Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences

What is HPBS?

Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences

Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences seeks to promote healthy lifestyles and prevent disease through the application of social and behavioral sciences. Enjoying the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being.

HPBS 6 | Health Promotion & Behavioral SciencesHealth promotion is based on this critical human right and encompasses a positive and inclusive concept of health as a determinant of the quality of life and physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. It is a core function of public health and contributes to the work of tackling communicable and noncommunicable diseases and other threats to health.

At The University of Texas School of Public Health, students in Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences are surrounded by faculty who make differences every day in the areas of childhood obesity, cancer prevention, AIDS/HIV prevention, sexual education for teens and teen pregnancy prevention. Numerous opportunities exist for students to participate in teaching, research and service activities.

Research & Centers

Improving Health in Texas

Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences conducts exciting research on diverse topics that cross age, cultural and socioeconomic boundaries. Active research projects in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences include:

EscobarChaves with child | Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences

Coordinated Approach To Child Health (CATCH) A program in elementary and middle schools across Texas that has shown positive results in reducing child obesity and has proven to be cost effective.

It’s Your Game is an interactive gaming program designed to educate middle school students about HIV, sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy prevention. It has shown a reduction in risky sexual behaviors and a delay in sexual initiation.

Latinos in a Network for Cancer Control (LINCC) One of 10 Cancer Prevention Research Networks across the US, Latinos in a Network for Cancer Control is a network of academic, public health and community partners working to accelerate the use of evidenced-based cancer control in communities through community-based intervention and dissemination research.

A World Health Organization Collaborating Center, the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research (CHPPR) conducts research to develop, evaluate, and disseminate health promotion and disease prevention programs in diverse settings and populations. Our vision is to promote healthy lives in healthy communities.

The University of Texas Prevention Research Center is one of 37 Prevention Research Centers funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with a mission to impact Texas child and adolescent health through a collaboration of academic, public health, and community partnerships engaged in scholarly, community-based prevention research, research translation, and education.

The vision of the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living is healthy children in a healthy world, with a mission to serve as a state, national, and international leader in the promotion of healthy living. The Center seeks to achieve this through the prevention and control of childhood obesity by promoting healthy eating and physical activity, policy and environmental change, and professional education and community service.

Academics

Academic Programs in Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences

The Division of Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences offers three options for degree-seeking students:

  • Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health (PhD)

Application Deadlines

UTSPH Application Process (All Degree Seeking Students)

Prospective Student FAQs

 

Master of Public Health (MPH)

The Master of Public Health in Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences is the basic professional degree and integrates the core public health disciplines with behavioral and social sciences. The majority of full-time students take approximately 18 to 24 months to complete the degree, with 45 hours including 6 hours of thesis and practicum combined.

Requirements of the MPH program are: completion of coursework (a combination of core courses and elective courses); a planned, supervised and evaluated practicum experience; and a culminating experience demonstrating a substantial knowledge of public health.

HPBS MPH Degree Competencies
HPBS MPH Degree Planner
HPBS MPH Practicum Information
HPBS MPH Culminating Experience

MPH Admission Requirements

      • An undergraduate degree preferably in a social or behavioral science, such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, education, or communications
      • At least a 3.0 average (on a 4.0 system) in prior academic work
      • Graduate Record Examination with scores over 1000 (old GRE) or 297 (new GRE) is preferred
      • At least two letters of recommendation from faculty knowledgeable about the applicant’s academic work

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

The DrPH degree in Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences is designed to develop leaders in health promotion practice. Students are trained to contribute to and apply scientific discoveries in professional public health settings. It is primarily designed for those who plan careers involving professional practice, teaching, or research. DrPH students are required to complete a minimum of 48 semester credit hours of required coursework (a maximum of nine combined credit hours of practicum, thesis or dissertation count toward the minimum of 48 credit hours), two minor areas of study in one of the five public health disciplines (separate from Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences), or one minor area and one public health breadth area. A disciplinary minor requires the successful completion of at least nine semester credit hours that address competencies as specified by the student’s advisory committee. All entering DrPH students in Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences are assigned an academic advisor to assist them in planning and completing their program of work.

