Current course names and descriptions are available below; please note they are subject to change. You can also search for current and past course offerings on UAB's Class Schedule Listing site. Choose "HB" in the Department drop-down to find Health Behavior courses.

A comprehensive list of all Health Behavior courses is included in the UAB Graduate Catalog; however, that listing does not reflect what is being offered this year.

Health Behavior Courses and Descriptions

HB 600: Social and Behavioral Science Core

This master’s level course is designed to provide an overview of the social and behavioral sciences in public health to masters’ level students in UAB’s School of Public Health. Social and behavioral science theories and strategies in public health will be discussed in relation to preventing disease and promoting health over the life course. The course is comprised of two major sections:

  1. Overview of fundamentals of social and behavioral sciences in public health /li>
  2. Social and behavioral science research and strategies and application of social and behavioral sciences in public health practice and policy

This course is intended to provide students with the most current knowledge and analysis of issues influencing people’s health and well-being from a social and behavioral science perspective. Theoretical frameworks that draw on major health behavior theories will provide a better understanding of how individuals, families, peers, schools, neighborhoods, and the larger community influence risk and protective factors. Considerations intrinsic to social and behavioral science efforts designed to produce health-related behavior change will be discussed. The course will promote intellectual and collaborative learning through course lectures, readings, class discussions, and individual and group work. 3 hours

HB 602: Alcohol and Drug Abuse

This course will provide an overview of alcohol and drug abuse research. We will cover historical, cultural, and theoretical perspectives of addiction research. Of course, in one semester we can only scratch the surface of these topic areas, as each could easily be a course by itself. My hope is to introduce you to the major theories, research approaches, and controversies within each area. Another objective of this course is to introduce you to critical thinking about alcohol and drug abuse research, and the empirical bases of our field. 3 hours

HB 605: Physical Activity and Health

This seminar course is an introduction to research and practice related to physical activity promotion from a public health perspective and will describe health benefits, epidemiological data, national recommendations and plans, and global initiatives related to physical activity. 3 hours

HB 607: Introduction to LGBTQ Health

This course will survey current LGBTQ health topics, including:

  1. Defining evolving terms and concepts
  2. Risk and resilience - physical, mental, and behavioral health among LGBTQ individuals
  3. Ways to improve the provision of services for LGBTQ individuals
  4. Overview of key, local, national, and global policies impacting LGBTQ individuals
  5. Meaningful integration of LGBTQ communities in policy, programs, and research

We will begin by defining key terms to understand the similarities and distinctions between sex, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity. This will be followed by a review of physical, mental, and behavioral health outcomes to understand the current scope of health inequities and areas of resilience. Specific attention will be given to the ways in which diverse identities (e.g., race/ethnicity, ability status, rurality, and region) intersect and contribute to LGBTQ health outcomes. Additionally, we will discuss policy milestones, as well as current programmatic initiatives, impacting LGBTQ individuals, with attention to the relationship between local, national, and global levels. Finally, we will discuss how to better integrate the lived experiences of LGBTQ communities into research, programs, and polices. Of note, guest speakers with relevant expertise will be invited to sessions to help connect course material to the daily experience of LGBTQ individuals. 3 hours

HB 612: Examining Health Inequities in Social and Behavioral Sciences

This course is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of race/ethnic health disparities/health inequities in the U.S. Both historical context and more current perspectives of identified determinants of health will be discussed as contributors to current health inequities. Class discussions will focus on:

  1. Comparing the health status and health outcomes of persons of different racial/ethnic groups
  2. Discussing possible explanations, solutions, and ethical implications for these health disparities/inequities from a social and behavioral science perspective

Course material will be presented in both lecture and seminar formats. Discussions will be led by the instructor as well as students enrolled in the course. This is a reading intensive course and students will be expected to complete all readings prior to class. Likewise, class participation is essential and will be a major component of the course requirements. 3 hours

HB 613: Health Promotion Practices and Disability

This course will examine the population of people living with a disability and health promotion approaches at multiple levels (individual, social, environmental, and policy). One in five people in the U.S. has a disability and the vast majority of people will be affected by disability, whether personally or through a loved one, during their lifetime. Advancements have been offered by the medical model of disability towards disability prevention; however, the addition of functional and social models of disability provide a more complete view of how to enhance the lives of millions of Americans and reduce economic burden. Teaching young health educators how to address health equity and health outcomes associated with disability will greatly expand the reach and impact of public health because of its intersectionality with broad diversity, higher disparity, and lower determinants of health among this population. This course is an online course. 3 hours

HB 616: Psychophysiology and Public Health: The Interface of the Mind/Body Connection

