in the health field. Students will have the opportunity to utilize their scholarly voice with diverse audiences and with academic integrity to assure academic and professional success as a scholar-practitioner and social change agent. As leaders in their profession, students will discuss critical health services in the health field utilizing a response to a natural disaster, review of emerging topics in the health field, and what it means to be part of a multidisciplinary team to develop community partnerships with key stakeholders to address health issues impacting their communities, agencies, and/or organizations.
What does it mean to be a health educator in the 21st century? Students in this foundation course explore the field of health education: historical milestones, current issues, and future opportunities and challenges. They examine settings for practice, professional competencies, interprofessional collaborations, credentialing, professional organizations, use of technology, and ethical issues pertaining to health education. Students also analyze current issues in the field by reviewing scholarly publications and research pertaining to health education practice. Course assignments also include an introduction to commonly used health education theories and models, and students will have the opportunity to develop a philosophy statement for health education practice in the new millennium. HLTH 8003).
It is important for health educators and other health professionals to understand the unique characteristics and health needs of a community in order to provide effective and relevant health education and services. Students in this course learn about the principles and processes of needs assessment and community capacity-building as a first step in the program planning process. Students learn about individual, small-group, and community-based assessments as well as quantitative and qualitative approaches. Students directly apply what they are reading and discussing in class to their own communities by conducting an assessment unique to their community. Other topics covered include use of primary and secondary data; selection and development of instrumentation to collect community data; interpretation and analysis of data, and prioritization of health education needs. Community mapping tools and other technology used in the assessment process are also explored.
Students in this course are introduced to concepts necessary for promoting positive health-behavior change by examining the most commonly used theories and models in public health and health education and promotion. Coursework focuses on the identification and application of theories and models for promoting and designing effective health behavior programs and interventions. Students explore individual, interpersonal, and community theories and modules to determine the most appropriate application.
Students in this this course focus on the competencies required of the public health professional in planning for the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of community health promotion and disease prevention initiatives. Attention is given to needs assessment, logic models, and collaboration with stakeholders. Strategic approaches to planning, implementation, and evaluation with particular attention to study design and sampling are addressed. Health behavior theories are considered in the development of health promotion programs, the application of evaluation findings, and prioritization of community concerns and resources.
This course provides an in-depth review of how global health-based strategies are used in the prevention of disease and disability in diverse populations. Students explore global health topics and disease prevention activities from the perspective of understanding the determinants of health. Using a cross-disciplinary approach, students examine how economics, social factors, cultural competency, health literacy, health policy, urbanization, globalization, the environment, and other factors influence disease. Students consider how research in disease prevention, health determinants, cultural ecology and global health applies to public and community health efforts.
In this research course, students are provided with core knowledge and skills for understanding, analyzing, and designing research at the graduate level. Students explore the philosophy of science, the role of theory, and research processes. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research designs and data collection methods are introduced. The alignment of research components is emphasized. Students also explore ethical and social change implications of designing and conducting research. Students demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing an annotated bibliography.
Effective communication plays a vital role in the diffusion of a health behavior or innovation. In this course, the health educator is introduced to a wide range of health communication strategies. Assignments will allow students to apply and evaluate the use of health education delivery methods for various populations and practice settings (i.e., community, clinical, worksite, global, schools). Principles and theories of health communication and behavior change will be applied to a variety of health education case studies. Students will also demonstrate how to design and communicate culturally tailored health information to an audience of their choice. They will also explore the use of emerging technologies and social media in delivering and promoting health education. HLTH 8003, HLTH 8110, and HLTH 8205.)
In this research course, students are provided with the opportunity to develop core knowledge and skills for designing and carrying out quantitative research at the doctoral level, including the application of statistical concepts and techniques. Students explore classical common statistical tests, the importance of the logic of inference, and social change implications of conducting quantitative research and producing knowledge. Students approach statistics from a problem-solving perspective with emphasis on selecting appropriate statistical tests for a research design. Students use statistical software to derive statistics from quantitative data and interpret and present results. RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110.)
Choose a course from the table below
Students in this research course are provided with the opportunity to develop basic knowledge and skills for conducting qualitative research at the doctoral level. Students explore the nature of qualitative inquiry, how theory and theoretical and conceptual frameworks uniquely apply to qualitative research, data collection procedures and analysis strategy, and how the role of the researcher is expressed in the ethical and rigorous conduct of qualitative research. Students practice collecting, organizing, analyzing, and presenting data, and they develop a detailed research topic for conducting a qualitative study. RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110.)
Contemporary public health leaders and administrators are provided with an overview of the public health policy and advocacy process, and they devote special attention to their function, impact, and constraint on policy development. In addition, students explore professional ethics related to the role of the policy analyst and consider the significant social outcomes of public health policy. They examine the theories and strategies used by policymakers and policy analysts to develop, implement, execute, evaluate, and promulgate public health policy. Through case studies of the public health response to issues such as HIV/AIDS and SARS, students explore historical challenges and successes in translating health science to effective public policy. Students also assess the impact and consequences of public health policy and evaluate it though a social justice framework. Using critical-thinking and communication skills, students craft a public health policy memorandum regarding a current public health policy problem, for which they consider and evaluate competing policy alternatives.