DrPH program requirements: completion of required coursework; completion of a planned, supervised, and evaluated practicum experience that includes the application of public health science and theory; a minor in another division other than Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences; an area of breadth in a topic of interest; a dissertation focusing on social and behavioral aspects of public health or the development and evaluation of health promotion interventions

HPBS DrPH Degree Competencies
HPBS DrPH Practicum Information
HPBS DrPH Degree Planner
UTSPH Doctoral Students – Choosing a Major, Minor, and Breadth
UTSPH Doctoral Dissertaton Guide

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The PhD in Behavioral Sciences focuses on the aspects of public health and the development and evaluation of health promotion interventions. The PhD program provides training in social and behavioral science theory and methods as applied to public health, and is designed to provide students with the skills necessary to succeed in academic and research positions. The emphasis in this degree program is preparation for independent research and teaching. PhD students are required to complete a minimum of 48 semester credit hours of required coursework, two minor areas of study in one of the five public health disciplines (separate from Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences), or one minor area and one public health breadth area. A disciplinary minor requires the successful completion of at least nine semester credit hours that address competencies as specified by the student’s advisory committee. All entering PhD students in Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences are assigned an academic advisor to assist them in planning and completing their program of work.

PhD program requirements: completion of required coursework; a minor in another division other than Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences; an area of breadth in a topic of interest; completion of a preliminary exam with a passing grade; a dissertation focusing on social and behavioral aspects of public health.

HPBS PhD Degree Competencies
HPBS PhD Degree Planner
UTSPH Doctoral Students – Choosing a Major, Minor, and Breadth
UTSPH Doctoral Dissertaton Guide

PhD & DrPH Admission Requirements

        • PhD program – An earned master’s degree or equivalent in a social or behavioral science, such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, education or communications
        • DrPH program – An earned master’s degree or equivalent in public health
        • At least a 3.5 average (on a 4.0 system) in prior academic work
        • Graduate Record Examination with scores over 1200 (old GRE) or 308 (new GRE) is preferred
        • At least two letters of recommendation from faculty knowledgeable about the applicant s academic work
        • Acceptance by the faculty in Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences with a faulty member who is willing to serve as an academic advisor
        • Submission of a writing sample that demonstrates competence in written communication for academic work. The applicant should be the sole or first author on submitted work. Theses, publications, or other academic work are preferred.

 

Training Opportunities

Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Training Program

The Maternal and Child Health Training Program is designed to hone skills in the development and delivery of programs and services for women, infants, children, and adolescents, the training program offers four tracks:

      • MCH Concentration, open to degree-seeking students
      • MCH Certificate, open to students who are not enrolled in a degree program
      • MCH Fellowship, open to students enrolled in the MCH
      • Concentration or the MCH Certificate who are interested in a year long intensive training experience in maternal and child health
      • Training and resources for community and governmental agencies

Cancer Education and Career Development Program (National Cancer Institute)

The Cancer Education and Career Development Program is for doctoral students in all divisions of UTSPH and has an established track record in helping to launch academic research careers in cancer prevention and control. Pre- and post-doctoral fellowships are available.

Careers

Health Promotion at Work

Career opportunities in Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences are diverse, and may involve working with individuals, families, schools, worksites or communities. Work settings include universities; federal, state, and local agencies; healthcare organizations; corporations; and non-profit organizations.

 

HPBS7 | Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences A Community Health Educator plans, develops, implements, and evaluates health education strategies, interventions, and programs to improve the quality of life and health outcomes of diverse populations. These professionals use a variety of health education methods and approaches to improve the health of individuals and communities.

 

HPBS3 | Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences

Health Promotion Research Scientist plans and conducts scientific studies to identify and solve public health problems and provides scientific expertise to various agencies and organizations. Researchers identify and find solutions for critical public health issues that impact individuals and communities.

Federal Agency Director plans, develops, manages, and evaluates policies and activities in areas such as primary health care, maternal/child health, HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases, population/family planning, nutrition/micronutrients, and environmental health.

A Director of Community Health and Wellness in a non-profit organization oversees day-to-day activities including the quality, marketing, and promotion of its programs; participates in strategic planning and visioning; provides effective facilitative leadership; and keeps abreast of health promotion trends and anticipates future needs.

