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Doctor of Health Education Degree Online

Doctor of Health Education Degree Online

Doctor of Health Education Degree Online

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Healthcare Education Degree Online

Effective July 2016, the Doctor of Health Education (DHEd) program is no longer accepting new applicants, as it has transitioned to the Doctor of Education in Health Professions (EdD) program. A.T. Still University (ATSU) also offers the Doctor of Health Sciences program and the Doctor of Health Administration program.

The Doctor of Health Education program is a 78- to 84-credit-hour program that is 100 percent online. It is closely aligned with the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) competencies delineated by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC), the nationally recognized agency for health education credentialing.

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No residency is required to earn the Doctor of Health Education degree, saving travel time and expense. The first two years of the online health education degree program are spent taking core courses and the third year is spent completing the dissertation. In addition to completing all core courses and a dissertation, students in this health education degree program must also present their dissertation study online to their dissertation committee and any ATSU faculty, staff and students who wish to attend. Choose between an applied or theoretical dissertation based on your individual interests and priorities.

Additionally, online health education degree students must take the CHES or MCHES exam and submit their dissertation study to two peer-reviewed journals, providing the opportunity for industry-wide exposure as a published scholar. They select a dissertation mentor from a panel of dedicated and highly accomplished faculty for the most relevant and enriching collaboration. These requirements offer several opportunities to prepare themselves professionally.

DHED graduates excel as leaders, improving community health and wellness in the rapidly expanding field of health education.


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  • Diversity at A.T. Still University
  • University Catalog+

    • University Catalog Program guide

      Read the University Catalog to learn more about the Doctor of Health Education program online and university. Also read detailed course descriptions and dissertation specifications for the doctorate degree in healthcare education and find answers for many of your questions regarding application information and tuition.

  • Career Advancement+

    • Potential advanced career outcomes for graduates who hold the doctor of health education degree include:

      • Professor at a college or university in a multitude of health professions
      • Director of health education department or program
      • Director of community health services
      • Health professions clinical educator

Doctor of Health Education Degree Faculty

The Doctor of Health Education program offers a challenging educational experience that enables intellectual and professional advancement. The ATSU College of Graduate Health Studies (ATSU-CGHS) faculty and staff are dedicated to the success of the health education degree student. Comprehensive student services are available, including advising, tutoring, technical support, and career services.

ATSU-CGHS instructors have diverse academic and professional backgrounds in public health and health education, and all hold doctorate degrees. Their academic areas of interest include community health, health literacy, child and adolescent health, college health, environmental health, rural health, microbiology, epidemiology, parasitology, emerging pathogens and infectious disease, program evaluation, factors affecting health behavior, allied health and health sciences education, professional education of health educators, online learning and innovative teaching methodologies.

  • Dean +

      • Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA,<br />Dean Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA,

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        Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA, is the Dean of the College of Graduate Health Studies (CGHS) at A.T. Still University (ATSU). He also serves as director of public health at ATSU’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH). Dr. Altman has been with ATSU since October 2006.

        Dr. Altman graduated from the University of Texas Dental Branch (DDS) in 1983. He completed his Master of Public Health degree at the University of Texas School of Public Health in 1989 and became Board Certified in Dental Public Health in 1999. Dr. Altman completed his MBA at the University of Phoenix (2002) and a MA in Bioethics from Midwestern University (2004). He graduated with a Doctor in Health Science (DHSc) degree in March 2012 from the Arizona School of Health Sciences at A.T. Still University (ATSU-ASHS) and his EdD from Southern New Hampshire University in March 2016.

        Dr. Altman has worked for The City of Houston, the State of Texas, the State of Arizona, as well as The Principal Financial Group. Dr. Altman’s public health experience includes: serving as President of the Arizona State Board Dental Examiners; serving as President of the Arizona Public Health Association; volunteering with Health Volunteers Overseas (Cambodia and Vietnam); Director of the National Oral Health Leadership Institute; and serving as the Consumer Representative to the Dental Products Panel for the Food and Drug Administration. On May 1, 2012 he was appointed as a Director to The American Board of Dental Public Health and is currently the president.