Psychophysiology is a branch of neuroscience that analyses the interfaces of mental states and physiological responses, and how they interact to affect one another and subsequently drive behaviors. The aims of this course are to introduce students to basic knowledge about neuroanatomy, learning/cognition, neurological processes, memory, human development, brain disorders, response patterns and behavior change strategies as they relate to public health issues such as sexual behavior, drug addiction, cigarette smoking/vaping, and obesity. The course will also introduce principles of stress management and neurofeedback techniques. A biopsychosocial framework will be applied to a range of public health domains, using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to inform context and priorities for interventions. At the successful conclusion of the course, students will be conversant in medical and public health settings on subjects that address how human anatomy and physiology operates when faced with social, environmental and health issues that may be difficult to manage with broad policy approaches. This course is an online course. 3 hours

HB 617: Implementation Science and Disability Health

The course provides lectures on implementation science and a deep dive into a premier, national program for people with disability. Implementation science helps researchers to understand how and why a program is effective in order for it to be translated into practice. Students will gain a better understanding of when and how to use implementation science methods through a series of lectures and multiple assignments including a grant proposal. In addition, this course provides experiential learning opportunities in disability health and community engagement. Teaching young health educators how to implement and disseminate an evidence-based program informed by the target population will greatly expand the reach and impact of public health. This course is an online course.

HB 624: Advanced Theory and Practice in Behavioral Science

The aim of this course is to provide students with a broad understanding of theories of health behavior change with a strong focus on those theories that are most widely used in research and practice. Emphasis will be given to the discussion and elaboration of important theoretical concepts as well as their application in specific health behavior interventions. This class will take an ecological perspective and discuss theories that approach behavior change from various different levels. Basic theories that are covered in this course include individual level models (Health Belief Model, Theory of Planned Behavior, Transtheoretical Model), interpersonal level models (Social Cognitive Theory), and community level models (community organization and other participatory models like Community Based Participatory Research, Diffusion of Innovations). This course is also available online. 3 hours

HB 630: Health Communications: Theory & Practice

This course is designed to provide master students with an overview of the role of communication theories and methods in promoting public health and preventing disease. The purpose of the course is to provide graduate students with an in-depth examination of the theoretical and research literature on health communications. Most behavioral interventions consist at least in part of health communication methods and this class blends the theoretical and practical aspects of developing messages that motivate and guide behavior change. This course is an online course. 3 hours

HB 636: Intervention Development

This course is intended to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the range and diversity of intervention approaches to behavior change and their application in public health. Emphasis will be placed on developing skills for designing interventions:

  1. in various public health settings
  2. or specific population subgroups
  3. based on determinants identified to be most influential and amenable to intervention
  4. within the confines of available resources

Students will also apply previously acquired research methods skills to design targeted interventions that are salient to needs of particular audiences, including formative research, theory selection, process evaluation, implementation tracking and outcome evaluation. Pre-requisite HB 624. This course is also available online. 3 hours

HB 639: Survey Design and Analysis in the SBS

This course provides an in-depth treatment of survey design and elementary data analysis procedures commonly associated with social and behavioral research. How should we pre-test questions? What are the best practices for writing easy-to-understand and unbiased questions, as well as asking individuals potentially uncomfortable questions about risky health behaviors? This course addresses these issues in addition to preparing invitation letters, best practices in questionnaire design, an overview of index and scale construction, and an elementary introduction to data entry and analysis of survey data using common software packages. This course will improve the student’s ability to:

  1. develop and administer a survey
  2. identify the prerequisites for the proper analysis of data derived from a survey (e.g., identification and coding of missing data)
  3. interpret data derived from surveys with a special emphasis on the interpretation of data on health behaviors and outcomes

This course is an online course. 3 hours

HB 641: Research Methods in Behavioral Sciences

The objective is to give students a broad overview of scientific methods for quantitative research, qualitative research, mixed methods research and basic concepts in survey development and outcome evaluation. The students will be able to identify the major steps and processes involved in health promotion or behavioral science research projects. These steps begin with the formulation of a research question and end with the reporting of the findings. This course is also available online. 3 hours

HB 643: Health Program Evaluation

This course is designed to provide graduate students in public health and related fields an exposure of the basic concepts and principles in program evaluation. The course will provide an overview of major steps and strategies involved in formative, process, and outcome evaluation. Students will apply these methods and principles by working in teams to develop an evaluation plan in response to a real world request for proposals on a public health topic. Prerequisite: HB 641. This course is also available online. 3 hours

