Online Doctoral Programs In Health And Wellness

Last Updated on January 15, 2023 by Team College Learners

Looking through the article below gives you the best and latest information on best online health and wellness degrees & health and wellness degree near me.

You will also find related posts on health and wellness degrees online & phd in holistic health and wellness on collegelearners.

Health and Wellness Degrees Online

The overall focus of health and wellness degree programs is to promote wellbeing and prevent disease. It essentially combines health education with social studies. You’ll be studying both physical and behavioral health. There are so many different places you can work with this degree. You could take the traditional route and work in a health care facility, such as a hospital or clinic, or you could work for a government agency.

Wellness management PhD programs emphasize research and scholarly contributions to the fields of exercise, nutrition and health living. When researching PhD programs, consider that related programs may use names other than wellness management (such as exercise, nutrition or dietetics) in their titles.

PhD programs are usually selective, enrolling only a handful of students each year. Applicants will likely need a strong foundation in wellness topics. Graduates with a PhD in wellness management often seek careers in research, private industry, academia and government.

Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness | NYU Steinhardt



  • A PhD is often required for careers in academia and research.
  • The majority of professionals in the wellness management industry have bachelor’s or master’s degrees. A PhD can set you apart from other applicants in this field.
  • It is common for schools to match their PhD candidates with faculty mentors who have similar research interests.


  • PhD programs are relatively small and can be quite selective regarding admissions.
  • Outside of academia and research, you may be over-educated for wellness management positions.
  • Students who delay or depart from the workforce to obtain a doctoral degree may have a harder time reentering the job market upon graduation.

Walden University

Walden News

Doctor of Philosophy in Health Education & Promotion

Saybrook University

Saybrook University - Psychology and Counseling Degree Programs,  Accreditation, Applying, Tuition, Financial Aid

Doctor of Philosophy in Mind-Body Medicine

Online Course Options

Fully online PhD programs in wellness management are not available at this time. However, similar courses and degree programs offer distance learning options. A limited number of Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degrees are available online, some of which provide a specialty in health and wellness. Students who are interested in this type of program should be aware that psychology prerequisites and offline components (including in-residence weekends) may be required to earn the degree.

Accredited Online Health & Wellness Degrees

Earning an online health and wellness degree will open your mind to holistic healing methods and natural healthcare resources. This field can  encompass the study of many disciplines including herbal medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, massage therapy, acupuncture, meditation, prayer, ergonomics, aromatherapy and chiropractic medicine, as well as conventional medical practices.

There are numerous potential paths for your career when you have an online health and wellness degree. You’ll be trained in ways to help people improve their overall health and wellbeing, allowing you to enter careers such as a public health educator or health services manager. You can work in the private sector as a corporate wellness coordinator, which are hired by companies to create and improve organizational wellness programs. If you want to work one-on-one with people, a career as a health coach allows you to educate and motivate clients on specific strategies for maintaining wellness. SHOW LESS


Of all the benefits you can realize from this career, one of the most important is the chance to positively change people’s lives. You’ll wake up every day knowing that your working is making people healthier and happier, and that’s a motivation that few people can claim. Unlike many careers, you’ll have a deep pride that comes from your work.  The other benefit is more tangible: a steady, in-demand education and career. With a degree in health and wellness, you’ll have the chance to enter numerous careers that have outstanding expected growth, giving you access to a reliable industry that shows no sign of fading. Here are two popular career outcomes. 

  • Health Educator—This is likely the career that most directly applies to your education in health and wellness. As a health educator, you would be responsible for teaching people about behaviors that improve wellness and promote a healthy lifestyle. Developing strategies for individuals or groups, depending on the job, these professionals may also collect and discuss information to encourage healthy living. Employed by numerous groups, including family services, government organizations, and religious institutions, these professionals have a decent pay, with the top 10% earning over $64,000 annually. What’s most attractive about this career, however, is the expected growth of 16% between 2016 and 2026.
  • Dietitian—Although you will need an education directly related to diet, a degree in health and wellness can be a wonderful start to the career as a dietitian. These are the experts in food and nutrition who counsel patients, clients, and customers on what and how they should eat. From meal plans to creating educational materials, these professionals help people understand the impact of their diet. Dietitians also have a strong salary; if you work your way into the top 10%, you can expect earnings over $83,000. Once again, we see stellar growth for this career, with an expected rise of 15% resulting in almost 78,000 total jobs by 2026. 


