Biobehavioral Health, B.S. (University College)

Program Code: BBHUC_BS

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:

  1. attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
  2. have third-semester classification.

READ SENATE POLICY 37-30: ENTRANCE TO AND CHANGES IN MAJOR PROGRAMS OF STUDY

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Biobehavioral Health, a minimum of 121 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Requirements for the Major 97-99

21-22 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 3-4 credits of GQ courses; 9 credits of GN courses; 6 credits of GS courses; 3 credits of GHW courses.

Per Senate Policy 83.80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of coursework in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. BBH requires students to complete 24 credits for the major through courses taken at University Park, Greater Allegheny, New Kensington and through World Campus. For more information, check the Recommended Academic Plan for this major.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
BIOL 110Biology: Basic Concepts and Biodiversity Keystone/General Education Course4
NUTR 251Introductory Principles of Nutrition Keystone/General Education Course3
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
BBH 101Introduction to Biobehavioral Health Keystone/General Education Course3
BBH 310Research Strategies doe BBH3
BBH 311Interdisciplinary Integration in Biobehavioral Health3
BBH 316Foundations and Principles of Health Promotion3
BBH 411WResearch and Applications in Biobehavioral Health3
BBH 440Principles of Epidemiology3
BIOL 161Human Anatomy and Physiology I - Lecture Keystone/General Education Course3
BIOL 163Human Anatomy and Physiology II - Lecture Keystone/General Education Course3
PSYCH 100Introductory Psychology Keystone/General Education Course3
Additional Courses
BBH 210Biobehavioral Aspects of Genetics3
or BIOL 133 Genetics and Evolution of the Human Species Keystone/General Education Course
or BIOL 222 Genetics
Select 3 credits from the following:3
Values and Ethics in Biobehavioral Health Research and Practice
Philosophy of Science Keystone/General Education Course
Bioethics Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Bioethics Keystone/General Education Course
Select 3-4 credits from the following:3-4
Biology: Molecules and Cells Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Chemistry Keystone/General Education Course
Chemical Principles I Keystone/General Education Course
Chemical Principles I - Honors Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to General, Organic, and Biochemistry Keystone/General Education Course
Elementary Microbiology Keystone/General Education Course
Elementary Microbiology Keystone/General Education Course
Select 9 credits from the following:9
General Endocrinology
Introductory Biological Anthropology Keystone/General Education Course
Humans as Primates Keystone/General Education Course
Sex and Evolution Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to the Biology of Aging Keystone/General Education Course
Human Anatomy and Physiology I - Laboratory Keystone/General Education Course
Human Anatomy and Physiology II - Laboratory Keystone/General Education Course
Biology: Populations and Communities Keystone/General Education Course
Biology: Molecules and Cells Keystone/General Education Course
Biology: Function and Development of Organisms Keystone/General Education Course
Biology of Aging
Advanced Genetics
General Endocrinology
Elementary Biochemistry
Chemical Principles I Keystone/General Education Course
Experimental Chemistry I Keystone/General Education Course
Chemical Principles II Keystone/General Education Course
Experimental Chemistry II Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to General, Organic, and Biochemistry Keystone/General Education Course
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry I
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry II
Laboratory in Organic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry II
Environment Earth Keystone/General Education Course
Environment Earth: Environment and Energy Keystone/General Education Course
Earth in the Future: Predicting Climate Change and Its Impacts Over the Next Century Keystone/General Education Course
Energy and the Environment Keystone/General Education Course
Energy and the Environment Keystone/General Education Course
Energy Conservation for Environmental Protection Keystone/General Education Course
Energy Conservation for Environmental Protection Keystone/General Education Course
Resource Wars
Sensory Evaluation of Foods
Food Engineering Principles
Physiology of Nutrition
Food Toxins
Food Microbiology
Climates of the World Keystone/General Education Course
Climates of the World
Biogeography and Global Ecology Keystone/General Education Course
Elementary Microbiology Keystone/General Education Course
Elementary Microbiology Laboratory Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Physics I Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Physics II Keystone/General Education Course
Neurological Bases of Human Behavior
Comparative Psychology
Advanced Conditioning and Learning
Physiological Psychology
Behavior Genetics
Abnormal Psychology
Behavior Modification
The Immune System and Disease Keystone/General Education Course
The Science of Poisons
Introduction to Cancer Research and Medicine
Select 9 credits from the following:9
Preventing Vocal Abuse, Misuse, and Disorders Keystone/General Education Course
Preventing Hearing Loss Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Communication Sciences and Disorders
American Sign Language I
Introduction to Audiology
Deaf Culture Keystone/General Education Course
Infant and Child Development Keystone/General Education Course
Infant and Child Development Keystone/General Education Course
Adolescent Development Keystone/General Education Course
Adult Development and Aging Keystone/General Education Course
Sexual Identity over the Life Span
Sexual Identity Over The Lifespan
Leadership and Technology Skills for Human Services Professionals A
Human Development and Family Studies Interventions
Family Development
Gender and Social Development
Racial and Ethnic Diversity and the American Family
Family Relationships
Infant Development
Advanced Child Development
Family Disorganization: Stress Points in the Contemporary Family
Developmental Transition to Adulthood
Development Throughout Adulthood
Consumer Choices in Health Care Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Health Services Organization
Health Care and Medical Needs
The Cultural and Behavioral Foundations of Kinesiology
The Biophysical Foundations of Kinesiology
Health Education Concepts
Medical Terminology for Allied Health Professionals
First Aid: Instructors
Activity and Disease
Ergogenic Aids
Concepts of Health
Women's Health Issues
Assessment of Nutritional Status
Nutrition Education and Behavior Change Theory
Introduction to Developmental Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Well-being and Positive Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Abnormal Psychology
Select 3 credits from the following:3
Introduction to Human Development and Family Studies Keystone/General Education Course
Infant and Child Development Keystone/General Education Course
Adolescent Development Keystone/General Education Course
Adult Development and Aging Keystone/General Education Course
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
STAT 200Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course3-4
or STAT 250 Introduction to Biostatistics Keystone/General Education Course
Select 15 credits from the following (at least 6 credits must be at the 400 level):15
Neurological Bases of Human Behavior
Straight Talks I: Advanced Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity Peer Education
Diversity and Health
Introduction to Global Health Issues
Gender and Biobehavioral Health
HealthWorks Peer Education Training
Neuroanatomy, Behavior, and Health
Preparation for Global Health Field Experience
African Health & Development
Global Health Equity
Developmental and Health Genetics
Health Promotion II: Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation
Advanced Applications in Health Promotion
Biobehavioral Aspects of Stress
Human Sexuality as a Health Concern
Pharmacological Influences on Health
Women's Health Issues
Critical Feminist Issues in Reproduction Keystone/General Education Course
Neuroanatomical Bases for Disorders of Behavior and Health
Neurobiology
Functional and Integrative Neuroscience
Introduction to Internship Experience
Supporting Courses and Related Areas 1
Select 3 credits in health promotion from approved list, in consultation with adviser3
Select 12 credits in University-wide offerings from approved list, in consultation with adviser (Students may apply 6 credits of ROTC.)12

