Courses

Former state Sen. Richard Stevens and former state Rep. Jennifer Weiss speak with students in a patient advocacy course.

The Department of Health Behavior offers a variety of courses, giving our students a wide range of topics and skills to pursue. In addition to taking core and elective courses within the department, our students can also take courses across different schools across the UNC campus, as well as at other local institutions, including Duke and NC State.


Gillings Program SearchCheck out the beta version of our new Gillings Program Search (GPS) for prospective students. The GPS provides a search option for our School’s degree and non-degree programs, as well as the ability to drill down to an overview of each program’s quick facts and related information about how to apply. See our tuition and fees page for related information.


See HB registration information.

Official course descriptions taken from the UNC Graduate Record are below.

Additional courses may be added on a semester basis at discretion of the department.

See UNC Registrar’s site for courses by semester.

Titles link to the syllabus for that course. Please note that some syllabi are for past semesters, so dates will not apply to future semesters.


HBEH 396 Independent Study in Health Behavior
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring | Type: Elective | 1‑6 Credit Hours

Advanced course for undergraduates who wish to pursue a topic or research study in Health Behavior. To be arranged with faculty. An approved work plan is required.

HBEH 600 Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer | Type: Skills | 3 Credit Hours

This course focuses on social and behavioral science theories, research and interventions aimed at promoting health of individuals, groups, communities and populations. Two lecture hours per week.

HBEH 601 Principles of Statistical Inference for Health Behavior
Semesters Offered: Fall | Type: Core | 3 Credit Hours

Required preparation, knowledge of basic descriptive statistics. Majors only. Major topics include elementary probability theory, probability distributions, estimation, tests of hypotheses, paired and independent samples t-tests, ANOVA, linear and logistic regression, correlation and chi-squared procedures. SAS, a statistical software package, is used in the course.

HBEH 610 Alternative Spring Break
Semesters Offered: Spring | Type: Elective | 2 Credit Hours

This course will explore issues, theories and experiences relevant to social action, coalition building, and social change. The content of this course will be examined by confronting the possibilities and limitations of service and service-learning as it relates to APPLES Alternative Spring Break experiences.

HBEH 611 Philanthropy as a Tool for Social Change
Semesters Offered: Spring | Type: Elective | 3 Credit Hours

In this course, students learn about and experience the process of awarding grants to local agencies. In addition to participating in the grant-making process, students learn about the nonprofit sector and the philosophy and practice of philanthropy through readings, class exercises, and guest speakers.

HBEH 660 Medical Journalism
Semesters Offered: Fall | Type: Elective | 3 Credit Hours

Prepares students to work as medical and health journalists for a variety of media, including print, broadcast, and the Internet. The course emphasizes writing skills and interpreting medical and health information for consumers.

HBEH 690 Special Topics in Health Behavior and Health Education
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring | Type: Elective | 1‑3 Credit Hours

An experimental course designed for faculty who wish to introduce a new course to the discipline.

HBEH 700 Introduction to Public Health and Public Health Education
Semesters Offered: Fall | Type: Core | 2 Credit Hours

This course offers an introduction to public health, a history of public health and public health education, and an overview of population health/social determinants of health.

HBEH 703 Program Management Part I
Semesters Offered: Fall | Type: Core | 1 Credit Hour

Topics included in the fall semester focus on knowledge and skills to manage programs. Specific topics include leadership, followership, emotional intelligence, communication, conflict management, negotiation, and participatory decision making. The primary assignment involves a self-assessment and identification of a self-development plan.

HBEH 704 Program Management Part II
Semesters Offered: Spring | Type: Core | 1 Credit Hour

The spring semester will focus on knowledge and skills to manage programs with an emphasis on personnel and resources management. Specific topics include: supervision, interviewing, salary negotiation, non-profit management, organizational culture, budgeting, and proposal development.

HBEH 705 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health: A Population Perspective
Semesters Offered: Spring | Type: Elective | 1‑3 Credit Hours

This seminar course explores health challenges faced by LGBT populations. Discussions will span a variety of health behaviors and outcomes, determinants of health, developmental stages, identities, and settings. Students will be able to identify conceptual frameworks and considerations relevant in LGBT health research and practice.

HBEH 706 Effective Training for Global Health
Semesters Offered: Spring | Type: Elective | 1‑3 Credit Hours
This course is global.

Students are introduced to adult learning principles, effective training methods, course design and evaluation for international audiences and settings, and characteristics of culturally-competent trainers. Students work in teams to: design a course and activity; facilitate the activity; and provide and incorporate feedback to foster peer sharing and learning.

