We Create Healthier Communities

In the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, it's our mission to improve and promote health and equity by engaging individuals, communities, and systems through our research, teaching, and practice. 

We prepare students 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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Robertson: 2021 Margaret F. Floninger Service Award

Lyn Barry Robertson (BCHS '05...
Robertson: 2021 Margaret F. Floninger Service Award

Lyn Barry Robertson (BCHS '05) awarded Margaret F. Floninger Service Award in recognition of significant contribution to the school or greater community through volunteer service.  (11/30/2021)

Burke selected to participate in Academic Leaders Network program

BCHS’ Jessica Burke has been ...
Burke selected to participate in Academic Leaders Network program

BCHS’ Jessica Burke has been selected to participate in the 2021-2022 ACC Academic Leaders Network (ALN) program. This exciting collaborative leadership program is for faculty at ACC institutions who aspire to leadership roles in higher education. (11/22/2021)

Meet Kayla Ortiz, Health Justice Scholar

“At my core, I am a health ed...
Meet Kayla Ortiz, Health Justice Scholar

“At my core, I am a health educator. However, I know that we can’t address health inequities by simply looking at the individual. We must interrogate the structural and historical causes that disproportionately impact the health of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ folks,” said Kayla Ortiz (BCHS ’23). (11/18/2021)

A conversation with BCHS student Samantha Rosenberg

MPH student Samantha Rosenber...
A conversation with BCHS student Samantha Rosenberg

MPH student Samantha Rosenberg is currently working for the Department of Psychology's Brain Aging and Cognitive Health Lab at Pitt. The lab is focused on healthy aging and specifically on how regular physical activity relates to changes in cognitive health and overall well-being among older adults... (11/15/2021)

A Conversation with BCHS faculty and alum Elizabeth Felter

Elizabeth Felter joined BCHS ...
A Conversation with BCHS faculty and alum Elizabeth Felter

Elizabeth Felter joined BCHS as a faculty member in 2010. Her research and practice-based work is focused mainly in the area of health education/communications and evaluation, including supporting health departments, health clinics, and non-profits with their COVID-19 response. She was motivated to... (11/15/2021)