PhD | Public Health and Recreation Professions | SIU

Southern Illinois University



PhD in Health Education

Program Information

The PhD in health education is a research-focused program that prepares students for future careers in academia and/or research. Students are expected to propose and develop a focal area of research that results in multiple publishable projects throughout their time as doctoral students, as well as a culminating dissertation that includes original data

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the Ph.D. degree must have a minimum overall grade point average for all preceding graduate work of 3.25 (based on 4.0 as an A).

Acceptance into the doctoral program will be based upon undergraduate grade point average; graduate grade point average; statement regarding experience, career goals and research interests; and a minimum of three recommendations.

Degree Requirements

The Department of Public Health and Recreation professions at Southern Illinois University Carbondale offers a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Education with a concentration in Health Education.

Students must complete a minimum of 61 semester hours with the following required courses:

  • EDUC 510-3: Introduction to Doctoral Studies
  • EDUC 511-3: Doctoral Seminar in Philosophical and Cultural Foundations of Education


  • EDUC 512-3: Doctoral Seminar in Behavioral and Cognitive Foundations of Education
  • QUAN 505-3: Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods
  • QUAN 506-3: Inferential Stat
  • EAHE 587-3: Introduction to Qualitative Research
  • PH 500-3: Community Organizing
  • PH 510-3: Program Planning and Curriculum Development in Health Education
  • PH 515-3: Contemporary Issues in Health
  • PH 525-3: Health Behavior and Health Education
  • PH 533A-4: Foundations of Health Education I
  • PH 533B-4: Foundations of Health Education II
  • PH 597-2: Doctoral Seminar in Health Education
  • PH 600-24: Dissertation

An additional 11 hours of coursework, including one quantitative or one qualitative research course, will be selected by the student with his/her advisor.


No later than the end of 27 hours of course work, students will meet with their doctoral committees (advising professor and two other Health Education faculty members) to determine whether or not to continue as doctoral students.  Such matters as grade point average, progress in the program, course completion, motivation, and general academic scholarship, writing and research skills will be considered.  The doctoral committee will provide a report to the department graduate committee and the department chair recommending whether students should continue in the program or not.  Students who are not making satisfactory progress or who violate regulations of the department, college or university may be dropped from the program at this time.  If a student is recommended to continue in the doctoral program, this student’s doctoral committee will approve the student’s full Program of Study during this meeting.

Students must form their doctoral committees by the end of their first year.

Students must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 for all doctoral program work to qualify to take the preliminary examination.

Preliminary Examination

Students must have completed a minimum of 24 semester hours of course work after admission to the doctoral program before taking the preliminary examination.  The required courses to complete for candidates to be eligible for the preliminary examination include five Health Education courses (PH 500, 510, 525, 533a, 533b) and a minimum of two research tool courses (QUAN 506-4, EAHE 587).

A student must take the preliminary examination the first time it is offered after the student has completed all of the health education required courses and a minimum of two research tool courses. For students entering the Ph.D. program Fall 2015 or later, preliminary exams are held the fifth week of the fall and spring semesters.

A student must take and pass all three sections of the preliminary exam within one twelve-month period, or s/he will be removed from the doctoral program, (students cannot skip exams for 2nd attempt).  Students entering the Ph.D. program Fall 2015 or later can take the examination no more than 2 times. This policy applies to all students, both full-time and part-time.  After passing the preliminary examination, the student is admitted to candidacy.

The exam is given in three sections. If a student does not pass a section, that section must be taken again the next time the exam is offered. A majority of the faculty readers must pass the student on at least 2/3 of the questions in a section for the student to pass that section.

Doctoral Committee, Prospectus, Dissertation, and Oral Examination 

Students admitted to the doctoral program will select an academic advisor and form a doctoral committee comprised of a minimum of five faculty members representative of the department, college, and university.

Having been admitted to candidacy, students submit a dissertation prospectus to their doctoral committees for approval. The Department of Health Education and Recreation Professions requires an oral prospectus examination conducted by the doctoral committee. Oral examinations are open to all interested observers. Notice of the time and place of the examination and the abstract of the dissertation are circulated throughout the department and the University.

Time Limits/Continuing Enrollment

The candidate must fulfill all requirements for the degree within a five-year period after admission to candidacy. If completion of requirements is delayed beyond five years, a student will be required to take another preliminary examination and be admitted to candidacy a second time.

Registration in PH 601 (1 hour per semester) is required of all graduate students, whether in residence or not, who are not otherwise enrolled for fall or spring semester. Concurrent registration in any other course is not permitted.