The Boston University BS in Behavior and Health (BSBH) coursework includes the Sargent core curriculum courses as well as courses designed to provide a foundation in the basic biological and psychosocial sciences. By your senior year, you will identify a specific focus for your studies that includes courses that represent critical content in that area, a practicum/internship experience, and a senior seminar taken in conjunction with the practicum. This focus may include a related minor—e.g. deaf studies or women’s studies—be tied to a specific professional career goal, or represent a core area of interest that you propose to study in more depth.

Maximum Flexibility to meet Multiple Needs

The BSBH program provides a sound foundation of knowledge related to behavior and health in the twenty-first century. Customized course selections will help prepare you for advanced study in related behavioral health fields such as anthropology, sociology, or disability studies, as well as graduate professional preparation in counseling & behavioral medicine, social work, occupational therapy, special education, rehabilitation counseling, communication disorders, and law.

Summary of BSBH Requirements

A minimum of 128 credits is required for graduation. Students must maintain a GPA of 2.0 and successfully complete all of the required courses (or transfer equivalents). Students may repeat a course only once to meet this requirement. A course will not be accepted for external transfer credit if the grade is lower than a C.

Please visit BSBH Curriculum for course descriptions and a sample BSBH plan by semester.

1 Sargent freshman seminar:

SARHP150: Freshman Year Experience

This course is designed to provide an orientation to freshmen about the college experience. Expectations, guidelines and resources will be made available to aid freshmen in making informed decisions about the quality of their education while clarifying and enhancing the students' experiences with the Boston University community. Interaction with faculty advisors and peer mentors is provided. (Credits: 0)

  • SAR-HP150 is not required for students transferring after freshman year.

2 courses in writing:

CASWR100: Writing Seminar

Topic-based seminar in academic reading and writing. Attention to reading and analyzing primary and secondary sources, argumentation, prose style, revision, and citation. Significant writing and individual conferences. (Credits: 4)

CASWR150: Writing and Research Seminar

Topic-based seminar in academic reading, writing, and research. Continuing attention to argumentation, prose style, revision, and citation, with additional emphasis on college-level research. Significant writing and individual conferences. (Credits: 4)

3 courses in biological sciences:

CASBI105: Introductory Biology for Health Sciences

Principles of biology; emphasis on cellular structure, genetics, microbiology, development, biochemistry, metabolism, and immunology. This course is appropriate for non-majors and students in the health and paramedical sciences (Sargent College). Students may not receive credit for CAS BI 105 if CAS BI 108 has already been passed. Three hours lecture, two hours lab. Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS. (Credits: 4)

CASBI106: Human Anatomy

Intensive preprofessional course for students whose programs require anatomy. Not for biology concentration credit. Gross structure of the human body; skeletal, muscular, nervous, respiratory, circulatory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. Three hours lecture, two hours lab (lab requires dissection). Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS. (Credits: 4)

CASBI211: Human Physiology

Some knowledge of chemistry and anatomy assumed. Not for concentration credit; Biology concentrators should take CAS BI 315. Introduction to principles of systemic mammalian physiology with special reference to humans. Three hours lecture, three hours lab. (Credits: 4)

  • CAS-BI105 is waived if students receive AP credit for Biology.

7 Sargent courses:

SARHP151: Introduction to the Health and Rehabilitation Professions

Freshmen Seminar. Exploration of the roles and functions of the health and rehabilitation disciplines. Introduction to the health care system and its impact on society. Sargent students only. (Credits: 2)

SARHP225: Introduction to Critical Inquiry in Behavior and Health

This course provides foundation skills in effective and efficient search of information resources relevant to the study of behavior and health, including on-line databases (e.g., PubMed, PsychInfo, CINAHL, NARIC), government sites, and other web sources. Students will learn basic skills to critically evaluate these information sources and to evaluate published research using quantitative and qualitative methods as needed to write a research-based paper. (Credits: 2)

SARHP252: Health and Disability Across the Lifespan

Overview of healthy development across the lifespan followed by an examination of common conditions that typically begin in certain stages. Each condition will be examined for its individual, group and systemic impacts. (Credits: 4)

SARHP320: Health Conditions across the Life Course

Overview of medical and psychosocial aspects of selected chronic diseases, with a particular focus on the impact of the disease and its management on the person's daily life. (Credits: 4)

SARHP353: Organization and Delivery of Health Care in the U.S.

The focus of this interdisciplinary course is on increasing the student's understanding of the health care system, the social, environmental, and behavioral factors that affect health care, and on increasing the student's ability to work in interdisciplinary teams. The student will actively engage in individual work, group discussion and teamwork through written, oral, and web site assignments. (Credits: 4)

SARHP412: Abnormal Behavior in Rehabilitation

Survey of theory, research, and therapeutic interventions related to the rehabilitation of persons with psychiatric disabilities. Presents an overview of maladaptive problems in living from personal, biological, social, and environmental perspectives. Emphasizes issues of special relevance to health and rehabilitation professionals. 4 credits, 1st semester (Credits: 4)

SARHP500: Helping Skills: Fundamentals of Health Communications

The course is designed to improve the student's cultural competence, interpersonal and human relations skills. Through lecture, experiential activities and class discussions, students explore the meaning of helping/healing and identify the factors that facilitate counseling and professional relationships. These skills are also fundamental for health promotion programs. (Credits: 4)

  • SAR-HP151 is not required for students enrolling in BU Sargent College after freshman year.
  • SAR-HP225 is a new course number and is not required for students transferring after sophomore year.
  • SAR-HP252 is waived for junior transfers.
  • SAR-HP412 or CAS-PS371 Abnormal Psychology.

