Behavioral and Community Health
Behavioral and community health uses an ecological framework to identify the causes of and solutions for inequalities in the health of individuals, groups, and communities. The process of promoting health for all individuals is viewed as complex and multidimensional, thus it requires the perspectives of many stakeholder groups. Practitioners and researchers in this field use theory, evidence based practices, and community based strategies to improve health and well-being. By understanding the different aspects of behavioral and community health, students are able to actively engage with communities to develop approaches and solutions to everyday health issues.
Behavioral and community health also seeks to improve the public’s health through the application of social and behavioral sciences. Through studying behavior, graduates are able to not just understand disease, but are also able to modify the incidence, prevalence, and mortality rates of many diseases that affect the communities in which we live. Additionally, community health specialists promote more efficient uses of health services, adopt self-care practices, and participate actively in the design and implementation of health programs.
The Department of Behavioral and Community Health works to establish community relationships in order to develop community interventions. The faculty and students of this department promote and foster active collaboration with researchers and community partners from many different specialties and institutions. By working with the University of Maryland, the department has established several partnerships and research and service centers that work to actively engage the community in a variety of capacities.
Chair: Dr. Robert S. Gold (Professor and Chair, Founding Dean)
Professors: A. Arria, C. Baur, K. Beck, B. Boekeloo, D. Borzekowski, B. Curbow, R. Feldman, R. Gold, C. Knott, B. Portnoy, M.Q. Wang
Associate Professors: J. Butler, S. Desmond, C. Fryer, K. Green, A. Horowitz , D. Howard
Assistant Professors: E. Aparicio, E. King-Marshall , D. Jackson, K. Stoebenau
Non-Research Professional Track Faculty: S. Nkansah-Amankra, M.S. Reynolds, S. Saperstein, K. Sharp, T. Zeeger
Staff: J. Dang, T. Kennedy, B. Monis, M. Rodriguez, M. Wootten
In the Community Health major academic advising is not mandatory, but is strongly encouraged. It is recommended that students meet with an academic advisor once per semester at a minimum. To schedule an academic advising appointment with Matt Wootten or the BCH Academic Advising Graduate Assistant, Community Health Academic Advisors, go to: https://appointments-sphl.umd.edu/ramonline
HLTH491: Community Health Internship
HLTH491: Community Health Internship is a unique and rewarding experience that provides Community Health majors with the opportunity to work in a mentored, professional, public and community health setting prior to graduation. This required internship is completed during the student's final semester after all other academic requirements have been successfully completed. HLTH491 is a 12 credit, 36 hours per week (15 weeks) requirement, and should be considered a full-time commitment. Students may not enroll in other classes during the internship semester.
HLTH491 may be completed during the fall, spring, or summer semesters; for planning purposes, summer internships require an application. Questions related to HLTH491: Community Health Internship may be directed to Tracy Kennedy, Undergraduate Internship Program Manager, at email@example.com.
Community Health Honors Program
The Department of Behavioral and Community Health Honors Program offers undergraduates the opportunity to engage in challenging educational experiences related to social and behavioral aspects of public health. Rising juniors with strong academic records and significant interest in intellectual pursuits are invited to apply for this opportunity to partake in independent, mentored, scholarly work.
Students interested in the Community Health Honors program must meet the following requirements:
- Student in the Community Health major
- Overall GPA of 3.5 or higher
- Have successfully completed at least 3 HLTH courses (9 credits) with a major GPA of 3.5 or higher
- Must have taken HLTH200 by the start of the program
- Have completed 45 total credits before applying to the program (students should be of junior standing [approximately 60 credits] by the first semester in the program)
- Must have at least 2 semesters left of coursework prior to the HLTH491 Community Health Internship
Community Health Honors Program highlights include:
- Working one on one with a Department of Behavioral and Community Health faculty member on a thesis/project
- Graduating with distinction of departmental honors
- Ability to take HONR seminars and be a part of the UMD Honors College
- Access to HLTH410, a small, seminar-style Honors Program course to develop personal interests and professional skills
Interested students may learn more about the Community Health Honors Program by going to: http://sph.umd.edu/department/bch/undergraduate-honors-program or contacting Dr. Kerry Green, Honors Program Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eta Sigma gamma
Eta Sigma Gamma is the only National Professional Honorary in Health Education. Since being revitalized in 2017, the Epsilon Chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma (ESG) has proudly excelled in the ares of service, academics, and membership growth. Through our philanthropy and social activities, members find lifetime friendships and valuable connections for the future.
All community health majors (graduate and undergraduate) are welcome to join. Initiation of members occurs once per year. To be eligible for initiation members must:
- Attend meetings regularly
- Participate in at least 2 events per semester
- Maintain a GPA of 2.7 or higher
For more information visit: https://terplink.umd.edu/organization/etasigmagamma
Scholarships and Financial Assistance
The Office of Student Financial Aid administers all types of federal, state, and institutional financial assistance programs, and in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For information, go to: https://www.financialaid.umd.edu/.
The School of Public Health also provides some scholarships for undergraduate students in need, including the Jerry P. Wrenn Endowed Scholarship, the School of Public Health Student Emergency Scholarship, the SPH Scholarship Fund, and TerpStart Scholarships. To learn more about School of Public Health scholarships, go to: http://sph.umd.edu/content/financing-your-degree.
Additional information on UMD-related financial resources can be found at http://sph.umd.edu/content/student-resources-and-services, by clicking the “Financial/Resource Assistance” link.
Awards and Recognition
Each spring, the Department of Behavioral and Community Health recognizes a select few exceptional Community Health undergraduates and graduates by honoring them with awards in recognition of their achievements at the annual School of Public Health Convocation.