Health Promotion Sciences (Online)

PhD in Health Promotion Sciences

The PhD program in Health Promotion Sciences trains well-rounded researchers and scholars in the theory and method of prevention research. Our students examine health-related behavior to create novel, effective interventions for disease prevention and health promotion.

In this unique degree program, you not only study the causes of health-related behaviors, you also design effective interventions to prevent disease and promote health. The well-rounded training encompasses theory and methods from the allied fields of communications, psychology, preventive medicine, cultural studies, biostatistics, public health and epidemiology. A low student-faculty ratio and a commitment to teaching at the highest level foster a highly collaborative learning and research environment in which you play a central role. You will work with faculty who are world leaders in health promotion and disease prevention research; they will mentor you from the start of your training until the successful completion of your doctoral degree. Because they bring a robust record of scholarly activity and experience—from being funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other well-known agencies to publishing in hundreds of peer-reviewed publications and running countless research centers—you will gain firsthand knowledge and insight into the life of a research scientist. This substantial education prepares you to become a public health scholar and expert.

Program Highlights
  • Our online courses utilize the latest technology to enrich the learning experience and enhance your presentation skills. This includes multimedia lectures and interactive demonstrations.
  • Proximity to local health departments in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties provides employment and educational opportunities for students.
  • The SCGH Student Association provides opportunities for leadership and impact through intellectual, social and cultural contributions that meet the needs of public health students through community service, dialogue, and special events.
  • Classroom discussion and projects use the latest technologies to enhance learning and presentation skills, including in-class multimedia lectures and demonstrations.
  • You can pursue the PhD in Health Promotion Sciences in conjunction with another degree program, such as an MA in Economics. You earn a diploma for each degree, and unit sharing across programs decreases your required total units.


Program At-a-glance

  • 72 units

    required units

  • PhD in Health Promotion Sciences

    degree awarded

  • Online


  • Spring, Fall

    program start

  • 5 years | full time*

    estimated completion time

Areas of Concentration

  • Biostatistics

    Gain an understanding of the principle methods of biostatistics through informatics, basic mathematical and computational tools, modeling, and computer applications.

  • Global Health

    Take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding key public health challenges that transcend local and national boundaries and require collaborative solutions.

  • Health Communication

    Increase your knowledge of key challenges in health communication and how it works through curricular development, persuasive technologies, interpersonal processes, and more.

  • Neurocognitive Sciences

    Note: This concentration is not currently accepting new students.

    Study neurocognitive sciences through the field’s impact on community and global health prevention, decision making, language, memory, and evolution’s impact on the brain.

  • Public Health

    Understand major public health issues in the United States and abroad through the lenses of health services, environmental and occupational health, program planning, and leadership.

  • Health Informatics

    Master the use of information for public health practice, including information technology, and systems to improve effectiveness of public health enterprises.

Request info Apply now

Regina Wang Lee

Director of Recruitment for the School of Community & Global Health


Where You Can Find Our Alumni


  • Portrait of Jessica DeHart

    Jessica Clague DeHart

    Associate Professor of Community and Global Health

    Research Interests

    Epidemiology, chronic disease, cancer etiology, cancer survivorship, molecular and genetic epidemiology, lifestyle intervention trials, exercise, nutrition, quality of life, community-based interventions

  • Stewart Donaldson

    Stewart I. Donaldson

    Distinguished University Professor
    Executive Director, Claremont Evaluation Center
    Executive Director, The Evaluators' Institute (TEI)

    Research Interests

    Positive Organizational Psychology, Health/Well-Being & Positive Functioning Across Cultures, Program Design & Re-Design, Culturally Responsive Theory-Driven Measurement & Evaluation

  • Portrait of C Anderson Johnson

    C. Anderson Johnson

    Founding Dean, School of Community & Global Health

    Research Interests

    Transnational prevention of tobacco, alcohol, and drug abuse, HIV-AIDS, and obesity; Community-based substance abuse prevention; Social and environmental influences on health; Community and mass media approaches to health

  • Paula Palmer

    Paula Healani Palmer

    Associate Professor of Community and Global Health
    Director of the PhD in Health Promotion Sciences program

