Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences Courses

MPH Courses

BSHES 500 (2) Behavioral and Social Sciences in Public Health
Adopts an ecological perspective, describing social, cultural behavioral and psychological factors that affect a population’s health. It assesses population needs, assets and capacities that affect communities’ health and the means by which structural bias, social inequalities and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community and societal levels. The course addresses the selection of methods to evaluate public health promotion programs including qualitative approaches.


BSHES 520 (3) Theory Driven Research and Practice
Introduces the basic principles and functional areas of health promotion and education. Describes prevalent educational and psychological theories of learning and behavior change used by health educators in a variety of work settings. Explores considerations for incorporating health promotion and education activities into the design of local, regional, national, and international public health programs. Students plan activities for health promotion and education.

BSHES 522 (3) Principles of Curriculum and Instruction in Health Education
Prerequisite: BSHE 520. Introduces methods used by education practitioners in designing health interventions. Presents decision-making models for health education strategies selection for specific target populations. Explores techniques in group facilitation, mass communication, behavior modification, classroom instruction, and organizational development. Students will conduct health promotion and education activities.

BSHES 524 (3) Community Assessment
This is a community-engaged course in which students obtain and interpret data about a community and its health determinants, assets and gaps through a socio-ecological perspective by collaborating with a public health/community agency. Students will define a community and analyze social, structural, policy and behavioral factors contributing to a health issue. Furthermore, students will use community-engaged approaches in assessing community needs and assets, employ professional and communication skills in engaging with community stakeholders, design primary and secondary data instruments, collect mixed methods data (i.e., key informant interviews, windshield surveys, surveys, etc.), conduct data analysis and data triangulation, and write a community assessment report. They will utilize diverse dissemination strategies to communicate findings from the community assessment.  The final report and presentation will be shared with the community organizations.

BSHES 526 (3) Program Planning in Health Promotion
Prerequisites: BSHE 520. Drawing on behavioral science and health education perspectives, this course will critically review: 1) social-ecological and behavioral determinants of a health problem or issue; 2) community assessment literature, methods and data to describe the health problem and priority population; 3) theories or approaches to guide strategies or activities to employ in a health program; and 4) evaluation of public health interventions. Students will apply basic program planning skills, including problem analysis, needs assessment, intervention design, implementation and evaluation.

BSHES 530 (3) Program Evaluation
Covers all aspects of evaluation research, including formative process, outcome evaluations, and issues related to the collection and analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data. The instructor facilitates the student application of evaluation methodology to a community project.

BSHES 532 (3) Quantitative Analysis
Prerequisite: BIOS 500. Presents theory-driven data analysis for behavioral sciences and health education using regression methods for continuous and binary outcomes (including moderation and simple mediation). Students will identify and analytically investigate theory-driven research questions with the goal to investigate behavioral, social and cultural factors that contribute to the health and well-being of individuals, communities, and populations using existing and new datasets. Furthermore, students will learn how to interpret and present data, and communicate findings for a variety of audiences (e.g. for peer-review publication, public health practitioners, policy makers, community organizations).

BSHES 538 (3) Qualitative Methods for Research and Evaluation
Prerequisite: BSHE 520. Focuses on the acquisition of interpretive, behavioral, and analytic strategies that social scientists use to understand social reality. Students are expected to undertake their own qualitative studies, as well as to learn the philosophical underpinnings of the method. Classic ethnographic studies, particularly those with applicability to public health, serve as models for learning techniques and conducting research

BSHES 539 (3) Qualitative Data Analysis
Prerequisite: BSHE 538. Allows students to develop mastery of a variety of practical techniques and theoretical approaches to qualitative data analysis, including the use of qualitative data analysis software (MAXqda). Students will be given the option of conducting lab exercises on an expanded set of secondary data or students’ own data that was collected as part of their MPH or PhD thesis research.

