The Health Promotion and Health Equity (HPHE) major was created through a collaborative effort across the departments of Counseling Psychology, Kinesiology, and Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education in the School of Education. The Department of Kinesiology is the home of this major; its mission is to research, teach, and apply knowledge related to movement, exercise, and human occupation with the ultimate goal of enhancing human health, productivity, and quality of life.

The core courses (31 credits) form the main content of the major and include: conceptual and theoretical foundations; awareness of multiple determinants of physical and psychological health; program planning, administration, and evaluation; and working effectively with underserved populations (e.g., persons with disability; low-income groups; racial and ethnic minority populations). Elective curriculum (9 credits) will allow students to tailor the major in the direction of their personal interests.

The program is broadly designed to provide students with the skills and perspectives to facilitate healthy practices at the individual and societal levels. Students will learn about the theoretical, programmatic and empirical foundations of health promotion and health equity interventions, and be taught to demonstrate competence in evaluating strengths and weaknesses in health promotion programs.

The coursework will help prepare students for emerging career opportunities as health educators within: nonprofit community health organizations; insurance companies; hospitals; mental health centers; senior care centers; home visitation programs; and governmental health offices.


Students interested in Health Promotion and Health Equity may complete this major in two ways: (1) by entering the School of Education to complete a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Health Promotion and Health Equity, or (2) adding the Health Promotion and Health Equity major as an additional major while completing another degree and major on campus. Students selecting the second option should review the Additional Major in Health Promotion and Health Equity section below.



New freshmen and off-campus transfers interested in completing the Bachelor of Science degree with the Health Promotion and Health Equity major are admitted directly to the School of Education and the major upon admission to UW–Madison. Current UW–Madison students wishing to transfer to the School of Education to complete an undergraduate degree with this major must meet with an advisor in Education Academic Services to transfer and declare the major.


Applicants not already enrolled on the UW–Madison campus must be admissible to the university to enroll in a School of Education degree program. Admission to UW–Madison requires a separate application and admission process. See UW–Madison Office of Admissions and Recruitment for application information. Prospective transfer students are advised to meet with an Education Academic Services advisor in person or by telephone in advance of their application; to schedule, call 608-262-1651.


Prospective applicants who already hold an undergraduate degree are strongly encouraged to meet with an Education Academic Services advisor in advance of their application. Consultations with advisors are available in person or via telephone; to schedule, call 608-262-1651.

Applicants who already hold an undergraduate degree are admitted to the School of Education as a candidate for a second degree upon completion of the admission process. Second degree students are seeking a second degree that is unrelated to their first degree. More information is available here under the Students with a Previous Degree heading.


New freshmen and off-campus transfers are admitted directly to the Bachelor of Science–Health Promotion and Health Equity degree program. Current UW–Madison students must consult with an advisor in Education Academic Services to transfer to the School of Education and declare the major; call 608-262-1651 to schedule an appointment. Note: Requirements and selection criteria may be modified from one application/admission period to the next.


Eligibility for admission consideration to the Bachelor of Science–Health Promotion and Health Equity degree:

  • Cumulative grade point average of at least a 2.5 based on UW–Madison campus coursework, as modified by the Last 60 Credits Rule (detailed below).
  • Filing of all required paperwork and other application materials, including program application and transcripts.

Last 60 Credits Rule

Two grade point averages may be calculated to determine candidates' eligibility to programs. GPAs will be calculated using

  • all transferable college level coursework attempted, and
  • the last 60 credits attempted.

The higher GPA of these two will be used for purposes of determining eligibility. If fewer than 60 credits have been attempted, all credits will be used to calculate the GPA. Graded graduate coursework will also be used in all GPA calculations. ("Attempted" coursework indicates coursework for which a grade has been earned.) More information on this rule is available here.

Additional Major in Health Promotion and Health Equity

Undergraduate students from all schools and colleges on campus except the College of Letters and Science may declare Health Promotion and Health Equity as an additional major. Students wishing to declare the additional major must visit an advisor in Education Academic Services to complete the declaration form; to schedule, call 608-262-1651. The declaration must also be approved by the student's home school/college.

Students completing Health Promotion and Health Equity as an additional major do not need to complete the School of Education's liberal studies and other degree requirements unless their primary major is also in the School of Education.

Please note that the requirements of the additional major must be completed before or concurrently with the degree program and primary major.

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.

School of Education Liberal Studies Requirements

All students are required to complete a minimum of 40 credits of Liberal Studies coursework. This requirement provides an opportunity to do some academic exploration beyond the scope of the major. Students take courses in areas of particular interest and also have an opportunity to sample the wide selection of courses offered across the university. Coursework is required in humanities, social studies, science, and cultural and historical studies. Some elective coursework is also needed to reach the required number of credits.

