New York Medical College

School of Health Sciences and Practice

Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion Course Descriptions


BSHP 5001 Behavioral and Social Factors in Public Health
This course is an overview and introduction to the way in which behavioral and social factors contribute to health. It covers a wide range of topics: theories of behavioral science which have been applied to health behaviors; socio-cultural factors in disease etiology and the role of social conditions and social policy in addressing critical public health problems; individual, group, community, and technology-based strategies for health behavior change; and current issues in behavioral sciences for health promotion including its application to achieving the Healthy People 2020 goals.

BSHP 6001 Principles and Techniques of Behavior Change
This course will describe the psychological, social, and environmental determinants of a wide range of health and health-related behavior. Theoretical models from the behavioral and social sciences will be used to explain health behavior at the individual, interpersonal, and community levels. The course emphasizes the acquisition of theoretical understandings, but is also intended to improve actions or activities undertaken for the purpose of promoting, preserving, or restoring wellness, and actions or activities that endanger wellness or cause illness.  Pre-requisite: BSHP 5001.

BSHP 6003 Stress and Health
This course is designed as a comprehensive introduction to the relationship between stress, health, illness, and disease. It provides a conceptual and operational framework for understanding the interaction of psychological, social and behavioral stress factors as they influence the etiology and management of illness and disease, especially chronic diseases. The course is structured to present both an evidence-based cognitive understanding of the research literature relevant to stress and health, as well as an experiential appreciation of the effects of stress on particular individuals, including the application of stress management techniques.  Pre-requisite: BSHP 5001.

BSHP 6004 Introduction to Health Education
This course provides a conceptual framework for students who seek careers in health education and presents clear, succinct principles of health education, health promotion, and disease prevention. The course is designed to introduce students to the competencies necessary for being a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), and the concepts and skills required for carrying out effective health education programs in a variety of different settings, including school, community, health care and worksite settings. Through a combination of text readings, online module sessions, and self-study, students will gain an understanding of the CHES competencies and certain core concepts in the fields of public health and health promotion.

BSHP 6012 Research Methods for Population Science
The course provides an overview of the principles of research as applied to public health issues. Students gain an understanding of the process of research from the initial development of research questions through the final presentation of research findings. Topics covered include: selection of an appropriate research design, discussion of issues of measurement, data collection strategies, and interpretation of data. Examples are drawn from health education, health promotion, disease prevention, and community health services.  Pre-requisite:  BSHP 5001; Pre-requisite or Co-requisite:  EPI 5002. 

BSHP 6013 Health Promotion in Clinical Practice
Health providers can implement health promotion programs to change health behavior, improve health status, and enhance the value of treatment. This course examines approaches to clinical practice in which the assessment and modification of health behaviors assumes a central role. Topics include the integration of health promotion into clinical practice and managed care programs, and steps in developing meaningful, lasting behavior change. Resources to support health promotion and behavior change programs as part of the process of delivering care are reviewed.

BSHP 6014 Communication and Health Behavior: Theory and Practice
Communication can be a powerful mechanism for behavior change and can promote or inhibit health behaviors. This course examines the theoretical underpinnings in the field of communication and reviews how communication strategies are used to influence health behavior. The focus is on print and electronic media and touches on individual communication. Topics include: how communication theory informs health behavior change interventions; steps involved in planning communication campaigns about health; and skills useful in the execution of communications, such as pre-testing, designing health materials, and writing press releases. Pre-requisite: BSHP 5001.

BSHP 6021 Health Program Planning and Evaluation
This course covers the basic concepts and principles of the health planning process. Topics covered include: needs assessment, program planning, and implementation and evaluation of public health interventions and programs. The use of quantitative and qualitative data is discussed. Examples are drawn from health education, health promotion, disease prevention and community health services. Students can expect to identify a health problem in a community, describe it, develop a program to address the issue, and evaluate it from a formative and summative perspective.  Pre-requisite: BSHP 5001.

BSHP 6022 Food Policy and Food Security in the 21st Century
This course will provide an understanding of one of the most compelling public health challenges we face – hunger, malnourishment, and food security in the US.  We will explore the social, economic, political and growing environmental causes of hunger by studying the history and the current status of our food policies and our food and agricultural systems and predictions for future trends.  Examples will be offered of some of the most promising developments in the field.  We will consider the role of the public health professional in these endeavors using models of individual and societal behavior change.

BSHP 6023 Health Promotion Strategies
This course will describe effective health promotion strategies for use by a variety of health professionals in diverse settings where health promotion and prevention of illness are addressed. A common foundation of how, why, what, and when people of all ages learn will be first established. Then, how learning can positively affect patients’, families’, and diverse communities’ ability to understand, manage, prevent and live well with illness are discussed. Using evidenced-driven case studies, which demonstrate both successful and unsuccessful strategies, this course will help public health professionals identify best practices to implement, preserve, and replicate. Additionally, the coursework will help professionals to understand and explain why unsuccessful efforts might have failed and how those cases could be have been handled differently.  Pre-requisite: BSHP 5001.

