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Mission Statement of Health Behavior Science

The field of Health Behavior Science focuses on understanding and promoting optimal health and reducing the burden of chronic and acute disease in diverse populations.  This mission is accomplished through partnership with organization and community agencies, practicum and internship experiences, course work reflecting the social and behavioral factors of health and research opportunities and experiences. Opportunities to explore topical knowledge and experience in additional areas are gained through approved minors.

What is Health Behavior Science?

Health Behavior Science is the study of how individuals (e.g., race, age, disability status, knowledge), social (e.g., peer-groups), and environmental (e.g., policies, access to parks, worksite wellness programs) factors shape our health and well-being across the lifespan. We work to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce the burden of disease through the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of programs designed to change specific health behaviors for individuals and/or target populations.

Example Topics of Study in Health Behavior Science: Mental Health and Stress, Substance Use and Abuse, Physical Activity Promotion, Global Health, and Health Communication.

What does the Health Behavior Science major involve?

The health behavior science major includes 120 course credit hours.  In addition to the major curriculum, students choose from a list of approved minors.   See the details below about the course curriculum and approved minors. 

Health Behavior Science majors take classes in the following areas: Health Behavior Change, Community Health Assessment and Planning, Health & Disability, and Anatomy and Physiology. 

What do Health Behavior Science Majors Study?

Health Behavior Science majors take classes in the following areas:

  • Health Behavior Change
  • Community Health Assessment and Planning
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Physical Activity Behavior
  • Health and Aging
  • Health & Disability
  • Health Coaching
  • Health Communication
  • Anatomy and Physiology

Within the Health Behavior Science major students must choose a related minor. Minors provide an opportunity to specialize in a specific discipline related to the major, AND position you better for jobs within the field of health behavior science.  Options include:

  • Business Administration
  • Coaching Science
  • Disability Studies
  • Entrepreneurial Studies
  • Exercise Science
  • Health, Physical Activity and Disability
  • Leadership
  • Nutrition
  • Public Health
  • Psychology
  • Strength and Conditioning

What careers do Health Behavior Science professionals go into?

Health Behavior Science professionals can work within a variety of settings including non-profits, health management organizations, corporate wellness sites, and hospitals. They also work with a range of population groups such as older adults, individuals with disabilities, children and adolescents. Within medical facilities, options include working one-on-one with patients or families, or engaging in efforts to reach out to a community or at-risk population.  Within college settings, efforts can focus on promoting student health via residence life, recreation and health programs, or counseling and educational programs.  In public health settings, options include working with local and state public health departments, and/or on statewide councils or national committees that address specific health issues.  In non-profits (such as American Heart Association, American Cancer Society), efforts focus on addressing the health issue(s) of interest to the organization via program development, needs assessment, marketing and communication, and/or community outreach.  Within worksites, options include work in wellness or worksite health promotion programs, medical offices, and employee assistance programs.  Health behavior science majors also work well in health-related businesses providing marketing support, or delivery of a specific service.

Jobs in the health behavior science field require professionals to be adept at some or all of the following skills:

  • Identifying target populations for health behavior interventions
  • Planning health promotion programs for specific audiences
  • Conducting program evaluations or overseeing evaluations conducted by others
  • Providing health-related screening services for individuals
  • Coaching or counseling individuals so that they can reach health behavior goals
  • Conducting workshops, training sessions, and courses on health concerns
  • Developing and implementing public media or social marketing campaigns

United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects behavioral science careers such as Health Educators, Community Health Workers, and Survey Researchers, will grow by about 15% through the year 2026.


Health Behavior Science Curriculum

Freshman Year
Freshman Year
BHAN155 Personal Health Management (3) MATH114 College Math and Statistics (3)
(PR MATH010 or MPT score of ≥45)
BHAN160 Health Behavior Science Sem (CR BHAN155)   (1) SOCIXXX Sociology Elective (3)
ENGL110 Seminar in Composition (3) UNIV101 First Year Seminar   (1)
KAAP220 Anatomy and Physiology  (3) Breadth or Multicultural Elective (3)
NTDT200 Nutrition Concepts  (3) Math, Natural Science & Technology Elective*
Social & Behavioral Science Elective**

        * Grade of C- or better required

Sophomore Year
Sophomore Year
BHAN311 Issues in Health Behav Science (PR BHAN155)    (3) Minor Course (3)
BHAN263 Leadership Practicum (Pass/Fail)      (1) Minor Course (3)
BHAN435 Physical Activity Behavior (PR KAAP220 or 309) UNIV101 First Year Seminar   (1)
BISCXXX BISC Elective  (3) Breadth or Multicultural Elective (3)
PSYC100 General Psychology (3) Breadth or Multicultural Elective (3)
STAT200 Basic Statistical Practice (3) Breadth or Multicultural Elective (3)
Junior Year
Junior Year
BHAN326 Research Methods & Statistics for Behavioral Science (PR STAT200) (3) Minor Course (3)
BHAN332 Hlth Behav Theory & Models (PR BHAN311)  (3) Minor Course (3)
BHAN334 Health Behavior Assessment (PR BHAN326 and BHAN332) (3) Minor Course (3)
BHAN335 Health and Aging (Spring only)
OR BHAN342 Intro to Adapted Physical Activity   (3)
Breadth or Multicultural or Elective   (3)
HLPR222 Intro to Epidemiology (PR STAT200 or PSYC209)    (3)
NTDT310 Nutrition and Activity (PR NTDT200 and a physiology course) (3)

Within the Health Behavior Science major students must choose a related minor. Minors provide an opportunity to specialize in a specific discipline related to the major, AND position you better for jobs within the field of health behavior science.  Common minors include: Public Health, Health, Physical Activity and Disability, and Psychology.

Apply to the Bachelors of Science in Health Behavior Science

For questions or more information, please contact our undergraduate advising team