Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion M.P.H. Program
Interim Department Chair:
Diane Heck, PhD
Director, M.P.H. Studies:
Penny Liberatos, PhD,
The most serious health problems in the U.S. today – heart disease, cancer and stroke – have substantial behavioral components. The mission of the Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion program is to educate people who will be able to develop behaviorally-based intervention strategies that are both treatment and prevention-oriented. These strategies are intended for individuals, groups, organizations, communities, and populations.
The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion is appropriate for students who are interested in a career focused on promoting health and preventing illness, for established health professionals (including physicians, nurses, dentists, therapists and health educators), and others who want a better understanding of the role of behavior in illness and health. The program enables students to develop the skills that are necessary to change behavior for a healthier lifestyle. Courses emphasize principles of behavior change, psychosocial factors, program-planning and evaluation and the design of studies to assess the effectiveness of interventions as they relate to public health problems. Graduates of the program will be able to identify factors in the etiology, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of illness, and to develop and administer preventive and rehabilitative intervention strategies.
Topics not covered in regularly scheduled required and elective courses may be pursued through Field Experience in Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion, Directed Research in Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion, and Tutorial in Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion.
A graduate of the MPH program in Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion is expected to achieve the following the following program (P) competencies:
BSHP P1 -Identify the major behavioral sources of morbidity and mortality including smoking, sedentary lifestyle, a high-fat diet, excessive alcohol use, poor stress management, and failure to use seat belts.
BSHP P2 -Describe the major theories and techniques for changing lifestyle health behaviors.
BSHP P3 -Compare the strengths and limitations of major theories in designing different types of health behavior interventions.
BSHP P4 -Describe the major issues in health education and effecting change in individuals, groups, and communities.
BSHP P5 -Apply principles and theories of behavioral change in attempting to change one of their behaviors and that of another person.
BSHP P6 -Identify social, environmental and personal stressors that evoke stress responses in individuals.
BSHP P7 -Identify the major emotional states associated with the stress response.
BSHP P8 -Identify those personality characteristics associated with both vulnerability to stress and stress hardiness.
BSHP P9 -Describe the major modalities for managing stress both individually and in the community.
BSHP P10 -Identify critical stakeholders and the importance of their involvement at each stage of the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health programs, policies and interventions.
BSHP P11 -Describe steps/procedures for the needs assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of public health programs, policies and interventions.
BSHP P12 -Describe the appropriateness/applicability of different research designs for the evaluation of a health program.
BSHP P13 -Identify key sources of data and the advantages/disadvantages of different data collection methods.
BSHP P14 -Describe the process of conceptualization and measurement of variables for a research effort.
BSHP P15 -Evaluate the strengths/weaknesses of research studies (including design, sample, variable conceptualization/ measurement, analysis).
BSHP P16 -Communicate evaluation/research findings to lay and professional audiences.