Students in this course are presented with a comprehensive look at public health and behavior change theories that apply to community health education. Students review and assess predominant social and behavioral principles at the individual, interpersonal, and community levels. They discuss examples of how others have harnessed social marketing and communication technology to effect positive health behavior change in individuals and communities. Students learn to apply theories to public health research and practice.
Choose a course from the table below
Grant writing is the method by which many nonprofit, educational, and community organizations secure external funding in order to provide needed services to the community. In this course, students will explore the basic skills needed for nonresearch grant writing including project development, identifying potential funding sources, developing a needs statement and creating goals and objectives for projects, preparing and justifying a budget, identifying appropriate methods to evaluate a project, and writing an executive summary. In their course assignments students will be able to to directly apply what they are reading and discussing by writing a full grant proposal based on an actual Request for Proposal (RFP).
Students in this course are provided with a foundational understanding of the administrative, managerial, and organizational practices of public health and healthcare delivery systems. They examine theories of leadership as well as the professional attributes, skills, styles, and strategies required to advance public health goals. Students engage in a variety of contextual and practical assignments focused on management theories, policy processes, systems thinking, strategic planning and partnerships, quality and performance improvement, leadership, and organizational behavior. They also consider the impact of global trends on public health practice, policy, and systems.
The focus of this course is on the process of writing the doctoral dissertation premise and prospectus. The premise will guide students through their committee selection process. The prospectus will guide students through the stages of writing a dissertation—conducting a literature review, developing a problem statement and research questions, and evaluating research designs, methods, and types of analysis. The premise and prospectus that students write for this course will be for a possible dissertation topic. This exercise is the cornerstone of this course and will prepare students for working with their chosen dissertation topic.
Choose a course from the table below
Select three (3) courses from the following:
|Course Code||HLTH 8203||Course||Attitudes/Attitude Change||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8215||Course||Lifespan Development||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8241||Course||Human Motivation||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8242||Course||Changing Health Behavior: Theory and Practice||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8247||Course||Social Psychology||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8701||Course||Cultural Psychology||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8745||Course||Health Psychology||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8825||Course||Psychology of Gender||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8361||Course||Human Sexuality||Credits||(5 cr.)|
Students in this course cover classic and contemporary models of attitudes, their functions, and how they are formed and maintained. The connection between attitudes and behavior and how attitudes are changed through the process of persuasion and cognitive dissonance are also examined. PSYC 8247 - Social Psychology).
Students in this course are provided with an advanced overview of human development through the lifespan, including prenatal, childhood, adolescent, adult, and late-adult phases. Students examine and apply basic processes and theories to developmental milestones that occur within these phases of development. They explore factors of heredity and environmental elements on human development, and they consider ethical issues, research considerations, and global perspectives as they assess strategies to promote optimal development. Students also engage in coursework and discussions that highlight themes of diversity and social change.
What are the factors that drive human behavior and in what ways can professionals harness this information to help individuals achieve their goals? Through the exploration of historical and contemporary theories and perspectives, students in this course have the opportunity to answer such questions and gain foundational knowledge of the study of human motivation. Students examine the physiological, psychological, learned, social, cognitive, and emotional aspects of motivation. They work toward developing a conceptual understanding of theories associated with motivation, which they apply to personal, professional, and contemporary social issues. Students engage in readings and assignments that incorporate themes of diversity as they relate to human motivation.
Students in this course review past and current models of health behavior change, disease prevention, disease management, and relapse prevention. Students cover health-related issues, including dietary needs, tobacco and drug use, safer sexual practices, and stress management. In addition, they examine the analysis of behavior change within specific populations (young, elderly, cognitively impaired, etc.), and factors that predict or serve as obstacles to lifestyle change and adherence. PSYC 8745 - Health Psychology).
Students in this course receive an overview of classic and contemporary topics in social psychology with a focus on how social contexts influence and shape individual behavior. Topics covered include research methods in social psychology, the relation of self and culture, person perception, attitudes and their relation to behavior, attribution theory, persuasion, conformity and obedience, interpersonal attraction, prejudice, aggression, group dynamics, intergroup relations, and multiculturalism. The course is presented with a focus on cross-cultural similarities and variations in the impact of context on behavior. PSYC 8745 - Health Psychology).
Culture often has a profound influence on individual beliefs, personality development, and social behavior. Therefore, mental health professionals must have a fundamental understanding of the impact and psychological implications of culture. In this course, students focus on core themes of cross-cultural psychology—specifically, cultures representing different parts of the world and cultural influences on human psychology. Students explore the cultural components, research, and theory of cross-cultural psychology, and they assess the overall impact of culture on the field of psychology around the world. Additionally, they engage in readings and practical assignments to gain a better understanding of human development and the interactions between culture and social behaviors, health, mental health, and mental illnesses.
