Behavioral and Community Health (BCHL)

Graduate Degree Program
College: Public Health


The Department offers graduate study leading to the Master Public Health (MPH) in Behavioral and Community Health and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Behavioral and Community Health. The graduate programs are designed to prepare behavioral and community professionals with specific skills and the ability to implement theoretical knowledge in a practical setting.

The goal of the doctoral program is to develop health professionals competent in understanding the health needs of populations who are qualified to conduct research in order to implement programs and policies aimed at improving the public’s health. This program is very selective and admission is competitive. The program provides students with the opportunity to develop research skills essential in making significant contributions to the scientific and professional literature in behavioral and community health.

Degree programs may be completed either full-time or part-time, although full-time is preferred. Faculty support coursework, research and practice experiences in many areas, including: health communication; health behavior; adolescent health; women’s health; health literacy and health disparities. Faculty hold doctoral degrees in public health, psychology, health education, sociology and epidemiology. The Department offers excellent research and laboratory facilities including the Center for Young Adult Health and Development and the Prevention Research Center.

Financial Assistance

The Department offers a limited number of fellowships, and graduate teaching and research assistantships. Please contact the Director of Graduate Studies for further information.


Katherine Sharp, PhD, MPH
Associate Clinical Professor
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Behavioral and Community Health
1234V School of Public Health Building
4200 Valley Drive
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Telephone: 301.405.2464
Fax: 301.314.9167


Courses: HLTH SPHL

Relationships: Epidemiology (EPDM), Health Administration (HLSA), Maternal and Child Health (MCHS)

The Ph.D. in Behavioral and Community Health program has a two-part application process: applicants must submit the SOPHAS application (, the centralized application service for schools and programs of public health, and the UMD Supplemental applicationBoth applications must be submitted and verified by the scheduled deadline. Applications will be reviewed when the SOPHAS and the UMD Supplemental applications are completed. 


  • A Bachelor's degree
  • Minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA
  • Transcripts from all previous coursework
  • English proficiency test score (TOEFL, IELTS or PTE) (international applicants)
  • Statement of purpose and objectives, including career and educational goals, professional experience, and research areas of interest


  • SOPHAS Application & UMD Supplemental Application
  • A master's degree in public health or a related field is preferred but not required
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • A writing sample is required. Please submit ONE of the following: published manuscript, undergraduate or graduate thesis/capstone project, research paper/report for a class or employer/client. If you submit a published manuscript and you are not the first author, describe the contributions you made to the publication.
  • Fit between applicant's goals, expectations and research interests and program competencies and faculty expertise
  • Official GRE Test Score submission is not required for Fall 2023 admissions. 
  • Applicants being considered for the program will be invited for an interview. 

Note for applicants with foreign credentials:

  • The SOPHAS application requires that applicants submit a WES credential evaluation
  • The UMD supplemental application requires the upload of unofficial transcripts issued in the original language along with a literal English translation. Visit the Graduate School website for additional information.
  • Evidence of English Language proficiency is required if the applicant does not hold a degree from a U.S. institution or from one of the English-speaking countries listed on the Graduate School websiteLanguage scores must be submitted to the SOPHAS and the UMD supplemental application.

For detailed instructions on how to submit your application, please visit the School of Public Health Website:


Type of Applicant Fall Deadline
Domestic Applicants
US Citizens and Permanent Residents November 10, 2023
International Applicants
F (student) or J (exchange visitor) visas; A,E,G,H,I and L visas and immigrants November 10, 2023


Department Website:
Program Website:
Application Process:
Admissions FAQ:

The Department has research specializations in a variety of areas including:

  • Minority health/social inequalities in health
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Safety and health
  • Sexual health
  • Adolescent health and risk behavior
  • Violence prevention/community violence
  • Public health communication
  • Health literacy
  • Treatment of nicotine dependence

Specialized laboratories operating within the Department include:

  • The Center for Young Adult Health and Development
  • The Prevention Research Center
  • The Center for Health Behavior Research

The proximity of the nation’s capital, the National Institutes of Health, the National Library of Medicine, and Food and Drug Administration, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and numerous public health focused private and not-for-profit organizations/agencies render the University of Maryland unusually well suited for graduate work in behavioral and community health.

Last Name First/Middle Name Graduate Faculty Status Academic Credentials Positions
Aparicio Elizabeth Full Member M.S.W., Catholic University of America, 2005; Ph.D., University of Maryland Baltimore, 2014 Assistant Professor, Behavioral and Community Health
Arria Amelia Full Member B.S., Cornell University, 1986; Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 1993. Associate Professor, Behavioral and Community Health
Baur Cynthia Full Member M.A., University of California - San Diego, 1992; Ph.D., University of California - San Diego, 1995 Professor, Behavioral and Community Health
Boekeloo Bradley O. Full Member B.A., Kalamazoo College, 1981; S.C.M.,Johns Hopkins University, 1985; Ph.D., 1989. Professor, Behavioral and Community Health
Borzekowski Dina Full Member B.S., 1998, Cornell University; M.S., 1989, Columbia University; Ed.M., 1990, Harvard University; Ed.D., 1994, Harvard University Research Professor, Behavioral and Community Health
Butler James Full M.Ed., Temple University, 1994; D.P.H., University of Pittsburgh, 1999 n/a, Behavioral and Community Health
Desmond Sharon M. Full Member B.A., University of Toledo, 1982; M.S., 1984; Ph.D., 1988. Associate Professor, Behavioral and Community Health
Fryer Craig Full M.P.H., University of Pittsburgh, 1997; D.P.H., Columbia University, 2006 n/a, Behavioral and Community Health
Green Kerry Full Member B.S., College of William and Mary; M.A., University of Maryland; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University Assistant Professor, Behavioral and Community Health
Horowitz Alice Munkhoff Associate B.A., University of Iowa, 1964; M.A., University of Iowa, 1965; Ph.D., University of Maryland, 1992 Associate Research Professor, Behavioral and Community Health
Howard Donna E. Full Member B.S., University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 1978; M.P.H., University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1980; D.Pub.Hlth., Johns Hopkins University,1994. Associate Professor, Behavioral and Community Health
King-Marshall Evelyn Claire Associate B.S., University of Florida, 2005; M.P.H., University of Florida, 2007, Ph.D., University of Florida, 2013 n/a, Behavioral and Community Health
Knott Cheryl L Full Member B.S.,SUNY-Brockport; M.S.,East Tennessee University; Ph.D.,St. Louis University Associate Professor, Behavioral and Community Health
Sharp Katherine E. Associate B.S., University of Maryland, 1990; MPH, Emory University, 1996; Ph.D., Kent State University, 2005. Graduate Director, Behavioral and Community Health
Associate Clinical Professor, Behavioral and Community Health
Stoebenau Kirsten Associate B.S., Emory University, 1995; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 2006 n/a, Behavioral and Community Health
Wang Min Qi Full Member Ed.D., Syracuse University; B.S., M.S., The City College of New York Professor, Behavioral and Community Health