Community Health Sciences

Complex health problems can only be understood in the context of social and cultural factors. From preventable “lifestyle diseases” to gender-based health differences, the communities we live in have profound implications for public health.

Our mission is to apply the social and behavioral sciences to enhance the health and well-being of communities and promote health equity.

As a student in the Department of Community Health Sciences, you’ll learn the skills needed to improve the health and well-being of individuals,  families, and communities. In teaching, we apply theories from biologic and social science and evidence from the field to develop effective interventions and policies, tailor them to diverse communities, and evaluate their success. Our courses emphasize assessment, intervention, communication, advocacy, and community-based research and practice.

Learn from our faculty’s expertise.

Our faculty represents a wide diversity of scholarly expertise and interests, and aim to broaden your understanding of the factors that shape the health of our communities, as well as the interventions needed to improve them. We are committed to understanding the impact of social disparities on health—and finding ways promote social change. One study area of interest is gender and sexuality: how our social constructs of gender expression and sexual orientation affect the health of both men and women. In the area of urban health, we collaborate with local agencies, organizations, and health centers to address such issues as homelessness and community violence. We also work with partners to examine family and community health systems, conducting interdisciplinary field research on public health practices.

Choose from two areas of concentration

As a student concentrating in Maternal & Child Health, you can focus on one of the following Emphasis Areas:

  • maternal and child community health practice
  • maternal and child health epidemiology and research
  • policy-making and advocacy for women, children, and families
  • sexual, reproductive, perinatal and women’s health
  • child and adolescent health and development

As a concentrator in Social & Behavioral Sciences, you can specialize in one of the following areas of emphasis:

  • health disparities
  • health communication
  • intervention planning

Related Degree Programs

To learn about application requirements, please see our Admissions section.