Program Learning Objectives

  1. Health Factors: Describe and understand the fundamental biological, behavioral, social, cultural and environmental processes that influence health and disease.
  2. Disparity Mechanisms: Explain how the fundamental processes underlying health and disease can interact to produce individual differences in health, and health disparities among groups.
  3. Critical Evaluation of Research: Critically evaluate current empirical research on health and disease, explaining implications and limitations to the lay public.
  4. Ethics: Understand and apply ethical principles in the conduct of research and professional practice and in the analyses in implementations of health-related policies and programs.
  5. Promotion/Prevention: Plan, implement, and evaluate health promotion/disease prevention programs for diverse populations.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

Greater Allegheny

Advising Office
Academic Affairs

101 Frable Building
4000 University Drive
McKeesport, PA 15132
412-675-9140
GA-Academics@lists.psu.edu

Lehigh Valley

Samantha Beebe
Coordinator of Biobehavioral Health
2809 Saucon Valley Road
Center Valley, PA 18034
610-285-5123
sab705@psu.edu

New Kensington

Penelope Morrison
Assistant Professor
3550 Seventh Street Rd.
New Kensington, PA 15068
724-334-6719
pkm20@psu.edu

Harrisburg

Raffy Luquis, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator
Olmsted Building W314
Middletown, PA 17057
717-948-6730
orl100@psu.edu

University Park

Susan Sanders
Department of Biobehavioral Health
219 Biobehavioral Health Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-7256
bbhinfo@psu.edu

World Campus

Undergraduate Academic Advising
301 Outreach Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-3283
advising@outreach.psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Biobehavioral Health, B.S. at Greater Allegheny Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 153CAS 100, 100A, 100B, or 100C3
HDFS 1293BIOL 230W, CHEM 101, CHEM 110, or MICRB 106*†3-4
BBH 101* 3PSYCH 100*†3
BIOL 1104Basic science13
General Education Course3General Education Course3
PSU 81 
 17 15-16
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBH 311*3BBH 316*3
BIOL 161*†3BIOL 163*†3
STAT 200 or 250*†3-4BIOL 22253
Health and Developmental Science Course23ENGL 202A3
University-wide offerings33NUTR 2513
 15-16 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBH Course*63BBH 310*3
BBH Course*63General Education Course3
Basic Science13BBH Course*63
Health and Developmental Science Course23BBH 301W43
General Education Course (GQ)3Supporting course from University-wide offerings33
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBH 440*3BBH 411W*3
400-level BBH Course*63400-level BBH Course*63
Basic Science13Supporting course from University-wide offerings33
Health and Developmental Science Course23Health Promotion73
General Education Course3University-wide offerings33
 15 15
Total Credits 122-124

