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 Masters 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
  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 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. 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 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 615: Homelessness, Housing, and Health

This Master's-level course will explore homelessness, housing, and health. The course will begin with a discussion of the concept of homelessness and housing instability and their impact on health. We will discuss how homelessness is defined and enumerated, pathways into homelessness, and multi-level interventions to prevent and end homelessness. We will also explore a series of special topics focusing on populations that may be particularly vulnerable to homelessness as well as the intersection between homelessness and experience of particular health conditions and outcomes. 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 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 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. for 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 pretest 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. 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 682: MSPH Directed Research II

MSPH Directed Research II 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 second 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 682 focuses on collection and analysis of data, interpretation of results, and significant progress in the drafting of a scientific manuscript reporting the research project and preliminary results, and other activities in consultation with their HB mentor. This course will be offered as needed. 3 hours

HB 683: MSPH Directed Research III

MSPH Directed Research III 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 third 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 683 focuses on analysis of data, interpretation of results, completion of a scientific manuscript reporting the research project and preliminary results, other activities in consultation with their HB mentor, and the presentation of results in a public forum. This course will be offered as needed. 3 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 697: Internship

Field experience under joint direction of appropriate faculty member and qualified health education specialist. Written report specifying activities, products, and outcomes of experience submitted upon completion of internship. 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 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 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. Assignments will include developing a comprehensive evaluation plan for a mock grant application and describing how to adapt an existing evidence-based intervention to a particular content area, outcome target, setting, or population; students will be expected to present their work in class. This course will be offered fall semester of even numbered years. 3 hours

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. This course will be offered fall semester of even numbered years. 1 hour

HB 795: Advanced Mental Health Promotion and Professional Development: Service Learning

In this advanced course on mental health promotion and professional development, students will gain a deep understanding of mental health topics relevant for graduate students, professional students, and postdoctoral fellows. Students will 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. Students will participate in experiential learning opportunities with community with programs, clinics, and/or agencies that address mental health needs in some capacity. Students will have opportunities to share reflections about experiences, insights gained related to mental health promotion and professional development. Pre-requisite is HB 795: Mental Health Promotion and Professional Development – Note, students can take both courses Fall 2020. 2 hours

HB 795: Mental Health Promotion and Professional Development

In this course, students will gain knowledge about mental health topics relevant for graduate students, professional students, and postdoctoral fellows and learn skills for managing personal mental health, supporting others’ mental health, and intervening when concerned about someone who may be considering suicide.

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