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Peer Health Educators

Compassionate, dedicated, enthusiastic students can make a real difference in the health and well-being of their peers. You can find a variety of meaningful volunteer opportunities in student health programs, projects, and activities. Gain hands-on knowledge and experience, enhance your leadership and interpersonal skills, and develop great new relationships while educating and empowering fellow students.

Peer Health Educators (PHEs) are residential staff members who are peer specialists in health and wellness in their houses. They are a culturally inclusive, highly diverse team that represents all aspects of the undergraduate student community.

PHEs offer

  • Fun, upbeat, informative health programs and workshops.
  • Creative health information.
  • Care for minor colds and ailments; emergency self-care supplies.
  • Referrals to health-care resources to meet your needs.
  • One-to-one health coaching, peer counseling, and resource referrals.
  • Peer health expertise as part of your staff team.

Frequently Asked Questions about PHEs

If your questions are not answered on this page, please contact health@stanford.edu.

Why be a PHE?

  • Learn about a wide range of health topics.
  • Connect with residents.
  • Be a vital part of a residential staff team.
  • Be the “go-to” person for health issues.
  • Develop your leadership and presentation skills.
  • Develop your counseling and coaching skills.
  • Be part of a close-knit PHE community.
  • Make creative, accessible health education materials.
  • Contribute to the health and well-being of the Stanford community.

What education and training are mandatory?

PHEs must successfully complete “Health Promotion and the Campus Culture” (PEDS 105, 4 units), which is offered in spring quarter, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:15–5:05 pm.

PHEs return to campus one week before New Student Orientation early arrival training and participate in mandatory meetings and continuing education throughout the academic year.

Who is eligible to apply to be a PHE?

Qualified applicants are current sophomores or juniors who have had previous experience and leadership in student service and/or health-related programs. They are enthusiastic and committed to promoting wellness and safety in the Stanford community. Freshmen are not eligible to apply.

Applicants must

  • Be a current sophomore or junior (junior or senior during your year as PHE).
  • Be on campus all three quarters of the academic year.
  • Successfully complete Pediatrics 105, the four-unit PHE training course, “Health Promotion and the Campus Culture.” No exceptions!
  • Have one year of guaranteed housing left.
  • Accept your PHE placement.
  • Return to campus for training in mid-September. (PHE training conflicts with Sophomore College and Honors College; you may not participate in Sophomore or Honors College when serving as a PHE.)
  • Participate in all PHE training and staff retreats starting in late August/early September (and other training sessions during the year). Specific dates for training are provided during the selection process.
  • Attend mandatory PHE meetings during the academic year.
  • Abide by all university policies.  Violating university policy or breaking the law is grounds for termination.
  • Remain in good academic standing. Candidates who are on probation or provisional registration are not eligible for a PHE position. Incompletes must be completed before the start of the job in September. Being placed on probation or suspended during service as a PHE can be grounds for termination.
  • Have a social security number. Non-U.S. citizens must also have a current and appropriate visa and proof of employment eligibility.
  • Live in the residence to which you are assigned and sign and abide by the Stanford Housing Residence Agreement and any other special house agreements required by members of the house.
  • Purchase at least the minimum board plan associated with the house to which you have been assigned and eat most meals in the house. Exceptions for cases involving unique health requirements may be discussed with your supervisor.

How do I apply for a PHE position?

The selection process involves a written application and two rounds of interviews. Because PHEs work closely with Vaden’s Wellness and Health Promotion Services (HPS) and house staff, both HPS and resident fellows interview applicants in winter quarter. Placements are announced in March.  Applications usually open the first week of winter quarter and are due two weeks later. Go to selection.stanford.edu to check for specific dates and times.

Do I have to be a particular major to apply?

No. PHEs hold a wide range of majors and interests, and include pre-meds and majors in classics, feminist studies, symbolic systems, and electric engineering.

If I’m abroad during winter quarter, can I apply to be a PHE for the next academic year?

Yes. You may take part in the application and interview process while abroad but must be on campus in spring quarter and every quarter the following year. 

I’m a freshman and really want to be a PHE one day.  How can I be a successful applicant?

All student leadership experience is beneficial. Get involved with some of the many health groups at Stanford. Some great places to start include