The School of Education’s Liberal Studies Requirements automatically satisfy most of the University General Education Requirements outlined above, including ethnic studies, humanities/literature, social studies, and science. Students pursuing most School of Education degree programs may also complete Communication Part B, Quantitative Reasoning Part A, and Quantitative Reasoning Part B through courses required by their degree program. If a student cannot complete a General Education Requirement within the curriculum of their chosen School of Education program, academic advisors can offer suggestions for courses that meet the requirement and augment the student’s primary area of study.

A basic outline of the liberal studies is included below. Students must consult the detailed version of the requirements for information about course selection and approved course options.

Humanities, 9 credits

All students must complete a minimum of 9 credits to include:

  • Literature
  • Fine Arts
  • Humanities Electives

Social Studies (Social Science)

All students must complete a minimum of 9 credits. Teacher certification programs, Athletic Training, and Kinesiology; Exercise and Movement Science have unique requirements in this category.


All students must complete a minimum of 9 credits to include:

  • Biological Science
  • Physical Science
  • Laboratory Science
  • Science Electives

Cultural and Historical Studies

All students must complete three requirements (9 credits) met by separate courses. Any of these courses can also be used to meet the Humanities or Social Studies (Social Sciences) requirements if it has the relevant breadth designation.

  • Ethnic Studies
  • U.S./European History
  • Global Perspectives

Complete Liberal Studies Electives to total 40 Credits.

Program Structure

The bachelor of science (B.S.) degree program in Heath Promotion and Health Equity has three primary components:

  • Liberal studies courses expose students to a broad range of academic disciplines. The university-wide General Education requirements also encourage this breadth of study.
  • Major requirements provide an opportunity to study the interrelated areas of physical health, mental health, and disability.
  • Additional electives to reach the minimum of 120 degree credits. These credits allow students to pursue additional health-related courses, enroll in course work required for admission to graduate-level programs or develop other areas of interest. Health Promotion and Health Equity majors may also use these elective credits to complete an additional major to augment their interest in health or to explore a completely different subject.

Major Requirements

Complete a minimum of 40 credits with a 2.5 gpa across all major course work. At least 15 credits of upper-level major course work (courses numbered 300 and above) must be taken in residence with a minimum 2.5 grade point average.

Required Health Promotion Core, 31 credits

ANAT&PHY 235 Human Physiology and Health4
KINES 150 Foundations of Health Behavior and Health Equity3
KINES 370 Planning, Facilitating & Assessment in Movement and Health Professionals3
KINES 566 Promoting Health in the Community3
RP & SE 316 Health Promotion for Individuals with Disability and Chronic Illness3
RP & SE 325 Self Management of Chronic Illness and Disability3
RP & SE 505 Biological, Psychosocial, and Vocational Aspects of Disabilities3
COUN PSY 237 Mental Health, Self-Awareness, and Social Justice: Working in Diverse Communities3
COUN PSY 531 Prevention and Intervention in Mental Health Across the Lifespan3
COUN PSY 655 Clinical Communication Skills3

Major Electives, 9 Credits

Select courses from one of the following areas of emphasis, or select courses across these areas.

Physical Activity and Public Health
KINES 100 Exercise, Nutrition, and Health2
KINES 123 Living well: Lifestyle Redesign and Health Promotion for College Students2
KINES 353 Health and Physical Education in a Multicultural Society2
KINES/​CURRIC  501 Theory-Based Health Education and Health Promotion Programs3
KINES 547 Skills for Health: Methods and Practicum of Teaching Health3
Chronic Illness, Disability, and Health
RP & SE 100 Disability and Society3
RP & SE 125 Health and Rehabilitation Professions3
RP & SE 310 Positive Psychology and Well Being3
RP & SE 660 Special Topics ((Topic: Substance Abuse))3
Health Equity, Mental Health, and Well-Being
COUN PSY 225 Intersectionalities, Self ­Awareness, and Social Actions for Social Change3
COUN PSY 230 Race and the Developing Child3
COUN PSY/​CHICLA  331 Immigrant Health and Wellbeing3
COUN PSY/​CHICLA  525 Dimensions of Latin@ Mental Health Services3
Social Determinants of Health
MED HIST/​HIST SCI/​POP HLTH  553 International Health and Global Society3
NUTR SCI/​A A E/​AGRONOMY/​INTER-AG  350 World Hunger and Malnutrition3
SOC/​C&E SOC  140 Introduction to Community and Environmental Sociology3
SOC/​C&E SOC  533 Public Health in Rural & Urban Communities3
INTL ST/​A A E  373 Globalization, Poverty and Development3
CSCS 125 Community and Social Change3
CSCS 460 Civil Society and Community Leadership3
HDFS 469 Family and Community Influences on the Young Child3
HDFS 474 Racial Ethnic Families in the U.S.3
Health Sciences
ANAT&PHY 337 Human Anatomy3
NUTR SCI 132 Nutrition Today3
NUTR SCI 332 Human Nutritional Needs3
PSYCH 202 Introduction to Psychology3-4

GPA and Other Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements

These requirements are based on UW–Madison coursework.

