Preventive Care — Dr.P.H.

Program director
Hildemar Dos Santos

The Preventive Care Program is designed to prepare high-level health professionals in wellness and lifestyle-management intervention. Emphasis is on academic preparation, practical skills, and administrative abilities in developing, implementing, and evaluating programs and protocols designed to address a wide spectrum of health issues—particularly those dealing with chronic disease. These programs and protocols include physical and mental health risk appraisal, nutritional assessment and recommendations, exercise testing and prescription, and smoking-cessation counseling.

The program seeks to demonstrate and elucidate the intimate connection between mind and body. Graduates address the combined influences of nutrition, exercise, stress, smoking and other lifestyle factors on the promotion of health and the prevention of disease.

This program is exclusive for health practitioners with a license to practice in the U.S. Physicians, nurses, dentists, physical therapists, registered dietitians, occupational therapists, etc., can apply for this program. Nonphysicians are not able to practice medicine upon completion of this degree.

Learner outcomes

Upon completion of this program, the graduate should be able to:

  1.  Design and implement wellness and lifestyle intervention protocols
  2. Provide lifestyle assessment and counseling for patients with lifestyle-related diseases
  3. Provide chemical dependence interventions
  4. Contribute to the theory of preventive care through research
  5. Develop and conduct community and professional seminars and training programs
  6. Demonstrate leadership skills
  7. Provide clinical advice/consultancy to health professionals in the field of lifestyle medicine

Educational effectiveness indicators

  • Comprehensive examination
  • Qualifying examination (proposal defense)
  • Internship
  • Dissertation defense
  • Publishable papers
  • Portfolio review


In addition to the entrance requirements for all Dr.P.H. degrees, applicants to the Dr.P.H. degree Preventive Care Program must have:

  • Clinical health professional degree, including but not limited to medicine, osteopathy, dentistry, nursing, clinical psychology, pharmacy, or physical therapy; or training as a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, chiropractor, licensed exercise physiologist, or registered dietitian. Must have completed at least two years in a clinical program.
  • Biochemistry
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Pharmacology


In addition to standard DrPH corequisites, the DrPH program in Preventive Care requires the following courses that can be taken early on in the program in addition to units required for the degree.

HPRO 501Human Anatomy and Physiology I6
HPRO 526Lifestyle Diseases and Risk Reduction3
HPRO 565Tobacco Use: Prevention and Interventions3
HPRO 606Motivational Interviewing2
HPRO 573Exercise Physiology I3
NUTR 504Nutritional Metabolism5
HPRO 500Stress Management2
HPRO 515Mind-Body Interactions and Health Outcomes3
HPRO 527Obesity and Disordered Eating3
HPRO 529Preventive and Therapeutic Interventions in Chronic Disease4
HPRO 553Addiction Theory and Program Development3
HPRO 578Exercise Physiology II3
HPRO 586Introduction to Preventive Care1
HPRO 587Preventive Care Practice Management2
HPRO 588Health Behavior Theory and Research4
NUTR 517Advanced Nutrition I: Carbohydrates and Lipids4
NUTR 518Advanced Nutrition II: Proteins, Vitamins, and Minerals4
NUTR 527Assessment of Nutritional Status3
NUTR 578Exercise Nutrition2
Cognates or electives
Elective 112
One course required from each of the following three areas. May include one additional elective.
RELE 5__Graduate-level Ethics3
RELR 5__Graduate-level Relational3
RELT 5__Graduate-level Theological3
Research and evaluation
HPRO 534AResearch Methods2
HPRO 534BResearch Methods2
HPRO 697Dissertation Proposal4
PHCJ 604Research Seminar2
STAT 514Intermediate Statistics for Health-Science Data3
STAT 549Analytical Applications of SPSS2
STAT 568Data Analysis3
Research and dissertation
HPRO 698Dissertation 212
Total Units89
Internship 3
Internship units are in addition to the minimum didactic units required for the degree
HPRO 704DInternship (400 hours) 38
or HPRO 704A Internship
or HPRO 704B Internship
or HPRO 704C Internship

Cognate or elective courses are to be chosen in consultation with the student's advisor, taking into consideration the student's previous experience and present interests. These units may be selected from courses offered by the School of Public Health or by other schools within the University; and must reflect a specific preventive care emphasis, clinical practice focus, or additional statistical or data analysis that will be required by the student's dissertation research.  


Multiple registrations required to fulfill total units


Internship units must be completed in 4 mandatory areas: Drayson Center Preventive Care Clinic (2 units/100 hours), Stop Smoking Program at the Loma Linda Veterans Hospital (2 units/100 hours), Obesity Management (2 units/100 hours), and Other Lifestyle Medicine Site (2 units/100 hours).

For internship hours, students must register for any of the following courses: HPRO 704A (100h), HPRO 704B (200h), HPRO 704C (300h), or HPRO 704D (400h).

Culminating experience

As a part of the culminating experience, the student completes two publishable papers for submission to peer reviewed journals, successfully defends dissertation, and submits a committee approved dissertation manuscript. Further details provided in the Doctoral Handbook.

Normal time to complete the program

7 years based on less than full-time enrollment