Health Promotion Sciences

A Doctoral or Master's Program That Works for You—and with You

Our PhD and Master's programs prepare students to lead as interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners who:

  • advance our understanding of the complex factors that influence health behavior
  • apply principles and practices of health promotion and health behavior change in diverse settings
  • develop innovative solutions to address current and emerging health challenges and disparities.

Our students learn from and work closely with graduate faculty, including leading experts in health behavior change interventions; promotion of healthy diet and physical activity across the lifespan; application of cutting-edge genetics and genomics research to healthcare issues; utilizing mobile and other new technologies, social media, and web-based interventions to modify health behaviors; and varied quantitative and qualitative research methods, including statistical modeling, randomized trials, meta-analyses, and epidemiology.

Both programs provide students with the flexibility to design a customized plan of study that is uniquely suited to their interests and career objectives. Graduate Research and/or Teaching Assistantships that provide a stipend, tuition waiver, and health benefits are available on a competitive basis.

MS in Health Promotion Sciences

The two-year Master’s in Health Promotion Sciences program will prepare you to make critical contributions to future of health research, community health outcomes, and evidence-based health interventions. Master’s graduates develop competencies in health promotion, health education, and behavioral health to enhance the health of the population at the local, national, and global levels. With the skills and interdisciplinary knowledge you develop through your coursework, relationships with faculty mentors, and real-world research experience, you will leave ready for an impactful career in public health, community-based treatment and healthcare fields, worksites, and clinical and research settings, or for continuation into a PhD program.

Recommended Preparation

Applicants should already have in hand or be nearing completion of a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field. Ideally, the applicant’s academic record will include strong preparation in the sciences as well as research and/or volunteer experience that contributes to his/her professional and career interests in health promotion sciences. Successful MS applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (4.0 scale); strong recommendations from advisors and others familiar with their academic work and potential; and research interests that match with our graduate faculty. A personal statement is a required element of the admissions application. Applicants may choose to additionally submit a sample research paper or abstract.

Program Overview

In consultation with your faculty advisor, you will design a plan of study to meet your professional, educational, and scholarly goals. Two tracks are available:

  • Thesis Track (Plan A) emphasizes research and requires the completion of a research project and submission of a thesis. 30 total credits.
  • Project & Practicum Track (Plan B) emphasizes comprehensive understanding of health promotion, health education, and behavior change, primarily through advanced coursework and the completion of a project and practicum. 32 total credits.

Both tracks require the completion of core coursework including:

  • Health Promotion (minimum 9 credits)
  • Research (minimum 9 credits)
  • Electives (minimum 3 credits)

View all Graduate Program Courses.
View Sample Plan of Study

PhD in Health Promotion Sciences

The PhD in Health Promotion Sciences program prepares you for a high-level career in research, teaching/mentoring, consulting, policy development, or other leadership roles focused on the behavioral determinants of health, the promotion of health, and the prevention of premature disease and disability. With the skills and interdisciplinary knowledge you develop through your coursework, independent research, and relationships with faculty mentors, you will leave ready to lead in a variety of settings including universities, health promotion agencies at every level, healthcare systems and service organizations, and private industry.

Recommended Preparation

Applicants should have, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree, with preference for a master’s degree in a related field. Preference will also be given to applicants with a relevant health-related credential. Additionally, applicants should show:

  • demonstrated commitment to health promotion through education, work, and/or volunteer experience
  • demonstrated research experience as evidenced by a thesis-based master’s degree, authored publications, and/or a description of research activities in their personal statement
  • strong statistical background
  • strong match of research interest/experience with a graduate faculty member
  • minimum GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale) in all courses of record; alternatively, applicants may present a GPA of 3.0 or higher for the last two years of graduate study plus other evidence of research competence

Both a personal statement and a sample research paper or abstract are required elements of the admissions application.

Program Overview

In consultation with your faculty advisor, you will design a plan of study to meet your professional, educational, and scholarly goals. You will leave empowered to produce and defend a significant original contribution to knowledge in your field of specialization, demonstrate mastery of subject material, and conduct scholarly activities in an ethical manner. The PhD program requires a minimum of 48 credits, including core coursework, as well as a doctoral general exam:

  • Health Promotion Courses (minimum 15 credits)
  • Methodology & Statistics Courses (minimum 9 credits)
  • Electives/Cognate Courses (minimum 9 credits):
  • Developing Research & Academic Teaching Skills & Competence (minimum 6 credits)
  • Dissertation Preparation (minimum 15 credits)

View all Graduate Program Courses.

Graduate Assistantships

A limited number of Graduate Assistantships with stipend, full tuition waiver, and health insurance benefits may be available. These graduate assistantships include research and/or teaching assignments.


The Graduate School oversees several Fellowships available on a competitive basis to outstanding masters and doctoral scholars. These fellowships are intended to recruit and support the most promising students entering graduate programs at the University of Connecticut. Recipients of these fellowships will represent the very best applicants to graduate programs at the University.

Learn more about Fellowships.

Application Deadline

For preferred consideration, apply by December 15 to begin the following fall semester. Later applications may be considered on a space-available basis. Please contact us if you are interested in spring admission.

Start your application now!

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