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Health promotion is a process that enables individuals, groups, and communities to become empowered to take control of their health. This process involves health education as well as the many ecological supports of health.



Health Promotion Curriculum

Advising Checklist

The M.S. degree with a specialization in Health Promotion familiarizes students with the underpinnings of health promotion. Courses place an emphasis on prevention and areas such as worksite health promotion, college health promotion, and applied current research. Students gain an understanding of individual level behavior change; planning, implementing, and evaluating programs; community organizing and capacity building; environmental change; advocacy and health policy.

Our graduates are employed in a variety of settings such as worksites, schools, health departments, health/wellness related businesses, and colleges and universities. The program is designed to enable students to demonstrate the areas of responsibility and competencies based on A Competency-Based Framework for Health Education Specialists – 2010, making them eligible for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam.

Our Health Promotion specialization offers students the choice between the Thesis Option (27 hours of course work, 6 hours thesis) and Internship Option (30 hours of approved course work, 3 hours internship). Students in our M.S. program complete a core of 15 hours of required health promotion and research related courses within the KHP Department and College. Students complete an additional 12-15 hours of elective course work (depending upon thesis option) that may be selected from within the KHP Department; other departments in the College of Education; College of Medicine; College of Health Sciences; College of Public Health; College of Nursing; College of Social Work; College of Communications and Information Studies; plus many more. Students selecting the non-thesis route will also be required to complete an internship in the field of health promotion. This opportunity reinforces the responsibilities and competencies set forth by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing.



Stephanie Bennett, Ph.D.

Melinda Ickes, Ph.D.

Shemeka Thorpe, Ph.D.

Hildi Nicksic, Ph.D.

The University of Kentucky has several specialized research centers on campus providing students the opportunity to collaborate with professionals in many other disciplines. Some examples of these Centers include: the Sanders-Brown Center for Aging Research, the Center for Tobacco and Health Research, Center of Drug and Alcohol Research, Prevention Research Center, the Barnstable Brown Kentucky Diabetes and Obesity Center, and the Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy. Students also have the opportunity to engage in research with health promotion faculty. In addition, the health promotion program has close ties to the University of Kentucky’s Health and Wellness Program for faculty and staff, University Health Services which provides program opportunities for UK students, and Campus Recreation, offering unique employment and internship opportunities.

We believe that health promotion is a dynamic and growing field with untold opportunities for personal and professional growth and employment. Come join us for the opportunity to become part of a team that seeks to enable and empower individuals and communities to gain control of their health.