BSHES 540 (3) Research Methods in Health Promotion
Introduces students to health promotion research as an important tool in assessing ways in which health is shaped by factors at multiple ecological levels. The purpose of this course is to give students a foundation in designing and conducting health promotion research at multiple levels with an emphasis on observational studies. The goals of the course include a) achieving competence in designing and implementing studies based on scientifically sound research methodologies and b) gaining the ability to critically evaluate health promotion research.

BSHES 542 (3) Socio-Behavioral Measurement
Prerequisites: BSHE 520; BSHE 540; BSHE 532; BIOS 500. Provides students with theoretical and applied knowledge of measurement in the behavioral sciences and health education. Foundational knowledge of measurement is taught through the lens of theory. Students will review existing self-report measurement literature and adapt instruments to new populations. Students will learn how to locate and assess data from diverse sources. Specific emphasis will be placed on social determinants and longitudinal data.

BSHES 554 (2) Social Marketing in Public Health
Provides students with an overview of concepts and strategies used in social marketing and public health information campaigns; emphasizes skills to create audience-oriented public health intervention efforts, including formative research, audience segmentation, channel analysis, and the application of behavioral theory.

BSHES 555 (2) Public Health Communication
Introduces the study of public health communication including its theoretical foundations, organizational models, and strategies for intervening at multiple levels with diverse populations.

BSHES 556 (1) Foundations in Addressing Racism as a Public Health Issue
This course provides an overview of racism as a driver of health inequities and approaches to dismantle racism to promote health equity. This course will introduce students to how racism operates at multiple ecological levels to create and maintain health inequities and proposed frameworks and approaches to promote health equity.

BSHES 557 (2) Addressing Racism as a Public Health Issue to Promote Health Equity
This course provides an overview of racism as a driver of health inequities and interventions designed to dismantle racism to promote health equity. This course will introduce students to how racism operates at multiple ecological levels to create and maintain health inequities and proposed frameworks and approaches to promote health equity. Students will gain an understanding of racism as a public health issue and interventions designed to promote health equity by dismantling racism.

BSHES 558 (2) Critical Race Theory in Public Health
This course introduces students to Critical Race Theory (CRT) primarily as it originated in the field of Law with some consideration of its use in Education, American Studies and other disciplines (e.g., philosophy). While students will learn about CRT’s origin and use outside of Public Health, the course focuses on how CRT has been used within the field of Public Health or may be used to advance health and healthcare equity.

BSHES 560R (1-3) BSHE Seminar
Explores and analyzes selected topics in health education and promotion. Topics have included: health equity, implementation practice and technical assistance, immigration as a social determinant of health, and firearm injury theory and prevention.

BSHES 565 (2) Violence as a Public Health Problem
Introduces students to the concept of violence as a public health problem. Focuses on the epidemiology, surveillance, and prevention of interpersonal and self-directed violence.

BSHES 567 (2) LGBTQ Public Health
This course examines the main frameworks used in LGBTQ public health, important health outcomes, problems and issues in LGBTQ public health, and interventions to improve sexual and gender minorities’ health.

BSHES 579 (2) Applied History of Public Health
In this course, we critically examine the history of public health to gain perspective on current health problems. Students analyze the history of public health institutions, concepts, and practices in the contexts of the history of the social determinants of health, culture, and changing ecologies of health and disease. This course also uses history to analyze health inequities with the goal of promoting health equity.

BSHES 583 (1) Mindfulness and Health
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to define mindfulness, describe its benefits for physical mental health, critically evaluate related literature, and perform mindfulness exercises.

BSHES 585 (1) Introduction to Public Mental Health
Provides an overview of mental health issues from a public health perspective. It covers the concepts of mental illness versus mental health, describes the burden of mental illness, discusses diagnosis of prominent mental illnesses and their prevention, and addresses racial and ethnic disparities. Students also complete an experiential exercise to give them a perspective on what it is like to have a mental illness.

BSHES 586 (2) Prevention of Mental and Behavioral Disorders
Students explore what prevention and promotion mean for mental and behavioral disorders and mental health across the life course and at different levels of the social ecological model (from the individual to policies). Students also evaluate different approaches for preventing mental and behavioral disorders, across the 3 stages of prevention, and for promoting mental health.

