The PhD in behavioral and community health sciences prepares students to conduct research and teach in the social and behavioral sciences areas of public health and in academic settings. The PhD is focused on training researchers in the behavioral and community health sciences to integrate state-of-the art theory, designs, and analysis approaches to examine current problems in public health.


Recent graduates hold the following positions:

  • Director, Office of Health Survey Research, University of Pittsburgh
  • Post-doctoral fellows at the University of Pittsburgh, Johns Hopkins University, VA Pittsburgh Health Care System
  • Epidemiology intelligence officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Health services epidemiologist at the Altarum Institute
  • director, Project Silk, University of Pittsburgh Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
  • President and senior technical advisor, INSIGHT: Innovative Social Change in Global Health, LLC

Recent Dissertation Titles

  • Childhood Adversity and Its Effects on Health Over the Lifespan: Analysis of the Allegheny County Health Survey
  • Exploring the Relationship between Cognitive Health and the Social Environment of Older Adults
  • A Participatory Approach to Physical Activity Among People with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness
  • Gays in the Neighborhood: How Neighborhood and Context Impacts HIV and Substance Use Risks and Resiliencies of Gay, Bisexual and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men in New York City
  • Exploratory Research on Health Care Providers' Perspectives on Expedited Partner Therapy to Treat Patients with Chlamydia

Browse titles in D-Scholarship, the institutional repository for research output at the University of Pittsburgh.


Graduates will be able to...

  • Apply critical thinking and problem solving skills using various models and conceptual frameworks from the social and behavioral sciences;
  • Employ a social ecological perspective to the design and implementation of public health research programs;
  • Apply qualitative and quantitative methodologies in order to design and conduct rigorous and scientifically valid research at various levels of human activity including the intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, community, public policy domains.
  • Demonstrate a social justice perspective in the consideration of and sensitivity to ethical issues that influence public health, health policy, and the delivery of health care;
  • Apply data management and analysis skills and demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills in the dissemination of research findings.


  • 72 credits
  • Coursework in health behavior and community education
  • Coursework in public health foundations
  • Advanced coursework in statistics and research methods
  • Teaching practicum and a course in university teaching
  • Advanced dissertation research and coursework in an area of specialization

Full Program Information