Health Behavior

Camille McGirt, health behavior master's student, was featured on "The Dr. Oz Show." Watch the video here. Since 2011, McGirt has served as founder and co-executive director of Healthy Girls Save the World, a nonprofit organization that provides a positive space for girls in North Carolina to foster the development of habits related to proper nutrition, physical activity, and healthy mental and physical lifestyle.

Message from the Chair
Welcome back to Spring semester, 2017. It is hard to believe that the 2016 academic year is half over and that soon many of us will be planning graduation celebrations! Read more.
Leslie Lytle, PhD,
professor and chair

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. Read about our history.

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 by 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 |Master’s to PhD | Apply

We encourage prospective students to review the information about our programs here on the website, to check out the Health Behavior News from Gillings and the student news from our department’s e-newsletter: Spring 2016 and Fall 2016. If you need other information, use the Prospective Student Inquiry form.

Visit our Community Partners pageHealth behavior students contribute over 23,000 hours of work to community partners who host practicum students or Capstone teams. Students work and learn through these programs,  and many of our alumni serve as preceptors.

Are you interested in working with our students? If so, visit our Community Partners page.

Photo:Alumni and students pose at our social at APHA in Denver.

Photos from our social at APHA in Denver are available in the newsletter.

Read the  Fall 2016 issue of our e-newsletter Health Behavior Matters or scroll through older issues online now. Send alumni updates to HBNews at any time. Subscribe to receive the newsletter by email.HB_Subscribe

Spring Semester Events

Health behavior students grab coffee during orientation in Aug. 2016.

Friday February 3,  noon – 5 pm: Health Behavior Career Information and Alumni Networking Conference at the Gillings School. in the lower level of the Michael Hooker Research Center. Please register for this event at

Friday, February 24, 8 am – 3 pm: 38th Annual Minority Health Conference: Systems of Power: Recalling Our Past, Restructuring Our Future at the William and Ida Friday Center.

Friday March 3, 1 – 4 pm: Capstone Pitch Day for first-year master’s students at the Gillings School

Friday March 10,  5 pm until Monday March 20, 8 am: Spring recess

Friday March 24, 8 am – 3 pm: Experience Gillings: an event for admitted students at the Gillings School

Friday April 14: holiday

Thursday April 27: Annual Foard Lecture, schoolwide event at the Gillings School

Friday, April 28: Alumni Day at the Gillings School

Tuesday May 9, 4 – 7 pm: Capstone Celebration Day for second-year master’s students, their guests and the Gillings School community at the Gillings School

Saturday May 13: UNC Doctoral Hooding Ceremony and Gillings School Commencement, on the UNC campus

Sunday May 14: UNC Spring Commencement on the UNC Campus

Gillings Events Calendar UNC Academic Calendar

Academic Calendars: 2016 – 2017 and 2017 -2018

Cristina Leos and Liz Chen, doctoral students in health behavior and Vichi Jagannathan, an MBA candidate at Yale posed after pitching Real Talk, their award-winning mobile app.

Cristina Leos and Liz Chen, doctoral students in health behavior and Vichi Jagannathan, an MBA candidate at Yale posed after pitching Real Talk, their award-winning mobile app. they designed.

Health Behavior Newsfeed

Health Behavior Matters newsletter


Hannah Prentice-Dunn, health behavior alumna

The Health Behavior Alumni page has updates, features and events.

Review Health Behavior Matters and scroll through recent issues.

Download older printed newsletter from the Health Behavior Alumni page

Read the article