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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Editorial: The commonwealth’s appeal to serious common sense on coronavirus safety

TRIBUNE REVIEW - Most people ...
Editorial: The commonwealth’s appeal to serious common sense on coronavirus safety

TRIBUNE REVIEW - Most people are capable of understanding personal responsibility and an obligation to their role in keeping other people safe. What is necessary is getting everyone to police their own actions and know what’s best for everyone is to stay in the right lane. “I think there’s this fal... (11/20/2020)

Cynthia Salter, BCHS faculty and director of the Center for Global Health

"I chose to pursue a doctoral...
Cynthia Salter, BCHS faculty and director of the Center for Global Health

"I chose to pursue a doctoral degree after working for many years with a community-based program focused on improving birth experiences and maternal health outcomes for women in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.  In my previous work, my staff and the women we served were often invited to participate... (11/17/2020)

Hosman: 2020 Early Career Excellence Award

Emma Hosman is Response Coord...
Hosman: 2020 Early Career Excellence Award

Emma Hosman is Response Coordintor for the Philadelphia Department of Health's Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness Program, working on the front lines of PA's largest city's COVID-19 emergency response. "This year has really shown that public health is adaptable...[COVID-19] is challenging ... (11/17/2020)

Lockdowns aren’t the answer to Pa.'s surging coronavirus cases, experts say

SPOTLIGHT PA / PHILADELPHIA I...
Lockdowns aren’t the answer to Pa.'s surging coronavirus cases, experts say

SPOTLIGHT PA / PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER — PA health officials are holding off on implementing new lockdown or business shutdowns, even as daily reported coronavirus cases break records. Instead, they’re urging the public to stick to mitigation protocols already in place—wears, capacity limits, and con... (11/16/2020)

Study hopes to follow area children for two decades. How has COVID-19 changed the plan?

PUBLIC SOURCE -The Pittsburgh...
Study hopes to follow area children for two decades. How has COVID-19 changed the plan?

PUBLIC SOURCE -The Pittsburgh Study plans to follow 20,000 children in the region from birth to adulthood, putting a microscope on the relationships and resources that influence outcomes, such as infant mortality, childhood obesity, youth violence, and asthma prevalence, among others. Though the pa... (11/05/2020)