Greater Allegheny to offer new bachelor’s degree in Biobehavioral Health

Penn State Greater Allegheny and Penn State New Kensington have been granted joint authorization to deliver the bachelor of science in biobehavioral health (BBH) program. The new four-year major will begin in fall 2016.

The goal of biobehavioral health is to address and solve problems of human health and illness. With classes in chemistry, biology, physiology, and genetics, students will have the opportunity to understand the science behind physical health. 

?The BBH degree prepares students for a wide variety of entry level positions.  Some examples include researchers or lab technicians in clinical settings; health promotion specialists for non-profit organizations, government agencies, and corporations; public health service for state and federal agencies; and sales representatives for biomedical and pharmaceutical companies,? said John Peles, interim associate director of academic affairs at Penn State Greater Allegheny, who also serves as the academic adviser for those interested in pre-med.  ?The degree also provides excellent preparation for students intending to pursue graduate study or professional training in areas such as medicine and allied health.?

The Pittsb­urgh Regional Alliance has identified health care and life sciences as one of five ?key sectors? of the region?s economy, making the addition of the biobehavioral health major an exciting one for the Greater Allegheny and New Kensington campuses.

Victoria Garwood, director of Enrollment Management, said, ?Previously, students who started at our campuses and had an interest in a health related major had no choice but to leave our environments in which many of them thrive academically and personally.  Offering BBH at the campus will allow students to start and finish their degrees in our region.?

With the addition of the new program, the Greater Allegheny campus will now offer nine baccalaureate degrees. Students can earn bachelor of science degrees in administration of justice; biobehavioral health; business; information sciences and technology; psychology; and bachelor of arts degrees in administration of justice; communications; English; letters, arts, and sciences; and psychology.

Penn State Greater Allegheny has been ranked the eighth safest college in the country,
according to, 2013 FBI reporting comparing 400 campuses.

The BBH program will be co-coordinated by Peles at Greater Allegheny and Jyotsna Kalavar, professor of human development and family studies at New Kensington. 
To learn more about the BBH major, call the Penn State Greater Allegheny Admissions Office at 412-675-9010 or email them at [email protected]