HBEH 715 Communication for Health-Related Decision Making
Semesters Offered: Spring | Type: Elective | 1‑3 Credit Hours

Course provides foundation and skills to understand and improve decision making that affects people’s health. It teaches theoretical basis and evidence-based applications of health-related decision making.

HBEH 726 Adolescent Health
Semesters Offered: Fall | Type: Elective | 1‑3 Credit Hours

Topics covered include the epidemiology of health problems, developmental issues, health services, and psychosocial influences on adolescent problem behaviors. Course materials are useful for research generation and practical application. Three seminar hours per week.

HBEH 727 Patient Advocacy
Semesters Offered: Fall rarely | Type: Elective | 3 Credit Hours

Explore competing definitions of patient advocacy. Topics related to ethics, policy, and law will be covered in the context of what have often been termed patient rights and responsibilities. Three lectures hours per week.

HBEH 730 Theoretical Foundations of Behavior and Social Science
Semesters Offered: Fall | Type: Core | 3 Credit Hours

This course covers selected social and behavioral science theories and concepts that apply to the analysis of health-related behaviors and intervention strategies.

HBEH 742 MPH Practicum
Semesters Offered: Summer | Type: Skills | 1‑4 Credit Hours

Majors only. Individual field training opportunity that serves as a bridge between a student’s academic training and applied public health practice.

HBEH 744 Research Practicum I
Semesters Offered: Summer | Type: Skills | 2 Credit Hours

Students must complete a mentored research practicum. The mentor and student will develop a contract to achieve the research. The practicum requires a total of two hundred hours of work starting in the second year of the program.

HBEH 745 Research Practicum II
Semesters Offered: Fall | Type: Skills | 2 Credit Hours

Prerequisite, HBHE 744. Students must complete a publishable manuscript based on the Research Practicum I course.

HBEH 746 MPH Capstone I
Semesters Offered: Fall | Type: Core | 2 Credit Hours

Capstone class sessions are opportunities for students to prepare for, reflect upon, synthesize, and generalize from their Capstone projects.

HBEH 750 Applied Research Methods
Semesters Offered: Fall | Type: Core | 3 Credit Hours

Prerequisite for nonmajors, permission of the instructor. Research methods of relevance to planned change in health-related behavior and program planning. Research designs include quantitative and qualitative methods and focus on application to public health practice. Four lecture hours per week.

HBEH 752 Public Health Intervention and Evaluation
Semesters Offered: Fall | Type: Core | 3 Credit Hours

In this course, students will critically examine and apply the concepts and methodologies necessary for effectively developing, selecting, adapting, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based public health interventions.

HBEH 753 Qualitative Research Methods
Semesters Offered: Spring | Type: Core | 3 Credit Hours

Prerequisite, HBEH 750. Approaches to designing qualitative research studies for the development and evaluation of public health programs. Emphasis is on the practice of collecting and analyzing data from individual interviews, focus group discussions, and observations.

HBEH 754 Advanced Qualitative Research Methods in Health Behavior and Health Research
Semesters Offered: Fall | Type: Core | 3 Credit Hours
This course is global.

Prerequisite, HBHE 753. This course provides advanced graduate students in public health and related fields the opportunity to explore different analytic approaches and techniques and develop analysis and writing skills. Students will apply methods they learn to analyze, interpret and write-up the results of their own qualitative research.

HBEH 756 Social and Peer Support in Health: An Ecological and Global Perspective
Semesters Offered: Spring | Type: Elective | 3 Credit Hours
This course is global.

Course will survey social support in health, including the nature and key processes of social support, cultural influences in different countries, and approaches to promoting peer support in health promotion around the world. Term assignment will entail planning a peer support program or research project of the student’s choice.

HBEH 760 Advanced Research Methods I
Semesters Offered: Fall | Type: Core | 3 Credit Hours

Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Doctoral seminar on fundamentals of research in health behavior, including conceptualization of research questions and hypotheses, measurement, sampling, and observational research designs.

HBEH 761 Advanced Research Methods II
Semesters Offered: Spring | Type: Core | 3 Credit Hours

Prerequisite, HBEH 760. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Doctoral seminar on sampling and selected topics in statistical analysis; continuation of HBEH 760.

HBEH 765 Cancer Prevention and Control Seminar
Semesters Offered: Fall | Type: Elective | 3 Credit Hours

An interdisciplinary overview of cancer prevention and control. Emphasis on projects and activities from perspectives of epidemiology, health behavior and education, and health policy and management. Appropriate research design and methodologies are covered.

