Health Promotion and Behavioral Science

The Health Promotion and Behavioral Science (HPBS) major provides an interdisciplinary perspective on health and well-being across the lifespan, with emphasis on the prevention of illness and the promotion and maintenance of optimal health. Coursework focuses on the interactions among individual, family, group and community factors. Students completing the program have a strong foundation in theory, epidemiology, program planning, and evaluation. Graduates will be prepared for careers in public health, community health promotion, university/college health, government agencies, voluntary health agencies, corporate fitness and wellness, and healthcare centers. Students are also well prepared to pursue graduate and professional education in a variety of fields. 

Program Admission Requirements

Students will be required to have an overall 2.5000 minimum GPA in order to transfer to the Health Promotion and Behavioral Science major.  If admitted to the Health Promotion and Behavioral Science major, students are required to maintain a 2.5000 GPA in their KHE Core and Cognate courses to remain in the program. Students who do not maintain this GPA will be placed on academic probation for one semester. If they do not meet the criteria after one semester, they will be dismissed from the program.

Health Professions Preparation

Health Promotion and Behavioral Science graduates have a variety of job opportunities ranging from community health education to business/non-profit health education to health care and more. Health educators are employed at community health centers, schools, employee wellness programs in the private sector, non-profit organizations, government agencies, medical centers, and universities.

Health Promotion and Behavioral Science majors are eligible to take the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam administered by NCHEC. The CHES credential is an excellent way to demonstrate to employers the knowledge and skills that were learned through the undergraduate program and this credential increases the chances of employment. Additional information about the exam is available on the NCHEC website. 

Students majoring in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science also may be interested in pursuing some of the allied health professions upon graduation. These students must complete their degree requirements, plus the prerequisites for the allied health profession of their choice. With careful planning, it is very possible to graduate within four years even when adding the allied health prerequisites to your schedule. For more information on allied health professions, please visit the Health Professions Office.

Certificate, Minors, Specializations, and Tracks

Students in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science are required to choose a certificate, track, minor or specialization to complete their degree requirements.

Certificates and Minors

The University of Texas at Austin offers various programs that allow students to choose from a set of courses in order to focus on an area of study in addition to their major. Certificates and minors are recognized on transcripts. University-wide requirements and the available options can be found in the university's Undergraduate Catalog.


Students interested in furthering their education in Kinesiology and Health are encouraged to choose a specialization. The Department of Kinesiology and Health Education offers seven specializations. For details, please visit our KHE Specializations page.


Tracks do NOT appear on UT Austin transcripts or diplomas; they are reflected only on a student's profile record and degree audit. Most tracks consist of 15 hours, 6 of which must be upper-division. Learn more about the available tracks

Foreign Language Requirement

Students majoring in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science prior to 2014 may choose one of three options to fulfill the foreign language requirement:

  1. complete second semester proficiency at the college level in any language other than English,
  2. take an exam to reach second semester proficiency in any language other than English,
  3. complete three of the foreign language substitution courses from our approved list.  Get Adobe Reader

Students majoring in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science after 2014 are only required to complete a foreign language requirement if they do not have two or more years of foreign language in high school. Students without two years of high school foreign language coursework must earn credit for the second college-level course in a foreign language; this credit does not count towards the degree.