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Health Coach Certificate

Program Update

Emory Continuing Education is currently an approved transition program through the NBHWC (National Board of Health and Wellness Coaching), and the course information on this page reflects that status.

ECE is completing curriculum revisions in order to gain full NBHWC approval beyond the transition phase. We now expect to launch the next program in early 2021.

Additional updates will be posted as necessary, and we will contact those who have already submitted applications.

We do thank you in advance for your patience as we continue to develop and build the new Health Coach certificate program.

If you wish to receive an email notification once dates for the next section are finalized, please complete the form on this page

Emory Continuing Education’s 16-week Health Coach Certificate Program – approved as a transition program by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) -- combines self-paced learning (online/live and recorded classes) with independent and mentored coaching practice.

Health coaching is client-centered, and our students follow a powerful coaching process while employing motivational interviewing skills – including active listening and coaching theory to facilitate behavior change – in order to help clients make the necessary adjustments to achieve desired health goals.

Curriculum includes health-related topics covered by experts in diabetes, cancer survivorship, older adults, heart health, exercise and movement, healthy eating, mental health, pain, and work-life balance.

Summer 2019 Health Coach students


Fall 2019 Health Coach students


Program Objectives

After successfully completing this program, students will be able to:

  • Define the role of a health coach including common strengths and weaknesses that impact effectiveness.
  • Describe American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) exercise and movement guidelines.
  • Evaluate health coaching as a business including an overview of the field and appropriate scope of practice.
  • Practice coaching skills in group settings including open ended questions, reflection, active listening, goal setting, and action planning.
  • Apply the stages of change and foundations of MBSR techniques in coaching situations.
  • Understand evidence-based complimentary care and making appropriate referrals.
  • Construct communication techniques designed to enhance motivation and facilitate behavior change in clients.
  • Discuss health issues related to the digestive and endocrine systems, cardiology, and the health effects of pain.
  • Practice coaching techniques with focus on structure and planning.
  • Explore strategies to assist clients with creating successful action plans and overcoming obstacles.


This program is open only to students who have already completed a bachelor's degree (or verified foreign equivalent) or higher. There are specific exceptions for those with associate degrees and requisite experience and training. 

Certificate Requirements

The certificate consists of one full weekend of classes in Atlanta, followed by 16 weeks of live and self-paced online instruction and study, and concluding with another full weekend of courses in Atlanta. Health coach practitioners may utilize video and phone in addition to one-on-one and group meetings.

To receive the certificate, students must:

  • Attend the opening and closing weekends in Atlanta
  • Fully participate in weekly coaching practice
  • Complete all recorded classes and reading assignments (with possible make-up work for scheduling conflicts)
  • Receive a passing score of 75% or higher on the oral exam

Students can expect to spend a minimum of six hours each week on classwork, including:

  • 90-minute live classes online (via AdobeConnect)
  • 90-minutes of coaching practice with classmates (including mentored sessions with ECE faculty)
  • 60-minute self-paced pre-recorded classes followed by short quizzes
  • Regular reading assignments accompanied by written reflections

Application Instructions

Please follow the instructions below to apply to the Health Coach Certificate program.

  1. Create an ECE student account.
  2. Submit your application and pay the application fee ($25) online. Please note that a bachelor's degree is required to be admitted to the Health Coach program.
  3. After submitting your application, please request your transcripts be sent to us so we can verify that you have previously earned a bachelor's degree.
    • Digital transcripts: If offered by your school, please request a digital copy of your transcripts be sent to 
    • Paper transcripts: If digital transcripts are not an option, please have your school mail an official copy of your transcripts to:

      Brent Buckley
      Emory Continuing Education
      2635 Century Pkwy NE
      Suite 300
      Atlanta, GA 30345
  4. You will be notified regarding the status of your application after we receive your transcripts. If your application is approved, you will receive the acceptance email with next steps for enrolling in the program and course registration.

Payment Options and Deposit

If you are accepted into the Health Coach Certificate program, you can utilize a deposit option when registering for the course. You must follow these instructions to register with a deposit.

  1. Log into your ECE student account, hover over Academics, and select My Programs.
  2. Click on Health Coach Certificate and scroll to Upcoming Courses.
  3. Click on the shopping cart icon with a green arrow next to the course for which you wish to register.
  4. When you're ready, click the shopping cart icon in the top right of the screen to proceed to checkout.


A deposit of $1,800 is required to register for the Health Coach Certificate course. The remaining balance will be due forty-five (45) days after the course start date. 

If you are registering with a discount, the discount will be reflected on your second payment. You must still put down $1,800 to secure your spot.

If full payment for a course is not received forty-five (45) days after the course start date, you will be dropped from the course, removed from the roster, and dropped from the Canvas site.

Payment Options

The easiest way to pay for courses with Emory Continuing Education is using any major credit card including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover.


Certification / NBHWC

Every health coaching program maintains a unique style, and ECE encourages you to research the best possible fit. You may want to consider the following questions:

  • Has the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC)* approved the program?
  • Will you learn coaching skills via live instruction and practice -- or simply textbooks?
  • Does the program feature a client-centered approach?
  • Who will mentor you throughout the program: paid professionals or volunteers?
  • Will the curriculum cover motivational interviewing, positive psychology, action planning, and SMART goals?

*The NBHWC collaborated with the National Board of Medical Examiners to create the first national credentialing exam specifically for health coaches. To meet the eligibility requirements for the exam, students must successfully complete an NBHWC-approved transition program. Passing the exam earns the title of National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC).

Emory’s Health Coach Certificate program exceeds NBHWC transition phase requirements and standards. Examples include:

Educational Training Hours3075.0
Oral Exams
(Practical Skills Assessment)
Weekly Small-Group Coaching Practice
(Constructive Skill-Building)
not requiredincluded
'Business of Coaching' Classes
not requiredincluded

National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching

This program is an NBHWC-Approved Transition Program. Successful graduates meet the eligibility requirements (for the Transition Phase) to sit for the HWC Certifying Examination required for health & wellness coaches to become National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coaches (NBC-HWC).

Who Will Benefit?

The following types of students will benefit from this program:
  • People dedicated to helping both themselves as well as others lead a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle
  • Individuals interested in learning more about best practices and techniques for managing a variety of health issues and behaviors
  • Existing health coaches pursuing a National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC)-approved certificate credential
  • Entrepreneurs seeking to build knowledge and credibility for a health coaching business