Program director
Hildemar Dos Santos

The Preventive Care Program prepares high-level health professionals for 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. This program is offered online (combination of synchronous and asynchronous coursework).

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 ideal for health practitioners such as physicians, nurses, dentists, physical therapists, registered dietitians, and occupational therapists. Non-health practitioners can apply for this program, and it is recommended they take health and wellness coaching while in the program. Non-physicians are not able to practice medicine upon completion of this degree.

Program learning outcomes

By the end of the program, the graduate should be able to:

  1. Develop strategies to prevent substance abuse and its consequences in a community setting.
  2. Design a professional practice to assist clients individually or in groups by applying lifestyle modification strategies.
  3. Develop a successful motivational interviewing plan using skills such as active listening, expressing empathy, rolling with resistance, and developing support of change. 
  4. Develop strategies for weight management, including health-risk assessments, adequate diet, and exercise guidance.
  5. Apply preventive skills to design a health intervention that addresses lifestyle-related diseases (e.g., diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease).

Educational effectiveness indicators

  • Comprehensive examination.
  • Applied project presentation.
  • Publishable paper.
  • Doctoral project presentation.


In addition to the entrance requirements for all Dr.P.H. degrees, applicants to the preventive care concentration must have:

Anatomy and physiology (or equivalent to be evaluated by program director).


In addition to standard Dr.P.H. corequisites, the Dr.P.H. program in preventive care requires the following courses in addition to units required for the degree.  It is recommended these courses be taken early in the program.

HPRO 526 Lifestyle Diseases and Risk Reduction
HPRO 573 Exercise Physiology I
NUTR 529 Health Aspects of Vegetarian Eating

Degree requirements

Dr.P.H. public health core
Critical analysis
PHCJ 600Overview of Research Methodologies3
PHCJ 615Intermediate Biostatistics3
Electives (choose from following)3
Health Policy Analysis and Research
Qualitative Research Methods
Concepts and Practical Issues of Secondary Data
Data Analysis
Leadership, management, and governance
PHCJ 607Professional Leadership3
PHCJ 616Administrative Systems in Agency Management3
PHCJ 617Building Healthy Systems3
Education and workforce development
PHCJ 614Pedagogy: The Art and Science of Teaching2
PHCJ 618Transformative Communication2
Policy, advocacy and programs
PHCJ 609Building Healthy Individuals3
PHCJ 610Building Healthy Communities 13
Doctoral seminar
PHCJ 608ADoctoral Seminar for Public Health1
PHCJ 608BDoctoral Seminar for Public Health1
PHCJ 608CDoctoral Seminar for Public Health1
Preventive care major
HPRO 527Obesity and Disordered Eating3
HPRO 529Preventive and Therapeutic Interventions in Chronic Disease3
HPRO 542Wellness Coaching II3
HPRO 553Addiction Theory and Program Development3
HPRO 580Preventive Care Management3
NUTR 556Nutritional Applications in Lifestyle Intervention3
HPRO 541Wellness Coaching I (for students seeking the wellness coaching certificate)3
or elective chosen in consultation wth advisor
RELE 5__Graduate-level ethics3
RELR 5__Graduate-level relational3
RELT 5__Graduate-level theological3
Integrated learning experience
PHCJ 698Doctoral Project4
Total Units65
Practicum units are in addition to the minimum didactic units required for the degree
PHCJ 795Applied Practice2

Fulfills service learning requirement

Applied practice experience and integrated learning experience

All Dr.P.H. students will engage in an applied practice experience that results in a product that is relevant to public health organizations. The culminating activity is an integrated learning experience that includes a field-based project emphasizing advanced practice. Both applied practice experience and integrated learning experience will demonstrate integration of foundational and concentration specific competencies.

Normal time to complete the program

Three (3) years — based on full-time enrollment