To excel in a health and wellness career, you need the right attitude and the right traits. Most of all, you should be a caring, compassionate person who is genuinely concerned about the health and wellbeing of your friends and neighbors. You should be dedicated to improving their health, and have a strong belief that a healthy body is one of the most important aspects of overall wellbeing.  You should also have an interest in biology, nutrition, anatomy, and other sciences. Health and wellbeing draws heavily on numerous sciences, so a basic interest and appreciation for these disciplines is a good start. For example, if you have performed well in past biology classes, you may be a good candidate for a health and wellness career. 


Expect an online health and wellness degree to include a mix of the traditional sciences (biology, anatomy and chemistry) as well as counseling, health psychology, stress reduction, botanical medicine and holistic health classes, depending on the program you choose. You may also study health research methods and alternative diagnostic procedures. Other classes may include acupuncture, therapeutic massage and mind-body connections.
  Health and wellness is a wonderful education choice, but you still need to select the right program for your future goals. Start by reviewing the program’s curriculum to make sure the classes will help achieve your goals. For example, if you want to become a dietitian, you will want to look for programs that offer a focus on diet and nutritional issues. If the classes meet your needs, you’ll also need to verify that the course is offered 100% online; if there are in-person requirements, you may need to adjust your schedule.  Above all, check for accreditation. Accreditation in a process of verifying the consistency and quality of an educational program. Administered by independent organizations, accreditation helps ensure your are getting a quality health and wellness education and degree that you can take to any employer. 


If you want to learn more about the following online health and wellness programs, click on a program listing for additional information. With resources and information, you’re well on your way to finding the right program to achieve your career goal!

Studying Wellness Management: Degrees at a Glance

Wellness management is a growing industry based on the theories of healthy living and disease prevention. Professionals in the wellness management field work in a variety of settings, including hospitals and healthcare facilities, government programs and community organizations, private businesses and educational institutions. Some entry-level positions require a bachelor’s degree, although certain positions in government or public health agencies may require a master’s degree and licensing/certification.

Similar to many professions in health services, wellness careers were expected to be in high demand over the next decade, due to an increased interest in preventative healthcare and healthy living. The employment outlook for wellness careers varies by position. For example, employment of dieticians and nutritionists was expected to grow by 20% from 2010-2020, while health educators were expected to see a faster-than-average 37% increase, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Despite promising career opportunities, competition may be great among applicants to secure a spot in the relatively small master’s degree and PhD programs at various academic institutions.

Who is this degree for?– Professionals from a variety of disciplines who want to work with clients or students to create and maintain healthy lifestyles
– Individuals who are new to the healthcare services industry and seeking a career change
– Bachelor’s degree holders who want to specialize in wellness management
– Those who want to work in wellness management, policy and research
– Master’s or bachelor degree holders, particularly those with a background or interest in nutrition, health, dietetics or kinesiology
Common Career Paths (with approximate annual salary)– Health educator ($52,000)*
– Nutritionist ($55,000)*
– Wellness program manager (salary varies with experience)
– Health specialty professor ($99,000 – may vary with experience)
Time to CompletionTypically two years (full-time)3-4 years (full-time) beyond the master’s degree
Common Graduation Requirements– Satisfy coursework requirements
– Internship
– Thesis or capstone project
– Satisfy coursework requirements
– PhD qualifier exams
– Research, write and present dissertation
– Teaching or research assistantship
Prerequisites– Typically a bachelor’s degree in a related or unrelated field
– Resume
– GRE/GMAT scores
– Letter(s) of recommendation
– Personal statement
– Prerequisite courses in topics like nutrition, statistics and/or psychology
– GPA requirements
– All of the master’s requirements plus
– Knowledge of the core issues/topics in wellness management
– Writing sample
– Transcripts from master’s or bachelor’s degree programs
Online AvailabilityYesNone found as of September 2012

15 PhD in Health Education and Promotion Degree Programs 2018

According to the American College Health Association (ACHA), health promotion is “the process of enabling people to increase control over and to improve their health.” It involves addressing individual health behaviors and risks through both intervention and prevention programs, and it often utilizes health education to inform people and communities about the risks they face – as well as the steps they can take to lead healthier lives.

In order for this field of study to have any impact, we need qualified researchers who can determine the best way to communicate with people about these topics, which professionals can then use to implement effective strategies. Enter the PhD in Health Education and Promotion.

Ranking the 15 Best Health Promotion PhD Programs

In ranking the top PhD degrees in this field, we only considered programs at public and private non-profit colleges. We ranked each eligible program in the following three categories:

Public Health Accreditation
There is no specific accrediting agency for health education graduate programs. However, many degrees in this field are either embedded within a public health program or are closely associated with one. As such, we used CEPH (Council on Education for Public Health) accreditation as one indication of academic quality. We awarded the most points to universities that have an entire department/college of public health that is CEPH-accredited and offer a PhD in Health Promotion and Education within that department. Schools that meet the first condition (but offer their doctorate in health promotion through a different academic division) or offer other CEPH-accredited programs in related areas earned fewer points.

