2014-2015 Walden University Catalog (June 2015) 
    Jul 01, 2022  
2014-2015 Walden University Catalog (June 2015) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Health Psychology - PhD in Psychology

Return to: PhD in Psychology  

The Health Psychology specialization educates students on the complex relationship among psychological, social, and biological factors implicated in health and illness. This research-focused program prepares students to work in a variety of settings, such as health and wellness centers, corporations, research institutions, and academic institutions in research, teaching, psychoeducational, and administrative positions.

Health Psychology students will be able to develop the strong theoretical background to design and conduct research on the biological, psychological, behavioral, social, cultural, and environmental factors that contribute to health and illness. By learning how to apply advanced research methodologies, students can promote positive health behaviors and encourage change as a researcher in academic, medical, business, government, and community settings.

The Health Psychology specialization consists of a foundation course, core and specialization courses, three elective courses, demonstration of research competency, and a dissertation.

Program Goals and Learning Outcomes

PROGRAM GOAL 1: Walden University’s Health Psychology graduates will acquire knowledge in the foundations of psychology and will develop identities as health psychologists.

Learning Outcome 1.1
Students will explain behavior using current theory and research in the biological, affective, social, individual differences, and cognitive areas of psychology.

Learning Outcome 1.2
Students will be able to discuss how key issues within the field of health psychology impact health-related issues.

PROGRAM GOAL 2: Walden University’s Health Psychology graduates apply knowledge and demonstrate skills in the scientific, methodological, and theoretical foundations of psychology from a scholar-practitioner perspective.

Learning Outcome 2.1
Students will be able to synthesize principles of basic and advanced research methods to produce independent scholarly research.

Learning Outcome 2.2
Students will be able to synthesize theory and research to apply in the practice of health psychology.

PROGRAM GOAL 3: Walden University’s Health Psychology graduates will demonstrate proficiency in the use of empirically supported intervention techniques with diverse populations.

Learning Outcome 3.1
Students will be able to identify and describe personal and environmental factors that impact health

Learning Outcome 3.2
Students will demonstrate proficiency in using empirically supported evidence to evaluate the effectiveness of health-related treatments.

PROGRAM GOAL 4: Walden University’s Health Psychology graduates will demonstrate the ability to work ethically and effectively with diverse populations.

Learning Outcome 4.1
Students will be able to describe experiences and perspectives of diverse populations including but not limited to race, culture, socioeconomics, age, gender, sexual orientation, and disability.

Learning Outcome 4.2
Students will apply relevant ethical codes (e.g., APA) to decision making with diverse populations in both research practice and work settings.

PROGRAM GOAL 5: To prepare Walden University graduates to actively identify and contribute to the health psychology profession by demonstrating attitudes and behaviors essential for lifelong learning, scholarly inquiry, advocacy, and professional problem-solving as health psychologists, with a particular emphasis on positive social change.

Learning Outcome 5.1
Students will be able to discuss how social/political issues, policies, and events impact the field of health psychology.

Learning Outcome 5.2
Students will engage in professional activities related to health psychology that promote positive social change.

Curriculum (106 cr.)

Course Sequence





 PSYC 8000 - Foundations for Graduate Study in Psychology  

 5 cr.

 PSYC 8745 - Health Psychology♦  

 5 cr.


 PSYC 8242 - Changing Health Behavior: Theory and Practice♦  

 5 cr.

 RSCH 8100Y - Research Theory, Design, and Methods  

 4 cr.


 PSYC 8226 - Biopsychology♦  

 5 cr.

 RSCH 8200Y - Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis  

 4 cr.


 PSYC 8748 - Stress and Coping♦  

 5 cr.

 Elective course 1

 5 cr.


 PSYC 8202 - Survey Research Methods♦  

 5 cr.

PSYC 8574 - Women’s Health♦  


PSYC 8573 - Child and Adolescent Health♦  


PSYC 8815 - Contemporary Gerontology/Geriatric Psychology  

 5 cr.


 PSYC 8747 - Psychoneuroimmunology  

 5 cr.

 RSCH 8300Y - Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis  

 4 cr.


 PSYC 8115 - Writing a Quality Prospectus♦  

 5 cr.

 PSYC 8703 - Ethics and Standards of Psychology♦  

 5 cr.


 RSCH 8250Y - Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis  

 4 cr.

 PSYC 8741 - Psychopharmacology♦  

 5 cr.


 Elective course 2

 5 cr.

 Elective course 3

 5 cr.


 PSYC 9000 - Dissertation  

 20 cr.

Timing of residencies

Residency 1: Upon enrollment in program 

Residency 2: Within 18 months of start date or linked to registration in or completion of first research course 

Residency 3: By the end of third year 

Residency 4: During third year and beyond

Note on Licensure

The Health Psychology specialization in the PhD in Psychology is not a licensure program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology professional.