Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies

Medical and Healthcare Programs

Medical and Healthcare Programs

Health Coaching

Program Description

The Certificate in Health Coaching teaches individuals how to guide clients toward achieving positive health choices through behavior change. This program will help individuals cultivate effective and integrative coaching skills while learning to foster a supportive environment for transformation. The Certificate in Health Coaching combines a strong coaching emphasis along with competencies in mindfulness, motivational interviewing, nutrition, and chronic health conditions.

At Georgetown University our belief in holistic education is at the heart of the program. As evident by the Jesuit value of cura personalis (care for the whole person), we seek to prepare health coaches trained at addressing the mind, body, and spirit. Our students matriculate with the knowledge, skills, and values imperative to achieving holistic health and wellness.

Focused on developing a well-rounded wellness approach, students engage in mindfulness activities, individual and group coaching, and investigation into health and wellness topics. As part of this growth, students also actively participate in self-reflection, community health events, and a supervised practicum to increase awareness and competency as a coach.

The final key component of the curriculum is the Health Coaching Approach. This is an individualized integrative coaching style that students develop and later implement as a professional health coach. The combination of in-class inquiry and reflection as well as the multiple opportunities to practice coaching techniques provide a platform for students to formulate a Health Coaching Approach.

Upon completion of this certificate, individuals will leave with a breadth of knowledge and skills spanning a variety of subject matter areas, from nutrition and chronic illnesses, to motivational interviewing, to establishing a health coaching business. Individuals who desire the opportunity to create a supportive and interactive coach-client partnership toward positive and healthy behavior change are encouraged to apply.

Program Objectives

Upon completion of the Certificate in Health Coaching, participants will be able to:

  • Demonstrate skills in mindfulness, motivational interviewing, and behavior change 
  • Apply key components of nutrition and chronic health conditions to coaching
  • Conduct one-on-one or group coaching sessions toward positive and healthy behavior change
  • Develop an individualized Health Coaching Approach 
  • Establish a private health coaching practice

Course Sequence

Designed For

  • Healthcare and wellness professionals seeking a career transition or advancement
  • Health administration or health allied professionals interested in learning about the health coaching role, as well as a desire to expand their own skill set and role within health, wellness, and/or preventive care
  • Individuals seeking to join the healthcare and wellness fields as a health coach

Program Format

The Certificate in Health Coaching is a cohort-based program combining traditional classroom learning with interactive experiential methodology. Over the 5-month program students will complete a total of 128 program hours (88 hours of instruction and 40 practicum hours). The program offers a personal and transformative learning environment for students to gain a deep understanding of the material, as well as understanding the path of coaching a client towards positive behavior change.

Each course will feature readings and online exercises as preparation for class meetings, which are designed to then discuss and apply the course content.Practical application includes engagement in community meetings, group coaching sessions, and a 40-hour practicum. The program coaching advisors supervise the practicum experience. Although students will be provided with guidance by the coaching advisors and program faculty, it is ultimately the responsibility of the student to secure their practicum. Participants may begin the practicum after the third course. It is recommended that a participant spread out the 40 hours in order to maximize the opportunity for application. All 40 hours must be completed by February 1 for the Fall term and July 1 for the Spring term.

Due to the experiential nature of the program, attendance is required for every class meeting and online session, as well as successful completion of all assignments. Courses must also be taken in the outlined sequence over one term. To enroll, students must complete an application and be accepted. Courses are not available for independent enrollment.

Program Schedule

Each course meets on a Wednesday/Thursday to Friday from 8:30 am-5:30 pm. There are two courses in the first month and then one per month following.

Course Name Day Fall "14 Dates Spring ’15 Dates Time
Health Coaching Fundamentals Thursday
Sept 11, 12 Feb 12, 13 8:30 AM-
5:30 PM
Psychology of Behavior Change Thursday
Sept 25, 26 Feb 26, 27 8:30 AM-
5:30 PM
Health Coaching Skills I Thursday
Oct 16, 17 Mar 19, 20 8:30 AM-
5:30 PM
Health Coaching Skills II
Wednesday Thursday
Nov 12, 13, 14 Apr 8, 9, 10 8:30 AM-
5:30 PM
The Business of Health Coaching Thursday
Dec 11, 12 May 7, 8  8:30 AM-
5:30 PM

Minimum Required:  6.0  Courses
    XMED-520   Health Coaching Fundamentals
    XMED-521   Psychology of Behavior Change
    XMED-522   Health Coaching Skills I
    XMED-523   Health Coaching Skills II
    XMED-524   The Business of Health Coaching
    XMED-525   Health Coaching Practicum