7 courses in behavioral sciences:

CASPS101: General Psychology

Basic introduction to field of psychology; topics include theories and findings governing learning, memory, perception, development, personality, social and abnormal psychology. Three hours large lecture and one hour discussion section or three hours of small lecture class with no discussion sections. Requirements vary. Students are required to participate as subjects in psychology studies. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. (Credits: 4)

CASPS241: Developmental Psychology

Students will receive credit for CAS PS 241 or CAS PS 243, but not for both. Critical review of research and theories pertaining to intellectual and social development of infants and children. Role of early experiences and biological factors in later formation of personality, intellectual and motivational behaviors; theories include Erikson, Piaget, and Freud. Term paper may be required. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. (Credits: 4)

CASPS332: Behavioral Medicine

Examines applications from the social and behavioral sciences and allied health professions as they are integrated in the practice of traditional medicine. Examples of interventional strategies, treatments, and procedures, including biofeedback and hypnosis. (Credits: 4)

CASSO100: Principles in Sociology

An introduction to the major theories and basic principles of sociological analysis. Subjects include methods of social research and investigation; role of individuals in groups, organizations, and society; socialization and education; stratification; race and ethnicity; science, culture, and religion; formal and informal organization; and economic and political systems. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. (Credits: 4)

3 others acceptable behavioral sciences courses; any course number prefixed with PS- SO- or AN-

  • CAS-PS101 is waived if students receive AP credit for Psychology.

1 course in statistics:

CASMA113: Elementary Statistics

MA 113 may not be taken for credit by any student who has completed any MA course numbered 300 or higher. Students may receive credit for not more than one of the following courses: CAS MA 113, MA 115, or MA 213. Basic concepts of estimation and tests of hypotheses, ideas from probability; one-, two-, and multiple-sample problems. Applications in social sciences. Primarily for students in the social sciences who require a one-semester introduction to statistics; others should consider CAS MA 115 or MA 213. Carries MCS divisional credit in CAS. (Credits: 4)

  • MA113 or MA213 Basic Statistics & Probability or PS211 Experimental Design
  • MA113 is waived if students receive AP credit in Statistics.

1 course in health promotion/education:

SEDHE221: Foundations of Health Education

Provides the foundation for improving health through modification of daily habits. Analysis of nutrition, exercise, stress, substance abuse, and environmental health. 2cr, either sem. (Credits: 2)

2 courses in humanities:

  • 1 course in philosophy (CAS-PH150 Intro to Ethics or CAS-PH251 Medical Ethics)
  • 1 other course in any area of humanities: Classics (Greek and Latin courses beyond the elementary; all classical civilization courses, some archaeology), English Literature, Fine Arts (art history, theory, and appreciation), Modern Language (literature courses), Music (history, theory, and appreciation), Philosophy, and Religion.

1 practicum/internship with seminar (applied community setting and/or faculty mentored research):

SARHP405: Practicum and Seminar in Behavior and Health

Practical experience in a health or social service related setting related to the student's specialization area. Includes participation in weekly seminar. (Credits: 4)

  • Internships completed during Study Abroad do not fulfill the practicum requirement and cannot substitute for SAR-HP405 Practicum and Seminar.

32-credits in general elective courses distributed among the following areas depending on interest:

  • 12-credits in specialty and 20-credits in others.
  • Electives can be used to complete a minor, fulfill the specialization requirement, and/or explore other related areas. Those in the following areas are especially relevant: anthropology, foreign language, philosophy, psychology, education, religion, sociology, criminal justice, any SAR area, public health. In their senior year, students may also be eligible to take related courses in medical anthropology or behavioral medicine offered by the Graduate Medical Sciences program.
  • Courses taken toward a minor will also count toward this elective total.
  • The Behavior & Health program offers one general elective: SAR-HP220 Occupation and Health.

SARHP220: Occupation and Health

Exploration of the factors that influence how people spend their time, including their choice of activity and their ability to perform important and meaningful activities, and of the impact of these occupations on health and well-being across the life course. (Credits: 2)

Minors and Study Abroad programs strongly encouraged (view BU Sargent’s Distinctive Academic Opportunities for more info).

Students transferring from BU College of General Studies

For students who enter the BSBH program from the Boston University College of General Studies (CGS), courses taken at CGS that satisfy the BSBH curriculum requirements are:

  • CGS-NS201 Biology I substitutes for CAS-BI105 Biology I.
  • CGS-RH101 English Composition & RH102 English Composition and Research complete the Writing requirement (CAS-WR100 & WR150).
  • CGS-HU201/202 Humanities III/IV complete the Humanities requirement.
  • CGS-SS101 Social Sciences I completes CAS-SO100 Principles of Sociology. SS101 and SS104 (CGS January freshmen) also may count for SO100.
  • Other courses fulfill general electives.
  • CGS students can petition out of CGS-NS202 Natural Science II and take CAS-BI106 Human Anatomy instead.

Questions about the BSBH Program?

Please visit BU Undergraduate Admissions or contact an Academic Counselor at BU Sargent College’s Academic Services Center (room SAR-207, email, or phone 617-353-2713).