Behavioral Health Concentration

The USF College of Public Health and the Departments of Child & Family Studies and Mental Health Law & Policy in the USF College of Behavioral & Community Sciences jointly offer graduate level courses in both the master’s and doctoral degree programs with a Concentration in Behavioral Health.

The program examines community and family issues in policy, evaluation, systems performance, and outcomes of alcohol, drug abuse, and mental health services. Students with psychology, education, counseling, social work, nursing, medicine, and public health backgrounds analyze current trends and research in behavioral health services. Graduates are prepared to work in mental health, alcohol, drug abuse, and public health organizations, as well as in research and consulting firms. Examples of sub-specialization areas include children, mental health, policy and behavioral health services delivery; the behavioral health needs of at-risk populations, and mental health planning, evaluation, & accountability.

Available Course Offerings

Five graduate degree options are offered:

The Master of Public Health (MPH) Concentration in Behavioral Health:
A non-thesis degree program that prepares students for a professional career in behavioral health services. Requirements include completing five COPH core courses, behavioral health courses, a field experience, a comprehensive exam, and a special master’s project.

The Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) Focus in Behavioral Health:
A thesis degree program that prepares students for careers in applied behavioral health research and outcomes evaluation. Requirements include completing a set of COPH core courses, coursework in behavioral health, courses in research methods, a comprehensive exam, and a thesis.

The Masters of Social Work/Masters of Public Health Concurrent-Degree Program (MSW/MPH) (Behavioral Health Concentration):
An advanced dual degree program for students interested in combining clinical social work with public health and a concentration in behavioral health (including mental health and substance abuse services). The combination of degrees in public health and social work ideally equips graduate students to prepare for careers in social work, public health, and behavioral health settings with the ability to fill clinical, administrative, and evaluative roles which positively affect the lives of women, children, and various populations-at-risk in a changing society. Requirements for the Dual Degree Program include both core and elective courses in social work, public health, and behavioral health; a combined clinical/public health field placement in the community; a special master’s project; and a comprehensive exam in public health/behavioral health.

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Focus in Behavioral Health:
An advanced research degree program for students intending to pursue academic, research, or high-level administrative careers in behavioral health services. The curriculum at the doctoral level is individualized based upon the student’s career goals and previous experiences. Requirements include COPH prerequisites (for individuals without an MPH or MSPH), departmental foundation courses, behavioral health courses, research methods, qualifying exams, and a dissertation. Interested students should consult the DCFH Doctoral Program Guidelines & Manual for the complete degree requirements.

The Doctor of Public Health (DRPH):
The Doctor of Public Health (DRPH) emphasizes advanced public health education and training designed to prepare individuals for leadership roles in practice-based settings such as health departments, non-profit organizations, health service, international agencies, and community-based organizations. Accordingly, the emphasis of the DRPH is placed on fostering advanced expertise in developing, implementing, and evaluating evidence-informed public health practice as compared to the Ph.D. whereby the emphasis is on research.

Behavioral Health Student Organization:
The Behavioral Health Student Organization (BHSO) serves as a forum for those with an interest in Behavioral Health. The BHSO mission is to educate and increase awareness of Behavioral Health issues and projects within the United States and abroad. The BHSO provides ample service and learning opportunities to network with students, faculty and the greater Behavioral Health community.

Additional Information

Bruce Lubotsky Levin, DrPH, MPH
Associate Professor
Colleges of Behavioral & Community Sciences and Public Health
University of South Florida
13301 Bruce B. Downs Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33612-3807

How do I apply?