Degrees and Certificates

The Department of Health Behavior proudly offers degree programs for the next generation of highly effective public health practitioners, faculty members, and researchers.


Check out our 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. Find out more: click link(s) below to view more details about your program(s) of interest. See our School’s tuition and fees page for related information.


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Doctoral Program Show Details

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD Residential)

Students are trained to lead research that will advance understanding of health-related behaviors and their determinants at all social levels as they contribute to critical public health problems. Doctoral students gain skills and knowledge in the empirical, conceptual and theoretical foundations of the field, research methods, intervention development and evaluation, and professional development topics. Graduates apply their training to research focused on domestic and global public health problems.

Master's-to-Doctoral Program Show Details

Master's-to-Doctoral Program (MSPH-PhD Residential)

Students are trained to pursue careers as public health researchers in health behavior. Training focuses initially on acquiring core competencies in public health and health behavior, resulting in the MSPH degree. Students then complete all the requirements for the PhD in Health Behavior.

Master's Programs Show Details

Master of Public Health (MPH Residential)

Program integrates social and behavioral science theory, research, and practice through core courses, community-based fieldwork, and professional development and career support. Students use a social ecological framework to study, develop, and evaluate interventions and policies to promote health, prevent disease and injury, and reduce health disparities. The HB MPH program prepares students for leadership positions in a wide range of public health settings.

Dual Master of Public Health and Master of City and Regional Planning (MPH-MCRP Residential)

Students apply a public health approach and social and behavioral science methods to shape the social and physical environment in ways that enhance public health and well-being.

Certificate Program Show Details

Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Health Communication (CIHC Residential)

Provides current degree-seeking residential UNC graduate students with specialized training in health communication. Courses are designed to build expertise for applied practice, academic, and research settings. IHC faculty represent 6 disciplines and conduct research on e-health, message tailoring, risk communication, health decision-making, dissemination, media effects, usability of electronic medical information, and health marketing. Residential certificate programs are available to students currently enrolled in a residential graduate degree program at UNC Gillings.

Certificate Programs Show Details

Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Health Disparities (CIHD Residential)

Provides training that supports a long-term and sustained public health effort toward addressing and ultimately eliminating public health disparities experienced by African-Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian-Americans, and Pacific Islanders, compared to the U.S. as a whole. Students enrolled in the Interdisciplinary Health Disparities Certificate Program will gain a synthesis of knowledge across a variety of disciplines and an expanded depth of the nature and causality of health disparities and be able to translate knowledge into effective action within the U.S. and across the globe. This residential certificate program is available to current degree-seeking residential UNC system affiliate graduate students and professional learners enrolled in the Part-Time Classroom Studies program through the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education.

Graduate Certificate in Global Health (CGH Residential)

The purpose of the Graduate Certificate in Global Health is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of global health conditions, needs, and solutions that cross borders in both developing and industrialized countries and regions. The Certificate complements students’ departmental requirements by offering courses and seminars that will prepare them to work in changing environments and with diverse populations, enabling them to respond competently to the challenges inherent to a career in global health.  Students will learn to identify and analyze the factors that generate disparities in health status, health resources, and access to health information and services, particularly for ethnic minorities and other marginalized and vulnerable population groups. In conferring a Global Health Certificate, the School of Public Health acknowledges students’ capability and capacity to perform as public health professionals with a global perspective, with collaborative and cross-cultural sensitivity and skills. Residential certificate programs are available to students currently enrolled in a residential graduate degree program at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Health Communication (CIHC Residential)

Provides current degree-seeking residential UNC graduate students with specialized training in health communication. Courses are designed to build expertise for applied practice, academic, and research settings. IHC faculty represent 6 disciplines and conduct research on e-health, message tailoring, risk communication, health decision-making, dissemination, media effects, usability of electronic medical information, and health marketing. Residential certificate programs are available to students currently enrolled in a residential graduate degree program at UNC Gillings.

Graduate Certificate in Public Health Informatics (CPHI Residential)

This 12-credit hour specialized educational option prepares graduates for a variety of public health informatician roles. Combining the existing strength of the SPH curriculum and the informatics curriculum at the School of Information and Library Science (SILS), it will offer focused education with emphasis on public health information systems, information management and manipulation as well as evidence-based public health policy. The PHI certificate is envisioned as complementary to a graduate degree from SPH. Residential certificate programs are available to students currently enrolled in a residential graduate degree program at UNC Gillings.