Biobehavioral health (BBH) is the study of all factors that influence human health and well-being. In this interdisciplinary program at Penn State Greater Allegheny, students study the fundamental factors that influence human health and disease, as well as the factors that contribute to health disparities among diverse groups of people. Students also gain hands-on experience in: (1) Conducting scientific research; (2) Interpreting and applying the results of research to health-related issues; and (3) Planning and implementing health promotion or disease prevention programs.
Coursework for the BBH degree provides an opportunity to explore aspects of the science behind physical health by completing courses in biology, chemistry, physiology, and genetics. In addition to the physical aspects of health, classes in psychology and human development provide a whole-person understanding of health-related issues. Importantly, course requirements for the program have a great deal of flexibility and allow students to tailor the degree to meet their career goals.
The BBH degree prepares students for a wide variety of careers. Some examples include:
- Researchers or laboratory technicians in clinical settings
- Health promotion specialists at medical facilities or with non-profit organizations, government agencies, or corporations
- Public health and service for state and federal agencies
- Sales representatives for pharmaceutical companies
The degree also provides excellent preparation for students intending to pursue graduate study or professional training in areas such as nursing, medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, genetic counseling, and physician assistant programs.