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Behavioral and Community Health Sciences

Behavorial and Community Health Sciences Degree //

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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

Fri
9/30
Center for Health Equity Application Deadline
Student ScholarshipStudent Scholarship Center for Health Equity Application Deadline
Student Scholarship
Fri 9/30


Students working on their thesis or dissertation in the field of health equity should apply. 
Fri
9/30
Center for Health Equity Meeting
Interdisciplinary Latino Research Initiative- Focused Writing Center for Health Equity Meeting
Interdisciplinary Latino Research Initiative- Focused Writing
Fri 9/30 9:00AM - 12:00PM
110 Parran

Tue
10/4
BCHS Event
The Geography of Retail Alcohol Sales and Alcohol-Related Injury BCHS Event
The Geography of Retail Alcohol Sales and Alcohol-Related Injury
Tue 10/4 12:00PM - 1:30PM
109 Parran

Tue
10/4
BCHS Dissertation Defense
Kanyin Ong: Application of grocery purchase data to understanding patterns of Salmonella enteritidis BCHS Dissertation Defense
Kanyin Ong: Application of grocery purchase data to understanding patterns of Salmonella enteritidis
Tue 10/4 1:30PM - 3:30PM
Public Health A731

Fri
10/7
Center for Health Equity Journal Club
CHE Journal Club (monthly)CHE Journal Club (monthly) Center for Health Equity Journal Club
CHE Journal Club (monthly)
Fri 10/7 1:00AM - 2:00AM
109 Parran

The Center for Health Equity hosts a monthly Journal Club meeting to facilitate dialogue about health equity among faculty, students, staff, and community members. We hope to spark an intellectually, enriching discussion regarding ways to research a problem or intervene to contribute to the solution.

9/21/2016

Alumna vaccinates morning radio hosts

KDKA RADIO - Lauren Bealafeld Brungo  (BCHS ’15), nurse supervisor for the Allegheny County Health ...
...
8/31/2016

HOPE MULTIPLIED - David de la Cruz in Liberia fighting the largest Ebola outbreak in history

 PITT MAGAZINE - In fall 2014, President Barack Obama activated the USPHS Commissioned Corps, a unif...
...
8/31/2016

Marcus Poindexter featured in Pitt magazine for community service

PITT MAGAZINE Marcus Poindexter (BCHS '10, SOC WK '10) was recently recognized in Pitt magazine-...
...
8/29/2016

Pitt Studies How to Get Overdose Reversal Drug to People Who Need It

Dr. Mary Hawk, assistant professor of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at the University of ...
...
8/22/2016

Pitt Researcher Uses Hospitalization Data to Determine Causes of Substance Abuse

Dr. Christina Mair, assistant professor of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at the Universit...
...
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