BSHES 590 (4) Capstone Project
Provides students with knowledge and skills about the behavioral and social sciences in public health as they are applied to health disparities. Students critically examine the concepts, theories, and methods applied to study a health outcome of interest and evaluate related interventions. Students undertake an independent project that will result in a final 30-50 page paper and an oral presentation.

BSHES 591W (1) Thesis Mentorship
This course introduces the thesis as a unique scholarly contribution to public health research, practice, and instruction. Organized as a directed study with the thesis chair, the course provides students with the knowledge and skills to develop and refine research questions, conduct a review and analysis of the public health knowledge base, select a theory or organizing framework, formulate a plan for data collection and an IRB application, and draft the initial three chapters of their project

BSHES 595 (0) Applied Practice Experience
An Applied Practice Experience (APE) is a unique opportunity that enables students to apply practical skills and knowledge learned through coursework to a professional public health setting that complements the student’s interests and career goals. The APE must be supervised by a Field Supervisor and requires approval from an APR Advisor designated by the student’s academic department at Rollins. Registration for the course is required.

BSHES 597R (VC) Directed Study
Provides the opportunity to pursue a specialized course of study in an area of special interest. Complements rather than replaces or substitutes course work.

BSHES 599R (3) Thesis Project
Enables students to apply the principles and methods learned in an academic setting through the preparation of a monograph embodying original research applicable to public health, incorporating a proposition that has been successfully evaluated with appropriate statistical techniques and is potentially publishable or has potential public health impact.

PhD Courses

BSHES 700 (4) Statistical Methods in the Behavioral and Social Sciences

This course is designed to provide first semester doctoral students in the behavioral sciences and health education with theoretical and applied knowledge of data analysis within the context of the general linear model and an introduction to data science. Students will learn the entire life cycle of research using secondary data from designing a research questions, identifying and acquiring a data set, to planning and executing data analysis, culminating in presenting the findings in the format of a peer-reviewed brief article.

BSHES 701 (1) Public Health Research: Discovery to Practice
Doctoral education in public health trains students to drive innovation and discovery in public health. Apart from the usual doctoral milestones of coursework, the qualifying exam, and the dissertation, much of the doctoral process is self-directed. Identifying your goals for your doctoral experience and how to achieve them can be daunting. This conversation-based course is designed to provide students the tools to develop a personal strategy for successfully navigating the doctoral experience. The course meets on Mondays, 12 – 12:50 p.m., in the fall semester of the first year. Lunch is provided.

BSHES 710 (3) Research Designs in the Behavioral and Social Sciences
This course is designed to provide doctoral students with (a) a solid understanding of both qualitative and quantitative research designs that are commonly used for the implementation of descriptive (describing behavioral phenomena with an investigatory focus), relational (description of the relationships between two or more variables), and experimental (to facilitate causal assertions) research studies; and (b) an appreciation of the breadth and depth of research being conducted in BSHE. It provides students with the fundamental language, concepts, and constructs associated with the scientific approach as well as instruction in the design and implementation of health behavior research studies.

BSHES 712 (1) Grant Writing
This course provides an overview of two discrete but related topic areas critical for advanced standing students whose interest lies in prevention research. First, this course provides students with basic knowledge about the grant application process, the criteria of how grants are reviewed at NIH, the art and science of “grantsmanship,” the essential elements needed for preparing an NIH application, and how to “put the pieces together” to create a clear, cogent and compelling application. Second, this course will address ethics in public health research. Students will become familiar with the ethics, principles, and the regulations applicable to prevention research.

BSHES 714 (1) Proposal Development I
The Professional Seminar will focus on the development of the student’s own research interests that are expected to lead to the development of a grant proposal that will also be used to partially fulfill doctoral requirements via a dissertation proposal. Each student will present the current status of their research and lead a critical discussion based on their work. The student presentation and critical discussion are intended to support further development of the specific aims, significance, methods, and data analytic aspects of the proposal.