HBEH 772 Planning Public Health Interventions
Semesters Offered: Spring | Type: Core | 3 Credit Hours

In this course, students use a comprehensive planning model to plan, implement, and evaluate an evidence-based intervention that addresses a public health problem within a defined population.

HBEH 795 E-Health
Semesters Offered: Spring | Type: Elective | 3 Credit Hours

An overview of the positive and negative impacts of the Internet on public health. Covers research, evaluation sites, ethics, and use of theory that addresses key public health problems.

HBEH 799 Special Studies in Behavior Change
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring | Type: Elective | 1‑6 Credit Hours

Experimental course to be offered by faculty to determine the need and demand for the subject. Topics will be chosen by faculty based on current public health issues.

HBEH 811 Development and Evaluation of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Interventions
Semesters Offered: Fall | Type: Core | 3 Credit Hours

Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Second year doctoral students only. Doctoral seminar on application of theory and empirical evidence to intervention development, evaluation paradigms, and methods of process and outcome evaluations.

HBEH 812 Professional Issues
Semesters Offered: Spring | Type: Core | 3 Credit Hours

Topics related to optimal functioning as a doctorally-prepared professional, including writing and reviewing grants, manuscripts, abstracts; consulting; credentialing; teaching; job search; scholarly and research ethics; and collaboration.

HBEH 815 Foundations of Health Behavior I
Semesters Offered: Fall | Type: Core | 3 Credit Hours
This course is global.

Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. A critical examination of the conceptual, theoretical, and empirical bases of public health and health education, health transitions, globalization, and issues around social justice.

HBEH 816 Foundations of Health Behavior II
Semesters Offered: Spring | Type: Core | 3 Credit Hours

Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. A critical examination of the social determinants of health, health disparities, principles of individual and collective behavior and behavior change, and the role of health behavior in emerging public health issues.

HBEH 825 Seminar in Interdisciplinary Health Communication
Semesters Offered: Fall | Type: Elective | 3 Credit Hours

Prerequisite, HBHE 730. Permission required for nonmajors. Interdisciplinary overview of communication theory and research and critical analysis of applications of theory to interventions using communication for health.Three hours per week.

HBEH 826 Interdisciplinary Health Communication Colloquium
Semesters Offered: Fall | Type: Elective | 1.5 Credit Hours

Communication certificate student. This course is structured for interactive student/faculty discussion on health communication research and practice. Seminar and online discussion format.

HBEH 840 Advanced Field Training in Health Education
Semesters Offered: Spring | Type: Skills | 1‑3 Credit Hours

Open to doctoral students in the department. Under guidance by faculty and field counselors, students assume major responsibility for planning, executing, and evaluating community health education projects. Field fee: $125.

HBEH 842 Primary Practicum for Doctoral Students
Semesters Offered: Summer | Type: Skills | 1‑4 Credit Hours

Designed to fulfill the research practicum for doctoral students, which may involve designing and implementing a research project, carrying out data analyses, writing manuscripts, or assuming responsibility for a project.

HBEH 843 Secondary Practicum for Doctoral Students
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring | Type: Skills | 1‑4 Credit Hours

Practicum is designed to enhance knowledge and skills in teaching. Student must be involved in teaching a two- or three-credit course. Co-teaching a course may satisfy this requirement.

HBEH 860 Research Proposal Development
Semesters Offered: Spring | Type: Core | 3 Credit Hours

Restricted to doctoral students in department. Integration and application of detailed components of research methods to preparation and writing of a research grant proposal. Introduction to proposal submission and review process for various funding agencies.

HBEH 891 Special Studies in Behavior Change
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring | Type: Skills | 1‑6 Credit Hours

An independent course designed for study areas of natural or planned change; personal and nonpersonal methods, in health related fields. To be arranged with faculty in each case.

HBEH 960 Principles and Practices of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Semesters Offered: Fall | Type: Elective | 3 Credit Hours

This course is designed to introduce medical students and other health professionals to the underlying philosophies, practitioners, techniques, and evidence of efficacy of alternative therapeutics currently in use in the United States, including chiropractic, dietary, mind-body, acupuncture, homeopathy, and healing.

HBEH 992 MPH Capstone Project
Semesters Offered: Spring | Type: Core | 2 Credit Hours

Capstone is a year-long, group-based, mentored, service-learning, field experience. The course focuses on building skills specific to these service-learning projects and provides students with opportunities to discuss and generalize learning from their Capstone project experiences. The products produced are a substitute for the required Master’s thesis.

HBEH 994 Doctoral Dissertation
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring | Type: Core | 3‑9 Credit Hours

Doctoral dissertation credits.