Doctoral Minor in SBS

Discover the Doctoral Minor in Social and Behavioral Sciences

The IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health offers a PhD minor in Social and Behavioral Sciences that provides students with a foundation in the concepts, principles and practice of the topic. People who possess these specialized skills are in high demand because of what they can contribute to many doctoral-level research projects.

The doctoral minor in Social and Behavioral Science is a rigorous, highly focused 12-credit hour minor that serves as a useful complement to many major areas of study. You will learn both theoretical concepts and how to apply them. By completing this minor, you will be able to:

  • Identify the causes and conditions linked to social, cultural, and behavioral factors that affect the health of individuals and populations
  • Use systems methods to analyze the effects of political, social, and economic influences on public health systems at the individual, community, state, national, and international levels
  • Identify social, cultural, and behavioral science factors, theories, and models used to develop, implement, and evaluate interventions designed to positively affect health behaviors in populations
  • Describe steps and procedures for planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health programs, policies, and interventions
  • In collaboration with others, prioritize individual, organizational, community, and societal concerns and resources for public health programs, policies, and interventions
  • Apply evidence-based approaches in the development, implementation, and evaluation of social and behavioral science interventions in diverse populations
  • Specify targets and levels of intervention for social and behavioral science programs and/or policies

Because you can choose three of the courses from a list of options, you can easily customize this minor to your unique interests and needs. This minor is ideal for students from many schools, including the IU schools of Nursing, Dentistry, Medicine, Physical Education and Recreation, Health Rehabilitative Sciences, Law, and Public and Environmental Affairs.

Students who wish to obtain a doctoral minor from the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health must earn a grade of “B” or better in the coursework for the minor. Courses in which a grade of “B-” or lower is earned will not apply toward completion of the minor. Faculty in the department of Social and Behavioral Sciences will serve as advisors for students choosing this minor.

  • SBS Minor Curriculum

    Required Course

    • PBHL S500 Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health (3 credits)


    Plus choose three courses from the following list:

    • PBHL S510 Introduction to Research Methods in Public Health (3 credits)
    • PBHL S614 Program Planning in Public Health (3 credits)
    • PBHL S617 Human Diseases and Prevention (3 credits)
    • PBHL S620 Biobehavioral Mechanisms of Stress (3 credits)
    • PBHL S631 Maternal, Child, and Family Health (3 credits)
    • PBHL S615 Culture and Qualitative Methods (3 credits)
    • PBHL S625 Applied Public Health Campaign and Social Marketing Strategies (3 credits)
    • PBHL S670 Coaching for Health and Wellness (3 credits)
    • PBHL S658 Methods for Research and Social Behavioral Dimensions of Public Health (3 credits)


    Other courses may be taken if approved by the student’s minor advisor. Students who have already completed any of the required courses as part of their MPH or PhD requirements may not apply those courses toward their minor in Social and Behavioral Sciences and must instead work with their faculty advisor to identify alternate SBS courses.

    The student’s minor advisor will monitor satisfactory completion of the requirements for the doctoral minor in Social and Behavioral Sciences. Doctoral students must notify the Fairbanks School of Public Health before beginning their course of study for the minor.

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