Doctoral study in Health Behavior Research at Claremont Graduate University provides our scholars the necessary behavioral and health psychology expertise to allow them to improve individual health and social well being.

Due to the increasing recognition that many causes of human illness are behavioral, there is strong demand for behavioral scientists capable of conducting rigorous applied research and evaluation. The Health Behavior Research doctoral program seeks individuals committed to learning how to apply psychological science to promote health, prevent disease, and improve public health across global communities. Led by expert faculty-scholars in public health and psychology, you will come to understand the critical relationship between psychology and public health evaluation and policy. Intensive research is at the heart of the program; you may choose from a rich array of student- and faculty-led projects and resources, such as the Claremont Evaluation Center, an organized research unit that employs and provides practical experience for many students.

Program Highlights
  • Curriculum and graduate seminars provide students with the theoretical, methodological, and practical experience to pursue careers in academia or in a range of high-level research and consulting positions.
  • Proximity to local health departments in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties provides many employment and educational opportunities for students.
  • All graduate students in Health Behavior Research are encouraged to gain practical experience through projects, internships, or jobs, often at CGU’s research centers and affiliates, such as the Claremont Evaluation Center or the Health Psychology and Prevention Science Institute.
  • All Health Behavior Research students who request financial aid receive fellowships. DBOS also regularly hires students for paid teaching assistantships.
  • DBOS offers a certificate program and professional development workshops in Evaluation and Applied Methods for those seeking continuing education.

Program at a Glance

72 units

3–5 years

Fall | Spring

Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences

PhD in Psychology

Featured Courses

PSYCH 350bb
Health Behavior Research & Measures

Explores how problematic health behaviors are identified, how they are measured, how changes in targeted behaviors are assessed, and how health research is done.

PSYCH 350aa
Overview of Applied Health Psychology

Explores past, current, and future contributions of psychology to the applied context of health education and health behavior.

Health Behavior Program Development

Considers various health behaviors that can be potentially targeted for change and reviews approaches to intervention and program development.


Core Courses (8-12 units)
Overview of Applied Health Psychology (2 units)
Health Behavior Research & Measures (2 units)
Survey of Health Behavior Theory (4 units)
Health Behavior Program Development (4 units)

Additional Courses in Health Behavior Research
4 to 8 units for a total of 16 units

Transdisciplinary Core Course (4 units)
All PhD students are required to enroll in a transdisciplinary core course from the “TNDY” course sequence during their first three semesters at Claremont Graduate University.

In addition to 72 units of coursework, all students must complete a portfolio that represents a cohesive set of experiences balancing training in their area of specialization.

PhD Completion

In the Field Opportunities
Under the supervision of professionals with expertise in your particular areas of interest, you can participate in fieldwork, research, and paid internships at a range of corporations and organizations, including:

• Southern California Edison Company
• Kaiser Permanente
• Orange County Rapid Transit District
• Riverside County Department of Mental Health
• Claremont Evaluation Center
• Institute for Research on Social Issues

Faculty & Research

  • William Crano profile image

    William Crano

    Oskamp Chair, Distinguished Professorship in Psychology

    Research Interests

    Social influence; Effects of persuasive information on drug addiction and HIV/AIDS; Minority and majority relationships to health information;
    Children and adolescent relationship to health information

  • Jason T. Siegel profile image

    Jason T. Siegel

    Associate Professor of Social Psychology

    Research Interests

    Social Psychology, Health Psychology, Persuasion, Motivation, Research Methodology

  • Michelle Bligh profile image

    Michelle Bligh

    Interim Dean, School of Social Science, Policy & Evaluation
    Professor of Organizational Behavior
    Director, Human Resource Management

    Research Interests

    Organizational culture, Leadership in corporate cultures, Charismatic leadership, Interpersonal trust, Political and executive leadership

  • Allen M. Omoto profile image

    Allen M. Omoto

    Interim Dean, School of Educational Studies
    Professor of Education & Psychology

    Research Interests

    Social psychology; Volunteerism and prosocial action; Environmental concerns; Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues; Civil engagement and civil society

  • Kathy Pezdek profile image

    Kathy Pezdek

    Professor of Psychology

    Research Interests

    Memory and comprehension, Visual memory, Eyewitness memory, Suggestibility of memory, Autobiographical memory

  • Stewart I. Donaldson profile image

    Stewart I. Donaldson

    Executive Director, Claremont Evaluation Center
    Professor of Psychology and Community & Global Health

    Research Interests

    Positive organizational psychology, theory-driven evaluation, organizational and career development, health and well-being

  • Eusebio Alvaro profile image

    Eusebio Alvaro

    Research Professor, Behavioral and Organizational Sciences

    Research Interests

    Social influence processes; Health promotion, disease prevention, and medicine; Minority relationship to health promotion; Mass media messages targeting health behavior change

  • Tiffany Berry profile image

    Tiffany Berry

    Research Associate Professor

    Research Interests

    Educational program evaluation, K–12 educational curricula, After-school programs, Comprehensive school reform

Where You Can Find Our Alumni

Request information about the Health Behavior Research program

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Nicholas Lopez

Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-7151