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Behavioral Sciences and Health Education

The Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education (BSHE) focuses on research and training that investigates the interaction of biological, behavioral, social, cultural, and historical processes as they contribute to the health and well-being of populations.  The faculty draws on cutting-edge research and theories from multiple disciplines, including public health, psychology, sociology, and genetics, to assess the need for social and behavioral health promotion interventions in communities, and to develop, implement, disseminate, and evaluate effective health promotion interventions that improve the public’s health.

The connections between the BSHE program and that of the MA-Bioethics program are natural. To the extent that biological, behavioral, social, cultural, and historical processes are influenced by ethical considerations and have implications for bioethical concerns, students would be well served by studying the intersection of these disciplines. As one example of such intersection, BSHE students might evaluate the effectiveness of an HIV-prevention outreach program or perform a study to investigate the connections between risk-taking behavior and cultural factors. Yet both of these projects have significant ethical components: issues of stigma, confidentiality, autonomy and responsibility permeate the consideration of these issues. Thus, students who pursue coursework in bioethics will have a deeper and broader context from which to address these issues in public health.

Visit the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education website 


As BSHE has several educational partnerships already, their curriculum for students who pursue dual degrees is set. Students will complete their first year of coursework at Rollins and their second year at the Center for Ethics. Students will be challenged to consider continually how the information and methodology from one discipline intersects with the other. Through conversations in class and careful selection of class projects, dual degree students will enhance their capacities for interdisciplinary work by ensuring a rigorous evaluation of the intersection of these two disciplines. In fact, it is entirely possible that students will return to the site of their MPH practicum to complete their MA-Bioethics practicum, the second time approaching the relevant issues or program from the perspective of bioethics instead of public health policy or practice. Regardless, the ethics framework will be deep and lasting for students in the BSHE program.

All students in the dual MA-Bioethics/MPH Program are automatically put on the examination track for the MA-Bioethics culminating experience unless prearrangements are made otherwise.

A typical student course would resemble what is listed in Table 1.

Table 1


  BSHE classes

  BIOETH classes

  Credit Hours

  Fall 1


  BIOS 500 (3)
  BIOS 500L (1)
  EPI 530 (4)
  (or EPI 504 in the spring)
  BSHE 520 (3)
  BSHE 540 (3)
  *BSHE 579 (3)
  BSHE 595 (0)


  Spring 1


  *EH 500 (2)
  *GH 500 (2)
  *HPM 500 (2)
  EPI 504 (2)
  (or EPI 530 in the fall)
  BSHE 530 (3)
  BSHE 532 (3)
  BSHE 590 (4)


  Summer 1


  (may complete MPH

  ^Elective (3)


  Fall 2


  BIOETH 501 (3)
  BIOETH 502 (3)
  BIOETH 504 (1)
  Elective (3)
  Elective (3)


  Spring 2


  BIOETH 503 (3)
  BIOETH 504 (1)
  BIOETH 601 (4)
  Elective (3)


  Summer 2


  Elective (3)

  Exam completed
  by May 20 to
  graduate in
  Summer session


* Indicates students may take this in the fall or in the spring

^ Indicates students may take an Elective at the Center for Ethics in the summer in between degree programs; however, if the student prefers to spend that summer completing the MPH practicum, the student may instead add an elective to any other semester of the MA-Bioethics program

As Table 1 demonstrates, students are expected to be able to complete this dual degree program in 2 calendar years. Regardless, students will have a maximum of 5 years to complete both programs, consistent with the Laney Graduate School Graduate Handbook.