College of Education

Education Sciences in Health Education - Graduate

Restart your search

Customize a health education doctorate (Ph.D.) to follow your passion for a career in higher education. Our program will prepare you for research-focused faculty positions or careers that involve conducting research on behalf of community health agencies and organizations, corporations, or health-related governmental agencies.  You will explore both individual and population health, focusing on evidence-based strategies, application of health behavior theory, and research inquiry across a variety of health topics and target populations. 

In the health education Ph.D. program at the University of Kentucky, you will: 

  • develop an understanding of the full spectrum of health education, as well as an in-depth knowledge of one specific area or discipline, such as college health promotion, youth health promotion, substance use prevention, community-based research/interventions, health inequities, and health policy;
  • participate in guided research projects designed to prepare you for conducting your own research;
  • conduct independent research aligned with your career goals as you develop scientific expertise 
  • gain teaching experience at the university level, preparing master’s students for careers in health education;
  • write and publish research in high-quality journals; 
  • collaborate with faculty on research and service projects; 
  • have opportunities for multidisciplinary work within health education, health promotion, communication, social sciences, and/or other public health disciplines and topics.

With small class sizes in our health education graduate program, you will receive individual attention. We have a thriving graduate program in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion and place the highest value on ethics, professionalism, and interdisciplinary work. 

Number of Hours: 36-42+

Number of Courses: 12-15+

Length of Program: 3-5 years

Program Type: On-campus

You are strongly encouraged to identify a faculty member with whom you wish to work prior to applying to the program, as the Ph.D. program in Education Sciences in Health Education utilizes a mentor-based admission process.


Application Requirements

  1. A master’s degree or 30 semester hours of approved graduate course work with a 3.0 GPA.
  2. CV
  3. Personal Statement
    • Submit a statement of your professional aspirations and explain how you believe graduate study at the University of Kentucky will enhance your ability to achieve those professional goals. In your statement, provide information about your background, research skills and experiences, personal and professional achievements, and educational, work or life experiences that influenced you and your life goals.
  4. Writing Sample
    • ​Students who have not written a master’s level thesis will be required to submit an example of their research writing. A literature review or project from a completed class are acceptable examples. Special circumstances will be considered at the discretion of the applicant’s designated potential advisor.
  5. Three letters of recommendation
    • At least two must be from a person with direct knowledge of your academic capabilities (e.g., instructor, research supervisor, advisor, etc.).

The GRE is not required for admission to this program.

Application Deadlines
  • Priority deadline for upcoming academic year: January 15
  • Fall: July 15 (international students: April 15)
  • Spring: Contact program faculty for availability