BSHP 6024 - Public Health Perspectives of Sexual Health
Sexual health is a growing component of public health outreach. The goal of this course is to provide students with a foundational understanding of sexual health from a public health perspective. Through participation in this course, students will increase knowledge about the history of sexual health promotion in the public health sphere. They will critically examine and discuss common sexual health issues addressed by public health practitioners, their epidemiology, and their underlying social determinants. Additionally, recognition of the key methodological considerations in the measurement of sexual behavior and sexual health outcomes will be elucidated (including strengths and limitations of various methodological approaches – quantitative, qualitative, clinical, and biomedical). By the completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and application of key theoretical foundations of sexual health promotion and sexual health behavior change and be able to promote sexual health messages through marketing and dissemination. From a policy perspective, students can expect an increased knowledge about issues related to social and legislative policy analyses, their applications, and implications.

BSHP 7090 Field Experience in Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion
Students engage in the application of health promotion and planning skills by working in an approved corporate environment, public health organization, or equivalent. Field work is supervised by a faculty member who serves as liaison to the organization.

BSHP 7091 Directed Research in Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion
This course provides advanced study and research in an area chosen by the student in consultation with the professor.

BSHP 7092 Seminar in Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion
This course looks at contemporary trends and recent developments in an area of study not examined in other elective courses. Topics may change each term. Consult the professor for subject matter to be covered.

BSHP 7093 Tutorial in Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion
This is a comprehensive individual study of a specific topic, guided by the professor.

BSHP 7095 Thesis
Under special circumstances, and with prior approval of the Program Director or Advisor,  Behavioral Sciences & Health Promotion students my write a thesis as an alternative to the  Behavioral Sciences & Health Promotion capstone course.

It is expected that the thesis will include some independent research and integration of skills acquired by the student through coursework. The thesis includes formulation of research questions, methods to carry out the inquiry and presentation of results of the research. Some theses may require approval of the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to initiation of any thesis work. Students should work through their department chair/program advisor to determine if their thesis will require IRB review. Students must maintain regular contact with their Program and Thesis Advisors during their thesis work which usually takes about 12-18 months to complete.

BSHP 7096 Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion Capstone
The capstone is a culminating experience designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of knowledge and skills they have acquired through their Masters in Public Health (MPH) education. Students will work cooperatively in groups on real-world public health issues appropriately applying, theory, methods and tools learned in the MPH program. The capstone is offered on-campus for on-campus students and online for online students (depending on sufficient enrollment).
Note:  Approval of the Program Director or Advisor is required for enrollment.

CORE 7098 Behavioral Sciences Comprehensive Examination (Distance Education Students Only)
The Comprehensive Examination may be the culminating experience for distance education students if no online version of the BSHP capstone (7096) is available for the semester. This is a proctored comprehensive examination that covers all core areas of knowledge offered by the School of Health Sciences and Practice as well as the program areas of knowledge offered by the Behavioral Science and Health Promotion program (see core and program requirements).  The exam includes a proctored written portion and oral discussion of exam responses with faculty.  Distance Education students must earn a minimum score of 80% to complete this degree requirement. More details regarding content and preparation will be available upon registration for this examination. This exam is offered in spring and fall semesters only. (Note: There is no credit awarded for the comprehensive examination. The cost of the exam is equivalent of 1 credit.)

GPH 6024 AIDS and Other Manifestations of HIV Infection
This course examines in detail one of the most devastating epidemics of our time. Research and presentations on the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical adult manifestations, pediatric issues, physiological and biopsychosocial aspects, occupational issues, clinical trials, nursing issues, ethics, public health strategies and international considerations will help students understand the myriad facets of this devastating disease. Primary and secondary HIV prevention will be discussed along with growing importance of biomedical interventions (e.g., antiretroviral therapies, microbicides) to prevent the spread of the disease.

GPH 6033 Nutrition in Health and Disease
This course provides an exploration of the relationship between nutrition, and health and disease risk. You will gain an understanding of how dietary change can impact public health. There will be a specific focus on the role of nutrition and physical activity in overweight and obesity, as well as the major chronic diseases: heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The importance of addressing the physical, social and psychological aspects of eating to promote positive behavior change will also be addressed.

GPH 6034 Evidence Based Approaches to Complementary and Alternative Medicine
The growth of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is widespread in the United States. While many healthcare professionals support their use, there are others who remain quite skeptical about efficacy and usefulness. The course teaches the fundamentals of the most important and widely applied forms of alternative therapies, and approaches the subject in a scientific way while preserving the founding theories of different disciplines. Issues surrounding efficacy, effectiveness, and safety are discussed. Government regulations and reimbursement concerning various CAM therapies are summarized.

MCH 6001 Introduction to Maternal and Child Health
This course applies the life course perspective to maternal and child health while providing an overview of the social, economic, environmental and behavioral influences that have a profound impact on the health of women, infants, children and adolescents in the United States. It builds on social science and public health research that posits that each stage in an individual’s life influences the next with significant implications for community and societal health. The importance of promoting and maintaining the health, safety and well-being of women, children and families is highlighted as essential to assuring the health and welfare of future generations and our society.

MCH 6012 Survey of Adolescent Health and Medicine
Adolescence is a developmental period of accelerating physical, psychological, social/cultural, and cognitive development. Many of the adverse health consequences experienced by adolescents are, to a large extent, the result of their risk behaviors. This course provides an overview of this developmental period and describes the epidemiological trends associated with specific risk behaviors. It also describes a broad array of preventive strategies and reviews models of health behavior change and efficacy. In addition, the topic of health services delivery for adolescents are addressed.


Page updated: September 22, 2015