Allied Health Sciences


Allied Health Sciences

 Department Head

Professor Nancy Bull, Interim

Professors

Duffy, Faghri, Kerstetter, Silbart

Associate Professors

Coble, Copenhaver, Leahey

Assistant Professors

Heudo-Medina, To be announced Genetics Faculty

In Residence

Judy Brown, Associate Professor in Residence 

The Department of Allied Health Sciences offers graduate programs in the following fields of study which lead to:

  • Master of Science and PhD in Health Promotion Sciences
  • Professional Science Masters Degree in Health Care Genetics (interdisciplinary)
  • Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion and Health Education
Masters of Science in Health Promotion Sciences

Health Promotion Sciences applies of evidence-based and tailored approaches to promote health and prevent diseases across the lifespan in a variety of settings.  The Program fosters student’s knowledge, skills and competence through interdisciplinary and individualized approaches, research experiences, and dissemination and translation of new knowledge. Graduates of our Program are employed in leadership, research, and clinical positions in health care, community, worksite and research settings. In accordance with the Graduate School’s requirements concerning advisory committees (as published in this Catalog), a student’s plan of study is developed in collaboration with the members of his or her advisory committee (comprising the major advisor and at least two associate advisors) to meet the student’s professional, educational, and scholarly goals.

The Plan of Study

The Master’s degree in Health Promotion Sciences may be earned under either of two plans. Plan A (Thesis track) emphasizes research and requires at least 24 credits of advanced course work and completion of a master’s thesis. Plan B (Project and Practicum Track) requires a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter, at least 26 credits of advanced course work, and completion of a project and a practicum. Students in both Plans work with their major advisor to assemble a graduate advisory committee and develop the plan of study and research agenda culminating in the writing and oral defense of a thesis (Plan A) or in the project/practicum (Plan B). Students must satisfy the University standards and degree requirements, and pass a comprehensive examination administered under the auspices of the advisory committee.

Professional Science Masters Degree in Health Care Genetics

Genome-based technologies and genetic research fuels novel approaches to clinical diagnostic testing, health promotion, and individualized health care. The Program will train scientists and professionals with interdisciplinary competency in human genetics, disease identification, laboratory diagnostics, health care ethics, and regulatory issues in the clinical laboratory.  Advanced level didactic, experiential and professional development training will increase knowledge and prepare leaders in health care genetics who translate discoveries in genetic sciences to products, policies, and practices that improve the health and quality of life of people everywhere. This degree crosses multiple departments on the Storrs and Health Center campuses, and is affiliated with UCONNs Institute for Systems Genomics.

Plan of study

Students complete 17 credits of conceptual coursework, 8 credits of practical coursework (laboratory or research experience), and 8 credits of professional cohort courses, totaling at least 33 credits.  The coursework aligns with the student’s career goals under the guidance and approval of an Advisory Committee of three UConn faculty. The Advisory Committee also oversees the final degree requirement of completing an original, scholarly piece of work.

PhD in Health Promotion Sciences

The PhD in Health Promotion Sciences is appropriate for students who wish to prepare themselves for higher-level careers in research, teaching/mentoring, consulting, policy development, or other leadership roles primarily focused on the behavioral determinants of health, the promotion of health, and the prevention of premature disease and disability. The graduate can develop a career in the following settings—university, local/state/national/international health promotion agencies, health care systems and services organizations, and private industry. The degree is an advanced, applied and research-oriented degree based on synergy between major areas—behavioral and environmental change interventions, diet and physical activity across the lifespan, genetics/diagnostics and statistical modeling sciences—to promote health and prevent diseases in a variety of settings and for diverse individuals. Doctoral students in this program acquire the knowledge and skills to advance our understanding of the role of behavioral, social, and environmental influences in chronic diseases and conditions and to apply the principles and practices of health promotion and health behavior change to create innovative solutions for current and emerging health challenges.

The Plan of Study

The student and her/his doctoral committee jointly determine the specific program of doctoral study in health promotion science. This process allows for designing plan of study uniquely suited to each person’s particular needs and career goals. The PhD program consists of a minimum of 48 credits—15 credits in the Health Promotion Core, including Experiential Learning in Health Promotion Research; 9 credits in methodology and statistics, including Multilevel Mediation-Moderation Modeling in Health Sciences; 9 credits supportive of knowledge/skills and the dissertation research; 6 credits in developing research and academic teaching skills and competence; and 9 credits of dissertation preparation after completing the doctoral general examination.

Admission to Allied Health Graduate Programs

The degree programs in Allied Health are open to students who hold a baccalaureate degree in health science or life science.  Competitive applicants will have a 3.25 GPA or higher with demonstrated relevant experience and/or interest in the health sciences.  Applicants to all programs should submit three letters of recommendation and a Personal Statement. Graduate Records Examination (GRE) scores are required for PhD applicants. Students are encouraged to review the Department of Allied Health website while completing the application process.

All previous coursework must meet the general requirements of the University of Connecticut Graduate School. Information on the general requirements of the Graduate School can be found on the Graduate School link under information on Schools and Colleges on the main University website (www.uconn.edu). Competitive Graduate Assistantships may be available for the PhD and Masters of Science in Health Promotion Sciences, which provide a stipend, tuition waiver, and health benefits. The Professional Science Masters Degree in Health Care Genetics is a professional degree; as such students finance their matriculation through personal resources and loans. Students should have no expectations of support through departmental or university research or teaching assistantships.

Candidates seeking admission to the Masters or PhD in Health Promotion who wish to receive further information are encouraged to contact the Department of Allied Health Sciences Director of the Graduate Program: Dr. Valerie Duffy, by mail (Department of Allied Health Sciences, University of Connecticut, 358 Mansfield Road, Unit 2101, Storrs, CT 06269-2101), by telephone (860-486-1997), or by email (valerie.duffy@uconn.edu).  Candidates seeking admission to the Professional Science Masters in Health Care Genetics should contact Dr. Judy Brown, by mail (Department of Allied Health Sciences, University of Connecticut, 358 Mansfield Road, Unit 2101, Storrs, CT 06269-2101) or by email (judy.brown@uconn.edu).

Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion and Health Education

The Allied Health Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion & Health Education (HPHE) is a one-year comprehensive program that encompasses health promotion, health education, nutrition and community health, and environmental health and is designed for individuals interested in pursuing certification in health promotion and education. A certified health educator specialist is a competent professional committed to continued development in the field of health education and health promotion. These individuals design, conduct and evaluate activities in a variety of settings to improve the health of all people. Certified health educators may pursue employment as patient educators, health education teachers, health coaches, community organizers, public health educators, and health program managers. Individuals who successfully complete the Allied Health Graduate Certificate in HPHE are eligible to take the Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) examination administered by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing Inc. (NCHEC).

The Allied Health Graduate Certificate in HPHE consists of a minimum of 12 credit hours in health promotion and health education classes at the University of Connecticut which address the following criteria outlined by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing Inc.

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