Department Overview

Students in the Department of Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences (BSHES) study the way community and societal factors influence public health solutions and policies, and they develop skills to educate others about healthy practices and attitudes.

Our Mission: To better the health of all people by advancing knowledge and training tomorrow's leaders in how to change behavior and social conditions that influence health.

Degree Offerings

The MPH degree in behavioral, social, and health education sciences (BSHES) is geared toward students with an interest in human behavior, health communication, and policy. 
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The PhD program in behavioral, social, and health education sciences (BSHES) is offered through Laney Graduate School. Students in the program identify, analyze, and intervene in today's most pressing health issues. 
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Our department is a community of 30 faculty who are committed to interdisciplinary scholarship. Faculty hail from the disciplines of public health, psychology, sociology, epidemiology, genetics, and history. Areas of research interests include: risky sexual behaviors, tobacco and other substance use, community-based participatory research, intervention development, dissemination, and implementation research. test


Atlanta is unsurpassed nationally in its large and diverse public health community. Leading health educators and behavioral scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Arthritis Foundation, and The Carter Center serve as adjunct faculty who teach and work closely with students.


Our training and research is:

  • Positioned at the nexus of biological, behavioral, and social influences as they contribute to the health and well-being of populations.
  • Aimed to pose timely research questions that are grounded in social and behavioral theory where understanding rests on the consideration of multiple levels of influence.
  • Advancing empirical support for effective interventions that can be implemented and disseminated across a broad array of contexts.

Community Classroom

Our department regards the community as the classroom with faculty and community leaders serving as mentors to student practitioners. State and local health departments, county school systems, and public and private organizations in the city of Atlanta serve as student practicum sites as well as laboratories for our service learning courses, Community Needs Assessment and Conduct of Evaluation courses.