Medical and Healthcare Programs

Certificate in Health Coaching

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 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 combines a strong coaching emphasis along with competencies in mindfulness, motivational interviewing, physical activity, stress management and chronic health conditions.

The program also incorporates a holistic approach through Georgetown's core value of cura personalis (care of the whole person). We seek to prepare health coaches trained at addressing the mind, body, and spirit with the knowledge, skills, and values imperative to achieving holistic health and wellness. Students engage in mindfulness activities, individual and group coaching, investigation into health and wellness topics, self-reflection, community health events, and a supervised practicum to increase awareness and competency as a coach.

Upon completion of the program, students will leave with a breadth of knowledge and skills spanning a variety of subject areas needed 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 program, participants will be able to:

  • Demonstrate skills in mindfulness, motivational interviewing, and behavior change
  • Conduct one-on-one and group coaching sessions toward positive and healthy behavior change
  • Develop an individualized Health Coaching Approach
  • Establish a private 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.

  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 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 making contributions to 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

Optional Supplemental Reading

  • 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)

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

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 complete the Request More Information Form, 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  Fall 2015
Psychology of Behavior Change Not currently scheduled
Section 01
Wed/Thu/Fri, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sep 30, 2015 to Oct 02, 2015
640 Mass Ave. , C125

Required Fall 2015
Health Coaching Practicum Not currently scheduled
Section 01
Sep 30, 2015 to Mar 01, 2016

Required Fall 2015
Health Coaching Fundamentals Not currently scheduled
Section 01
Thu/Fri, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Oct 15, 2015 to Oct 16, 2015
640 Mass Ave. , C126

Required Fall 2015
Health Coaching Skills I Not currently scheduled
Section 01
Wed/Thu/Fri, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Nov 11, 2015 to Nov 13, 2015
640 Mass Ave. , C126

Required Fall 2015
Health Coaching Skills II Not currently scheduled
Section 01
Thu/Fri, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Dec 10, 2015 to Dec 11, 2015
640 Mass Ave. , C126

Required Fall 2015
The Business of Health Coaching Not currently scheduled
Section 01
Wed/Thu/Fri, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Jan 06, 2016 to Jan 08, 2016
640 Mass Ave. , C126