HB 681: MSPH Directed Research I

MSPH Directed Research I provides MSPH students with the opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor in the design of a health behavior intervention and collection of data. This course is the first in a three-course sequence that culminates in the presentation of research findings to their faculty mentor and other faculty in a public forum. As such, HB 681 focuses on the development of a health behavior intervention in an area of the student’s expertise, including consideration of the PRECEDE/PROCEED model, study population, data collection methods, IRB approval, study registration, previous research, and other activities in consultation with their HB mentor. This course will be offered as needed. 3 hours

HB 689: The HB ILE

This course represents a culminating experience that allows students to demonstrate synthesis of foundational and concentration competencies. All MPH Health Behavior students must complete this course to graduate. This course will provide students with the opportunity to use skills gained during the MPH Health Behavior program to develop a high-quality written product that addresses health disparities from a behavioral and social sciences perspective and is ideally useful for an identified stakeholder. As such, it should be developed in a way that makes it ready for use in a public health scenario. Students will also engage in professional development through various interviews, presentations, and activities to prepare them for professional life. Please note starting fall of 2022 this course will be listed as HB 689. 2 hours

HB 695: Seminar on Selected Health Behavior Topics

Seminar covering a variety of health behavior topics. . Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. This course will be offered as needed. 3 hours

HB 698: Master's Directed Research

Independent study with guidance of appropriate faculty. Includes activities such as literature review and evaluation. This course will be offered as needed. 1 - 9 hours

HB 699: Master's Project Research

Research for project under direction of research project committee. This course will be offered as needed. 1 - 9 hours

HB 703: Writing for the Behavioral Sciences

The aim of this course is to develop and fine-tune science writing proficiency. In this course, students will read and critique essays and articles about science, medicine and public health. Students will also complete numerous writing assignments and participate in peer review. This course will be offered summer semester of even numbered years. 3 hours

HB 707: Introduction to LGBTQ Health

This course will survey current LGBTQ health topics, including:

  1. Defining evolving terms and concepts
  2. Risk and resilience - physical, mental, and behavioral health among LGBTQ individuals
  3. Ways to improve the provision of services for LGBTQ individuals
  4. Overview of key, local, national, and global policies impacting LGBTQ individuals
  5. Meaningful integration of LGBTQ communities in policy, programs, and research

We will begin by defining key terms to understand the similarities and distinctions between sex, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity. This will be followed by a review of physical, mental, and behavioral health outcomes to understand the current scope of health inequities and areas of resilience. Specific attention will be given to the ways in which diverse identities (e.g., race/ethnicity, ability status, rurality and region) intersect and contribute to LGBTQ health outcomes. Additionally, we will discuss policy milestones, as well as current programmatic initiatives, impacting LGBTQ individuals, with attention to the relationship between local, national, and global levels. Finally, we will discuss how to better integrate the lived experiences of LGBTQ communities into research, programs, and polices. Of note, guest speakers with relevant expertise will be invited to sessions to help connect course material to the daily experience of LGBTQ individuals. 3 hours

HB 711: Advanced Mental Health Promotion and Professional Development: Service Learning

This advanced course on mental health promotion focuses on evidence-based approaches, innovative service delivery models, and research-practice partnerships to address public mental health. Students acquire skills and hands-on experience related to thinking critically about evidence-based approaches, innovative service delivery models, and research-practice partnerships to improve dissemination and implementation. Presentations by public mental health researchers, services providers, and community members are integrated to advance understanding of state of the art public mental health research, approaches, models, and partnerships. Students participate in experiential learning opportunities in the community with programs, clinics, and/or agencies that address mental health needs in some capacity. Students develop, propose, and implement a mental health promotion initiative and share reflections about experiences and insights gained related to public mental health promotion. 3 hours

HB 712: Examining Health Inequities in Social and Behavioral Sciences

This course is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of race/ethnic health disparities/health inequities in the U.S. Both historical context and more current perspectives of identified determinants of health will be discussed as contributors to current health inequities. In particular, class discussions will focus on:

  1. comparing the health status and health outcomes of persons of different racial/ethnic groups
  2. discussing possible explanations, solutions, and ethical implications for these health disparities/inequities from a social and behavioral science perspective

Course material will be presented in both lecture and seminar formats. Discussions will be led by the instructor as well as students enrolled in the course. This is a reading intensive course and students will be expected to complete all readings prior to class. Likewise, class participation is essential and will be a major component of the course requirements. 3 hours

HB 716: Psychophysiology and Public Health: The Interface of the Mind/Body Connection

