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PhD in Health Education

About the Program

The program prepares students to conduct research in basic and applied health education. All students are expected to work closely with faculty in research and service projects to become skilled, independent and ethical researchers and to publish in health education journals.

A transdisciplinary approach is used to produce researchers and academicians who are trained to understand how one’s health and wellness is both positively and negatively influenced by one’s total environment from factors ranging from micro (interpersonal relationships, families) to macro (cultural, environmental, policies, infrastructure). The goal is to train professionals who understand and consider the interaction between the individual, their respective state, and their social, structural and political environment.

The program is grounded in the Responsibilities and Competencies for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) developed by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC).

Admissions Requirements

Most applicants have completed a master’s degree, but students may be admitted with a bachelor’s degree. Bachelor’s degree applicants must have an exemplary record of achievement at the undergraduate level and significant preparation in health education.

Dates and Deadlines

The Ph.D. program admits in the Fall term only (not spring or summer terms). Applications for Fall 2024 will open on Sept. 1, 2023. 

Application deadlines
Entering Semester Application Deadline Mandatory Orientation* First Class Day**

Fall 2024

**Deadline extended to February 1, 2024**

(final deadline for all applicants)


August 2024


August 2024

*All new graduate students must attend mandatory orientations. More information will be shared via email.

**The exact date will be posted when the 2024-2025 academic year calendar is posted.

Cost of Attendance

For a better understanding of your total cost of attendance (COA), please visit our cost and tuition rates webpage ( This webpage will provide you with an opportunity to review estimated COA information for undergraduate, graduate and professional students, as well as other resources such as the tuition calculator and billing and fee explanations.

Application Requirements

PhD applicants must submit all of the required documents by the posted deadline to be reviewed for admission. International applicants should review the international applicant information for additional requirements.

SOPHAS Application and Application Fee

  • All applicants must submit an official SOPHAS application through
  • Visit the SOPHAS FAQs for instructions and for helpful tips.

Three Letters of Recommendation

  • The School of Public Health prefers at least one academic reference from a higher education institution and one professional reference. The remaining letter may be either academic or professional.
  • Preferably, the academic reference should come from one of the applicant's course instructors who can attest to the applicant's capability to pursue graduate studies.
  • Recommendation letters from family members and friends are not appropriate.
  • Letters must be must be electronically submitted directly to SOPHAS.

Statement of Purpose

Review the instructions section in your SOPHAS application for more details. In addition to describing why you want to pursue the chosen degree plan/concentration with the School of Public Health, SOPHAS recommends the following topics:

  • Plans you have to use your education and training
  • The needs and/or challenges you perceive as important in your field of study.
  • Any personal qualities, characteristics, and skills you believe will enable you to be successful in your chosen field of study.

A Current Curriculum Vitae or Resume

Writing Sample

Doctoral applicants must submit a writing sample that demonstrates their analytical and writing skills. Preference is given to samples in which the applicant is the sole and/or primary author. 

  • Examples include journal articles, research papers, thesis/dissertation, and/or capstone projects.

Official Transcripts

  • Official transcripts from each U.S. and English-speaking Canadian college-level institution attended must be submitted directly to SOPHAS.
  • Applicants with coursework from institutions outside of the U.S. and English-speaking Canada must submit a World Education Services (WES) ICAP Course-by-Course evaluation of academic records (if applicable). 

Official Test Scores

Standardized test scores (GRE) are waived. 


In addition to the requirements listed above the applicant may be asked to participate in an interview.


SPH - Graduate Student Services
Phone: 979.436.9356

We have world-class tenure-track/tenured faculty bringing decades of experience to our students. It is highly recommended that before you apply for our PhD program, you choose the field you are interested in, identify a potential advisor for your doctoral program, and contact them for more information about their research. You can find more specific information in the table below or visit:

Name Email Address Research Interests
Adam Barry





Alcohol Impairment
Alcohol-Related Behaviors
Population Health (Student Service Members/Veterans)
Population Health (College Students)
Lei-Shih Chen


(Associate Professor)



Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Cancer Prevention and Control
Health Disparities


International Health

Maternal and Children Health
Public Health Genomics

Whitney Garney


(Associate Professor)



Community-based participatory research
Ecological approaches to public health
Program evaluation
Public health innovation
Social network analysis
Systems approaches to public health
Tamika Gilreath


(Associate Professor)





Substance use

Mental Health

Comorbidity of behavioral health risks

Disparities/Vulnerable populations (e.g., Black American, military-connected)

Emerging adulthood

Patricia Goodson





Prevention Education
Program Evaluation
Reproductive Health
Sex Education
Meg Patterson


(Assistant Professor)



Addiction and recovery
College student health and wellness
Community heath
Interpersonal violence
Physical activity and sedentary Behavior
Social network analysis
Ledric Sherman


(Associate Professor)



Diabetes Self-Management
Health education and wellness promotion
Men’s Health
Quality & quantity of life among persons living with type 2 diabetes
Lisa T. Wigfall


(Assistant Professor)



Health Communication
HIV/AIDS Health Disparities
HPV-Related Cancer Health Disparities
Implementation Science
Systems Integration

Every student’s course of study is individually designed on the basis of career goals and interests. The program required a minimum of 64 hours of coursework beyond the master’s degree and 96 hours of coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree and must include: health education core; statistics/research requirement; teaching internship; dissertation of original research; students may petition to substitute elective courses for required health education courses already completed.

Texas A&M has the 6th largest student body in the nation, and is ranked among the nation’s top 25 public universities and top 10 public engineering schools by U.S. News & World Report. The campus is located in the twin cities of Bryan and College Station, Texas, which boasts a low cost of living, good educational and support for students, sunbelt environment, and is consistently ranked among the best places to live in the country.

The school has world-wide faculty with diverse backgrounds, strong research skills and a desire to help and mentor students. Their research fields are widespread and varied, including but not limited to cancer, HIV, sexuality, health policy, school health, substance abuse, physical activity, health disparities, mental health, interpersonal violence, health communication, international research, social network analysis, maternal and children health, public health genomics.

There is a wide range of employment in health education. Most of our PhD graduates are highly competitive in the job market, with many getting faculty positions inside and outside the United States or working in government or hospitals.

The school offers comprehensive curricula that prepares students to help people improve their health, and thereby their quality of life, through effective health education, powerful networking, strong leadership, meaningful research and selfless service to others. The vision of those who teach health education is to be a leader in improving the quality of life for individuals on personal, community and global levels. The mission is to train and equip professionals to facilitate improving human health through practice, research, and service.


Yes, we accept in-state and out-of-state applicants.

Yes, there are opportunities for financial assistance through the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid

No, the GRE is not required.