  • 2.5 minimum cumulative grade point average. This may be modified by the Last 60 Credits Rule.
  • Cumulative major grade point average: 2.5 cumulative grade point average in all major course work.
  • Upper-level major course work: 2.5 cumulative grade point average in all upper-level (courses numbered 300 and above) major course work.
  • Major Residency: Students must complete at least 15 upper level major credits while enrolled in residence on the UW–Madison campus.
  • Senior Residency. Degree candidates must complete their last 30 credits in residence on the UW–Madison campus, excluding retroactive credits and credits granted by examination.
  • Total Credits: A minimum of 120 credits are required for graduation in the Health Promotion and Health Equity degree program.

 Degree Audit (DARS)

At UW–Madison, a DARS report is used to document a student's progress toward the completion of their degree. This degree audit identifies the requirements that have already been completed, and also those that remain unsatisfied. A DARS report can offer suggestions about appropriate courses that may be taken to meet specific requirements and can assist in the academic planning process. 

Students can access DARS reports through their Student Center in My UW–Madison. Go to the Academics tab and find DARS on the dropdown menu.

DARS also has a "what-if" function. This feature makes it possible to request a DARS report as if pursuing another program or major on campus. It is an excellent tool if considering a new or additional area of study. School of Education students in a pre-professional classification such as Pre-Elementary (PRE) should request a "what if" DARS report of their professional program of interest.

DARS is not intended to replace student contact with academic advisers. It creates more time in an advising appointment to discuss course options, research opportunities, graduate school, or issues of personal interest or concern to students.

DARS is the document of record, i.e., certifying document of degree completion, for program areas in the School of Education.


University Degree Requirements 

Total Degree To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.
Residency Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.
Quality of Work Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.
  1. Recognize concepts and theories related to health promotion and health equity.
  2. Relate the role of social factors in facilitating or hindering health.
  3. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of health behavior and health equity interventions.
  4. Identify links between physiological and psychological health.
  5. Interpret and communicate the interaction between personal and environmental determinants of health and well-being.
  6. Draw from personal and professional identities to develop socially just practices and to lead effectively within their communities of practice.

Health Promotion and Health Equity: Sample Four-Year Plan

This sample four-year sample graduation plan is designed to guide your course selection throughout your academic career; it does not establish a contractual agreement. Use it along with your DARS report and the Course Guide to create a four-year plan reflecting your placement scores, incoming credits, and individual interests. Consult with an academic advisor to develop a personalized plan of study and refer to the Guide for a complete list of requirements. You will likely revise your plan several times during your academic career here, based on your activities and changing academic interests.

Communication A, (take fall or spring semester), 33Communication A, (take fall or spring semester), 33
HPHE Major Elective, 33Quantitative Reasoning A3
Liberal Studies course work9-12COUN PSY 237 (also meets ethnic studies )3
 Liberal Studies course work6-9
 15 15
KINES 1503RP & SE 3163
RP & SE 3253Quantitative Reasoning B3
Liberal Studies course work9Liberal Studies or General Elective course work9
 15 15
KINES 3703KINES 2354
RP & SE 5053HPHE Major Elective3
Communication B3Liberal Studies or General Elective course work8
Liberal Studies or General Elective course work 6 
 15 15
COUN PSY 6553HPHE Major Elective3
Liberal Studies or General Elective course work9Liberal Studies or General Elective course work9
 15 15
Total Credits 120

Note: The HP & HE major requires 9 credits of elective course work. A number of the course options, e.g., RP & SE 100, RP & SE 125; COUN PSY 225, COUN PSY 230; KINES 100, KINES 123; PSYCH 202; NUTR SCI 132, can be taken during the freshmen and sophomore years.   


Health Promotion and Health Equity Advising

Students are collaboratively advised by staff and faculty in the School’s central advising services and in the department.  Students not yet declared in Health Promotion and Health Equity meet with advising staff in Education Academic Services (EAS) and/or the Office of Undergraduate Recruitment and Retention (OURR), see below. Once declared, students are also advised by staff and faculty in the Department of Kinesiology.

General School of Education Advising

All undergraduate students in the School of Education are served by three offices devoted to academic and/or career advising. Each student in the School of Education is assigned at least one advisor and is encouraged to meet with the advisor on a regular basis. Students will also be assigned a faculty or staff advisor when admitted to the professional component of their degree program. Departmental advisors provide more in-depth knowledge of the major and of courses offered by the department.

Undergraduate Advising and Academic Dean's Office—Education Academic Services (EAS)

139 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall; 608-262-1651

Education Academic Services (EAS) is the undergraduate dean's office for students in the School of Education. Staff members interpret school regulations, policies, and program requirements; take exceptions around requirements and deadlines; advise current and prospective students; monitor students having academic difficulties; coordinate field placements; facilitate the program admissions process; and maintain the official files of students in the school.

Students should meet with an advisor during their first semester on campus (if not before) and are encouraged to meet with an advisor at least once a semester. This is particularly important during the freshman and sophomore years. Appointments may be arranged by calling or visiting the office.

EAS advisors answer questions and provide guidance to current and prospective students. They consult with and refer students to faculty members and departmental advisors. Once a student is admitted to a professional program within the School of Education, he or she will also be assigned a faculty or staff advisor. Advising then becomes a partnership, with EAS and OURR advisors continuing to help students with course selection, degree progress monitoring, academic difficulties, and interpretation of policies and procedures.

Program advisors help students select and plan a program of study in the major, negotiate issues within the department, and, in the case of certification programs, follow the students' progress through their professional courses. These divisions are flexible, and students are encouraged to consult with all advisors who can help with a situation or answer a question.

OURR: Office of Undergraduate Recruitment and Retention (Student Diversity Programs)

105 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall, 608-262-8427 or 608-262-1651

The UW–Madison School of Education is committed to promoting equity and increasing diversity in its programs. OURR staff work collaboratively with Education Academic Services and campus and community partners to support underrepresented students interested in majors in the School of Education.

OURR staff perform outreach, recruitment, and advising on behalf of the School. OURR staff also support current students with their personal and professional growth, their transition from high school to college, financial aid, and career exploration.  

OURR works to build a network of students and graduates who may strengthen, transform, and lead their communities through education, service, and other contributions. Students are invited to visit OURR staff at 105 Education Building—stop in, or call one of the numbers listed above to set up an appointment.

School of Education Career Center

L107 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall, 608-262-1755

  • Exploring career options linked to School of Education majors
  • Seeking a major that fits you and helps you reach your career goals
  • Researching graduate schools and preparing application materials
  • Beginning your job search and not sure where to start
  • Want assistance with your résumé, cover letter, or interviewing skills
  • Want to connect with potential employers

The Career Center provides resources and individual consultations to assist you in reaching your career goals.  A plethora of resources can be found on the Career Center website

Explore career possibilities for specific majors in Career Exploration - Resources. This section of the website provides tools for clarifying your personal criteria for success, identifying specific career options linked to majors, identifying steps for career/major selection, and includes strategies for making the most of your academic and student experience.

  • Confirm your decisions. Gain hands-on experience in the career field you are pursuing. Assess the perceptions of your career and major options for accuracy and develop professional and soft skills.  The Career Exploration – Gain Experience and Evaluate website section provides strategies for gaining real-world experience.
  • Prepare to gain entry into the next phase of your career. Learn about graduate school requirements and the application process.  Develop your promotional materials for employers and graduate schools, and obtain feedback and suggestions for enhancing them. Visit the website sections Applying to Graduate School, Creating Application Materials, and Career and Job Link Resources for details.  
  • Implement your plans for your future. Investigate strategies for Conducting a Job Search. Attend Fairs & Events planned especially for you. Apply for graduate school acceptance or for job opportunities.  Practice and polish your Interviewing skills. Negotiate job and graduate school offers.

Personalized career assistance is available through individual appointments with consultants in the Career Center.  Schedule an appointment here.

Targeted career-related events and workshops are conducted each semester. 

The Career Center also coordinates teacher recruitment fairs each fall and spring semester and collaborates with career centers across campus to provide campus-wide career fairs at the beginning of each semester. 


Information about faculty, staff, and other contributors to the Health Promotion and Health Equity major can be found on the departmental websites of Counseling Psychology, Kinesiology, and Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education.

The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) offers a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam. The HPHE program coordinators are currently working with NCHEC to insure that students completing the HPHE major requirements are qualified to take the CHES exam. Students in the HPHE program will be informed when this assurance has been received from NCHEC.

Information about scholarships, academic and career advising, study abroad opportunities, student diversity services, and other resources for students in the School of Education can be found on the school's Resources page.