Psychophysiology is a branch of neuroscience that analyses the interfaces of mental states and physiological responses, and how they interact to affect one another and subsequently drive behaviors. The aims of this course are to introduce students to basic knowledge about neuroanatomy, learning/cognition, neurological processes, memory, human development, brain disorders, response patterns and behavior change strategies as they relate to public health issues such as sexual behavior, drug addiction, cigarette smoking/vaping, and obesity. The course will also introduce principles of stress management and neurofeedback techniques. A biopsychosocial framework will be applied to a range of public health domains, using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to inform context and priorities for interventions. At the successful conclusion of the course, students will be conversant in medical and public health settings on subjects that address how human anatomy and physiology operates when faced with social, environmental and health issues that may be difficult to manage with broad policy approaches. This course is an online course. 3 hours

HB 724: Advanced Social and Behavioral Science Theory

The aim of this course is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of theories of health behavior change with a strong focus on those theories that are most widely used in research and practice. Emphasis will be given to the discussion and elaboration of important theoretical concepts as well as their application in specific health behavior interventions. This course is offered fall semester of odd numbered years. 3 hours

HB 730: Health Communication Theory & Practice

This course is designed to provide doctoral students with an overview of the role of communication theories and methods in promoting public health and preventing disease. The purpose of the course is to provide graduate students with an in-depth examination of the theoretical and research literature on health communications. Most behavioral interventions consist at least in part of health communication methods and this class blends the theoretical and practical aspects of developing messages that motivate and guide behavior change. This course is an online course. 3 hours

HB 736: Advanced Intervention Research Design

This course is intended to provide doctoral students with expert knowledge and application skills for designing a range of public health interventions to change behavioral outcomes in various populations. Emphasis will be placed on skill-building for designing relevant, state-of-the-art interventions tailored to unique population subgroups, and adapting existing evidence-based interventions for use with new populations or in new settings. Prerequisite is HB 724. This course is offered spring semester of even numbered years. 3 hours

HB 737: Advanced Intervention Implementation and Evaluation

This course is the second in a series of courses intended to teach doctoral students how to develop, implement, and evaluate theory-based, consumer-driven behavioral interventions. Students will learn how to assess whether interventions worked, build evidence for effective interventions, and adapt, implement, and disseminate interventions. Pre-requisite is HB 736. This course will be offered fall semester of even numbered years. 3 hours

HB 741: Advanced Research Methods in the Behavioral Sciences

This course provides an in-depth treatment of the major research designs used in the behavioral sciences. Emphasis is given to the randomized controlled trial as it forms the cornerstone of causal inference in scientific inquiry; however, other designs intended to approximate a randomized trial will be reviewed. The course will also examine methods of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data. Other topics include evaluating published research that uses the methods reviewed in this course, writing research proposals and reports, and ethical considerations. This course is offered fall semester of odd numbered years. 3 hours

HB 771: Doctoral Studies Seminar I

This doctoral seminar is designed to familiarize new PhD students with the requirements of the program, resources available on campus, and introduce them to faculty and the research being conducted in the department. It also introduces doctoral students to a variety of dissertation areas, methods, and pathways. Students will have active hands-on exercises searching the literature and accessing online data and using citation managers. This course is offered fall semester of odd numbered years. 1 hour

HB 772: Doctoral Studies Seminar II

This doctoral seminar provides a forum for discussion and active learning about making the most of your graduate training and preparing for the dissertation process. It will focus on preparing you for the process of conducting dissertation research through learning about and conducting literature searches, developing literature reviews, writing annotated bibliographies, and participating in writing groups. Additional modules will be dedicated to learning about grant writing, developing your CV and Biosketch, and teaching and being a TA. Pre-requisite is HB 771. This course is offered spring semester of even numbered years. 1 hour

HB 773: Doctoral Studies Seminar III

This doctoral seminar is designed to bring together doctoral students with faculty to ensure students understand the comprehensive exam and dissertation process and have a good understanding of IRB protocols, grants, other funding mechanisms, and the associated application processes. Pre-requisite is HB 772. This course is offered fall semester of even numbered years. 1 hour

HB 795: African American Health Issues

This is a doctoral level course that will explore issues of both physical and psychological issues of African Americans today. Risk and protective factors for specific health conditions will be reviewed. Historical, sociocultural and economic factors that affect the quality and utilization of healthcare services in African American communities will be examined. Evidence-based ways to engage the community and draw on individual and community strengths in prevention and treatment will be highlighted. Students will be equipped and empowered with the knowledge and skills required to develop a Community Action Plan aimed to improve the effectiveness of interventions targeting the African American community.

HB 795: Seminar on Selected Health Behavior Topics – Doctoral Level

Seminar covering a variety of health behavior topics. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. 3 hours

HB 798: Doctoral Directed Research

Independent study with guidance of senior public health faculty. 1 - 9 hours

HB 799: Dissertation Research

Research for dissertation under direction of dissertation committee. Prerequisite: Students must be admitted to candidacy in order to register for this class. 1 - 9 hours