Health promotion improves the health status of individuals, families, communities, states and the nation.

Health Promotion and Behavior (HPB) prepares students to address the social and behavioral aspects of public health and the prevention of health-related problems. Students enrolled in the Health Promotion major, dministered by the College’s Department of Health Promotion & Behavior learn in an immersive classroom environment how to create multilevel interventions that positively impact the health and well-being and individual, group and community levels.

What can I do with my degree?

  • Conduct health education programs
  • Develop health promotion campaigns
  • Manage disease prevention interventions
  • Lead worksite wellness initiatives
  • Conduct health promotion research
  • Offer consulting services

HBP majors cover a wide range of study, with the first two years focused on basic and advanced courses in biology, human anatomy, social sciences, statistics, and communication, as well as other UGA core requirements. Later, students take applied health promotion and behavior and public health courses in various areas, including:

  • Community Health
  • Program Planning and Development
  • Research Methods and Design
  • Professional Writing
  • Epidemiology
  • Women’s Health
  • Health Policy
  • Effects of Drug Use and Abuse
  • Chronic Disease and Prevention
  • Education Strategies in Human Sexuality

“I was torn between epidemiology and medicine, and with HPB, I am able to take classes that pertain to both to help me make an educated decision about which field to pursue. I chose the behavioral medicine emphasis because of how well its program design aligns with the pre-med track. All of the medical school prerequisites also count for this emphasis, so it proves to be very efficient.”

– Jasmine Udeshi, BHSP ’25

Health Promotion Emphasis

The health promotion area of emphasis prepares students for health promotion and wellness positions in public, community, worksite, and health care setting, as well as for graduate level work in public health.

Health Services Emphasis

The health services area of emphasis prepares students for graduate level work with an emphasis on disease prevention and wellness. Graduate work may include pre-physician assistant, pre-medical or pre-dental, or other professional health services programs.

Behavioral Medicine Emphasis

The behavioral medicine area of emphasis prepares students for medical programs with an emphasis on disease prevention and community health.

More Information

Admission Requirements

Standards for admission to the Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion (B.S.H.P.) degree program at the College of Public Health are the same as those for those admitted to the University.

The following grade point average (GPA) will apply:

  • All external transfer students must have a minimum overall GPA of at least 2.7 for acceptance to the major of Health Promotion.
  • All transfers within the University must have a minimum overall GPA of at least 2.7 for acceptance to the major of Health Promotion.
  • All students who are intended in the major of Health Promotion must have a minimum 2.7 overall GPA in order to declare the major.  Admission requirements may be reviewed on the UGA bulletin.
  • The Behavioral Medicine area of emphasis within the major will require a 3.5 GPA for acceptance. Students not making the minimum GPA may declare the Health Services area of emphasis.

Entrance Criteria:

  • Overall grade point average (GPA) minimum of 2.7. Behavioral Medicine students must maintain a 3.5 GPA.  Student must be in Good Standing.
  • Completion of General Education Areas I-VI (one core course in areas I-V may be finished after admission)
  • GPA in General Education Area I (Foundation skills) minimum of 2.7
  • GPA in General Education Area II (Sciences) minimum of 2.7
  • GPA in General Education Area VI (Courses related to program of study) minimum of 2.7 and no grade less than C (2.0). The area VI requirements are:
    • HPRB 1710
    • BIOS 2010
    • COMM 1110 (HP or HS Emphasis)
    • CBIO 2200/L (HP or HS Emphasis)
    • CBIO 2210/L (HP or HS Emphasis)
    • PHYS 1111-L or 1211-L (BHM Emphasis)
    • PHYS 1112-L or 1212-L (BHM Emphasis)
    • CHEM 1212/L or 1312H (BHM Emphasis)
  • You must also complete the following University requirements
    • Federal Constitution
    • Georgia Constitution
    • U.S. and Georgia History
    • NOTE: These requirements do not need to be complete at the time of application, but must be completed by the end of the semester of application.

Course pre-requisites to note:

  • BIOS 2010 or STAT 2000 is the pre-requisite for BIOS 3000
  • HPRB 3020S is the pre-requisite for HPRB 3700
  • HPRB 5410W or 5410E is the pre-requisite for HPRB 5010 and a co-requisite for HPRB 3700

Special requirements once admitted into the major:

  • Minimum GPA to graduate: A grade of C or better is required for all courses included in the Major Requirements, including major electives.
  • Undergraduate Portfolio: It is recommended that all HPRB students compile and maintain a portfolio documenting and exhibiting work or experiences gained throughout the undergraduate program including the practicums and field experiences. A culminating e-portfolio is required for the capstone (HRPB 5900).
  • Required Field Experience (HPRB 5560): The student, with the cooperation of the Department of Health Promotion and Behavior’s Practicum or Field Experience Coordinator, is responsible for arranging their own practicums and professional field experiences. Please note that, paid field experiences should not be expected. While paid experiences can be found, they are rare. See Field Experience Section for more information.
  • First Aid/CPR Certification: A student must be certified in First Aid and CPR prior to the internship or Practicum C. This requirement may be fulfilled through American Red Cross or American Heart Association classes. Online classes may not be used to meet this requirement.
  • Field Experience Application Deadline: Application for HPRB 5560 (Field Experience) must be completed by the midterm of the semester preceding the anticipated field experience. For example, a student that expects to do a field experience in Summer Semester should have completed an application by the mid-term of Spring Semester. Field Experience materials are available from the Field Experience Coordinator.
How to Apply

Due to the high demand for the health promotion major, the College of Public Health requires an application, essay, and résumé for admission into the degree program. Applications are accepted each Fall and Spring Semester


A student may apply to the health promotion major after satisfactory completion of the University General Education Curriculum requirements (or the core curriculum) (one course may remain incomplete at time of application). A student in the process of completing the required course work may be provisionally accepted contingent upon satisfactory completion of the required courses while maintaining the required 2.7 GPA for admission.  One core course may remain incomplete although it should be completed within one semester of beginning the major.  The University’s history and constitution requirements must be completed by the end of the semester of application and before enrolling in HPRB 3020S.

Application Materials:

1) Admissions Essay: Describe your career goals as you currently envision them.  What is your interest in health promotion and disease prevention?  Be sure to consider how this major fits with your goals. Suggestions to consider include volunteer experience, work experience, personal experience, or relevant coursework that sparked your interest in health or in health promotion.

  1. You should write this essay in the first person, and limit your answer to one-page, double-spaced, 12 font print with one-inch margin.
  2. Please save essay in PDF format and name the file as follows LastName_FirstName_CurrentSemester.pdf (example: McEachern_Heather_Fall2023.pdf)
  3. Second page instructions for your essay (if applicable):
    1.  A statement explaining any courses in Area VI or Areas I-V that you are planning to take away from UGA or are taking in your first semester of Health Promotion courses, if accepted.
    2.  A statement confirming you will complete the US/Georgia History and/or the Federal and Georgia Constitution requirements prior to finals before you start HPRB 3020S.
      1. You can only take these exams once per week.
      2. Please study for these exams as many students find them to be difficult and do not pass them on their first attempt.

2)   Résumé: Please upload your current résumé in PDF format to retain spacing. It is not limited to one page.

3)  B.S. in Health Promotion Application: Complete and submit this online form. Remember to upload a PDF version your Admissions Essay (see above).

Selection process:

Each year, approximately 100 students will be accepted into the major (50 in the fall and 50 in the spring). Applicants are rank ordered based on overall GPA, GPA for area VI courses, GPAs for areas I and II, and their résumé, and admission essay. The highest-ranking students up to the quota for that semester are admitted. Simply meeting the admission requirements will not guarantee acceptance. Applicants who are not accepted may apply again the following semester. Students may apply for admission in the Spring if requirements will be completed in the Summer

Application Deadlines and Admission Decisions:

Admission decisions will be made prior to registration each semester.  You will be notified by email of an admission decision.

  • Fall Semester Deadline: October 1
  • Spring Semester Deadline: March 1

Admissions Contact:

Heather McEachern
College of Public Health
105D Rhodes Hall, Health Sciences Campus
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
[email protected]

Field Experience

Rationale of the Field Experience

Field experience in the Department of Health Promotion and Behavior is one phase of the total pre-service training program. The two parts, the course of study and field experience, are designed to contribute to the basic objective of providing opportunities for the student to develop the competencies necessary to assume professional responsibilities in the field of Health Promotion.

Although academic study and fieldwork are often thought of as two distinct types of experience, they have much in common: theoretical insight and the development of sound concepts are important parts of both academic course work and/or testing of hypotheses and of the classroom experience. Both experiences are learning experiences and the same educational principles must apply to both situations.

The field experience must contribute to the student’s goals for professional growth. These goals must be clearly perceived and consciously striven for by both student and supervisor.

Effective field training principles must be followed to insure sound educational experiences. The following principles are starting points for planning sound field training:

  • Field training for an individual student must be planned in terms of his/her abilities, and needs and interests as an integral part of the total training experiences in which he/she is participating;
  • The student must be an active participant in planning his/her field training experience;
  • Students should meet real needs of the agency in program development, implementation, and evaluation. If at all possible, the student should be given the opportunity to function as a full-fledged staff member;
  • The training experience should be so designed that the student has an opportunity for responsible participation in a wide variety of tasks and relationships common to the activities of professionals in health promotion and education. The resources available must be adequate for this purpose;
  • Field training must be under the guidance and supervision of an individual who is able to make a learning experience out of a work situation and who is professionally competent in the student’s area of specialization;
  • The agency provides experiential learning to improve student competencies;
  • Evaluation of the field training experience must be in terms of:
    • the student’s growth in understandings and abilities needed in situations faced by health promotion professionals; and
    • the student’s contributions to the agency’s program. 

General information about field experience

  • The field experience is a requirement for all Health Promotion undergraduate students who are completing the Health Promotion area of emphasis.
  • In general, the student will arrange for the field experience to be completed during one semester for six (6) credit hours.
  • The field experience will be completed no earlier than the student’s final semester of study for the degree.
  • The field experience may be taken any semester including summer session. The student is allowed to take two online or traditionally offered non-essential or elective courses along with the field experience, but all major-required coursework must be completed prior to the field experience.

General goals of the undergraduate field experience

  • Develop an understanding of the structure and functions of the participating agency;
  • Learn to function effectively in an agency environment with existing staff members and administrators;
  • Apply the elements of basic program planning, implementation, and evaluation while developing and/or participating in a project or projects that is/are consistent with the goals and functions of the host agency; and
  • Develop and refine communication skills through direct participation and contact with agency clients.
  • Learn about the agency administrative processes including internal and external funding sources and issues.
  • Improve skills in long-range planning including the areas of needs assessment and funding.

Overview of time spent during the field experience

  • Practical experience at the participating site as a functioning health promotion specialist at the planning/administrative/evaluation level (300 hours*).
  • Development of a professional blog.
  • Updating professional website to include field experience development.
  • Review and analysis of the fieldwork experience and performance evaluation.

*Note: These hours are minimally expected. Often field experience students will exceed these hours and students are encouraged to do so. Field sites may require more than 300 hours.

Criteria for evaluating the field experience

  • Successfully completing all on-site practical experience hours and responsibilities.
  • Completion of the professional blog.
  • Updating professional website to include field experience development.
  • Satisfactory final evaluation by the site supervisor.

The internship is graded A-F.

Pre-field experience requirements at the undergraduate level

  1. Completion of all major-required courses with a grade of “C” or better.
  2. All required paperwork for the field experience process must be complete and approved by the HPRB Field Experience Coordinator.
  3. Adult and Pediatric First Aid and CPR certification cards must be submitted to the student’s advisor.

Site supervisor responsibilities

  • Meet and interview students as potential field experience interns and discuss specific possibilities for the field experience. Students must meet competency areas for health promotion professionals within the field experience.
  • If the student is selected as an intern, negotiate with the student a proposal for an acceptable field experience. This proposal form is to be completed by the student and signed by the site supervisor. The student will submit the proposal to the Field Experience Coordinator for final approval. The proposal should be as specific as possible as to the nature of the interns’ expected work, weekly hours, etc. This proposal form must be submitted to the Field Experience Coordinator by the midpoint of the semester prior to the field experience and approved by the Field Experience Coordinator, before the student may begin the field experience.
  • Arrange for office or workspace for the student.
  • Provide structured orientation period at the beginning of the field experience.
  • Be available, on an appointment basis if necessary, to provide guidance to the student on specific issues. Meeting with the student regularly to discuss progress, problems, and insights will benefit the student in his/her practical learning process.
  • Contact the Field Experience Coordinator if problems occur which cannot be resolved and it is felt the students should not continue the field experience.