Concentrations and Areas of Research
Research is perhaps the single most important aspect of any PhD program. Therefore, we sought to identify the colleges that (1) clearly indicate which area(s) of health education/promotion research they specialize in and (2) include some sort of concentration, “depth,” or minor (sometimes called a “cognate”) requirement within their curriculum. We awarded the most points to universities that meet both of these conditions. Programs that feature a concentration component to their curriculum, but do not list specific areas of interest, or do not clearly identify their primary research areas, earned fewer points.

Funding Support
Most people who earn a PhD do not expect to pay the full cost of tuition at the school they attend. That is because – especially for research-oriented programs – colleges often provide funding (which typically includes free tuition plus a monthly stipend) through graduate teaching and research assistantships. Schools that guarantee funding for all doctoral candidates earned the most points on this ranking. We awarded fewer points to colleges that provide funding to some students, and we provided a bonus to programs that state the actual dollar amount of the stipend they provide.

As an extra piece of information, we included each school’s average annual tuition for graduate students (as reported on College Navigator) with the descriptions below. However, these values did not factor into our methodology.

University of Utah Top PhD in Health Education and Promotion Degree Programs
The University of Utah has one of the top health promotion PhD programs for students who want to custom-build their own curriculum.

15. University of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT

PhD in Health Promotion & Education

Like most doctoral degrees, the University of Utah’s PhD in Health Promotion and Education requires students to complete several years of independent research and develop true expertise in their field. But don’t be fooled; this program is anything but typical. In fact, the curriculum is practically unmatched in the level of flexibility it provides, allotting nearly one third of its 72-credit course plan to open electives. And because Utah’s College of Health – which houses departments in communication sciences, kinesiology and recreation, nutrition, and physical therapy – has such a huge selection of classes, you’ll have no trouble designing the best doctorate in health education degree program for your unique interests.

Graduate Tuition: $15,714/yr

University of Connecticut Top PhD in Health Education and Promotion Degree Programs
A (relatively) quick and affordable doctorate in health promotion awaits students at the University of Connecticut.

14. University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT

PhD in Health Promotion Sciences

Because the University of Connecticut doesn’t have a College of Public Health, you’ll find its PhD in Health Promotion Science in the College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources instead. Although this might seem like an unusual setting for a top PhD in health education and promotion, degree candidates receive all the support they need through a larger Graduate Program in Allied Health (GPAH). This includes full tuition coverage and generous stipends (upwards of $18k a year) for qualifying grad students who work as teaching or research assistants. With its 54-credit curriculum and estimated four-year timeline, UConn’s program is also one of the shortest on this ranking.

Graduate Tuition: $26,514/yr

Kent State University Top PhD in Health Education and Promotion Degree Programs
The Kent State University PhD in Health Education and Promotion program is best suited for those who seek careers in higher education.

13. Kent State University

Kent, OH

PhD in Health Education & Promotion

In contrast to some of the other options available, Kent State University’s doctoral degree draws much more heavily from the educational side of the field, rather than the promotional. Ideal for current health educators as well as practitioners, this is one of the best health education graduate programs for individuals who want to teach at the college level. The curriculum includes multiple seminars in topics like “Professional Development” and “Research Proposal Development and Presentation” as well as a two-part residency requirement. Just as importantly, you’ll also need to complete at least six credits in an area of specialization like Substance Abuse, School Health, or another topic of your choosing.

Graduate Tuition: $15,226/yr

University of Nebraska Medical Center Top PhD in Health Education and Promotion Degree Programs
UNMC, one of the most affordable health promotion PhD programs, provides funding for graduate assistantships whenever possible.

12. University of Nebraska Medical Center

Omaha, NE

PhD in Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Research

The University of Nebraska Medical Center offers an accredited doctorate in health promotion with a relatively strong clinical focus. In contrast to other programs, which often emphasize nontechnical skills like communication, UNMC favors scientific coursework in epidemiology, biostatistics, and disease prevention. But the school’s preference for medical training doesn’t come at the expense of a balanced education. You’ll complete course modules in Health Promotion (18 credits) and Research (24 credits) but also Writing (4), Ethics (3), and Electives (24). Another major benefit? UNMC College of Public Health faculty claim a wide range of interests, so you’ll have your pick of dissertation topics from a list that includes adolescent risk behaviors, nutrition, socio-behavioral economics, and much more.

