Graduate Certificate in Lifestyle Health

Dr. Fain

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 they need 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)
  • The program is offered once a year, beginning August (fall semester) with a completion date in May (spring semester)


Lifestyle Health I: LHLT 5000  (3 SCH FALL)

The first course introduces students to the relationship between lifestyle and health, specifically the role of lifestyle interventions in the management of chronic diseases. Students will identify and assess key psychosocial factors that influence behavior and ability to adopt health-promoting lifestyle habits. The final portion of the course will examine nutrition research with regards to prevention and management of diseases and offers practical dietary solutions to promote optimal health.  Throughout the program, the focus will be on providing evidence-based information and resources that can be used in a patient centered healthcare practice.

Lifestyle Health II: LHLT 5001  (3 SCH SPRING)

The second course will examine key lifestyle variables that influence health including physical activity, smoking, sleep, and stress.  Specific attention will be given to effective, research-based strategies for engaging patients/clients in positive behaviors such as regular physical activity, stress management, smoking cessation and cessation maintenance. Students will examine the role of sleep disturbances on health and identify the distinct physical consequences of acute versus chronic stress. The certificate program will conclude in a capstone experience designed to integrate the information and skills gained from Lifestyle Health I and II and apply knowledge to a real world, case based scenario.


Claire Peel, PhD, PT, FAPTA (

Harold Fain, MD, MPH (

Haylie Miller, Ph.D.  (

Debbie Gillespie, MS, RDN, LD (

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

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 Spring 2016 for 2016-2017 cohort)
  • Non-refundable Application Fee (submitted via application online payment system or check/money order made payable to UNTHSC)
  • Official transcript from highest degree earned

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

Debbie Gillespie MS, RDN/LD at 817-735-7638 or

This page was last modified on April 3, 2016