        Dr. Altman’s research interests are currently centered on public health and higher education. He has published articles in the Journal of Dental Education, Journal of the American Dental Association, Public Health Reports, Special Care in Dentistry, and Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology.

  • Associate Dean +

      • Katherine M. Adler, DHA, FACHE<br />Associate Dean of Academic Success and Assessment Katherine M. Adler, DHA, FACHE
        Associate Dean of Academic Success and Assessment

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        Dr. Adler is the Associate Dean for Assessment and Student Success at the College of Graduate Health Studies (CGHS). She began teaching for the College of Graduate Health Studies in 2006, became the Program Chair for Health Administration in 2009, and became the Associate Dean in 2012.

        Dr. Adler holds a Doctorate in Healthcare Administration and Leadership from the Medical University of South Carolina. She has more than 25 years of varied experience in the not-for-profit health care industry, spending the bulk of her career working at safety-net hospitals in urban Detroit.

        During her tenure in administrative roles, Dr. Adler worked closely with physicians in medicine and surgery, having direct oversight of those departments and subspecialties, and gained extensive knowledge in public health, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, and environmental health sciences. Through her formal training and work, Dr. Adler has a strong background in health services administration as well as public health. She is a patient advocate, understands the plight of the underserved and underinsured, and has worked to incorporate patient-centered care into the curriculum with the understanding that prevention and whole person healthcare are the keys to a healthy community and society.

  • Chair +

      • Erin Breitenbach, PhD<br />Chair Erin Breitenbach, PhD

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        Dr. Erin Breitenbach is Program Chair of the Health Education program at ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies. She holds a BA in Kinesiology (1991), an MA in Health Education (1996), and a PhD (1998) in health education from The University of Texas at Austin. After several years conducting health education research, Dr. Breitenbach spent time managing oncology clinical research before returning to health education as a public health instructor for ATSU.

        Dr. Breitenbach’s research interests include cancer screening in Hispanic women, school nutrition behaviors, and developing collaborative partnerships among institutions of higher learning, state-level organizations, and local school districts to improve comprehensive school health education.

  • Faculty +

      • Larry K. Olsen, DrPH, MCHES Larry K. Olsen, DrPH, MCHES
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      • Colleen Halupa, EdD Colleen Halupa, EdD
        Adjunct Instructor
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      • Donna Allen, PhD, CHES, FAWHP Donna Allen, PhD, CHES, FAWHP
        Associate Professor
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      • Joshua Bernstein PhD, CHES Joshua Bernstein PhD, CHES
        Assistant Professor
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      • Candace Ayars, PhD Candace Ayars, PhD
        Adjunct Instructor
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      • Lynda Konecny, DHEd, MS, MCHES, CGHS Lynda Konecny, DHEd, MS, MCHES, CGHS
        Associate Professor
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      • Meg Sheppard, PhD, CHES Meg Sheppard, PhD, CHES
        Assistant Professor
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Doctor of Health Education Degree Admissions

Effective July 2016, the Doctor of Health Education (DHEd) program is no longer accepting new applicants, as it has transitioned to the Doctor of Education in Health Professions (EdD) program.

  • Requirements +

      1. Application:
        • Completed and signed admissions application along with a nonrefundable application fee.

      2. Academic:

        • An accredited degree from a university recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (bachelor’s degree for masters programs and a master’s degree for doctoral programs). Applicants who graduated from a university outside the United States may have to provide a degree equivalency evaluation.*
        • Official transcript from the qualifying degree-granting institution. For students using VA benefits transcripts for all institutions attended are required.
        • Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) at the qualifying degree institution.
        • Some degree programs may require experience or credentialing relevant to the field.

      3. Elements of Success:

        • A current resume.
        • Completion of an essay.
        • English Proficiency **
        • Meet technology requirements.***

      *Applicants who have graduated from a foreign college or university should submit acceptable evidence of U.S. degree/course equivalency. All course work taken at the foreign institution must be evaluated for American institution equivalence by one of the following services:

      **Applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Studies. Written and spoken proficiency in the English language may be demonstrated by one of the following options:

      • Option 1 - English is your first language.
      • Option 2 - Graduated from a regionally accredited four year college/university in the United States with a BA/BS or graduate degree.
      • Option 3 - You are demonstrating your English proficiency by submitting acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

      Acceptable minimal scores for CGHS applications are:
      The Computer Based Test (CBT), Internet Based Test (iBT), or the Paper Based Test (PBT) are accepted. The following are the minimum required score based on test type:

      • CBT - minimum total score of 213 Minimum of 22/Reading Skills section | Minimum of 26/Writing Skills section
      • iBT - minimum total score of 80 Minimum of 22/Reading Skills section | Minimum of 24/Writing Skills section
      • PBT - minimum total score of 550 Minimum of 57/Reading Skills section | Minimum of 61/Writing Skills section

      The TOEFL is administered by TOEFL/TSE Services, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ, 08541-6151, USA 609. 771.7100. A.T. Still University’s institutional code is 0339. Please be sure to include this information when you submit your application packet. TOEFL Educational Testing Services P.O. Box 6151 Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, 609.771.7100
      ***ATSU technology requirements

The Family and Culture

Professor engaging and teaching Doctor of Health Education students. Image of three smiling new ATSU graduates in their white coats Image of two ATSU students with unidentified woman in ATSU clinic. Image of xray tech demonstrating machine to ATSU students Image of ATSU audiology professor demonstrating proper patient ear exam to ATSU audiology students Image of ATSU kinesiology professor demonstrating ankle supination for kinesiology student Image of ATSU student doctor talking to a little boy patient who is holding a Teddy Bear. Image of ASDOH student training on dental model Image of ATSU athletic trainer examining fellow student patient


  • Blackboard Demo Course +

    • An iPad logging into ATSU's app with an open book displayed in the backgroundATSU has set up a demo course of our Blackboard
      Learning Management System for interested students.

      Please go to our guest demo site, and login with:

      Username: DHEdemo
      Password: cghsguest

      Connect Now

Doctor of Health Education Curriculum Overview

ATSU’s Doctor of Health Education program empowers students with the most updated curriculum designed for relevance and immediate impact in the industry. The curriculum complements ATSU’s mission of encouraging its constituencies to become leaders in improving community health and wellness with a comprehensive appreciation of the whole individual while helping to create the best health educators in the world.

Health education degree courses are conducted through virtual teaching methods, such as web-based instruction, video demonstrations, directed readings, and e-mail and online discussions with faculty. Curriculum design is mission-driven and context-based, and student learning is monitored through authentic embedded assessments.

About the DHEd Program & Doctoral Research Project (DRP)

  • Career options for DHEd graduates may include:
    • Professor at a college or university in a multitude of health professions
    • Director of health education department or program
    • Director of community health services
    • Health professions clinical educator

  • A student’s doctoral research project (DRP) trains students in the application of research to professional
    practice. The DRP consists of five courses taken after the completion of the core courses.

  • The DHEd program of study is 2 ½ years in length. The first 1 ¼ years in the program is spent taking core courses, followed by another 1 ¼ years taking the DRP series of courses. A total of 10 core courses and five DRP courses are taken. The maximum allowable time to complete the program is seven years.

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions, course durations, and related information are subject to change. All courses are three credit hours, unless otherwise specified.

*Students take either Finance and Budgeting (focused on institutions of higher education) or Healthcare Economics and Financial Managemen(focused on healthcare organizations), depending on their area of interest.