Graduate Tuition: $16,019/yr

University of Alabama Birmingham Top PhD in Health Education and Promotion Degree Programs
While earning your doctorate in health promotion from UAB, you could pursue research in topics like family health and addictive behaviors.

11. University of Alabama-Birmingham

Birmingham, AL

Doctor of Philosophy in Health Education & Health Promotion

The University of Alabama’s Health Education and Health Promotion program features a well-balanced, research-focused curriculum that puts equal weight on academic and promotional topics. By combining the resources of multiple departments (including the Schools of Public Health and Education and the Departments of Health Behavior and Human Studies) UAB is able to provide students with more course options in more subjects – as well as more research opportunities. In fact, this affordable doctorate in health education degree program devotes 24 credits – a third of the total – to “directed” (with a faculty member) and “dissertation” (original) research experience.

Graduate Tuition: $12,441/yr

University of South Carolina Columbia Top PhD in Health Education and Promotion Degree Programs
USC’s health promotion PhD programs offer research opportunities in topics that range from obesity to public health communications.

10. University of South Carolina-Columbia

Columbia, SC

PhD in Health Education, Promotion, & Behavior

One major benefit of attending the University of South Carolina is the ability to study within the Arnold School of Public Health, which has earned full program accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). What’s more, the school boasts a particularly robust Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior. You can even choose from two accredited health education graduate programs – a traditional PhD or a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH). While the former prepares degree candidates for roles in academia and research, the latter places greater emphasis on professional skill development for careers in public health practice, applied research, and advocacy.

Graduate Tuition: $20,103/yr

University of Toledo Top PhD in Health Education and Promotion Degree Programs
The American Journal of Health Education has twice named Toledo to its list of the best health education graduate programs.

9. University of Toledo

Toledo, OH

Doctor of Philosophy in Health Education

Consisting of 70 credits and covering six competency domains (including grant writing, teaching, and research), the University of Toledo’s Doctor of Philosophy in Health Education is undoubtedly one of the most comprehensive on the market. But what truly makes this one of the top doctorate in health education degree programs is its versatility. Not only can you choose from an assortment of electives – like “Sports Nutrition,” “Epidemiology of Aging,” or even a “Public Health Internship” – but you’ll also select a cognate (minor) area of study from one of nine preapproved topics. Popular cognates include Health Policy, Educational Psychology, Exercise Science, and Statistics in Research Design, among others.

Graduate Tuition: $19,889/yr

Saint Louis University Top PhD in Health Education and Promotion Degree Programs
With 8 designated areas of research in its BSHE track, SLU effectively offers multiple health education graduate programs all in one.

8. Saint Louis University

Saint Louis, MO

PhD in Public Health: Behavioral Science & Health Education

The Behavioral Science and Health Education (BSHE) program at Saint Louis University is just one of seven tracks available within its PhD of Public Health Studies. Yet each track is fully functional, with a comprehensive curriculum that could easily exist as a standalone program. As a BSHE concentrator, you’ll focus your studies on “community-based interventions” at all levels, from individual health issues to nationwide epidemics. But SLU goes even further to distinguish its CEPH-accredited doctorate in health education degree program from the competition by providing clearly-defined research areas for incoming students. Options include health disparities, nutrition, disease prevention, and adolescent health, among others.

Graduate Tuition: $19,896/yr

Georgia State University Top PhD in Health Education and Promotion Degree Programs
Students enrolled in GSU’s accredited PhD in health education and promotion can conduct research in many popular subjects.

7. Georgia State University

Atlanta, GA

PhD in Public Health: Health Promotion & Behavior Concentration

It doesn’t take much effort to see why Georgia State University belongs on our ranking of the best health promotion PhD programs. Like SLU, GSU officially offers a PhD in Public Health, but with a robust Health Promotion and Behavior concentration that is jam-packed with high-value classes. In addition to core requirements, the 62-credit curriculum also includes two doctoral research seminars, a doctoral practicum, and 12 credits in “Advanced Research and Statistical Methods.” Plus, the skills you gain in these classes will undoubtedly come in handy as you pursue research in one of the School of Public Health’s seven specialty areas, which include chronic disease, violence, environment, and policy.

Graduate Tuition: $16,753/yr

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Top PhD in Health Education and Promotion Degree Programs
UTHSC’s program might be the best PhD in health education and promotion for hands-on learners.

