Welcome from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the West Virginia University School of Public Health. Poor health in West Virginia and elsewhere are due in part to underlying socio-economic forces that influence health behaviors, access to quality care, and ultimately health outcomes. Consequently, public health efforts must address policies, environments and cultures to create broad, systematic changes across entire communities.

Social & Behavioral Sciences provides leadership to move this venture forward through targeted intervention research, nurturing talented students and supporting public health practitioners. Our Masters (MPH) and Doctoral (PhD) degrees are designed to provide hands-on experience along with intensive study of the theoretical underpinnings that students need in the 21st century to address our most pressing public health concerns. Moreover, because of West Virginia University’s land grant mission coupled with our relatively small state population, our academic, research and service programs incorporate state-based and local partners which offer students unparalleled access to our state’s public health authorities.

We believe that experiential instruction, combined with critical thinking skills, and a focus on research translation enables students to be better informed health practitioners, researchers, and consumers. More importantly, our relatively small department allows us to work closely with our students. This dedication to students is reflected in our research efforts where students work with faculty on projects that often result in co-authored peer-reviewed publications and presentations. This applied learning environment is predicated upon the applied nature of public health research and practice.

Social & Behavioral Sciences is committed to a competency-based education as defined by the Council on Education for Public Health’s (CEPH) for our MPH and PhD programs.

I invite you to review our website to learn more about our faculty, our academic programs and our students. Feel free to contact faculty and staff with your questions.

Be well,

Keith J. Zullig, M.S.P.H., Ph.D., FASHA, FAAHB
Professor & Chair for the Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences