Medical and Healthcare Programs

Certificate in Health Coaching

The application deadline for Fall 2016 cohort of the Certificate in Health Coaching is August 1. Early application is strongly encouraged.

Program Description

The Certificate in Health Coaching program is a collaboration between the Georgetown University Medical Center and the Institute for Transformational Leadership at the School of Continuing Studies. The program teaches professionals how to guide patients and clients toward achieving positive health choices through behavior change. The Certificate in Health Coaching program will help professionals cultivate effective and integrative coaching skills while learning to foster a supportive environment for transformation. The program prepares students to be health coaches and covers wellness-oriented coaching, the psychology of behavior change in a health context, and the fundamentals of chronic disease.

The program is distinct in that it adopts a holistic approach to health coaching based on Georgetown University's core value of cura personalis, or Care of the Person, which calls on health practitioners to address the whole person - mind, body, and spirit - of those they care for. The program trains health coaches to support the individualized needs of each patient or client with the knowledge, skills, and values imperative to achieving holistic health and wellness. Students examine health and wellness topics, engage in mindfulness activities, practice individual and group coaching, incorporate self-reflection into their practice, and achieve competency through a supervised practicum.

Upon completion of the program, students will gain a breadth of knowledge and skills spanning a variety of domains needed to establish a health coaching business or career. More importantly, program graduates will craft their own approach and style as a health coach that is consistent with the values of cura personalis and adaptable to the needs of each patient or client. Individuals who desire the opportunity to create a supportive and interactive coach-client partnership toward positive and constructive behavior change are encouraged to apply.

Industry Accreditation

The National Consortium for Credentialing Health & Wellness Coaches (NCCHWC) has qualified the Georgetown University Health Coaching program as an Approved Transition Program per the NCCHWC’s professional standards.

Program Objectives

Upon completion of the program, participants will be able to:

  • Demonstrate skills in mindfulness, motivational interviewing, and facilitating behavior change
  • Conduct one-on-one and group coaching sessions toward positive and healthy behavior change
  • Develop an individualized health coaching approach
  • Understand the business elements of a health coaching practice

Designed For

  • Health and wellness professionals seeking a career transition or advancement
  • Allied health professionals interested in learning about the health coaching role and/or expanding their own skill set and role within health, wellness, or preventive care
  • Individuals seeking to join the health 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. Students complete six (6) courses for a total of 127.5 contact hours (97.5 classroom hours and 30 practicum hours) over a six-month period. 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 include preparatory readings and activities. This material will be discussed and applied in the classroom setting through interactive exercises and individual and group coaching practice. Throughout the program students will apply their knowledge and skills in a 30-hour practicum. The students are responsible for securing their volunteer clients for the practicum, with support and guidance from the program faculty. Students begin the coaching sessions following the second course.

Due to the experiential nature of the program, attendance is required for every class meeting and any online sessions, 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.

Certificate Requirements

To receive the Certificate in Health Coaching from Georgetown University, students must successfully complete all six (6) required courses including the 30-hour practicum for a total of 12.75 Continuing Education Units (CEUs), or 127.5 contact hours. The program must be completed in sequence as a cohort over the six-month duration of the program. Criteria for completion include a summary of the practicum, an ethics exam, and receive a “pass” rating on the final coaching session recording. 

  Course Name Course Type CEUs
1 Psychology of Behavior Change Required 2.25
2 Health Coaching Fundamentals Required 1.50
3 Health Coaching Skills I Required 2.25
4 Health Coaching Skills II Required 1.50
5 The Business of Health Coaching Required 2.25
6 Health Coaching Practicum Required 3.00
Total 6 Required Courses   12.75

Courses must be completed in sequence. See below for course schedules and application information.

Program Faculty

The faculty who teach in the Certificate in Health Coaching program include faculty from the Georgetown University Medical Center as well as practicing health coaches and experts in the healthcare and wellness profession with a passion for teaching and shaping professionals for the field. 

Program Materials

Reading assignments will be outlined within the course syllabi on Blackboard for registered students. All books are available through major booksellers and online retailers.

Required Reading

  • Arloski, M., Wellness Coaching for Lasting Lifestyle Change, 2nd ed, 2009
  • Moore, M. and Tschannen-Moran, B., Coaching Psychology Manual (Wellcoaches), 2010
  • Whitworth, L, Kimsey-House, L., Sandahl, P. Co-Active Coaching: New skills for Coaching People Toward Success in Work and Life, 2nd edition. 2013
  • Miller, W. R. and Rollnick, S., Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change, 3rd ed, 2013
  • Silsbee, D., The Mindful Coach: Seven Roles for Facilitating Leader Development, 2010.
  • Hanh, T. N., Peace is Every Step, 1992.
  • Prochaska, J. O., Norcross, J., DiClemente, C., Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program for Overcoming Bad Habits and Moving Your Life Positively Forward, 2007.
  • Emerald, D., The Power of TED, 2nd ed, 2013.

Program Tuition

Program tuition for the Certificate in Health Coaching program is $6,995.00. Tuition is due at time of registration. A payment plan that allows participants to pay in installments over the duration of the program is available from the Office of Student Accounts. Withdrawals and refunds are subject to the Withdrawal and Refund policy.

Tuition Payment Considerations

While non-credit professional certificate programs do not qualify for federal financial aid, prospective students should consider the following for tuition payment:

  • Seek employer funding or reimbursement
  • Enroll in our interest-free payment plan
  • Apply for a private education loan

Admissions Process

The Health Coaching certificate program has a selective admissions process. For each cohort, an application review committee offers admission to a diverse group of students to enrich the classroom experience.

Applications must be submitted online through the application portal. During the application process, students are responsible for tracking the status of reference letters and required application materials. Students will be notified of their admission decision via e-mail within 6 to 8 weeks after the application deadline. Please ensure that your e-mail provider is configured to accept e-mail from the domain.

Admissions Requirements

For each cohort, an application review committee offers admission to a select and diverse group of students to enrich the classroom experience. In order to ensure that there is a baseline of knowledge and experience of students in the cohort, applicants must meet at least two of following pre-requisites:

  • A bachelors degree from an accredited institution
  • Completion of a degree or licensure in a related field (i.e. nursing, social work, psychology, counseling, nutrition, personal training/fitness)
  • Completion of a related educational program and/or training program (i.e. patient navigation, leadership coaching)
  • A minimum of one year of employment in a related field (i.e. home health care, social work, social services support, fitness, nutrition, allied health). On a case-by-case basis, volunteer experience in a related field will also be considered as an alternative to the employment pre-requisite.

Applicants must also be open to feedback, capable of self-examination, and willing to challenge their own beliefs.

Only complete applications will be considered. To apply to the program, prospective students must:

  • Complete the online application form and pay the non-refundable application fee (upon submission)
  • Upload a current resume (no more than two pages)
  • Upload responses to short essay questions
  • Provide one letter of recommendation from a professional reference

The application deadline for Fall 2016 cohort of the Certificate in Health Coaching is August 1. Early application is strongly encouraged.

International Students

A TOEFL examination for non-native speakers of English is not required but students are expected to read, write and comprehend English at the graduate level to fully participate in and gain from the program. Please note that non-credit professional certificate programs are classified as part-time education programs. As a result, Georgetown University cannot sponsor international students for student visa (F-1) to enroll in certificate programs. However, prospective international students who enter the U.S. on a valid visa are eligible to enroll in courses. For more about travel visas, please see the section on international students under Frequently Asked Questions.

More Information

For more information or to speak with a program advisor, please send an email to or call 202.687.7000. Interested students are also encouraged to RSVP for an upcoming information session.


Health Coaching Fundamentals
Health Coaching Practicum
Health Coaching Skills I
Health Coaching Skills II
Psychology of Behavior Change
The Business of Health Coaching

Course Schedule

Course Name Semester and Section
Required  Summer 2016Fall 2016
Health Coaching Practicum Enrollment closed
Section 01
Apr 05, 2016 to Sep 01, 2016

Not currently scheduled
Section 01
Sep 30, 2016 to Mar 01, 2017

Required Summer 2016Fall 2016
Psychology of Behavior Change Enrollment closed Not currently scheduled
Section 01
Wed/Thu/Fri, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sep 14, 2016 to Sep 16, 2016
640 Mass Ave.

Required Summer 2016Fall 2016
Health Coaching Fundamentals Enrollment closed Not currently scheduled
Section 01
Thu/Fri, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Oct 13, 2016 to Oct 14, 2016
640 Mass Ave.

Required Summer 2016Fall 2016
Health Coaching Skills I Enrollment closed Not currently scheduled
Section 01
Wed/Thu/Fri, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Nov 09, 2016 to Nov 11, 2016
640 Mass Ave.

Required Summer 2016Fall 2016
Health Coaching Skills II Enrollment closed Not currently scheduled
Section 01
Thu/Fri, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Dec 08, 2016 to Dec 09, 2016
640 Mass Ave.

Required Summer 2016Fall 2016
The Business of Health Coaching Enrollment closed Not currently scheduled
Section 01
Wed/Thu/Fri, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Jan 04, 2017 to Jan 06, 2017
640 Mass Ave.