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My experience at the Yale School of Public Health has prepared me very well to take on challenges and learn new skills quickly and effectively. I’m also getting a chance to apply my evidence-based research skills to this process, which is very exciting.

Janet Yim, MPH '19
Senior Associate - Population Health, Oak Street Health

MPH in Social and Behavioral Sciences

The Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) teaches students about the social and structural factors that interact with behavioral and biological factors to influence health, illness and recovery. The impetus comes from the increasing recognition that social and structural factors (e.g., stigma, housing, poverty, social relationships, norms) play a crucial role in epidemiology and public health, both as risk factors for adverse health outcomes and in strategies to promote health and prevent disease. The SBS Department teaches skills aimed to improve health equity and social justice including how to evaluate and develop multilevel interventions that eliminate barriers to health, from infancy to old age.

How to Apply

For more information on how to apply visit the YSPH Admissions website.

Apply through SOPHAS.

What are the program's areas of expertise?

  • Health Equity
  • Mental Health
  • Community-engaged Health
  • Aging Health
  • Maternal, Paternal and Reproductive Health
  • Nutrition, Exercise and Health Behavior
  • Sexuality and Health
  • Stigma Prevention and Health
  • Global Health

What makes us different?

  • Focus on student voice and participation: SBS believes in the importance of student voices and includes students in helping shape department decisions and policies with student representation on committees and in decision-making.
  • Community and research engagement: SBS fosters unique opportunities to get involved in cutting edge research with faculty and on-the-ground public health practice opportunities with local and global community-based organizations that help you bring the skills you learn in class to have real world public health impact.
  • Interdisciplinary focus: The SBS curriculum takes an interdisciplinary approach and focuses on integrating methods from epidemiology and the social sciences, training scientists with a broad skill set that allows them to answer a host of complex research questions.
  • A sense of community and commitment: SBS creates a sense of community among its students, faculty, and community partners with different identities and experiences through fostering a shared purpose of achieving health equity and social justice.


2023-2024 Matriculation
The MPH degree requires a total of 20 course units. The MPH in Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) requires the student to complete or acquire an exemption from the following courses. Full time students must carry a minimum of 4 course units each semester. If a course is waived, a substitute course must be identified. In addition, all 2-year MPH students are required to complete an internship and an Applied Practice Experience (APE). An internship may fulfill both requirements if it meets certain conditions. Please refer to the Internship and Practicum Guidelines for more information.

MPH Core Courses (6-7 course units)

  • EPH 505 Biostatistics in Public Health - 1 unit
  • EPH 507 Social Justice and Health Equity - 1 unit
  • EPH 508 Foundations of Epidemiology for Public Health - 1 unit
  • EPH 510 Health Policy and Health Care Systems - 1 unit
  • EPH 513 Major Health Threats: Determinants and Solutions - 1 unit
  • EPH 100/EPH 101 Professional Skills Series - 0 course units
  • EPH 520 or 521 Summer Internship - 0 course units (The Summer Internship may meet the APE requirement but the workplan must first be approved by the Office of Public Health Practice. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the APE through the Summer internship requirement. If not, students will need to take a practicum course during the 2nd year using one of their remaining electives.)

One of the following:

  • EPH 525 Thesis - 2 course units
  • SBS 574 Developing a Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Intervention - 1 unit

SBS Department Required Courses (3 course units)

  • SBS 529 Foundations of Behavior Change - 1 unit
  • SBS 525/SBS 526 Seminar in Social and Behavioral Sciences (two semesters) - 0 units
One of the following:
  • BIS 505 Biostatistics in Public Health II - 1 unit
  • CDE 534 Applied Analytic Methods in Epidemiology - 1 unit
  • CDE 516 Principles of Epidemiology II - 1 unit
One of the following:
  • SBS 580 Qualitative Research Methods - 1 unit
  • SBS 541 Community Health Program Evaluation - 1 unit

Elective Courses (10-11 course units)

rev. June 2023