BSHES 715 (2) Proposal Development II
The Professional Seminar will focus on the development of the student’s own research interests that are expected to lead to the development of a grant proposal that will also be used to partially fulfill doctoral requirements via a dissertation proposal. Each student will present the current status of their research and lead a critical discussion based on their work every other week of the semester. Students are expected to prepare drafts of their proposals and distribute them to the instructor and fellow-students three-days prior to class meetings. Fellow students and the instructor are responsible for reading and providing critiques of the proposals. This iterative process of proposal draft submission and feedback based on critiques continues for the semester, culminating in a final paper. The student presentation and critical discussion are intended to support further development of the background, methods, and data analytic aspects of the proposal. This seminar continues work begun by students during the Proposal Development I seminar.

BSHES 716 (1) Teaching in Public Health
This seminar covers methods and issues in teaching the Public Health workforce, including an examination of principles of learning, ethical issues, developing learning objectives and engaging activities, and teaching diverse audiences. It prepares doctoral students for their role as Teaching Assistants and Teaching Associates for Master of Public Health courses.

BSHES 721 (3) Applying Theory to Public Health Research and Practice
This course provides the student with advanced knowledge of the foundational theories and is designed to provide an understanding of multilevel theories, including societal level influences, social structures and institutions, community contexts and processes, sociocultural factors, interpersonal relationships, and individual attitudes and beliefs, as well as theories related to organizational change, implementation and dissemination. Content includes an examination of social and behavioral theories and approaches that presently shape our understanding of health and health behavior and that inform our intervention strategies from a socio-ecologic perspective.

BSHES 725 (3) Health Promotion Interventions
The purpose of this course is to have doctoral students use a comprehensive planning model (intervention mapping) to plan, implement, and evaluate an intervention to address a public health problem for a defined population. They will apply conceptual frameworks underlying a range of intervention strategies and levels of socio ecology for solving public health problems. The course will also examine intervention design across various levels of social ecology, implementation, process and outcome evaluation, and implementation science.

BSHES 728 (3) Advanced Statistical Methods in the Behavioral and Social Sciences
The purpose of this doctoral level course is to introduce advanced topics in statistical analysis, i.e. those beyond multivariable regression procedures. Specifically the course will: 1) introduce students to theory-driven ethical quantitative data analysis; 2) familiarize students with advanced statistical techniques and provide students with an introductory “working” knowledge of understanding data and analytic techniques as they are applied in the behavioral and social sciences; 3) develop the student’s ability to design robust data collection and analysis plans for answering research questions benefitting from advanced analyses; 4) provide students with a forum to discuss the statistical analysis aspects of their own research proposals (or dissertation).

BSHES 730 (2) Hierarchical Linear Modeling
This course is designed to provide doctoral students with theoretical and applied knowledge of hierarchical linear modeling (HLM). Foundational knowledge of HLM is taught by extending knowledge of regression analysis to designs involving a nested data structure. The course covers both cross-sectional and longitudinal data structures. Furthermore, advanced topics such as HLM for ordinal outcome variables and dyadic data will be presented.

BSHES 732 (2) Structural Equation Modeling
This course is designed to provide doctoral students with theoretical and applied knowledge of structural equation modeling (SEM). Foundational knowledge of SEM is taught by extending knowledge of regression analysis and mediation analysis to designs involving more than 3 variables. Analyses for measured and latent variable path models will be covered. This course also includes instruction in programming in and interpretation of the output for computer software for conducting SEM. Beyond the basics, advanced topics such as SEM for clustered (i.e. multilevel) data and latent transition analysis will be discussed.

BSHES 797R (VC) Directed Study
Provides in-depth exposure to an advanced special topic not covered in regular courses.

BSHES 798R (VC) Research Hours
Directed student-driven research and writing.

BSHES 799R (VC) Dissertation Research
Directed doctoral dissertation research and writing (for post-candidacy students only).