219 Biobehavioral Health Building, 814-863-7256, Fax: 814-863-7525

Dr. Roger McCarter, Interim Head of the Department, 219 BBH Building, 814-863-7256

Dr. Frank Ahern, Professor-In-Charge, Undergraduate Programs, 222 BBH Building, 814-863-0185,

Dr. Elizabeth Lasher, Internship Coordinator, 219 BBH Building, 814-865-0654,

Dr. Michele Stine, Teaching Associate Professor and Academic Adviser, 219 BBH Building, 814-863-7256,

Kerri Lai, Academic Adviser, 224 BBH Building, 814-863-7256,

Rebecca Reitz, Academic Adviser, 225 BBH Building, 814-863-7256,

Staci Schreiber, Academic Adviser, 223 BBH Building, 814-863-7256,

Cyndi Meyers, Undergraduate Program Staff Assistant, 219 BBH Building, 814-863-7256,

For the most current information about the program visit the BBH Undergraduate Home Page at

University Faculty Senate Approved Curriculum
Recommended Academic Plan(s)
Semester-by-semester academic plans recommend in table form the courses students might schedule each semester as they pursue a particular degree. These tables serve several University purposes and assist multiple constituencies: students, advisers, departments, deans, registrars, admissions officers, and family members. The plans:
  • Identify normal academic progress, course offerings, and recommended course sequencing;
  • Assist students and advisers in planning academic schedules, registrars and departments in planning course offerings, and registrars and deans in determining when students should change campus;
  • Help students to anticipate the academic workload and courses needed to earn a degree, and to schedule appropriate prerequisites;
  • Serve as tools to help advisers learn the curriculum.

Semester scheduling recommendations for all baccalaureate majors can also be found in the University Bulletin.

Degree Audit
BB H Degree Audit

The Biobehavioral Health program is a bachelor of science (B.S.) program.

With classes in chemistry, biology, physiology, and genetics, you will have the opportunity to understand the science behind health. In the program, you will focus on the study of physical health. The goal of Biobehavioral Health is to help you address and solve problems of human health and illness.

The program is designed to help you prepare for entry-level jobs in a range of biomedical and health-related areas. If you are interested in a career in research, laboratory management, biomedical products, technical support positions in biomedical and health-related fields.

This major also will provide excellent preparation for advanced study in areas such as medicine, public health, environmental health and safety, and human services.

Biobehavioral Health (BBH) Program Information

Programs in the Department of Biobehavioral Health help you prepare to look at health issues in an integrated way, by taking into account the many different factors—biological, behavioral, social, cultural, and environmental—that influence health throughout the life span.

The program has a great deal of flexibility and allows you to tailor your degree to meet your career goals. It is also can lay an excellent groundwork for graduate school, including medical school.

Upon the completion of the undergraduate program in Biobehavioral Health, you will be able to:

  • Describe and understand the fundamental biological, behavioral, social, cultural and environmental processes that influence health and disease.
  • Explain how the fundamental processes underlying health and disease can interact to produce individual differences in health, and health disparities among groups.
  • Critically evaluate current empirical research on health and disease, explaining implications and limitations to the lay public.
  • Understand and apply ethical principles in the conduct of research and professional practice and in the analyses in implementations of health-related policies and programs
  • Plan, implement, and evaluate health promotion/disease prevention programs for diverse populations.

Course Scheduling Tips and Recommendations

Foundation Requirements: These are courses we encourage you to complete during your first 4 semesters (parentheses indicate section of the degree audit fulfilled by these requirements).

(A1) BB H 101, CHEM 110*, STAT 200/240/250, PSYCH 100, BIOL 141*

(A2) BIOL 110, NUTR 251

*While the lab for this course is not required for the major, it is required for the course to also count for GN credits.

Core Requirements: BB H classes which every student must pass with a C or better. We encourage you to take 300 level classes by the end of your second year/4th semester.

(A3) BB H 310, 311, 316,411W, 440

Science Requirements:

(A4) Genetics: BIOL 133 or 222*

*BIOL 133: Genetics and Evolution of the Human Species. Only offered spring semesters and cannot be taken (except with special permission) AFTER you have passed BIOL 220W, 230W, or 240W. BIOL 222: Genetics. More general than BIOL 133. Only offered fall semesters.

Students planning for med school or other clinical training graduate programs should consider taking BIOL 133 during their first 4 semesters, if possible.

(A5) Other Basic Sciences: 12 credits, selected from choices below. Courses designated as Natural Science courses for General Education (GN) may be used in this section. The following are the courses generally recommended for specific BB H concentrations within the major:

Biological Processes Concentration: BIOL 129, 230W, 240W, KINES 202, MICRB 106/107, 201/202, CHEM 111, 112, 113, 202/203, 210, 212, 213W, BMB 211/212, 251/252, PHYS 250, 251

Public Health Concentration: ANTH 021, 022, 216, 218, EARTH 100, 103, 111, EM SC 101, 420, EGEE 101, 102, 110, 210, ERM 210, FD SC 405, 406, 407, 408, GEOG 110, 111, VB SC 211, 230, 231

BB H Elective Courses: Select 15 credits
(A6) BB H courses at the 200-level or above that are not required for other areas (e.g., A1 or A3).
Health and Developmental Sciences:
(A7) General Health and Developmental Sciences: Select 9 credits from courses offered in H P A, HD FS (other than 129), KINES (3 credit content courses only), CSD, NURS, RPTM, H M, NUTR (other than 251), PSYCH 212, 243, 270, 441, 470
(A8) HD FS: Select 3 credits from the following options—HD FS 129, 229, 239, 249

(A9) BB H 301
University Wide Offerings (Section B; NOTE: 6 of the following 11 total credits must be at the 400 level)
(B2) Health Promotion: Select 3 credits from the following list: BB H 416, 417, NURS 401, 464, PSYCH 441, 474, CAS 253, 453, KINES 403, 445, HD FS 311, 401, 410, 414, 415, 440, 446, 450, 452, 453, 454, 455, H P A 301
(B3) Other Outside Courses: Select 8 credits of courses outside the major. These courses are often courses required for admission to specific graduate or professional programs or courses required to complete a minor. Courses taken as part of an Education Abroad program also may satisfy these credits.

