Health Behavior

This health behavior Capstone team (Amanda Kong, Christina Villella, Aly Bancroft, Alex Coombs and Dirk Davis) collaborated with the Durham County Department of Public Health to identify smoke-free air policy best practices and to assess knowledge and compliance with the implementation of the 2012 Board of Health Smoking Rule, which prohibits smoking in some public areas in an effort to reduce secondhand smoke. Read more about Capstone.
Message from the Chair
Welcome to the 2016-2017 academic year. I look forward to meeting each of you and watching you grow and develop the skills you need to become the health professionals you aspire to be. Read More
Leslie Lytle, PhD,
professor and chair

Welcome new students!

Information for new students icon

The Department of Health Behavior combines the social and behavioral sciences with health science to produce graduates who deliver practical research and interventions that improve the health of individuals and communities. Established in 1942, UNC’s Department of Public Health Education was the first program of its kind in the United States.


Master of Public Health (MPH) program

The master’s program offers students the core education and practical experience they need to become successful public health professionals. Master’s students earn one of two degrees: the Master of Public Health (MPH) or the Dual Master of Public Health and Master of City and Regional Planning (MPH-MCRP).

Master’s Program  |  MPH Practicum  |  MPH Capstone  | Apply

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program

Doctoral programs prepare students to lead and conduct research providing strong research methodology courses and many student research opportunities. Some students enter directly into the PhD program, others enter the Master’s-to-Doctoral program (MSPH-PhD) acquiring core public health and health behavior competencies and completing all the requirements for the PhD.

Doctoral Program | Research | Recent Dissertations | Apply

We encourage prospective students to review the information about our programs here on the website, to read the Health Behavior News from Gillings, and to check the more informal notes we post on Facebook. If you need other information, use the prospective student inquiry form.

Features from Students, Faculty and Alumni


The Department of Health Behavior welcomes students entering our programs in August 2016.

Health Behavior Matters

HB_SubscribeThe July 2016 issue of our e-newsletter is a roundup of news from the 2015-2016. Chair Leslie Lytle comments on what reviewers had to say about the department as part of the 2016 graduate program review. Other stories focus on faculty, alumni and student news. Read the current issue.

Open-rank faculty positions

The Department of Health Behavior seeks to hire up to three open-rank tenure-track faculty. We are interested in colleagues who can facilitate and contribute to the applied research of the current faculty as well as establish their own research programs. Strong methodological and analytical expertise is preferred. Candidates should have interest and ability in teaching at the graduate level. See position posting and apply through UNC Human Resources. Read the position announcement.

News and Events


Aug. 23: First day of classes

Aug. 24-Sept. 2: Advising Week

Aug. 24: “Couple-based Approaches to HIV testing, Treatment, and Prevention Behaviors in sub-Saharan Africa.” lecture by Nora Rosenberg. 1 – 2 p.m. 2306 McGavran-Greenberg.

August 31: Health Behavior Book Club Discussion Groups. 4:15-5:15 p.m.

Sept. 15:  Department picnic. Details TBD.

Oct. 15: Health Behavior Alumni Potluck Lunch and Hike at Umstead Park. Read more.


Health Behavior Matters, our quarterly newsletter, is a roundup of news and features about faculty members, students and alumni.
Health Behavior News is a running list of news about health behavior faculty and students from the Gillings School.
Facebook includes departmental news and events, general news stories, and informal notes for our community.

Resources for Students

Da'Esha McPhaul, student services manager for health behavior, greets admitted students at Experience Gillings 2016.

Master’s Program Resources

Program Quick Guide – basic information
Program Guidelines 2016-2017 – in-depth information

Doctoral Program Resources

Program Quick Guide – basic information
Program Guidelines 2016-2017 – in depth information

Fall 2016 Classes

Course Schedule
More resources for students

Resources for applicants


Search all Gillings programs.

Health Behavior Alumni


Visit the Health Behavior Alumni page to access alumni profiles,  see recent updates, find the current e-newsletter and download older printed newsletters in pdf format.