  • Transformative Leadership and Ethics+

    • Students will be provided an introduction to the organization and governance of health care organizations, colleges, and universities. Faculty, academic and administrative contexts, and organizational cultures within which students may be employed will be explored. Topics discussed include organizational theory, employee evaluation, ethics, institutional effectiveness, and accreditation.

  • Cultural Competence and Multicultural Education+

    • Students examine the influence of diversity, culture, ethnic origin, and societal change on educational and health care institutions. Students will learn how to teach and lead in the continuously changing global environment. Students explore how language, gender, race, tradition, education, economic structure, societal transitions, and global events affect how educational and organizational philosophies are developed. In addition, this course will concentrate on multicultural teaching and learning.

  • Technology and Educational Transformation+

    • Students will examine how technology has transformed health care and educational environments. Topics include how to integrate technology into instructional design and how to evaluate the effectiveness of technology. Copyright, fair use, and the Teach Act will be discussed, and students will have the opportunity to experiment with some of the latest technology tools.

  • Finance and Budgeting*+

    • Students will examine financial concepts and theories that influence the budgets of higher education institutions. Topics include potential revenue sources, budgeting techniques, effect of legislative action on budgets of higher education institutions, cost sharing concepts, reallocations concepts, and downsizing.

  • Healthcare Economics and Financial Management*+

    • Students will use key financial and economic principles to examine executive level decisions relative to capitalization, credit ratings, debt capacity, alternate funding sources, business plan development, and overall organizational finance strategy. The concepts will be considered from both non-profit and for-profit healthcare organizational perspectives.

  • Quantitative Research+

    • Students will be provided with an overview of the types of quantitative designs and statistical techniques. Students will learn about descriptive statistics; sampling techniques; statistical inference including the null hypothesis, significance tests, and confidence intervals; and causal-comparative analyses, including t-test and ANOVA. Students will be required to do hands-on activities, and interpretation of data will be emphasized.

  • Innovative Teaching Strategies in the Health Professions+

    • Students will learn about traditional and emerging learning theories in pedagogy and andragogy. Topics discussed include student-centered learning, heutagogy, Pedagogy 2.0 and 3.0, problem-based learning, and transformative learning. Emphasis will be placed on teaching and learning in the face-to-face, hybrid, and online learning environments.​

  • Qualitative Research+

    • Students will develop a theoretical framework for qualitative research. Topics include how to conduct various types of qualitative research projects through interviews, observations, and open-ended data, as well as how to analyze and report results. Students will conduct, analyze, and report qualitative data.

  • Doctoral Research Project+

    • Proposal Preparation for DRP 5 credits

      Literature Review for DRP 5 credits

      Research Design for DRP 5 credits

      Data Analysis for DRP 5 credits

      Publication of DRP 5 credits

      The Doctoral Research Project (DRP) consists of five 5-hour courses that develop a research project from the stages of proposal to dissemination. The research project is a research based effort in an area chosen by the student. The goal of the DRP is to advance practical knowledge in health professions education based on research and analysis. Each student will be assigned a faculty member to approve the project and provide mentorship and supervision throughout the process.

  • Instructional Design and Program Planning+

    • Students will examine the use of a systematic process-based on learning theory to plan, design, and implement effective instruction for health professions education. Students will use educational taxonomies for the creation of instructional objectives for traditional and competency-based programs, and they will learn techniques for mapping curriculum.

  • Student Assessment+

    • Students will learn how to create authentic assessments within a health curriculum. Best practices in assessment will be discussed, and students will create problem-based, competency-based, and transformative assessments that provide them with critical thinking and career-specific skills to facilitate training and education in the workplace.

  • Educational Program Evaluation+

    • Students will be introduced to educational program assessment and evaluation. Topics include meeting health programmatic accreditation requirements, creating academic institutional effectiveness plans, program creation and revision, curricular evaluation, and strategic program assessment at the college and university level. Other topics discussed include evaluating certification and licensure pass rates, retention and attrition statistics, and integrating advisory board guidance into educational programs.

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