6. The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Houston, TX

Doctor of Public Health: Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences

Like USC, the University of Texas Health Science Center’s School of Public Health has earned full CEPH-accreditation for all its public health programs. This includes a DrPH in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences – one of just two Doctor of Public Health options (the other is at USC) on our top health education graduate programs ranking. Because of its professional focus, the DrPH curriculum only allots three to six credits for dissertation research, which it supplements with an on-site practicum and 39 credit hours of academic coursework. By further dividing the curriculum into core classes plus minor, “breadth” (interdisciplinary), and concentration requirements, UTHSC ensures that you will leave with an unusually broad and diverse perspective of the field.

Graduate Tuition: $18,473/yr

University of Massachusetts Amherst Top PhD in Health Education and Promotion Degree Programs
The doctorate in health education degree program at UMass Amherst offers stipends that start at around $9500 a year.

5. University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Amherst, MA

Doctor of Philosophy in Community Health Education

If you are looking for an affordable PhD in health education and promotion that focuses specifically on community health issues, then the University of Massachusetts Amherst might be your best bet. The program officially awards a degree in public health with a major in Community Health Education, although you’ll also earn a minor in a related area (e.g. Epidemiology). As for research, PhD candidates will find a wealth of opportunities in either of the department’s two primary research centers. The Institute for Global Health promotes healthy living in developing nations, while The Center for Research and Education in Women’s Health seeks to better understand health factors that affect women from birth through old age.

Graduate Tuition: $23,673/yr

University of Georgia Top PhD in Health Education and Promotion Degree Programs
UGA boasts one of the top doctorate in health promotion and behavior programs for research in workplace health and youth violence.

4. University of Georgia

Athens, GA

PhD Health Promotion & Behavior

A quick look at the course list will leave little doubt that the University of Georgia’s PhD program in Health Promotion and Behavior is for serious researchers – and serious researchers only. After completing a few intro-level classes in epidemiology and health behavior, you’ll dive into advanced coursework in biostatistics and applied analysis – topics which are essential for a successful career in research. More than many other CEPH-accredited health promotion PhD programs, UGA’s curriculum also provides wide latitude for students to explore additional areas of interest through a custom-designed cognate requirement.

Graduate Tuition: $18,561/yr

University of Michigan Top PhD in Health Education and Promotion Degree Programs
One of the most affordable health education graduate programs, U of M considers all applicants for tuition waivers and stipends.

3. University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI

Doctoral Program in Health Behavior & Health Education

Over the years, the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health has established itself as a powerhouse of public health education. Not only is its entire program CEPH-accredited – and ranked in the top 5 on U.S. News’ list of public health colleges – but it also offers multiple graduate degrees across nearly every possible subfield. This includes one of the best doctorate in health education degree programs in the country. The curriculum has it all, from core courses in biostatistics and epidemiology and a series of seminar requirements to electives, advanced statistics and methods coursework, and a required “cognate” in a topic outside of your main area of study.

Graduate Tuition: $32,734/yr

Ohio State University Top PhD in Health Education and Promotion Degree Programs
If you’re looking for the best doctorate in health promotion and have varied research interests, OSU’s program might be for you.

2. The Ohio State University

Columbus, OH

Health Behavior & Promotion PhD

Of all the top health promotion PhD programs on this list, The Ohio State University’s is one of the lengthiest and most rigorous. Its 80-credit curriculum consists primarily of major and research-based coursework (31 credits each). Although time consuming, these requirements ensure that program participants develop a solid foundation of knowledge in advanced topics like “Cancer Behavioral Science,” “Community Health Assessment,” and “Socio-Ecological Strategies in Prevention.” You’ll also complete a preliminary research rotation and develop a 12-credit minor before embarking on your dissertation. Once you get to that point, you’ll be happy to hear that OSU has research strengths in an impressive eight different focus areas, including global health and infectious disease.

Graduate Tuition: $22,649/yr

Emory University Top PhD in Health Education and Promotion Degree Programs
Emory has one of the top health education graduate programs for research in behavioral risk factors and health disparities.

1. Emory University

Atlanta, GA

PhD in Behavioral Sciences & Health Education

In terms of value, Emory University is hard to beat. That’s because its Rollins School of Public Health offers one of the best and most affordable PhD in health education and promotion degrees in the entire country. For starters, all full-time doctoral students receive full-tuition scholarships and two years of guaranteed funding – which includes annual stipends of more than $23k! And while you’re getting paid to study what you love, you’ll also be participating in an especially innovative experience. Emory’s 48-credit curriculum consists of unique components like the “Teaching Assistant Training and Teaching Opportunities” (TATTO) program, the Jones Program in Ethics, and required Research Rotations to help you narrow down your area of interest.

Graduate Tuition: $42,980/yr

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