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Concentration in Social and Behavioral Health Sciences Degree Overview

The Social and Behavioral Health Sciences (SABHS) concentration is designed to prepare students for research and practice that has a major and explicit focus on the understanding of behavioral or social processes, or on the use of these processes to predict or influence population health outcomes or health risk factors.
The mission of the Social and Behavioral Health Sciences concentration is threefold:
  • To conduct innovative, interdisciplinary, and multi-method research on health-related behavior, including health behavior change, healthcare decision-making, and bio-psychosocial aspects of human health and behavior across the life span.  The focus will be on individual, family, organizational, and community levels.
  • To provide training, mentorship, and education to undergraduate, graduate and professional students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty on key theoretical, methodological, and substantive areas in the social and behavioral sciences as applied to population health.
  • To collaborate with local, state, national, and international scientists, health professionals, community members and health organizations to devise interventions aimed at improving and sustaining positive health behavior at the population level.
The School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin - Madison offers M.S. and Ph.D. training in the exciting, interdisciplinary program in Social and Behavioral Health Sciences.  The UW Population Health Sciences Graduate Program is the academic home to this unique graduate program. Our interdisciplinary approach prepares our students to be leaders in health-related careers by instilling strong methodological research skills together with an understanding of basic biological, epidemiological, and health services constructs, with a population-based focus. Through coursework and research collaboration, we seek to train students to employ rigorous scientific and analytic methods to reduce the burden of morbidity and early mortality, to identify the most effective ways to prevent and treat diseases and disorders, and to promote population health.
The SABHS concentration provides an option for students to obtain either a PhD minor or Certificate in Prevention Science. The minor in prevention sciences requires an additional 10 credit hours comprised of 2 required courses (4 credit hours) and 6 credit hours of approved electives. There can be considerable overlap in the coursework for the SABHS concentration and the prevention sciences minor. For more information see