Health Promotion Sciences

The Graduate Program in Allied Health (G.P.A.H.) offers two graduate degrees in health promotion sciences: Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Health Promotion Sciences. Graduates of our programs 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, health equity, and health behavior change to create innovative solutions for current and emerging health challenges. The graduates of the M.S. program are employed in public health, community-based treatment and health care, worksite, and research settings. In addition, students can earn the M.S. as part of a 4+1 program in Dietetics that prepares students for the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s National Registration Examination. The graduates of the Ph.D. program are trained in more research-focused careers in academic settings but could also be leaders in a variety of professional settings, including industry, public health, work-site, and non-profit settings. The graduate programs offer students competitive graduate research and teaching assistantships, individualized programs of study, and opportunities for expanded roles in health promotion, health care, and research. Courses included on the approved program of study must achieve a grade of “B-” or higher. Students must maintain an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 per term to be in good standing. In addition to the Graduate School requirements, the graduate programs in Health Promotion Sciences have the following requirements listed below.

M.S. in Health Promotion Sciences

May be earned under either of two plans. Both meet the minimum requirement of 30 credits completed. 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.

Requirements: A minimum of 30 credits in the following domains.

Health Promotion: AH 5319, 6305, and 6324, totaling nine credits.

Research: AH 5005, 6306, and one research-based elective with advisor approval; totaling nine credits.

Elective Requirements: Students complete 12 credits from Allied Health Sciences and other schools or colleges across campus chosen in consultation with the student’s advisory committee to develop depth in an area of health promotion sciences (e.g., statistical modeling/evidence-analysis, behavioral and environment change interventions, health equity, genetics and diagnostics).

4+1 FastTrack Dietetics B.S./Health Promotion Sciences M.S.

The FastTrack (4+1) B.S. in Dietetics and M.S. in Health Promotion Sciences is a program that is available for highly motivated UConn undergraduate students. The FastTrack allows students accepted into the Undergraduate Coordinated Dietetics Program in Allied Health Sciences at UConn to complete the baccalaureate degree in Dietetics, the Plan B M.S. degree in Health Promotion Sciences, and the hours of supervised practice approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), all within five years plus an externship. When all requirements are successfully completed the student may sit for the Commission on Dietetics Registration national registration examination.

Students are accepted into the program as early as their 5th semester of undergraduate study based on their academic performance and the completion of prerequisite courses, as well as personal background and/or experiences revealing a commitment to dietetics and health promotion sciences.

Requirements: While fulfilling requirements of their B.S. degree, FastTrack students simultaneously complete a maximum of 12 credits of coursework toward the M.S. (AH 5005, 5351, 6305, 5319 or 6306) which may be applied to both undergraduate and graduate plans of study.

Requirements for the 5th Year of Study: AH 6324, 5335, 5314, 5317 for five credits, and three credits of a graduate level elective (which could include AH 5319 or 6306), and DIET 4315 and 4335.

The following courses are required to meet ACEND requirements and be eligible to take the national dietetics registration exam, NOT for the M.S. degree: Spring semester: DIET 4435, 4455, 4470, and summer a non-degree externship DIET 4991. These courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or higher in the 5th year to meet ACEND accreditation standards. Grades below “C” in any course require a remediation plan approved by a student’s major advisor and Program Director.

Ph.D. in Health Promotion Sciences

A four-year 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, health equity, and prevent diseases in a variety of settings and for diverse individuals. Doctoral students normally enter in the fall semester.

Requirements: A minimum of 48 credits in the following domains.

Health Promotion Core: AH 6181, 6305, 6324, and two health promotion or health equity based electives with advisor approval; totaling 15 credits.

Methodology and Statistics: AH 5005, 6306, and one methodology based elective with advisor approval; totaling nine credits.

Cognate Courses Supportive of Knowledge/Skills and Dissertation Research: Elective courses from Allied Health Sciences and other schools or colleges across campus are selected to develop depth in an area of health promotion sciences related to the student’s dissertation research (e.g., statistical modeling/evidence-analysis, behavioral and environment change interventions, genetics and diagnostics), totaling nine credits.

Developing Research and Academic Teaching Skills and Competence: AH 6184, and 6422, totaling six credits.

The student and their doctoral committee jointly determine the specific program of doctoral study in health promotion science. This process allows for designing plans of study uniquely suited to each person’s particular needs and career goals.

Doctoral General Exam/Dissertation. The goal of the general examination is to assure that all students have acquired and can effectively communicate the breadth and depth of the field. The general examination contains a written component and oral examination of the written component as well as the dissertation proposal and oral defense of the dissertation proposal.

The programs are offered by the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources.