Post-Baccalaureate Graduate Certificate in Health Behavior Coaching

***Applications currently being accepted for the first cohort beginning in fall 2017. DEADLINE: August 11th***

Health Behavior Coaches complement the work of other health and medical professionals by functioning as supportive mentors that motivate, facilitate and empower clients or patients: (1) to adopt positive and lasting health behavior changes, (2) to become accountable for their own health, and (3) to comply with health/medical recommendations that promote health and wellness and enhance overall well-being.

VCU’s post-baccalaureate graduate certificate in Health Behavior Coaching prepares professionals to serve a critical role on the interdisciplinary healthcare delivery team in the emerging preventative health care model in the U.S. Whether a clinical professional or health promotion professional, you will develop and enhance your professional competencies and skills that facilitate a client/patient-centered approach which assists them in determining their own personal health goals and action plans.

This unique program blends face-to-face instruction with 80% online learning. Successful completion of the program requires a minimum of 21 graduate credit hours beyond the baccalaureate level, consisting of 17 core credit hours and four credit hours in a selected focus area. It also prepares students for credentialing as a Certified Health Education Specialist (C.H.E.S.), as administered by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC), and may be applied towards the Master of Science (M.S.) in Health and Movement Sciences.

HEMS 640 Health Care Organization and Delivery in the U.S. 3
HEMS 641 Human Disease Prevention, Prevalence and Lifestyle Risk Factors 3
HEMS 642 Theoretical Foundations of Health Behavior Change 3
HEMS 643 Fundamentals of Motivational Interviewing 1
HEMS 644 Advanced Motivational Interviewing 1
HEMS 647 Concepts and Applications in Chronic Disease Self-Management 3
HEMS 695 Externship: Health Behavior Coaching 3
Specified Electives 4
Select a specified pair of elective courses below based on your focus area:
HEMS 645 Application of Motivational Interviewing in Clinical Settings 1
HEMS 648 Health Behavior Change Counseling Techniques for Clinical Interventions 3
HEMS 646 Application of Motivational Interviewing in Group/Community Settings 1
HEMS 649 Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Group/Community-focused Health Behavior Change Interventions 3
Total graduate credit hours (minimum) 21


Admission to the Certificate in Health Behavior Coaching requires that prospective students:

  1. Have earned an undergraduate degree in a health science, social science, behavioral science or other health-related discipline
  2. Possess a minimum of one year of health-related work experience
  3. Have completed a minimum of four prerequisite course credits in Medical Terminology and Personal Health

Program Launching in Fall 2017!

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Learn more about VCU Tuition Waivers and the Health System Tuition Assistance program.

Post-Baccalaureate Graduate Certificate in Health Behavior Coaching Director:

Joann Richardson, Ph.D.