General Education Requirements
GWS: Writing and Speaking Skills
ENGL 015/030
ENGL 202*
CAS 100
*We recommend that you take ENGL 202A (Writing in the Social Sciences) or 202C (Technical Writing) as these courses will cover the type of writing you are most likely to need to master for graduate programs or professional writing in the field. You may select any CAS 100 class you wish.
GQ: Quantification (6 credits, total)
GQ: Math—Any math course from MATH 017 up can satisfy this requirement, however, many graduate programs have specific math entrance requirements. In addition, you may be required to successfully complete MATH 021 before taking CHEM 110, depending on your scores on the CHEM placement exam.
GQ: Applied Math or Statistics—Your STAT 200, 240, or 250 course from A1 will satisfy this requirement.

GN: Natural Science (9 credits)
In order for CHEM 110 to count toward these 9 credits, you will need to take CHEM 111 as well.
GA: General Arts (6 credits)—You may select any course that is designated as a GA course to fulfill these credits.*
GH: General Humanities (6 credits)—You may select any course designated as a GH for these credits.*

GS: General Social Science (6 credits)—These credits will be satisfied with PSYCH 100 (A1) and the HD FS course you select for A8.
GHA: General Health and Activity (3 credits)—These credits will be satisfied with BB H 101 (A1).
*If you wish to study abroad, you may want to delay completing your GA and GH requirements until that semester in order to take those courses while you are abroad. Bear in mind, however, that you will need to maintain 12-15 credits per semester in order to stay at full time status and make progress toward completing your degree, and this may necessitate taking some of your GA or GH courses earlier in your academic career.

IL/US Cultures (6 credits—3 credits IL, 3 credits US)
These credits will most likely be fulfilled by courses already required for the major (e.g. BB H 440 will satisfy either of these) or courses taken to satisfy General Education requirements. Please be mindful to check periodically that these requirements have been fulfilled, but students rarely need to take additional classes in order to fulfill these credits.
Writing Across the Curriculum (W- 3 credits)
All students must complete at least 3 credits of writing intensive course work outside of the general education writing courses, designated by a “W” after the course number. These credits may be fulfilled by the W course offered by the BB H department or other programs (e.g., students in the Psychology minor may take PSYCH 301W). Because specific courses required for the major and for a selected minor may carry the W designation, some students will take more than one W course.

Supporting Courses

Basic Science

CHEM 110, CHEM 111, CHEM 112, CHEM 113, CHEM 202 or CHEM 210, CHEM 203 or CHEM 213, CHEM 212, MICRB 106, MICRB 107, PSYCH 260, AN SC 479, ANTH 021, ANTH 022, ANTH 216, B M B 211, BIOL 155, BIOL 129, BIOL 142, BIOL 220W, BIOL 230W, BIOL 240W, BIOL 422, BIOL 409, BIOL 479, EARTH 100, EARTH 103, EGEE 101, EGEE 102, EM SC 101, FD SC 404, FD SC 405, FD SC 406, FD SC 407, FD SC 408, GEOG 110, GEOG 314, PHYS 250, PHYS 251, PSYCH 460, PSYCH 461, PSYCH 462, PSYCH 464, PSYCH 470, PSYCH 473, VB SC 211, VB SC 230, VB SC 231

BBH Elective course

BB H 203, BB H 251, BB H 302, BB H 305, BB H 315, BB H 324, BB H 368, BB H 390A, BB H 402, BB H 407, BB H 410, BB H 416, BB H 417, BB H 432, BB H 446, BB H 451, BB H 452, BB H 458, BB H 468, BB H 469, BB H 470, BB H 490

Health and Developmental Sciences

CSD 100, CSD 101, CSD 146, CSD 218, CSD 230, CSD 269, H P A 057, H P A 101, H P A 310, HD FS 229, HD FS 239, HD FS 249, HD FS 250, HD FS 302A, HD FS 311, HD FS 315, HD FS 405, HD FS 416, HD FS 418, HD FS 428, HD FS 429, HD FS 431, HD FS 433, HD FS 445, HD FS 468, KINES 100, KINES 101, KINES 141, KINES 165, KINES 180, KINES 203, KINES 304, KINES 356, KINES 358, NUTR 111, NUTR 358, NUTR 360, PSYCH 212, PSYCH 243, PSYCH 270

Scientific Thought and Philosophy

BB H 301W (preferred), PHIL 110, PHIL 132, RL ST 131

Health Promotion

BB H 390B, 416, 417, 495 (or 497D internship experience), UHS BB H 497 courses, NURS 401, NURS 464, PSYCH 441, PSYCH 474, CAS 453, KINES 403, KINES 445, HD FS 401, HD FS 410, HD FS 414, HD FS 415, HD FS 440, HD FS 446, HD FS 450, HD FS 452, HD FS 453, HD FS 454, HD FS 455, RHS 403, CMAS 465, CMAS 466, CMAS 493

Helpful Suggestions on the Degree Requirements for the BB H Major

Health Professions Undergraduate Course Requirements

Graduate Program Admission Prerequisites