Health psychologists work toward positive change in healthcare and health behavior through the study of relationships between patients and providers, how individuals and groups adapt to illness, damaging health behaviors, health cognitions, and many other related issues. In this course students explore the field of health psychology with a focus on the biopsychosocial model. They discuss behavioral and biomedical theories as well as the effect of psychological (personality), behavioral (health behaviors and coping), and social factors (stress and physician-patient relationships) on physical health and wellness. Through the examination of current literature and peer discussions, students explore and address issues related to cardiovascular and immune health, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. They demonstrate their understanding of course material and consider how topics apply to their personal and professional life through the development of taskforce papers, a health brochure, and a final essay.
Gender has been the focus of many stereotypes developed over time; but how much does the biological sex of an individual actually influence one's behavior, development, or emotions? Students in this course are introduced to theories and research on gender role expectations and their influence on the psychosocial developmental experience of women, men, and children. Students apply current gender research to understanding achievement, work, relationships, sexuality, violence, and physical health and illness. They also engage in readings and assignments that emphasize the responses of women and men to life stresses, women as clients in psychotherapy, and the increasing role of gender research in the mental health professions.
Students are provided with a framework for understanding human sexuality in the context of couples, marriage, and family counseling in this course. Students explore empirically supported counseling approaches related to sexual functioning, intimacy, gender, and sexual orientation. They use a systemic framework for understanding the role and impact of sexuality on couples, marriages, and families. Students also explore and discuss specific topics related to issues of sexual diversity, and gender identity.
|Course Code||RSCH 8260||Course||Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||RSCH 8360||Course||Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||RSCH 8460||Course||Advanced Mixed-Methods Reasoning and Analysis||Credits||(5 cr.)|
Students in this research course build upon knowledge and skills acquired in the prerequisite quantitative reasoning course and are presented with opportunities to apply them. They are provided with more specialized knowledge and skills for conducting quantitative research at the doctoral level, including understanding multivariate data analysis and applying more advanced statistical concepts, such as factorial ANOVA, mediation, moderation, logistic regression, ANCOVA, and MANOVA. Students explore existing datasets and apply suitable statistical tests to answer research questions with social change implications. In this course, they approach statistics from a problem-solving perspective with emphasis on selecting the appropriate statistical tests for more complex research questions and social problems. Students use statistical software to perform analyses and interpret and present results. They will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by carrying out a quantitative research project. RSCH 8110.)
Students build upon the knowledge and skills acquired in RSCH 8310 - Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis. and have experience applying them. Students develop a more sophisticated understanding of the theoretical antecedents and practical applications of eight contemporary qualitative approaches. Students gain experience developing qualitative interview guides, collecting data, and managing the process from transcription through analysis. The unique challenges of confidentiality and ethical issues are explored as well as implications for social change. Students will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by developing a qualitative research plan using a topic relevant to their capstone.
Students build upon knowledge and skills acquired in RSCH 8210 - Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis and RSCH 8310 - Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis for more specialized knowledge and skills to design mixed-methods research at the doctoral level. Students are provided with more specialized knowledge and skills for designing mixed-methods research at the doctoral level. They gain an understanding of the types of mixed-methods designs and how to select the most appropriate approach for the research question(s). The emphases of this course are on integrating quantitative and qualitative elements into true mixed-methods studies, practice in data analysis, and integration of qualitative and quantitative data within a research write-up. Students will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by developing a mixed-methods research plan that incorporates qualitative and quantitative elements appropriately. RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110 and RSCH 8210 or RSCH 7210 or RSCH 6210 and RSCH 8310 or RSCH 7310 or RSCH 6310.)
|Course Code||HLTH 9101||Course||Dissertation||Credits||(5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 quarters until completion)|
In this course, doctoral students have the opportunity to integrate their Program of Study into an in-depth exploration of an interest area that includes the completion of a research study. Students complete the dissertation independently, with the guidance of a dissertation supervisory committee chair and committee members, in a learning platform classroom in which weekly participation is required. Students complete a prospectus, proposal, Institutional Review Board application, and dissertation.Students take this course for a minimum of 4 quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their Dissertation with final Chief Academic Officer (CAO) approval.To complete a dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the Chief Academic Officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.
|Course Code||DRWA 8880G||Course||Doctoral Writing Assessment||Credits||(0 cr.)|
This course is part of Walden’s commitment to help prepare students to meet the university’s expectations for writing in courses at the doctoral level. In this course, students write a short academic essay that will be scored by a team of writing assessors. Based on the essay score, students will complete or be exempted from additional required writing support needed to meet writing proficiency standards. This required assessment course is free. Students will be enrolled automatically in it at the beginning of their doctoral program.
Two courses selected from all courses offered within all specializations (8–10 cr.)
*Courses selected must be different from those taken in your MPH program.