Certificate in Health Coaching

Work one-on-one with people to help them lead healthier lifestyles.

The field of Health Coaching is growing—in part because insurers, HMOs, and accountable care organizations are recognizing the value of primary prevention and health promotion. The World Health Organization now says the vast majority of chronic illness may be preventable through lifestyle changes.

Health Coaches guide individuals through difficult transitions in pursuit of better health. In the Certificate in Health Coaching Program, you learn from experienced health counselors how to lead clients through common physical and emotional changes. Healthy nutrition and exercise are key focus areas within the curriculum.

Unlike most other advanced programs in health coaching, the Certificate in Health Coaching Program at William James College is led by a top MD and other distinguished clinical faculty from across multiple disciplines. It's an evidence-based academic program from a fully-accredited and widely-respected graduate school, and all of your peers will be licensed healthcare professionals such as yourself.

The convenient format enables you to earn your Certificate in just six months, with little to no disruption to your current work and family life.


A Certificate in Health Coaching is an excellent way to boost your earning potential and income security.

For independent practitioners, the skills you learn enable you to breathe new life into your existing practice, or facilitate a change in the focus of your practice. Either way, you'll expand the scope of services you can offer to your patients and clients, and build more trusting, longer-lasting relationships with them.

For practitioners employed by health-related businesses, a Certificate in Health Coaching increases your stature within your business, and often results in being asked to lead more impactful projects.

In addition to the impact on your career, your patients and clients will be among the greatest beneficiaries of your new skills and knowledge. Those completing the program will:

  • Help patients implement essential lifestyle changes
  • Enhance your understanding of the physiology of lifestyle-related health challenges
  • Identify and experience the challenges that humans face in changing
  • Help patients battle learned helplessness and gain motivation to rise to the occasion
  • Deepen your motivational interviewing skills
  • Know when and how shift to a balanced equation for client motivation
  • Make exercise enjoyable and goal-driven
  • Practice what you learn through weekends-in-residence
  • Get advice on current patient cases that are most challenging


The Health Coaching program is primarily for mid-career licensed professionals interested in becoming a Health Coach.

Our Certificate in Health Coaching is well-suited for those professionals who want to enhance or expand their current practice—or are looking to make an exciting career change—and have a serious interest in a well-grounded education in health coaching from a recognized and fully accredited academic institution.

Qualified applicants have completed a four-year undergraduate degree from an accredited U.S. institution or its equivalent. The applicant has then obtained a license in their chosen healthcare profession. Applicants must hold a license as one of the following:

  • Psychologist
  • Social Work
  • Mental Health Counselor
  • Registered Nurse
  • Nurse Practitioner or Physician's Assistant
  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
  • Physical Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Registered Dietician/Nutritionist

Please note that all students are required to sign an agreement that they will use their health coaching skills only within the scope of practice described by their Board of Registration.


This is a six-month program with a health coaching practicum included in the curriculum.

The program provides coursework in adult development and change, perspectives in the psychology of health and illness, foundations of health coaching and evidence-based coaching techniques. The program trains professionals ready to function with competence and confidence in a variety of healthcare settings. It relies on a cohort training model along with an emphasis on experiential education. Each of the five courses focuses on the development of International Coaching Federation competencies as well as on best practices in health coaching.


Our Health Coaching Certificate is offered in a blended learning model. Each course will include weekly online course work. Students open the course page and find the syllabus, course calendar, professor or student announcements, readings, documents and videos, an online discussion board and an option for threaded conversations. Papers are submitted electronically and graded by the professor online as well. Each course, (once a month) has a required weekend-in-residence (WIR) on our Newton, MA campus. There are 6 residential weekends in all. Students need high speed Internet access and a modern PC, laptop or tablet computer to participate.


We're accepting applications for the January 2016 cohort. Following the Spring cohort the next class will begin September 2016.