    Research Interests

    Determinants of health among ethnically diverse populations; Community-based participatory research among under-served, underrepresented populations; Health of Pacific Islanders and South Asians; Technology applications for health behavior interventions; Tobacco control, mental health, disaster management, health of migrants and indigenous peoples; Maternal and child health

  • Portrait of Darleen Peterson

    Darleen V. Peterson

    Professor of Practice, Community and Global Health
    Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
    Director of the Certificate and Master of Public Health (MPH) programs

    Research Interests

    Evaluation of Health Communication Campaigns, Effects of Pro- and Anti-Tobacco and Alcohol Marketing; Public Health Education Accreditation

  • Kim Reynolds

    Kim D. Reynolds


    Research Interests

    Nutrition and physical activity, Health promotion and disease prevention, Diabetes and obesity

  • Portrait of Alan Stacy

    Alan Stacy

    Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs

    Research Interests

    Application of theories and methods of human memory; Cognitive neuroscience and social cognition to health behavior: etiology, prevention, and media effects; Translation of basic research to field research, high-risk populations, and prevention; Validation issues in assessment

  • Portrait of Bin Xie

    Bin Xie

    Professor of Community and Global Health
    Director of the Applied Biostatistics (MS) program

    Research Interests

    Obesity prevention; Tobacco control; Diet, physical activity, body image in adolescents; Psychological adjustment to obesity; Diabetes and cancer; Application of statistical analysis in prevention research



  • Transdisciplinary course (4 units)
  • Directed research units (8 units)
  • Concentration courses (12 units)


  • Theoretical Foundations in Health Education & Promotion
  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Seminar in Grant Writing & Proposal Development
  • Data Analysis
  • Research Methods
  • Advanced Theoretical Foundations in Health Education & Promotion
  • Advanced Statistical Methods I
  • Advanced Statistical Methods II
  • Advanced Research Methods
  • Manuscript Development
  • Foundations of Inclusive Pedagogy and Course Design
  • Doctoral Study

Program Features

Networking Opportunities
With more than 80 chapters throughout the world, the Delta Epsilon chapter of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health at CGU opens up numerous academic and professional opportunities for SCGH students, including:

  • Electing students, faculty, alumni, and honorary members based on high academic standards and outstanding performance in scholarship, teaching, research, and community service.
  • Connecting students to a vast networking pool of 15,000 members from the top echelons of graduate schools, programs of public health, and the public health community.
  • Opening doors for faculty and students to network and positively impact public health initiatives in the Southern California region.
  • Boosting students’ transition from academic life to professional life.

Research Projects
Gain direct experience in the global health community through a collective research and service focus on the needs of communities in Southern California, the Pacific Rim, South Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

Application Guidelines

Requirements Summary

Item Description
Application Fee $80
Official Transcripts Yes
Letters of Recommendation 3
Statement of Purpose Yes
Resume Yes
Standardized Test Scores GRE/GMAT
Other Requirements Writing sample

Spring 2024
Priority Deadline – November 1, 2023
Final Deadline (International) – November 15, 2023
Final Deadline (Domestic) – December 1, 2023
Classes begin – January 16, 2024

Fall 2024
Priority Deadline – February 1, 2024
Final Deadline (International) – July 5, 2024
Final Deadline (Domestic) – August 1, 2024
Classes begin – August 26, 2024

Application Checklist

Cost & Aid

Tuition and Fees

Program 49 units (students can transfer up to 13 units)
Tuition per unit* $2,020

*Based on 2023-2024 tuition rates.


$245 Student Fee
$150 Technology Fee
International Student Services Fee*: $661 fall semester, $776 spring semester
**Applies to all international students (F-1 visa only) who are registered in coursework, doctoral study, or continuous registration. The fee is assessed each fall and spring semester for annual ISO accident and sickness plans and administrative fees. Subject to change.

For estimates of room & board, books, etc., please download CGU’s Cost of Attendance 2022-2023 .

Review General Costs

Back to the tabs
Apply now

Request More Info

Contact us for more information


While waiting for our answer, take a look at our FAQ

Maybe you'll find some answers to your questions