Lifestyle Medicine — M.P.H.

Program director
Hildemar Dos Santos

The Lifestyle Medicine Program empowers health professionals with relevant clinical health professional degrees to provide lifestyle change interventions and promote healthy behaviors for patients with chronic diseases or patients at risk of chronic diseases, while understanding the population determinants of wellness, health, and disease. The curriculum emphasizes interventions based on scientific data and established behavioral and learning theories that promote individual and public health through the processes of education, health behavior change, and health promotion.

The curriculum focuses on teaching public health practice classes that are needed to possess core skills in public health, in evaluating the scientific literature, and in understanding and applying the science of disease prevention in the context of mind-body interaction. More practice-oriented classes teach the scientific basis and applications of exercise prescriptions, nutrition counseling, tobacco cessation, and health behavior-change techniques.

Graduates may use their skills acquired in the program to enhance their current clinical knowledge and skills in medicine, nursing, clinical psychology, osteopathy, pharmacy, or other health professions. They are academically prepared to apply preventive methodologies to chronic diseases and risk factors; conduct individual health assessments; provide medical lifestyle counseling; properly evaluate and apply lifestyle medicine-related research findings, and lead and evaluate health promotion projects. Health professionals who are not physicians are not able to practice medicine when awarded this degree.

Learner outcomes

Graduates of the program in lifestyle medicine will:

  • Possess a core field of knowledge of public health, with emphasis on the application of preventive methodologies to chronic diseases.
  • Accurately assess lifestyle-related risk factors for chronic diseases.
  • Provide appropriate interventions in regard to these risk factors, e.g., medical behavioral counseling in exercise, nutrition, and tobacco dependence.
  • Evaluate and properly apply lifestyle medicine-related research findings.
  • Provide leadership for and evaluate community-based health-promotion projects.

Educational effectiveness indicators

Program learner outcomes as evidenced by:

  • Signature assignments linked to course and noncourse requirements
  • Field practicum report
  • Culminating experience


In addition to the entrance requirements for all M.P.H. degrees, applicants to the M.P.H. degree Lifestyle Medicine Program must have:

  • A health-care-related degree
  • Bachelor's or master's degree with two years of postgraduate, direct patient-care experience (e.g., nursing, social work, dental hygiene, physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychology)
  • Accepted into or completed clinical practice-related doctoral degree program (e.g., M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.N.P., D.P.T., Pharm.D.); must have completed at least two years in a clinical program.
  • Anatomy and physiology
Public health core
PCOR 501Public Health for Community Resilience5
PCOR 502Public Health for a Healthy Lifestyle5
PCOR 503Public Health and Health Systems5
HPRO 500Stress Management2
HPRO 515Mind-Body Interactions and Health Outcomes4
HPRO 524Child and Adolescent Health3
HPRO 526Lifestyle Diseases and Risk Reduction3
HPRO 527Obesity and Disordered Eating3
HPRO 553Addiction Theory and Program Development3
HPRO 565Tobacco Use: Prevention and Interventions3
HPRO 573Exercise Physiology I3
HPRO 606Motivational Interviewing2
NUTR 509Public Health Nutrition and Biology3
NUTR 529Health Aspects of Vegetarian Eating3
RELE 534Ethical Issues in Public Health (or REL_)3
Electives 16
Field experience
Practicum units are in addition to the minimum didactic units required for the degree.
Public Health Practicum (4 units/200 hours)
Public Health Practicum
Total Units56

Chosen in consultation with advisor

Culminating experience requirements

See standard culminating experience requirements.

Normal time to complete the program

2 years (7 academic quarters) based on full-time enrollment; part time permitted