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Biobehavioral Health, B.S. at Lehigh Valley Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBH 101*3BBH 301W3
PSYCH 100*†3CHEM 110 or BIOL 230W*†3
BIOL 110*†4HDFS 129, 229, 239, or 249N*†3
ENGL 15 or 30H3NUTR 2513
HDFS 287Y3General Education Selection3
 16 15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBH 311*3BBH 316*3
BIOL 1613BIOL 1633
STAT 200*†4CAS 100A3
University-wide Offerings3Health and Developmental Science3
General Education Selection3General Education Selection3
 16 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBH 4403BIOL 133 or 2223
ENGL 202A3BBH 310*3
BBH Elective Course*3BBH Elective Course*3
Basic Science3General Education Selection3
Health and Human Development3University-wide Offering3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBH 411W3BBH 4163
Basic Science3BBH Elective Course*3
BBH Elective3Basic Science3
BBH Elective3University-wide Offerings3
University-wide Offerings3General Education Selection3
 15 15
Total Credits 122

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Biobehavioral Health, B.S. at New Kensington Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBH 101* †3HDFS 129* †3
PSYCH 100* †3CHEM 110/101/BIOL 230W* †3
BIOL 1104NUTR 2513
ENGL 15 or 30H3General Education Course or General Quantification3
General Education Course or General Quantification3General Education Course or General Quantification3
 16 15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOL 1613BIOL 1633
BBH 311*3BBH 316*3
STAT 2004CAS 1003
University-Wide Offerings3Health and Developmental Science3
Health and Developmental Sciences3Scientific Thought and Philosophy3
 16 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBH Elective Course*3BBH Elective Course*3
BBH Elective Course*3BBH Elective Course*3
ENGL 202A3BIOL 133 or 222* †3
Basic Science3University-Wide Offerings3
Healthy and Developmental Science3General Education Course or General Quantification3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBH 440*3BBH 411W*3
BBH 310*3BBH Elective Course*3
Basic Science3Basic Science3
Health Promotion3University-Wide Offerings3
Unversity-Wide Offerings3General Education Course or General Quantifications3
 15 15
Total Credits 122

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Career Paths

Students with a B.S. in Biobehavioral Health have been successful in establishing careers in health-related and other fields. Three major areas of employment include health care, research support, and health advocacy/consulting. Advanced career tracks require a graduate or professional degree. Students are strongly encouraged to engage in practical learning experiences that complement formal classroom learning. This can include training at the University Health Services or a hospital, in a research laboratory, and/or a health-related internship or travel experience. There are several in-house engaged learning experience programs: BBH Internship program, Global Health minor, BBH research laboratory assistant, Clinical Volunteer Training, HealthWorks.

Careers

  • Health care: physician assistant, nurse, physician, health care support staff.
  • Research Support: laboratory manager, study coordinator, research assistant.
  • Health Advocacy: health educator, public health adviser, social worker.

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Depending on your career goals, you might consider completing a graduate degree (M.S., Ph.D., etc) or a professional degree (M.D., D.O., P.A., M.P.H., J.D.):

Professional Resources

Contact

Greater Allegheny

101 Frable Building
4000 University Drive
McKeesport, PA 15132
412-675-9140
GA-Academics@lists.psu.edu

http://greaterallegheny.psu.edu/biobehavioral-health-bs

Lehigh Valley

2809 Saucon Valley Road
Center Valley, PA 18034
610-285-5123
sab705@psu.edu

https://lehighvalley.psu.edu/academics/degrees/biobehavioral-health

New Kensington

3550 Seventh Street Rd.
New Kensington, PA 15068
724-334-6719
pkm20@psu.edu

http://newkensington.psu.edu/4-year-biobehavioral-health

Harrisburg

SCHOOL OF BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES AND EDUCATION
Olmsted Building W331
Middletown, PA 17057
717-948-6059
dlk33@psu.edu

https://harrisburg.psu.edu/behavioral-sciences-and-education/health-and-professional-studies/biobehavioral-health/bachelor-science-biobehavioral-health

University Park

DEPARTMENT OF BIOBEHAVIORAL HEALTH
219 Biobehavioral Health Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-7256
pennstatebbh@psu.edu

https://hhd.psu.edu/bbh

World Campus

DEPARTMENT OF BIOBEHAVIORAL HEALTH
219 Biobehavioral Health Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-5949
mad193@psu.edu

https://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/penn-state-online-biobehavioral-health-bachelors-degree/overview