Honors Study in Biobehavioral Health
By tackling modern-day health issues from all angles, Biobehavioral Health (BBH) students enrolled in the Schreyer Honors College immerse themselves deeply in the thrilling complexities of health care and healing.
As a student in the Schreyer Honors College, you will be empowered to make the most of your college years. Through intensive course work, you'll examine how biology and behavior intersect to affect health — and how the two disciplines fuse to solve complex health issues.
There are distinct opportunities afforded to Schreyer Scholars, including academic enrichment — such as exclusive honors courses, study abroad programs, research placements, and production of an honors thesis — as well as dedicated housing, and the distinction of graduating with honors from Penn State.
Earning a degree in Biobehavioral Health from the Schreyer Honors College will allow you to realize the fullest potential of your academic skills, creativity, determination, and innovation, opening doors to limitless graduate school and career opportunities.
BBH Students in the Schreyer Honors College
How do basic biology and behavior intersect to affect health? This question serves as the basis for the research in the department, and honors students can play a significant role in understanding the underlying issues. More details can be found in the BBH Honors Thesis Guide (A Guide to Obtaining an Honors Degree in BBH) and answers to general questions can be found at the Schreyer Honors College website.
Gateway Admission for Current Students
The Biobehavioral Health Honors Program accepts students in their sophomore and junior years through the Gateway program. See the Schreyer Honors College page for related requirements. In addition to the requirements of the Honors College, BBH requires that applicants have a commitment from a faculty member to serve as a Thesis Supervisor. The commitment should be in the form of a letter of support to the honors adviser stating that, should the applicant be admitted, the faculty member would accept the role of supervisor. This requirement stems from the fact that many honors thesis projects require a year or more of effort before writing the thesis.
- Can I do this? I’m scared about writing a thesis.
Yes. Most of us are scared to do something new and a thesis is a big (but rewarding) challenge. We’ll help you identify your interests early on in the program and help you identify a thesis supervisor. You will take small classes in research methods and developmental theory to help you build a strong foundation of knowledge before you start your thesis. And the rewards of completing a thesis are big. The skills and knowledge that you develop during the thesis process — critical thinking skills, analytic skills, strong writing skills, experience working with a thesis supervisor, and experience breaking a large task into manageable pieces — will help you in whatever career you choose.
- Is the Honors College just for students who want to go into research?
No. The Honors College will give you a terrific head start on a career in any number of fields. The main benefits of the Honors College are help thinking about your career path and how to achieve your goals, access to many opportunities to gain in-depth knowledge, advanced skills, and practical experience, closer contact with the faculty through small classes, a thesis, and individualized advising. You can design a plan for how you want to achieve your goals whatever they are and participating in the Honors College will provide you with extra tools and opportunities to get there.
- Can I still do an internship?
Yes. We strongly encourage honors students to get real-world experience through volunteering in the community, acting as teaching assistants, working in research labs, and doing internships. Most honors students have more than one real-world experience during their time in the Honors College.
- Can I study abroad and still be in the Honors College?
Yes. The Schreyer Honors College strongly encourages study abroad, and so do we. We have set up the honors curriculum so that you can study abroad and still be well-prepared for your thesis.
- I see a lot of extra requirements. Will I still graduate on time?
Yes. The Honors College requirements replace some of the typical requirements for your major. In fact, because of the flexibility the Honors College provides and the fact that many honors students have AP credits and occasionally take more than 15 credits per semester, some honors students actually graduate a semester early.
To learn more about the Schreyer Honors College or completing honors studies in Biobehavioral Health, contact: