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Behavioral and Community Health Sciences

Behavorial and Community Health Sciences Degree //

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Read about what our graduates are doing in the behavioral and community health field.
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Behavioral and Community Health Sciences Degree

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.

Areas of expertise

BCHS students have the option of developing expertise in the following areas:
  • Community-based participatory research and practice
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered (LGBT) health and wellness
  • Global health
  • Maternal and child health/women’s health
  • Health equity
  • Public health and aging

Find a research program for your interests

The department is well-known both for its Institute for Evaluation of Science in Public Health and for the faculty and staff’s utilization of community-based participatory research strategies. Research topics include:
  • Cancer screening
  • Diabetes
  • Maternal and child health
  • Healthy aging
  • Health equity
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) health
  • HIV/AIDS

Pursue a career in behavioral and community health science

BCHS graduates pursue positions in a variety of public health and non-profit organizations, including federal, state, and local governmental organizations. Graduates provide program planning, implementation and evaluation, , management, and oversight for community health programs designed to improve the health status of populations. Career examples include:
  • Regional director for Pennsylvania Department of Health
  • Director of a statewide HIV/AIDS education program
  • Health Coach at UPMC Health Care System
  • Program director with an international relief agency
  • Evaluation and research director for a regional reproductive health program
  • Research and evaluation specialist for the City of Pittsburgh School District
  • Health and Wellness Coordinator at Gwen's Girls, Inc.

Degrees

BCHS offers a master’s degree program which prepares students for careers in public, voluntary, and private organizations that focus on public health concerns and two doctoral degree programs. The doctoral programs prepare students for careers in research, leadership, and teaching in academic and practice settings.
BCHS also offers joint degrees with other graduate schools within the University of Pittsburgh.

With the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Department of Anthropology:
With the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs:
With the School of Social Work

Thu
1/26
Center for Health Equity Lecture
Grand Rounds Achieving Equity & Successfully Eliminating Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Child Health & Healthcare Center for Health Equity Lecture
Achieving Equity & Successfully Eliminating Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Child Health & Healthcare
Thu 1/26 10:00AM - 11:15AM
Public Health Auditorium (G023)

Glenn Flores, Distinguished Chair of Health Policy Research at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health is an expert on racial/ethnic and linguistic disparities in healthcare, insuring the uninsured, and overcoming language barriers in the clinical setting. Dr. Flores will discuss the successful elimination of health and healthcare disparities in three clinical trials.
Fri
1/27
BCHS Event
BCHS Alumni Stories from the Field BCHS Event
BCHS Alumni Stories from the Field
Fri 1/27 4:00PM - 6:30PM
Public Health Auditorium (G023)

Join us to hear stories from recent MPH graduates of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences (BCHS) working in a variety of settings to promote community health and equity in the Pittsburgh region.

Immerse yourself in an afternoon of conversational anecdotes about what inspired their pursuit of public health and what inspires their daily work.

Mon
1/30
Center for Health Equity Meeting
Interdisciplinary Latino Research Initiative- Networking Meeting Center for Health Equity Meeting
Interdisciplinary Latino Research Initiative- Networking Meeting
Mon 1/30 2:00PM - 3:00PM
Public Health A521

Tue
2/7
BCHS Lecture
"Surviving & Thriving" - Derrick Matthews on HIV prevention in the black MSM community"Surviving & Thriving" - Derrick Matthews on HIV prevention in the black MSM community BCHS Lecture
"Surviving & Thriving" - Derrick Matthews on HIV prevention in the black MSM community
Tue 2/7 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Pitt Public Health

In conjunction with the National Library of Medicine traveling exhibit, Surviving & Thriving: AIDS, Politics and Culture, Dr. Derrick Matthews of BCHS will address current developments in the research on HIV prevention in the black MSM community.

Lecture sponsored by The Health Sciences Library System (HSLS) and the  Center for LGBT Health Research  in conjunction with the National Library of Medicine traveling exhibit, Surviving & Thriving: AIDS, Politics and Culture, Jan 17- Feb 25 with a one-day appearance in the lobby of Parran Hall on Feb 7.

Fri
2/10
Center for Health Equity Meeting
Focused Writing Sponspored by ILRI through Center for Health Equity Center for Health Equity Meeting
Focused Writing Sponspored by ILRI through Center for Health Equity
Fri 2/10 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Public Health 4140


HIV Scholars training program profiled in AIDS and Behavior

AIDS AND BEHAVIOR - Congratula...
HIV Scholars training program profiled in AIDS and Behavior

AIDS AND BEHAVIOR - Congratulations to Ron Stall, James Egan, and the Pitt/amFAR fellows on their profiled work in HIV-prevention research regarding gay, MSM and transgender (GMT) populations in low- and middle-income countries. "The HIV Scholars Program at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for ... (01/19/2017)

BCHS's Jessica Burke appointed as new associate dean for education

Jessica Burke, associate profe...
BCHS's Jessica Burke appointed as new associate dean for education

Jessica Burke, associate professor of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, was recently appointed as the new associate dean for education of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. The appointment will be effective March 1, 2017. (01/12/2017)

Albert appointed deputy editor-in-chief for Innovation in Aging

Steven M. Albert, professor an...
Albert appointed deputy editor-in-chief for Innovation in Aging

Steven M. Albert, professor and chair of Pitt Public Health's Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, has been appointed deputy editor-in-chief for Innovation in Aging , a new peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal launched by the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) -- the nat... (01/05/2017)

The OjO Latino Photo-project: What does it mean to be Latino in Pittsburgh?

What does it mean to be Latino...
The OjO Latino Photo-project: What does it mean to be Latino in Pittsburgh?

What does it mean to be Latino in Pittsburgh? Through the OjO Latino  project, twelve Latino community members will explore answers through photography and collective discussion highlighting the daily struggles, fears, and desires of immigrants in Pittsburgh. (11/17/2016)

Additives like fentanyl are making the opioid epidemic deadlier in Pittsburgh

PUBLIC SOURCE profiles how Pit...
Additives like fentanyl are making the opioid epidemic deadlier in Pittsburgh

PUBLIC SOURCE profiles how Pitt Public Health alumnus Aaron Arnold (BCHS '12) is working to limit overdose deaths from fentanyl-laced opioids as executive director of  Prevention Point Pittsburgh . Read the full story. (11/16/2016)
© 2017 by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

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