Additional Health Promotion and Behavioral Science positions:

  • Community Health Worker
  • Health Promotion Program Coordinator
  • Health Promotion Program Evaluator
  • Health Promotion Specialist
  • Public Health Social Worker
  • Supervisor of Health Education and Wellness
  • Worksite Wellness Manager

National Public Health Organizations:

American Cancer Society

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Department of Health and Human Services

National Cancer Institute

National Institutes of Health

International Public Health Organizations:

Family Health International (FHI)

Pan American Health Organization

World Health Organization (WHO)

Student Resources

Quick Links:

Academic Calendar (Fall 2013 – Summer 2014)

Blackboard

Catalog and Course Information

Library

MyUTH

Student Affairs

Webmail

HPBS Degree Planners:

HPBS MPH Degree Planner

HPBS DrPH Degree Planner

HPBS PhD Degree Planner

Preliminary Exam Guidelines – Fall 2011-Fall 2012 Entering Students

Preparing to Graduate

Forms:

General Forms

MPH Forms

DrPH Forms

For doctoral students entering Fall 2011 and after:

For doctoral students entering PRIOR to Fall 2011

PhD Forms

For doctoral students entering Fall 2011 and after:

For doctoral students entering PRIOR to Fall 2011

Get Involved:

HPBS Student Ambassador Responsibilities

HPBS Student Ambassador Application 2012

Human Genetics Student Society

International Student Organization

Public Health Student of African Descent

Student Association

Student Epidemic Intelligence Society

Student InterCouncil

Student Society for Global Health

The Board

Orientation Spring 2014

Dear Incoming Students,

On behalf of the Faculty, staff and students in the Division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, I welcome you to the School of Public Health.

As a graduate student in our Division, you will have an opportunity to broaden your knowledge and skills in the development, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based interventions to promote healthy behaviors.  Faculty members in the Division come from diverse academic backgrounds including anthropology, clinical and social psychology, sociology, social and behavioral epidemiology, dietetics, and qualitative and quantitative methodology.  Our research interests encompass a broad array of important public health topics including physical activity, nutrition, smoking prevention and cessation, HIV, STI and pregnancy prevention, substance abuse, dating/partner violence, cancer screening, cancer survivorship, HPV vaccination, disability, mental health, and occupational health.  Faculty members in the Division have funded research projects that provide opportunities for student involvement, and we welcome your participation.

After graduation, you will find opportunities to use your education to make an impact on public health in a variety of settings including government agencies such as state or local health departments, national agencies and organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the National Institutes of Health, private sector organizations such as the American Cancer Society, as well as health care settings, and academic institutions, among others.

We are here to facilitate your education and we look forward to working with you toward that goal.

Sally Vernon | Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences

 

Sally W. Vernon, PhD

Professor and Division Director
Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences

 

 

Spring 2014 New Student Resources

New Student Checklist

SPH Student Survival Guide

Class Registration – Step by Step “How To”

SPH Course Information and Catalogs

SPH Student Writing Resources

Division of Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences Resources

New Student FAQs

HPBS Faculty Research & Teaching Interests (Updated Fall 2013)

MPH

MPH Competencies

MPH Degree Planner

MPH Culminating Experience

MPH Practicum Information

DrPH

DrPH Competencies

DrPH Degree Planner

DrPH Practicum Information

HPBS Doctoral Preliminary Exam Guidelines - Fall 2013 Entering Students

UTSPH Doctoral Students – Choosing a Major, Minor, and Breadth

UTSPH Doctoral Dissertaton Guide

PhD

PhD Competencies

PhD Degree Planner

HPBS Doctoral Preliminary Exam Guidelines - Fall 2013 Entering Students

UTSPH Doctoral Students – Choosing a Major, Minor, and Breadth

UTSPH Doctoral Dissertaton Guide

 Quick Links

Academic Calendar (Fall 2013 – Summer 2014)

Blackboard

Catalog and Course Information

Library

MyUTH

Preparing to Graduate

Student Affairs

Webmail

Contact Us

Administration

Sally W. Vernon, PhD
Division Director Blair Justice, PhD, Professorship in Mind-Body Medicine and Public Health
Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences
713-500-9760
sally.w.vernon@uth.tmc.edu

Mary Brown
Administrative Assistant
Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences
713-500-9987
mary.d.brown@uth.tmc.edu

Admissions

Kimberly Stein
Coordinator of Admissions
Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences
713-500-9985
kimberly.g.stein@uth.tmc.edu

 

Thanks for your interest in The University of Texas School of Public Health Division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences. Let us know how we can help you.

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