Health Behavior and Health Education

Department of Kinesiology and Health Education

Children get exercise playing on a jungle gym.

The Health Behavior and Health Education graduate programs emphasize a multidisciplinary, bio-behavioral and developmental approach to health promotion. The program’s focus is on understanding the prevention of illness, and the promotion and maintenance of optimal health. Our research and study includes populations ranging from young children to senior adults.

Graduate students in our programs are exposed to research and coursework from faculty with diverse interests and expertise. Examples of health issues addressed in research and coursework include:

  • physical activity
  • nutrition education
  • stress management
  • smoking prevention and cessation
  • HIV risk reduction
  • alcohol and drug abuse prevention
  • successful aging

Health Behavior and Health Education graduate programs include options for the non-thesis M.Ed., the M.S. with thesis, and the Ph.D.

Courses completed at another college or university may be used to satisfy part or all of the prerequisites. These courses should be completed prior to beginning graduate study in Health Behavior and Health Education. Such courses may not be used to fulfill required courses for a graduate degree.

Individuals admitted without these prerequisite courses must fulfill this requirement in their first year by taking the appropriate courses either in residence or by advanced standing examination at The University of Texas at Austin. It is the policy of the Graduate Studies Committee that all courses taken to fulfill prerequisite requirements be taken on a letter grade basis.

After entering the program, the student should download the Prerequisites Form or obtain a copy from the Graduate Program Coordinator in Bellmont 722B. The completed form should be submitted to the Faculty Advisor for approval before it is submitted to the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Photo of faculty member John  Bartholomew
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, College of Education

Researches the effect of exercise on mental health to improve mood and reduce stress.

Photo of faculty member Darla M Castelli

Studies the relationship between physical activity and cognitive performance in children, adolescents, and emerging adults.

Photo of faculty member J. Mark  Eddy

J. Mark Eddy's primary area of expertise is the development, refinement and rigorous testing of culturally informed multimodal preventive and clinical psychosocial interventions to improve physical and mental health outcomes for children and families...

Photo of faculty member Carole K Holahan

Studies psychosocial factors in health behavior and health and well-being in adulthood and aging.

Photo of faculty member Esbelle M Jowers
Research Assistant Professor

Studies school and community-based interventions regarding physical activity, healthy eating, and the prevention of chronic disease.

Photo of faculty member Lara  Latimer
Assistant Professor of Instruction

Teaches from a holistic health perspective with a focus on personal health, including mental health, meditation and other stress management techniques.

Photo of faculty member Alexandra  Loukas
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, College of Education

Focuses on adolescent and young adult problem behavior development, and tobacco use and cessation.

Photo of faculty member Charles  Martinez
Dean, College of Education

Focuses on identifying factors that hinder or promote the success of children and families from vulnerable and underserved populations.

Photo of faculty member Pablo  Montero-Zamora
Assistant Professor

Focuses on understanding the factors influencing Latino/ youth substance use and mental health and how to translate this evidence into preventive interventions.

Photo of faculty member Keryn E Pasch
Associate Professor

Examines the relation between marketing influence on youth and young adult risk behavior such as substance use, nutrition, sleep and energy drink consumption.

Photo of faculty member Miguel  Pinedo
Associate Professor

My work primarily investigates how social- and structural-level factors relate to the epidemiology of substance abuse and related harms among Latinos. This research has expanded the focus from individual-level factors that influence health and unders...

Photo of faculty member Deborah  Salvo
Associate Professor

My research interests and expertise center in the reduction of spatial health disparities in access to environments that enable physically active lifestyles. Specifically, my work focuses on understanding the context-specific relations between the bu...

Photo of faculty member Seth  Schwartz

Identity, acculturation, cultural stress, crisis migration, adolescent development, family functioning, substance use, mental health, well-being

Photo of faculty member Mary A Steinhardt

Focuses on how individuals successfully adapt to stress and build health resilience.

Professor, Mexican American and Latina/o Studies

Engages community partners to develop, implement, evaluate, and disseminate health promotion programs that address disparities in chronic disease prevention and control among US Latino populations.

Associate Professor, Department of Population Health

Phillip W. Schnarrs, Ph.D. is an applied health researcher and expert in LGBTQ+ populations specializing in sexual health, mental health and substance use disorder.

Exercise & Sport Psychology Laboratory

Develops interventions to increase physical activity and health eating, and seeks to understand the benefits of exercise for mental health.

Kinetic Kidz

Examines the correlation between metabolic risk factors and cognitive health in children and young adults to determine how those factors may affect future health.

Migration and Health Lab

Focuses on better understanding how migration-related factors influence vulnerability to substance abuse and related harms among Latino communities in the US and Mexico.

Prevention Research Lab

Examines how the marketing of unhealthy products impacts youth and young adults’ behaviors. Explores how risk behaviors may co-occur among adolescents and young adults.

Stress Adaptation and Health Resilience

Focus areas include diabetes self-management interventions, the role of positive emotions in reducing depressive symptoms, and the relationship between chronic psychosocial stress and metabolic health.

Tobacco Research and Evaluation Team

Conducts research on youth and young adult tobacco use, and develops effective tobacco prevention programs and intervention tools that are easily accessible for various populations.

Photo of Miguel Pinedo

Program Director
Miguel Pinedo

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