The Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences (BCHS) of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health prepares students pursuing a behavioral sciences degree to apply theories, concepts, and methods of the various social and behavioral science disciplines to the development, implementation, and evaluation of programs that prevent illness and promote health. BCHS applies research on the dynamics of health behavior change to improve community health.

All diseases are shaped by behavioral and sociocultural factors. To improve health outcomes and promote health, we believe these diseases must be understood as a function of the individual, family, organizations, communities, and public policy. This system is dynamic and shapes things like access to care and adherence to care recommendations. Accordingly, the behavioral and community health sciences within public health assess the health needs of populations and communities, design interventions to prevent disease and increase adherence based on social/behavioral theory, and use research methods to evaluate these programs and recommend improvement, often within community-based settings.

The Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences emphasizes community-based programs and works with grass roots, nonprofit, private, philanthropic, and governmental organizations. We also collaborate extensively with other departments and centers within Pitt Public Health and throughout the University to carry out the teaching, research, and service mission.

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BCHS graduate outcomes

Wondering what BCHS students do after graduation? Check out the latest outcomes survey to find out the top employment sectors, job titles, employers, and more for recent BCHS graduates.

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Making Pitt Work: Browne's focus has always been on diversity

UNIVERSITY TIMES - After spen...
Making Pitt Work: Browne's focus has always been on diversity

UNIVERSITY TIMES - After spending 2002-09 at Pitt as project director and community health coordinator for the Center for Minority Health (now the Center for Health Equity), Mario Browne (BCHS '05) returned in 2011 as the director of diversity for the Schools of the Health Sciences and now aims to ... (08/24/2019)

Burke among Women of Impact selected for Your Indelible Mark training

BCHS's Jessie Burke was among...
Burke among Women of Impact selected for Your Indelible Mark training

BCHS's Jessie Burke was among 25 exceptional women leaders in health who met in Pittsburgh this month to explore their career and life goals and learn to address organizational and cultural barriers and meet life-stage challenges. The training was sponsored by Women of Impact, a group of women repr... (08/15/2019)

Burke and O'Malley help National Domestic Violence Hotline

Professor Jessica Burke and s...
Burke and O'Malley help National Domestic Violence Hotline

Professor Jessica Burke and student Teagan O'Malley (BCHS '12 '19) developed a framework for evaluating and improving the effectiveness of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which responds to over 1000 calls for help each day. Burke and O'Malley engaged multiple stakeholders including service ... (08/13/2019)

Inequity Remains Pittsburgh's Biggest Health Risk, Hacker Says

THE CONFLUENCE (WESA) -- Outg...
Inequity Remains Pittsburgh's Biggest Health Risk, Hacker Says

THE CONFLUENCE (WESA) -- Outgoing director of the Allegheny County Health Department, adjunct professor in HPM and BCHS, and Pitt Public Health board of visitors member, Dr. Karen Hacker discusses the population health issues of this region as well as her plans to head the CDC's National Center for... (07/31/2019)

Fiesta del Sol raises sparks, celebrates #immigrantappreciation

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - BCH...
Fiesta del Sol raises sparks, celebrates #immigrantappreciation

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - BCHS's Patricia Documet, director of Latinx researh and outreach at the Center for Health Equity, is chair of the board for Casa San Jose, a Latino community resource center that held a major party last week benefiting the efforts of Casa San Jose's mission to create a wel... (07/23/2019)