Graduate Certificate in Lifestyle Health


What is Lifestyle Health?

A large body of scientific literature supports a strong relationship between lifestyle habits and health. It is estimated that seventy to eighty percent of chronic disease conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension, obesity, arthritis and some types of cancer can be directly attributable to lifestyle behaviors. Evidence reveals that optimal management and prevention of these chronic conditions incorporates dietary, exercise, stress management, and smoking cessation interventions. Therefore, healthcare professionals are in a critical position to positively influence the health of their patients/clients by serving as role models and providing practical guidance for healthy lifestyle choices.

Program Objective:

The program is designed to provide current and future healthcare professionals with the information and tools needed to incorporate evidence-based, lifestyle interventions into their practice for the management and prevention of chronic diseases.

Graduates will be prepared to:

  • Explain  the role of lifestyle behaviors in the management and prevention of chronic diseases
  • Address the current disparities in healthcare when it comes to utilizing lifestyle interventions
  • Confidently assess and address psychosocial factors that influence behavior
  • Provide practical recommendations and strategies for meeting physical activity goals
  • Translate nutrition research and guidelines into practical information for making appropriate dietary choices
  • Employ effective strategies for engaging patients/clients in positive lifestyle behaviors
  • Utilize tools and resources provided and developed throughout the program in case study, application scenarios and their own practice
  • Integrate appropriate, evidence-based, lifestyle interventions into patient centered healthcare


  • Online, interactive learning experience developed by a interprofessional team for a working healthcare practitioner or student in a health related discipline.
  • Complete the certificate in two, three credit hour courses  (6 SCH)
  • Access to Graduate Certificate in Lifestyle Health clinical course companion App (Apple or Android)
  • The program is offered once a year, beginning August (fall semester) with a completion date in May (spring semester)
  • AOA/ACCME/AMA Accreditation  available through UNTHSC INCEDO (PACE)  [LHLT5000:30 hr CME/LHLT5001: 30 hr CME]  inquire for additional fees in advance of course enrollment.


Lifestyle Health I: LHLT 5000 (Fall: 3 SCH) The first course will provide an introduction to lifestyle medicine; an overview of psychosocial factors that influence behavior; and a review of nutrition research and dietary factors that impact health. Students will explore psychosocial factors that contribute to an individual’s ability to adopt health-promoting lifestyle habits and review strategies and assessment tools to efficiently enhance behavior change. The nutrition unit will examine the significant role of dietary habits on chronic disease risk and provide solutions for translating nutrition research into practical dietary recommendations. Emphasis will be placed on integrating and applying concepts throughout the program to self-care and case study assignments as well as building tools that can be used in practice.

Lifestyle Health II: LHLT 5001 (Spring: 3 SCH) The second course focuses on key lifestyle variables that influence health and chronic disease risk including physical activity, smoking, sleep, and stress.  Specific attention will be given to research on effective strategies for engaging patients/clients in regular physical activity for various chronic disease states; smoking cessation and cessation maintenance; identifying and addressing sleep disorders; and understanding the related but distinct consequences of acute versus chronic stress. Throughout the program, guidance on interprofessional practice/referrals and assimilation of lifestyle medicine competencies into practice will be reviewed. The certificate program will culminate in a Simulated Patient Capstone experience that focuses on applying knowledge, skills and tools from Lifestyle Health I and II to assess, address and provide solutions to optimize the patient’s lifestyle behaviors for the prevention and management of chronic disease.



Claire Peel, PhD, PT, FAPTA (

Haylie Miller, Ph.D.  (

Debbie Gillespie, MS, RDN, LD (

Eric Arguello, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, CSCS  (

Jennifer Singh, MD (


Myla Quiben, PT, PhD, DPT, GCS, NCS, CEEAA (

Harold Fain, MD, MPH (


Admissions Requirements

The applicant must hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution AND be a healthcare practitioner OR student in a health related discipline.

To be considered for admission, the applicant must submit the following official credentials to the School of Health Professions, Office of the Dean.



  • Complete Application  (available April 1, 2018 for 2018-2019 cohort)
  • Official transcript from highest degree earned
  • Non-refundable $40 Application Fee (submitted via application online payment system)
    • UNTHSC employees and current students are eligible for application fee waiver
  • Applications for 2018-2019 cohort  accepted until AUGUST 1, 2018  OR until cohort is filled.

Mailing Address:
UNT Health Science Center
School of Health Professions
Office of the Dean, LIB 218C
3500 Camp Bowie Boulevard
Fort Worth, TX 76107


Program Fees
LHLT5000:  $750
LHLT5001:  $750
Application Fee: $40
TOTAL PROGRAM:     $1540

Current UNTHSC students- please contact Program Director for Adjusted Fee schedule

Program Director:
Debbie Gillespie MS, RDN, LD   817-735-7638 or

This page was last modified on July 9, 2018